Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It Could Be Anyone

Monday, February 06, 2006
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It Could Be Anyone
by digby

Crooks and Liars has a clip from Glenn Greenwald's appearance this morning on Washington Journal in which he mentions that many conservatives are concerned about this. He brought up super conservative Bruce Fein's opinion that this could be an impeachable offense.

But he didn't have time to mention a couple of things that I think are worth looking at in this vein. The first is this group that calls itself Patriots To Restore Checks and Balances who have formed an alliance with the following groups to protest the government's increasing encroachment on Americans' civil liberties:

Brad Jansen
Adjunct Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
American Civil Liberties Union
American Conservative Union
Americans for Tax Reform
American Policy Center
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Free Congress Foundation
Libertarian Party
Gun Owners of America
Second Amendment Foundation


The press release I linked above says this:


"When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information
," said Barr. "However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism."


Where are these guys today? Shouldn't they be called to testify before this committee and give their views? Are these "hard-core, doctrinaire" conservatives (as Greenwald elegantly calls them) just another branch of the Karl Rove Eunuch Society? I thought they always considered themselves to be something more than party hacks and second rate cronies but perhaps I was wrong.

Grover Norquist, as I have pointed out before, should be concerned about this for more than theoretical reasons. Perhaps he thinks he's safe because he is the ultimate insider. But he should ask himself whether the fact that other insiders consider him a security threat might just put him in the crosshairs.

Grover Norquist has for some years now been promoting Islamist organizations, including even the Council on American-Islamic Relations; for example, he spoke at CAIR's conference, "A Better America in a Better World" on October 5, 2004. Frank Gaffney has researched Norquist's ties to Islamists in his exhaustive, careful, and convincing study, "Agent of Influence" and concludes that he is enabling "a political influence operation to advance the causes of radical Islamists, and targeted most particularly at the Bush Administration."

But if Grover Norquist is indeed a convert to Islam, it could be that he is not just enabling the Islamist causes but is himself an Islamist. (April 14, 2005)

Grover looks like just the sort of guy they'd be likely to tap, don't you think?

This really isn't a partisan issue. Any American could fall under this illegal spying scheme and there is no oversight by anyone to determine whether it's legal, necessary or useful to national security. It could be political enemies... and it could be political friends who some believe have suspicious ties to "the enemy." You just don't know. That's the problem.

And knowing how these people operate --- as Grover surely does, having been a part of the dirty tricks apparatus for more than 20 years --- you can bet they are doing whatever they think is advantageous to their cause. I would think that keeping an eye on "unreliables" like Grover with his Muslim wife and libertarian leanings could be seen by the administration as important.

And as I noted in this earlier post, they don't just spy on their enemies; they spy on their friends too. To make sure they don't stray ... if you know what I mean.


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