Saturday, January 13, 2007

I guess I should know better than to read the news on a Saturday. Who needs the outrage on a weekend? A weekend during the NFL playoffs no less.

  • Military Expands Intelligence Role in U.S.

  • The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.

    The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.


    The military and the C.I.A. have long been restricted in their domestic intelligence operations, and both are barred from conducting traditional domestic law enforcement work.


    In the next year, they plan to incorporate the records into a database at the Counterintelligence Field Activity office at the Pentagon to track possible threats against the military, Pentagon officials said.

    Ah yes, "threats against the military." Force protection, the one-size-fits-all justification for domestic spying.

    Next up, some fucking guy who apparently is not familiar with the words to this tune:
    [...] the accused shall [...] have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  • Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees

  • The senior Pentagon official [Charles D. Stimson] in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.


    The same point appeared Friday on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, where Robert L. Pollock, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, cited the list of law firms and quoted an unnamed “senior U.S. official” as saying, “Corporate C.E.O.’s seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists.”

    In his radio interview, Mr. Stimson said: “I think the news story that you’re really going to start seeing in the next couple of weeks is this: As a result of a FOIA request through a major news organization, somebody asked, ‘Who are the lawyers around this country representing detainees down there?’ and you know what, it’s shocking.” The F.O.I.A. reference was to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Monica Crowley, a conservative syndicated talk show host, asking for the names of all the lawyers and law firms representing Guantánamo detainees in federal court cases.

    I understand the wingnuts doing what wingnuts do, but that Pentagon official, Stimson, needs to read up on what fucking country this is.


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