We are the 99%

February 24, 2006

Bush shows comtempt for the law - again

Waaaay back in the Summer of 2003, the Congress of the United States of America (remember them? The members of both the House and the Senate are our elected representitives) passed a Defense Appropriations budget that contained this text:
    SEC. 8120. (a) LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ON TERRORISM INFORMATION AWARENESS PROGRAM- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense, whether to an element of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or any other element, or to any other department, agency, or element of the Federal Government, may be obligated or expended on research and development on the Terrorism Information Awareness program.
    (b) LIMITATION ON DEPLOYMENT OF TERRORISM INFORMATION AWARENESS PROGRAM- (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if and when research and development on the Terrorism Information Awareness program, or any component of such program, permits the deployment or implementation of such program or component, no department, agency, or element of the Federal Government may deploy or implement such program or component, or transfer such program or component to another department, agency, or element of the Federal Government, until the Secretary of Defense--
      (A) notifies Congress of that development, including a specific and detailed description of--
        (i) each element of such program or component intended to be deployed or implemented; and
        (ii) the method and scope of the intended deployment or implementation of such program or component (including the data or information to be accessed or used); and
      (B) has received specific authorization by law from Congress for the deployment or implementation of such program or component, including--
        (i) a specific authorization by law for the deployment or implementation of such program or component; and
        (ii) a specific appropriation by law of funds for the deployment or implementation of such program or component.
    (2) The limitation in paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to the deployment or implementation of the Terrorism Information Awareness program, or a component of such program, in support of the following:
      (A) Lawful military operations of the United States conducted outside the United States.
      (B) Lawful foreign intelligence activities conducted wholly against non-United States persons.
They even included a "Sense of the Congress"
      (1) the Terrorism Information Awareness program should not be used to develop technologies for use in conducting intelligence activities or law enforcement activities against United States persons without appropriate consultation with Congress or without clear adherence to principles to protect civil liberties and privacy; and
      (2) the primary purpose of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is to support the lawful activities of the Department of Defense and the national security programs conducted pursuant to the laws assembled for codification purposes in title 50, United States Code.
And so, do I even need to ask what the Bush regime did?

They ignored the law, ignored the "sense of the Congress" and simply changed the name (to protect the guilty) and moved the program elsewhere. Read about it here.
A controversial counter-terrorism program, which lawmakers halted more than two years ago amid outcries from privacy advocates, was stopped in name only and has quietly continued within the intelligence agency now fending off charges that it has violated the privacy of U.S. citizens.

Research under the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program -- which developed technologies to predict terrorist attacks by mining government databases and the personal records of people in the United States -- was moved from the Pentagon's research-and-development agency to another group, which builds technologies primarily for the National Security Agency, according to documents obtained by National Journal and to intelligence sources familiar with the move. The names of key projects were changed, apparently to conceal their identities, but their funding remained intact, often under the same contracts.
Are we really surprised about this? An administration that does what it wants when it wants, flouts the law while doing it, questions the patriotism of those who disagree, and then wraps itself in the flag (and sometimes drapes that flag on the cross) when it's finally forced to explain itself would not be above such a childish shell game.

This is yet another example of this administration's contempt for the rule of law. How many more examples do we need?

IMPEACH

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