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white house staffers should testify, and the american people have the right to demand it.
Published on March 21, 2007 By Sean Conners aka SConn1 In Current Events
In 2001, Congress rubber stamped the Patriot Act with the blessing of the vast majority of American people. But after the "bumpersticker" and "wear it on your sleeve" brand of patriotism wore off for some, they began to question the constitutional ramifications and loss of civil liberties it would cause our great nation. Of course, in the style that we all have become accustomed to, the White House and it's puntitry immediately smeared anyone who dared question them.

Questions of potential abuse were brushed aside and the questioners ridiculed. People like US Attorney Kevin Ryan defended the administration with statements like "We've taken age-old investigative techniques, techniques that have been around and have been approved by the courts and have been used by prosecutors in other areas and simply transitioned them into the areas of domestic and international terrorism as it affects us, post-September 11th," Ryan says.

The FBI touted similar lines...Mark Mershon, the FBI's special agent-in charge for San Francisco, said, "It is a shame that some communities see the PATRIOT Act as... some alarming behemoth that's going to trample the constitutional rights of Americans. That's simply not the case."

Well, well, well...here we stand in 2007. And it turns out, those who questioned did so for good reason.

Recent revalations have showed administration officials actually purposefully taking advantage of the "loophole" that allowed them to subvert the normal process. Emails show them knowing full well their purposes have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism or national security and are simply using this power "cause they can."

The FBI has recently admitted to abusing our personal privacy freedoms by using national security letters and other letters improperly and illegally to obtain personal information from US corporations. The inspector general's recent report showed just how bad the situation is just "at the tip of the iceberg."

Now the President is atempting to block any meaningful and as importantly, public disclosure of how his administration has been operating behind their "cloak of secrecy."

I surely hope the democrats (of which i am not one) and republicans (of which i am not one either) will continue their insistance and force the White House staffers to testify in open session and under oath. I surely hope they do not accept the "Nixonian" lines from Watergate lawyer Fred Fielding. Nixon tried to stop Congress from having his staff testify and the Bush administration is faithfully following in their predecessors footsteps using some of the very players that tried, and failed in the early 70's.

The whole stance of "if white house staff testify, they can't give honest advice" is absolute B*LLSHIT!!! If that were the case, that essentially says that anyone who works for any administration is above the law. That they do not answer to their employers, the American people. Sorry, but they do. Dozens of Clinton staffers testified in the 90's in open session and under oath. As did scores of staffers in administrations for decades did.

There is absolutely NO national security issues at stake in the US attorney case. No claims can be made in that arena. And even if some of that did get "brushed upon," I am fine with any of that being in closed session, but absolutely still under oath. And it does seem clear that Senators were lied to by the Attorney General, who has yet to explain those lies. And the last time I checked, it is a crime to lie to Congress. And even if by some technicallity it is not, as their employer, I demand to know what went on.

In Arkansas, a loyal repubican US Attorney was unfairly replaced by a Rove crony with almost no courtroom experience. How does that serve my country better? As their employer, I demand to know.

In San Diego, a prosecutor who was expanding her already successful investigation of corruption by Bush loyalist Randall "Duke" Cunningham was abruptly fired for performance reasons. The White House later tried to defend the firing pointing to "immigration" and a lack of any cases on the subject. In her actual performance review, however, it was shown that her vigilance on immigration issues was outstanding, devoting up to 50% of her staff and resources to cases on the issue.

Other attorneys, like David Iglasius, were unfairly charged with not going after "voter fraud" cases. But after looking at the actual cases, one sees that the chance of convictions were virtually nil in the cases. And I guess the White House doesn't realize that some of us know that a voter fraud conviction (or many of them) is a bnig feather in a cap for any US attorney, especially one who may run for office in the future. In other words, it was in Iglasius interest, career wise, to get any voter fraud conviction he could. But losing cases would be bad. Imagine the opposition commercials lambasting his screwing up of trials that let "scammers go free." Iglasius's case is compounded by the facts that he was called on and reportedly pressured in unprecedented calls from Senator Dominicci and at least one New Mexico house member. As their employer, I demand to know the answers.

In Washington State, the removal of that US Attorney and the political improprieties are obvious as well. And in the rest of the cases, as with the former mentioned ones, we need to know what went on and if the US Department Of Justice has become a political wing of the administration and not the independent body that is only concerned with justice that the Constitution intended and as their employer, I demand.

Hopefully , Senator Leahey will stand by his words from last night when he said, "I intend to bring the attorney general up here. I am requesting several other people to come up here, certainly Mr. Sampson, Ms. Miers, I assume eventually Karl Rove. If they don’t come, then I’ll seek to subpoena them up here, because the story changes almost every time we pick up the newspaper. […]What I want to find out is what happened, why we’ve been given different stories. And I want those answers, not in an informal briefing; I want those answers in public, in sworn testimony, under oath before my committee. As chairman, that’s what I insist."

And as your employer Mr Leahey, I demand it.









Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 21, 2007
  
on Mar 21, 2007
no bush loyalist defense here? lol
on Mar 21, 2007
Do you blame the mayor for a rogue cop? Do you demand the governor resign over allegations against state police? Nope. In both cases we hold the police force and individual cops responsible.

The Patriot Act gives law enforcement the tools they need to be able to investigate terrorist threats. If FBI agents or departments abused those tools then we should be pointing to the individuals who broke the law.

Blaming the Patriot Act, Prs. Bush or anyone else for the alledged crimes is childish.
on Mar 22, 2007
Blaming the Patriot Act, Prs. Bush or anyone else for the alledged crimes is childish


i haven't blamed anyone,,,i demand the answers.
on Mar 22, 2007
i haven't blamed anyone,,,i demand the answers.


The FBI has recently admitted to abusing our personal privacy freedoms by using national security letters and other letters improperly and illegally to obtain personal information from US corporations. The inspector general's recent report showed just how bad the situation is just "at the tip of the iceberg."

Now the President is atempting to block any meaningful and as importantly, public disclosure of how his administration has been operating behind their "cloak of secrecy."



Hmmmmm, really?

Investigations have found abuses of the Patriot Act, agents are being held responsible for their alleged crimes. What other answers do you want and for what purpose? Sorry to have to break it to you, but if investigating agencies are not allowed their secrecy, they are of little use.
on Mar 22, 2007
The FBI has recently admitted to abusing our personal privacy freedoms by using national security letters and other letters improperly and illegally to obtain personal information from US corporations.


that's not a blame,,,they admitted that, i am just reporting it.

Now the President is atempting to block any meaningful and as importantly, public disclosure of how his administration has been operating behind their "cloak of secrecy."


he is, again...not blame, just reporting of events.

but if investigating agencies are not allowed their secrecy, they are of little use.


and no one is above the law. this is specifically what people like me warned about...andwe were all told that "they only want to subvert the constitution and deny civil rights for very "limited and targeted" purposes." and what "investigative agency" does karl rove and harriet meirs work for? i called for "white house staffers" to testify. the FBI thing is another matter. the staffers were also abusing the patriot act early and often as evidenced here...

I strongly recommend that as a matter of administration, we utilize the new statutory provisions that authorize the AG to make USA appointments (from an email from kyle sampson explaining how they can use the patriot act, and not for any counter-terrorism purpose whatsoever)





on Mar 23, 2007

OH NO, SAY IT ISN'T SO... AN ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT WAS CAUGHT ACTUALLY....


ADVISING THE PRESIDENT!!!

 

The sad thing about this is, people who consider themselves intelligent are actually falling for the idea that Congress should have any say in the hiring and firing of Executive Branch employees.  This is not only completely unconstitutional, it is just plain idiocy.  I wonder what kind of wad Pelosi's would find her panties in if Prs. Bush told her what staff members she could keep and which she had to fire.

The whole Attorney General thing is a totally trumped up NON ISSUE!

on Mar 23, 2007
OH NO, SAY IT ISN'T SO... AN ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT WAS CAUGHT ACTUALLY....

ADVISING THE PRESIDENT!!!


nice red herring there.
on Mar 23, 2007
How is merely stating a fact a "red herring"? (granted it was laced with sarcasm, but that doesn't make it any less factual).

The fact is, there is no scandal here at all. All there is is a Speaker of the House who cares more about trumping up scandals than doing her job.
on Mar 23, 2007
How is merely stating a fact a "red herring"?


cause it is not the reason that they need to testify. we are dealing with possible obstruction of justice, abuse of the patriot act and more.

The fact is, there is no scandal here at all.


according to you, tom delay and a few other members of the white house portable punditry. of course, in the 90's, tony Snow didn't quite hold the same view as he is forced to defend now...

"Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

"Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

"One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law." Tony Snow 1998.



on Mar 23, 2007
How is the Attorney General (or the president) firing those who work for him "obstruction of justice"? If there was evidence of a crime here then sure, I'd be all for an investigation. However, there is no evidence of any crime here. All it proves is that any president who holds onto members of the previous administration (especially when the party has changed) is setting themselves up for betrayal. The only only fact that Pelosi has uncovered is her own motives. She doesn't give a flying fig about her job, she only cares about abusing her position.

But then again, the Democrats knew that Pelosi and Reid were as crooked as it comes but voted for them anyway. Which goes to another fact... Being crooked is a career enhancer for a Democrat.
on Mar 23, 2007
henry hyde on the floor in 1998...

I respectfully suggest we must look further by voting for this resolution and thus commencing an inquiry into whether or not the president has committed impeachable acts. We don't make any judgments. We don't make any charges. We simply begin a search for truth. You will hear from our opponents that, yes, we need to look further but do it our way. Their way imposes artificial time limits, limits our inquiry to the Lewinsky matter, and requires us to establish standards for impeachment that have never been established before,

...I will use all my strength to ensure that this inquiry does not become a fishing expedition. Rather, I'm determined that it will be a fair and expeditious search for truth. We have plenty enough to do now; we don't need to search for new material.

However, I can't say that we will never address other subjects, nor would it be responsible to do so. I don't know what the future holds. If substantial and credible evidence of other impeachable offenses comes to us, as the independent counsel hinted or suggested in a letter we received only yesterday, the Constitution will demand that we do our duty. Like each of you, I took an oath to answer that call. I intend to do so, and I hope you will join with me, if that day comes. I don't think we want to settle for less than the whole truth.


...For those who worry about the timing, I urge you to do everything possible to encourage cooperation. No one likes to have their behavior questioned. The best way to end the questions is to answer them in a timely and truthful manner. Thorough and thoughtful cooperation will do more than anything to put this matter behind us. . . .

james stesenbrenner in 98...

What's at stake here is the rule of law. Even the president of the United States has no right to break the law. If the House votes down this inquiry, in effect it will say that even if President Clinton committed as many as 15 felonies, nothing will happen. The result will be a return to the imperial presidency of the Nixon era, where the White House felt that the laws did not apply to them, since they never would be punished. That would be a national tragedy of immense consequences. . . .

when democrats wanted to move on to the "important issues", Rep. Bob Inglis said this...

...Of course, we do want to move along to important issues facing the country. We do want to restore freedom in health care. We do want to secure the future of Medicare and Social Security, and we do want to continue the progress toward balancing the budget. All of those things we want to do.

But I would ask my colleagues to consider this: Really, this is the crucial business of the country. This is the crucial business. As we go into the next century, the question is does the truth even matter?

Now, some would say just move along. It doesn't matter. Just move along. But if you move along, what you're leaving aside is serious allegations of serious crimes. . . .


did all democrats, especially liberal ones, try to stop an inquiry? here's what dennis kucinich said on the floor...

I believe there will be no resolution without an open hearing. And there will be no accountability without an open hearing. And there will be no closure for this country, for this Congress, or for our president without an open hearing. The nation is divided, and the House is divided. And a house divided against itself will not stand. So if inquire we must, let's do it fairly. . . . Let the president make his case. Give him a chance to clear his name and get back to his job. Bring everything out in the open. Bring forward the accusers and subject them to the light of day. Settle this, and then move forward to do the business of the people. . . .

Tom Delay....

Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.




on Mar 23, 2007
How is the Attorney General (or the president) firing those who work for him "obstruction of justice"?


if attorneys were fired to stop investigations, like the one lam was pursuing against faggo and other "duke" cunningham cronies. then that is obstruction of justice.

if pete dominecci (who has hired a defense attorney for this matter) and heather wilson improperly "leaned " on iglasius...that is obstruction of justice and tampering, etc...

and those 2 examples are just the tip of the iceberg before anyone has had a real opportunity to look behind the curtain.

plus, look above at how the republican congress looked at the same kind of issues in 98.

Tony Snow and other conservative pundits blasted Clinton for ANY resistance to his staff testifying, sometimes pre-emptively.



on Mar 23, 2007
by the way, only 5 out of the last 500 us attorneys serving under a 2 term president have been fired midterm. the administration managed to break that record in 1 day.

by the way, 1 of the 5 was fired for biting a stripper. not exactly in the same league.
on Mar 23, 2007
Which goes to another fact... Being crooked is a career enhancer for a Democrat.


as it is for republicans. puhleasse...