Bush wiretapped journalists

Says the same guy who leaked the original warrantless wiretapping information to the NYT.




Let’s be done with Bush, other than for indictments. I’m done. 8 years of this shit was enough.


Tice is now coming forward again now because George Bush is finally out of office. He told Olbermann that the Obama administration has not been in touch with him about his latest revelations, but, “I did send a letter to, I think it’s [Obama intelligence adviser John] Brennan – a handwritten letter, because I knew all my communications were tapped, my phones, my computer, and I’ve had the FBI on me like flies on you-know-what … and I’m assuming that he gave the note to our current president – that I intended to say a little bit more than I had in the past.”

I hope this isn’t true. If it is, it’s orders of magnitude worse than Watergate.

I would be only a little surprised. However, just from reading the Wiki, it sounds like Tice has been making veiled and unveiled accusations for years, but it wasn’t clear to me that any of them have been substantiated. Lines like "“there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things. But that same mechanism that allows you to have a program like this at an extremely high, sensitive classification level could also be used to mask illegality, like spying on Americans.” do make him sound a little paranoid. If this was not the Bush cadre I’d immediately laugh him off as a black helicopters paranoid.

Well, he was right about the warrrantless wiretapping program.

Even now you’re giving Bush the benefit of the doubt? Of course it’s worse than Watergate – it has been obviously so for years, as spelled by a variety of whistle blowers.

The only thing that’s kept Bush from Nixon’s fate is essentially his skill as a politician. Any serious investigation of his abuses would have left GOP senators compelled to support his impeachment – all the shit about torture and domestic spying that’s coming out now (or even brazenly admitted to) has been available for some time.

I’m far from objective, but I believe history will show this was the most corrupt, power-abusing administration since Nixon (obviously, there may be people worse than Bush in the future).

However, I believe the two men rationalized these practices in very different ways.

Nixon thought “Crap, I know what I’m doing is wrong” about 70%, and “But those fucking <insert any person or organization critical of Nixon> are making me resort to this” about 30%. His motivation was paranoia.

Bush thought “Crap, I know what I’m doing is wrong” about 30%, and “But sometimes the ends justify the means. I know in my heart I’m doing the right thing, & that counts more than some fucking set of restrictive laws.” His motivation was narcissistic conviction that his actions were right.

I don’t know which motivation is worse. All I know is that, in my world, presidents like to swear when they talk to themselves.

I think Aeon’s right on this one. This whistleblower’s allegations are troubling, but we shouldn’t just assume they’re true. Aeon’s also right about the relative severity of this. If it is true, this makes Watergate look almost quaint.

Has Bush been accused of something involving an intelligence service that hasn’t turned out to be true?

Not only that, but whistle blower is a former senior analyst at the NSA, who had the clearance to know about the program which has been characterized as super secret at the time and he leaked the initial report to the NYT. He was reliable then, why wouldn’t he be reliable now?

Given what happened to Plame, I’m not surprised he waited to reveal further information. He was supposedly threatened with prosecution and had his house raided.

Amen, brotha! Time to move on…

I agree 100% with that, clearly something went on but the more I read about this guy the more I start to get the same feeling…

It’s precisely because of this that we should be wary about accepting reports of Bush’s evil-doing. Bush’s pure black record of wrong-doing is an open invitation to wingnuts to start making shit up.

But I hope to God someone at least investigates this guy’s claims further. I want to see either corroboration or a refutation.

Bush doesn’t read the papers, remember? How else do you expect him to get the news?

Perhaps if this was a lone whistleblower and there wasn’t lots of other evidence, I wouldn’t be so pessimistic.

But regardless, I bet we’re basically on the same page here. While I believe Bush is guilty, it’s not like I want to lock him up without due process or anything – I just want due process, that is to say justice and the rule of law.

If a thorough and fair investigation finds Bush clean or at least clean within reasonable doubt, I’m happy with that. I just rate the odds of that outcome as somewhere under 1%.

This isn’t just some blogger spreading rumours, it’s the same guy who leaked the warrantless wiretapping. If he’s a wingnut now, it’s a recent transformation.

My opinion, based on the following two points on a ‘Shit Happened, now what exactly was the shit and who knew about and created the shit?’ continuum:

-The New Nixon: Bush personally either knew pretty much everything, or knew enough to plan this out with his inner circle most of at least in some detail beyond the one page executive summary, of the major things (torture/rendition, wiretapping, etc). We’re talking meetings, memos, all the usual stuff you see in any organization where a high-level executive is the personal champion of a project. In other words, he not only had a pretty good idea of what was going on, but helped to design the system sans Gitmo*. You can name whatever reason you want to for the motivation (The American Empire, I’m-the-president-and-I-can-do-what-I-want, sheer rage at being attacked by Bin Laden and having the power to get back at Hussain for a plot to kill his dad), but this is the endpoint that has Bush personally and directly advocating and planning most of the external policy decisions of his administration.


-Another for the Gipper: Bush doesn’t make it past the bolded introduction to the Executive Summary; more to the point he’s not in on any of the real planning meetings or many of the non-‘mandatory’ (as if many of the meetings are really mandatory for the President, but you get my drift here). This is the ‘MBA Presidency’ that was promised at the beginning of Bush’s reign, filtered though the C coast-through-class student that he was. He knows the very high level exec-speak of the ideas, but not really where his underlings have taken them; euphemisms like ‘rendition’ or ‘SLA’ don’t merit investigation as to what they actually mean. And his underlings: let’s just say feifdom’s rule both though a combination of technology (shockingly last century) and tacit to explicit encouragement from Bush. For whatever reason you wish to ascribe (from not-wanting-to-remind-people-of-his-father’s (to him) tepid-term to literally his entire political career is a middle finger to his father), he assembles his coterie; trust and first impressions are very important to him for these and they carve out their kingdoms, often with resistance (many and varied) from some of the entrenched civil servants. And some ‘thank god we’ve got the leash let go’ from others in it.

Personally: I tend toward the lower end. Unless he’s way more laconic in public and way more energetic in private than anything I’ve ever read, Bush may not have really even known that the really bad shit was going down until it was reported on the news. And even then, he may not have even thought it was really bad shit.

To the point: looking for a smoking gun on Bush, even at the ‘oh shit he planned it GET HIM’ end isn’t going to bear fruit. Hell, we’re even seeing Cheney going with the old mob boss trick of a wheelchair and nothing is even being charged with him yet. Those of you holding your breath of real investigations on this better have good lungs; I’m not as hopeful.

*I’ll offer up Rumsfeld and Cheney for this one.

This is so mind bogglingly beyond the pale that, yes, I’d need to see some serious hard evidence to believe it. There is a major difference between isolated illegal extraditions or targeted wiretapping and full on surveillance, Stasi style, of all of America.

This is so massive in scope that it puts the Truthers to shame.