Secret Government

Bush Scrubs Open Government
Secret Government

A five month investigation by U.S. News concluded that "the Bush administration has quietly but efficiently dropped a shroud of secrecy across many critical operations of the federal government -- cloaking its own affairs from scrutiny and removing from the public domain important information on health, safety, and environmental matters." While the Administration's predilection toward secrecy is commonly attributed to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the investigation revealed that, in the Bush Administration, "the initiative to wall off records and information previously in the public domain began from Day 1." Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director, rejected the criticism saying, "For every series of examples you could find where you could make the claim of a 'penchant for secrecy,' I could probably come up with several that demonstrate the transparency of our process." But, when asked for examples, Bartlett couldn't provide any.

Secrecy Is an Obsession for Bush
Secret Government

The Bush regime is trying again to isolate the government from the governed. They're using the War on Terror as an excuse to define a whole new category of documents that must be kept secret "for the sake of homeland security". But we don't know which documents are included in that new category -- it's a secret.

Leahy Threatens Subpoena to Get the Truth About the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Secret Government

NY Times reports, "After years of essentially nonexistent oversight by Congress, the operations of the nation's secret wiretap court finally came under tough public scrutiny on Capitol Hill. A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee focused its criticism on the FBI and the Justice Department. They questioned whether the administration was entitled to broad new wiretap powers it had sought from the court, especially in light of the Justice Department's recent acknowledgment that the F.B.I. had provided the court with misleading information in more than 75 applications for wiretap authority. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) said ... he was prepared to issue subpoenas to the Justice Department for more information about the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court], and he suggested to a department witness that the administration might be seeking changes in the wiretap system 'to cover your mistakes.'" (http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=398)

America's Most Secretive Court Convenes Under Cover of 9/11 Anniversary to Conduct Closed Hearing on Expanding Ashcroft Wire Tap Power
Secret Government

When Ashcroft didn't get his way with a lower court to seize unwarranted wiretap powers, he simply pushed it to another, more secretive court - the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. This court took his case under consideration THE VERY WEEK that the attention of Congress and the public would be most distracted - the anniversary of 9/11. The court also gave no advance notice to ANYONE about the hearing. "Hearing a one-sided argument and doing so in secret goes against the traditions of fairness and open government that have been the hallmark of our democracy," said Ann Beeson, litigation director of the Technology and Liberty Program of the American Civil Liberties Union. Staff members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees - who have high-level clearance - sought to attend, but were turned down by the Justice Department. We demand an end to Secret Government!

Who's Watching the CIA? Dictator Bush Won't Say
Secret Government

Since 1956, and until Bush, the names of President's Foreign Intelligence Oversight Board (PFIAB) members was public - President Clinton even posted their names on the Web. But when reporter David Corn asked PFIAB for its members, chairman Brent Scowcroft said it was available only on a "need-to-know" basis. Scowcroft, who runs a private business that SELLS intelligence info, has a total conflict of interest that should disqualify him for the job. Hypothesis: the CIA, at least the Directorate of Operations, has always been under the Bushes and their coterie. Hey, how come when Clinton was President – the CIA gave the faulty evidence about the Sudan Aspirin factory that led to the bombing; they gave the wrong map coordinates that led to the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia and the CIA psy-ops experts planted stories in the Media to undermine Clinton's air war in Kosovo and pressure for a ground war (See "How War Got the Monica Treatment", Brill's Content).

John Dean Roasts Rove on Nixonian Secrecy
Secret Government

In a letter to Karl Rove, John Dean pulls no punches. "It's unimaginable that the Bush Administration would want to risk repeating the mistakes of the Nixon presidency, yet the continuing insistence on secrecy by your White House is startlingly Nixonian. I'm talking about everything from stiffing Congressional requests from information and witnesses, to employing an executive order to demolish the 1978 law providing public access to presidential papers, to forcing the Government Accounting Office to go to Court to obtain information about how the White House is spending tax money when creating a pro-energy industry Vice Presidential task force. The Bush Administration apparently seeks to reverse the post-Watergate trend of open government." You go, John!

Schafly and Fein Blast Bush on Secrecy as John Dean Declares: 'Secrecy is the Way of Dictatorships, not Democracies'
Secret Government

"Secrecy itself has risen to the level of a policy in the Bush administration...Conservative columnist Phyllis Schlafly has been quite blunt about this secrecy business. In March, she blasted the White House for the VP's refusal to turn over the records of his energy task force...Ms. Schlafly declared correctly that: 'The American people do not and should not tolerate government by secrecy.' And she told the Bush White House that no one's 'going to buy the sanctimonious argument that the Bush Administration has some sort of duty to protect the power of the presidency.' Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official whose Republican credentials and constitutional scholarship are exemplary (said) 'What the president [sic] is claiming is legally and historically absurd and politically stupid.'" John Dean concludes "To claim a need for secrecy to restore presidential power is disingenuous at best, and a deliberate falsehood at worst. Secrecy is the way of dictatorships, not democracies."

Secret Bush List
Secret Government

Kelley Kramer writes, "It has been over a year now since Bush took over the White House. And with Republicans now suddenly willing to talk about presidential approval ratings, lets take a look at what the Bush administration has done the past year." Unfortunately, the answer is - a secret!

Cheney Has Been Planning Martial Law for Decades
Secret Government

Before he resigned in 1974, Nixon urged the Pentagon to declare martial law to keep him in power - a terrifying abuse that was mostly avoided in the Watergate hearings. Writes Dave Lindorff in Salon."The hearings also featured testimony about a series of Pentagon war games run during Nixon's second term, which included mock martial-law exercises and mock mass roundups of dissidents. The code name of those exercises was reportedly Operation Garden Plot, the same name given to the current Pentagon plan being worked on at the Office of Homeland Security, FEMA and the Pentagon. The most recent version of that plan, dated Feb. 15, 1991, was approved during the administration of George Bush the elder. At that time, the secretary of defense was Dick Cheney, now vice president and chief cave-dweller-in-residence." And there was Ollie North's work on REX-84, the secret Reagan FEMA plan to impose martial rule and set up detention camps for anti-war protestors (enter 'fema' in our search engine).

Secret Government Plan Began in the 1980's - and Cheney Was Involved
Secret Government

Here's a shocker from the Village Voice: "It turns out Dick Cheney has long been on the list of people who might step into the presidency in the case of catastrophe. Even as a member of Congress, the up-and-coming Cheney was a maid-in-waiting. 'Acting outside the Constitution in the early 1980s, a secret federal agency established a line of succession to the presidency to assure continued government in the event of a devastating nuclear attack, current and former United States officials said today,' The New York Times reported on November 18, 1991. CNN reported the list grew to 17 names and included Richard Helms, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Thornberg, Edwin Meese, Tip O'Neill, and Dick Cheney, who was a Republican congressman during the 1980s." Who was on the "secret federal agency in the 1980's"? Was Cheney - then a junior member, first elected in 1978 - chosen because he sat on the Intelligence Committee? What other extra-constitutional actions have been taken by "secret agencies"?

The Doomsday Blueprint - a Frightening Nightmare Revived by Bush and Cheney
Secret Government

Here is the "Doomsday Blueprint," which was created in the 1950s and may now be needed again, thanks to Bush's policy on nuclear (and biological) weapons. In this scheme, the rest of the world will live as "one big camp" under martial law, with starvation, absolute censorship, and total loss of civil liberties, while the "leaders" will repair to secure underground compounds to conduct "business as usual." Even the most rabid left- or right-winger would be hard-pressed to come up with a more hideous scenario - but this was our government's official policy once...