You have both the CIA destroying tapes that they were under judicial orders to retain and the FISA illegal eavesdropping cover-up dominating the news.
Regarding the latter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada made the following statement:
"The Senate is committed to improving our nation's intelligence laws to fight terrorism while protecting Americans' civil liberties. We need to take the time necessary to debate a bill that does just that, rather than rushing one through the legislative process. While we had hoped to complete the FISA bill this week, it is clear that is not possible. With more than a dozen amendments to this complex and controversial bill, this legislation deserves time for thorough discussion on the floor.
"We will consider this bill when we return in January. In the meantime, I again encourage the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to make available to all Senators the relevant documents on retroactive immunity, so that each may reach an informed decision on how to proceed on this provision. I oppose retroactive immunity, but believe every Senator must have access to the information to make this important decision."
W and his boys wanted their legislation passed immediately so that they would be off the hook. They got this subterfuge from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican who had offered an alternative version of the bill without telecom immunity.
The article "Sen. Specter: Bush admin. throwing up roadblocks' on CIA tape, wiretap probes at
states "A prominent Republican, who has disputed with the White House in the past, threw fuel onto the fire on Tuesday by accusing the Bush administration of throwing "roadblocks" in front of congressional attempts to investigate the destruction of CIA tapes, saying it demonstrates the need to preserve judicial oversight of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.
On Monday, the Senate leadership withdrew from debate a controversial renewal of warrantless wiretapping legislation and announced that it would not return to the matter until Congress reconvenes in the new year.
Specter's non-solution wants to substitute telecom companies with the US government, even though he knows that big bro 43 won't answer to the US people.
He said "Regrettably, the Congress has been very ineffective in oversight on what the executive branch does."
The article notes that "The ACLU has argued that suing the government isn't an adequate substitute, because it can use the state secrets privilege, executive privilege, and even a claim of sovereign immunity to get the cases thrown out."
What about the tapes? The article "House Judiciary witness: Destroyed CIA tapes are 'ultimate cover-up'" at
states "The CIA's official explanation for destroying at least two videotapes depicting severe interrogation techniques "fails the straight-face test," an expert witness told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday.
In a hearing focused on the Justice Department's role in the tapes' destruction and the legality of torture tactics, George Washington University Law School professor Stephen Saltzburg heavily rebuked CIA reasoning that the decision was made in part to protect the identify of interrogators.
"The rationale for destroying the tapes to protect the identity of the interrogators is almost as embarrassing as the destruction itself," said Saltzburg, who is also general counsel for the National Institute of Military Justice. He said that the tapes could easily have been modified to obscure the faces of those involved, and that regardless, the CIA keeps a written record of which officers interrogated detainees.
"And so the explanation for destruction fails the straight-face test," he said. "The only plausible explanation, I believe, is that the CIA wanted to assure that those tapes would never be seen by any judicial tribunal -- not even a military commission -- and they would never be seen by a committee of Congress."
Continued Saltzburg, "With [the CIA tapes] gone, we have the ultimate cover-up. The indisputable evidence no longer exists, and memories will undoubtedly differ about what happened."
He also chided Congress for not choosing to rein in CIA practices.
"It's vitally important for this Congress to recognize that it's part of the interrogation process," he said. "This Congress decided not to restrict the CIA, at least not explicitly. And it decided not to confine the CIA to interrogation techniques that are contained in the Army Field Manual."
A representative from the Justice Department was invited to testify before the committee, but was not present at the hearing....
In statements before witnesses were called, Democratic committee members also admonished the White House for its alleged role, as reported by the New York Times, in participating in discussions about the tapes with the CIA.
"It is important that we investigate these allegations carefully," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), "because if true, we may be facing the possibility of a dangerous and criminal abuse of powers at the highest levels of our government."
"Criminal abuse of powers at the highest levels of our government," whose willing minions, the 4th estate allows their headlines to be changed after hearing from W.
shows just how badly our 4th estate is acting. The New York Times, the place "where all the news that is fit to print", has been chided into changing its critical sub-headline. W's goons publicly asked The New York Times to change the sub-headline of a story on the destruction of CIA tapes showing the interrogations of suspected terrorists.
At issue is the story's sub-headline that stated: "White House Role Was Wider Than It Said." The White House called this sub-headline inaccurate and got it erased.
If only they had erased the propaganda that Judith Miller printed when she was acting as Chalabi's secretary when she injected his lies in the media. We heard "Tricky Dickless" Cheney parrot them in "Meet the Press" and state that they came from the New York Times.
Dan Abrams states "And tonight, the investigation: A federal judge demands the Bush administration to explain why the CIA destroyed those tapes of al Qaeda interrogations. This as Congress steps up the heat as well. Isn't all this scrutiny a direct result of no one trusting this Justice Department and this administration anymore?...
At issue: Whether they violated a 2005 court order that required them to save all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment and abuse of detainees now at the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Now, before the tapes were destroyed, the DOJ assured the judge that government officials were, quote, "Well-aware of their obligation not to destroy evidence that may be relevant in pending litigation." Bush lawyers now scrambling to prepare for a hearing before Judge Kennedy scheduled for this Friday at 11:00 a.m. Meanwhile, a conservative Republican congressman thought to be a Bush ally refusing to give into a Justice Department demand that Congress not investigate how and why the tapes were destroyed."
Hoekstra has to campaign and he doesn't want this "bubble boy's" inane policies wearing him down. Allegedly "Congressman Peter Hoekstra says he is preparing to unleash his move to subpoena for witnesses, accounts and documents from the courts to Congress. One thing seems pretty clear; everyone outside of the executive branch is tired of getting snookered by this administration. They just don't trust them. Why should they? They don't trust that they have been told the truth in the past. They don't trust them to investigate themselves. Now, they're paying the price in the form of investigations, outside investigations, over these destroyed tapes."
Abrams asks Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America "That's my theory - my theory is that you've got the courts coming at them, you've got the Congress coming at them and the bottom line is-they're saying we don't trust you.
She responded "Well, you don't have to even hate this particular Justice Department, or you don't have to cast aspersions on Mukasey's character or anything to think that the White House and the Justice Department have no business and should have no business telling any other branch of government what they can investigate and what they can't investigate about this. We've got a divided system of government that Congress, the judiciary and the executive have equal power over something like this. So, they can't say you guys can't investigate they're. They don't get to draw those lines."