AmericaBlog Purchases Gen. Wesley Clark’s Telephone Records for $89.95

Demonstrating the utter worthlessness of the PATRIOT Act as well as any Bush Administration concern for personal privacy, AMERICABlog followed through with their explanation that “Anyone can buy your cellphone records
John explains in his post today:

All we needed was General Clark’s cell phone number and our credit card, and 24 hours later we had one hundred calls the general made on his cell phone in November.

I bought my records via the Web site LocateCell for $110. We bought General Clark’s records via the Web site CellTolls for $89.95. It is possible that both sites are run by the same company.

so much for security.

The latest from a New America

Bush to Press December 19 (CTK)[updated at bottom] Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was one of the few Congressmen who were told of the NSA secret wiretapping in confidentiality. Today he released the handwritten letter he wrote to Vice President Cheney in 2003 voicing his concern. View the letter here (.pdf).

The web site of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has release this statement tonight:

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on former White House Counsel John Dean?s statement that President Bush admitted to an ?impeachable offense? when he said he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge.

Mr. Dean says impeachable. Do you agree?

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) suggested impeachment this morning on WAOK radio:”He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not king, he is president.””

Kitty Felde’s 20-minute interview with Sen. Boxer last night before her return to D.C. was broadcast today on KPCC and can be heard here.

Orin Kerr finds constitutionality may not be the issue in an extensive legal analysis at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Confirm Them can’t confirm Kerr’s admittedly tentative analysis, but is certain that this will be a huge issue come next month’s Alito hearings.

Digby refutes the statements supporting Bush’s secret spy program made by Gonzales and Hayden

Will Bunch elaborates on yet another New York Times revelation by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter:

I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president?s desperation.

SoCalPundit goes spin-cycle on the president’s Monday morning press “smack down,” calling it too entertaining to be flagged by AP for its numerous inaccuracies lies. Ezra Klein posts Good Job. Liar, “but only because it deserves repetition.”

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UPDATE 1: AP Military Writer Robert Burns reports Tuesday morning from Iraq:

The number of U.S. airstrikes increased in the weeks leading up to last Thursday’s election, from a monthly average of about 35 last summer to more than 60 in September and 120 or more in October and November.

UPDATE 2: Total number of FISA applications rejected, 1979-2004: 4 (two of which were later granted, 1758 were approved in 2004). source: EPIC

UPDATE 3: (via Daily Pundit): The Washington Times reports:

U.S. forces yesterday flew eight newly released “high-value” Iraqi detainees out of the country aboard a special military aircraft, in a move other officials said was aimed at furthering a secret peace process with Sunni hard-line groups.
….An additional 16 high-value detainees — most of them depicted in a U.S. pack of cards identifying top Saddam officials — are to be released imminently or have already been freed, according to a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

This wouldn’t amount to negotiating with the…….. nah.

Hold Bush Accountable for Admitted Criminal Acts

Bush Spies on Americans By: Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune
NYTimes editor Bill Keller offers up a most pathetic statement “excusing” the publication for the Bush/NSA story. Hannity, O’Reilly, et al would be pleased.As Matt Stoller proclaims in MyDD:

This spy scandal is a very important development. One of the problems with the blogosphere and the media landscape in general is that it feels like the outrage-meter is always turned up to maximum hot setting. You’re hearing a lot of chatter on the blogs, and I would suggest that this time, you pay special attention to it. This story cuts across all the themes of modern Republicanism – national security, 9/11, abuses of power, political opportunism, media manipulation, violation of civil rights, attacks on privacy, and the evisceration of checks and balances in the American system. Rarely is there such a narrative that ties so many threads together.

See AmericaBlog’s call for action.

Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) even got in on the qaction during a heated debate with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on CNN Friday:

Barr is far from a usual suspect in raging against the president, as Shakespeare’s Sister illustrates:

Barr is no left-winger, he?s a fire-breathing conservative who tried the case against Clinton, strongly supports the Second Amendment, drafted the Defense of Marriage Act, staunchly apposes abortion, and has been a speaker before the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been noted as becoming increasingly ?radical and racist? by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who classifies the CCC as a hate group.

I previously posted in disgust and dismay that the Times published this “groundbreaking” story a year after they had it, and even apologized within the text of the front page indictment. David Sirota assails the media in general and NYT in particular for sheer deference to the “powers” of government and profit in a must-read post:

..[T]he Times tells us Bush “secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans.” The paper also refers to “the powers granted the N.S.A. by President Bush.” “Authorized” and “granted.” The word “authorize” is defined as “to grant power or authority to,” and the word “grant” is the act of giving something one has. The media’s use of these terms, then, is the media trying to make the public assume as fact that Bush actually had the power or authority to grant in the first place.

Its more than just the NSA and Bush. Matt Rothschild of the Progressive points to MSNBC recent detailing of Rumsfeld’s DoD sending out teams to track even the most “innocuous and lawful” protests.

The Pengaton?s partial file on the spying is available here (.pdf).

As the president proclaimed at a recent Oval Office meeting (h/t Capitol Hill Blue):

I don?t give a goddamn,? Bush retorted. ?I?m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.?

?Mr. President,? one aide in the meeting said. ?There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.?

?Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,? Bush screamed back. ?It?s just a goddamned piece of paper!?

For more on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, click here.

NYT Apologetically “breaks” old news of domestic spying illegalities

The New York Times fronted on Friday with the big splash story of the week — breaking details of Bush-authorized illegal domestic intelligence gathering by the National Security Agency.

Strangely, as if the publishing of illicit affairs within the administration may lead to blacklisting, or much worse, dinner with Scooter Libby, the Times devotes an entire graf to apologizing for granting anonymity “because of the classified nature of the program,” then concedes:

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

The Bush Administration is breaking the law… so what else is new?!?

Considering the article relates to a presidential order signed in 2002, and covers issues supported by the Patriot Act (.pdf) and related legislation that should have made for dozens of front page stories over the past few years.

Not only does the Times appear to apply their own limits press freedom with such a statement, it reads as if it could be some distorted subliminal message.

In a move reminiscent of the media’s response to Dana Priest’s CIA secret prisons story last month in the Post, in which, the story was merely repeated without being followed up on, the Washington Post practically lifts the gist of James Risen and Eric Lichtblau’s NY Times story (which they admit in context of having finished for publication over a year ago) and fronts it as well.

That painful day in December 2001 when John Ashcroft laid down the law on the Patriot Act (and prohibiting press among other freedoms at Guantanamo) at a lengthy hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn’t seem that long ago, although apparently the MSM is just picking up on the fallout. (resources available here, here, and here, y aqui tambien.

Or could it be, as a simple Amazon search reveals, that James Risen’s Book, “State of War : The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration” is due for a January 2006 release.

Malkin and her peers are all over that, and this time, they should be.

My understanding of the motivations and trustworthiness of the MSM has been so utterly clouded by the deceit and misplaced loyalty that has played out over the past months – I don’t know what to think.

There is good news today, with the Senate unable to vote down a threatened filibuster leading to the apparent demise of the Patriot Act Re-authorization Bill (which, of course, as we all know is an acronym for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” RB). (full story on today’s vote)