Monday, July 13, 2009

Crooks and liars quotes a government report, from the NY Times, arguing that all illegal wiretapping, and the dastardly tactics used to obtain it, accomplished very little in protecting our country. That traditional methods of intelligence gathering were just as effective. Cheney, who's in trouble for ordering the CIA to lie to Congress about a secret program to kill terrorists, did not have to use these illegal methods.

It seems to me that the Bush administration was more interested in making up for their failure to prevent 9-11 by acting macho after the attacks. They wanted to look like they were doing everything possible to punish those responsible even if it meant breaking the law. In that way they could clear their consciences. In the process they've made America weaker.

Poll: 41 Percent Support Pot Legalization

More proof that this country has lost it's moral fiber. It is the latest example of a nation headed for an abyss. It has been become fashionable and "cool" to smoke marijuana. We thank the popular culture/media for the change in attitudes. But look at the people who the biggest supporters of legalization: gangster rappers and rockers. Then there is the notion that marijuana has medicinal use. Legalization should be limited to prescriptions only. Just every other drug. So don't buy these bogus arguments. Marijuana is more destructive to the body than cigarettes.

A CBS News Poll released today finds that 41 percent of Americans think the use of marijuana should be made legal. Fifty-two percent disagree.

The percentage supporting legalization has varied a bit recently. In March of this year 31 percent favored legalization but the number was higher in January at 41 percent, matching what it is now.

Thirty years ago just 27 percent thought the use of marijuana should be made legal.

Younger Americans are more likely than those who are older to support legalization.

Sen. Feinsten: Cheney, CIA Secret Plan "Outside of the Law"

The Wall St. Journal says the secret plan was intended to kill or capture al Qaeda members. So why hide it? It would've been acceptable to Congress. Unless it included more torture. Then again, let's not forget WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the CIA program concealed from the U.S. Congress was a secret plan to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives.

Former intelligence officials tell the Journal that the plan, which was ordered halted by agency Director Leon Panetta, was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential finding authorized by President George W. Bush.

Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper reported Monday ($) that the CIA spent money on planning and maybe some training, but it never became fully operational. The plan was highly classified and the CIA has refused to comment on it.

Senator Feinstein suggests keeping the program secret might've been illegal.
WALLACE: In our final moments, I want to turn to another subject, and this involves your role, Senator Feinstein, as chair of the Intelligence Committee.

CIA director Panetta briefed you recently on an 8-year-old program that he had stopped but that Congress had never been told about. Now there are reports that Vice President Cheney ordered the CIA not to tell Congress about it.

One, should Congress have been told about this program, which apparently was never fully implemented? And what do you make of the vice president's apparent role in telling the CIA not to brief Congress?

FEINSTEIN: The answer is yes, Congress should have been told. We should have been briefed before the commencement of this kind of sensitive program.

Director Panetta did brief us two weeks ago — I believe it was on the 24th of June — said he had just learned about the program, described it to us, indicated that he had canceled it and, as had been reported, did tell us that he was told that the vice president had ordered that the program not be briefed to the Congress. This is...

WALLACE: And what do you think of that?

FEINSTEIN: Oh, I think this is a problem, obviously. This is a big problem, because the law is very clear. And I understand the need of the day, which was when America was in shock, when we had been hit in a way we'd never contemplated, where we had massive loss of life, where there was a major effort to be able to respond and — but this — see, I don't — I think you weaken your case when you go outside of the law.

And I think that if the Intelligence Committees had been briefed, they could have watched the program. They could have asked for regular reports on the program. They could have made judgments about the program as it went along. That was not the case because we were kept in the dark. That's something that should never, ever happen again.

Senator Durbin on This Week also suggests the program hiding was illegal:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me switch subjects, here, because there's a pretty startling allegation in this morning's New York Times.

The headline is "Cheney is Linked to Concealment of CIA Project."

And both of you gentlemen have served, in the past, on the Intelligence Committee.

According to this article, the Central Intelligence Agency, at the beginning of this decade, for eight years, withheld information on the secret counterterror program at the direct orders of the vice president.

This is according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. They say that Leon Panetta told the intelligence committees that.

Senator Durbin, do you think this has to be investigated?

DURBIN: Absolutely, it does. Let me tell you, we have a system of checks and balances. There's accountability in our Constitution. The executive branch of government cannot create programs like these programs and keep Congress in the dark. There is a requirement for disclosure.

It has to be done in an appropriate way so it doesn't jeopardize our national security, but to have a massive program that is concealed from the leaders in Congress is not only inappropriate; it could be illegal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you want the Intelligence Committee to look into this?

DURBIN: Absolutely.
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