Friday, May 18, 2007

Has the President declared the entire US population to be enemies of the state?

A significant and terrifying revelation came to light in this week’s round of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The revelation is subtle and nuanced and a small amount of decoding is necessary to unravel its meaning, but it is there. Former Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey testified that Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House Counselor Alberto Gonzales attempted to trick then Attorney General John Ashcroft into reauthorizing a domestic eavesdropping program while he was hospitalized. This, of course, is what was widely reported but the details of that program and the reasons why it was not reauthorized is the actual story.

From statements made by government and White House officials from the President all the way down the chain of command, its obvious that they are talking on one level and we are listening on another. This is being brushed aside by many as classic Orwellian Doublespeak but what they say and how they parse their words, combined with their actions and those of the telecommunications industry point to a much more sinister and frightening reality.

First off, most people assume that the comments made by the President and various government officials about this situation are directly focused on the FISA and warrantless wiretap situation. In actuality, when they testify and comment to the press they are actually referring to other programs being run at this very moment. Let’s look at this item by item:

1) FISA – While the focus of the media, political and conspiracy theory commentators and the average citizen has been placed on FISA there are comments being made by those involved in this scandal that are obviously intended to divert our attention away from the authorization of wiretapping program that circumvented FISA. The question has been “why was FISA circumvented?” when the question should have been, “What program are you using that supersedes FISA and under what authorization?”

2) The AT&T/NSA collusion – No one in the government or the telecommunications industry wants us to know more about the authorization which forced the telcos to allow the US Intelligence Community to literally tap into all data and voice transmissions coming and going from US soil. They are attempting to hide something much deeper than what we see on the surface.

3) The program that the White House was trying to trick Ashcroft into authorizing is not FISA or the AT&T/NSA programs. Comey, Gonzales and Bush have admitted so by deflecting questions or giving misleading answers for.

4) The program that the White House sought approval for from Ashcroft was so illegal and so un-Constitutional that every person who refused to sign off on the program threatened to resign if it were authorized.

5) The details of this program are not yet known, but this much is known: the program was indeed authorized by someone and it allows for spying at levels far beyond what we are being told with sweeping powers far beyond the pale of any program in history.

The press and the rest of us make much of the President’s power grabbing exploits and the un-Constitutional aspects of these powers. One thing has been overlooked. In all cases a justification has been made for their legality by Bush neophytes even if the justification is flawed and self-serving. The actual legality and Constitutional standing of these authorizations have not been contested to date because we have not seen the documents that are allowing the programs in question. What we have seen in the form of FISA, the AT&T/NSA wiretapping and even with the torture authorization scandal are appearing to this blogger to be nothing more than a smokescreen. Something is peering from the cracks that are forming in this smokescreen.

My belief, based on Bush administration history is that there is a massive and all-encompassing surveillance program that has been authorized behind the FISA and AT&T/NSA programs that is beginning to be seen in pieces. The White House is desperate to maintain the FISA and AT&T/NSA facade but their actions and words hint that those two cases are not their central concern. Their actions and words are directed at a program that is sitting directly behind those two cases. This program, a Program X as it were, is so invasive and overwhelming that their greatest fear is that it’s existence will be known.

What could this program entail? At this point all we can do is guess but based on the issues at stake, the methods and means used and the severity of the fallout my guess is this:

The President has secretly declared that all Americans are potential enemies of the state and he has authorized all Intelligence Agencies of the federal government to monitor, classify and identify who we are. To expedite this process, all of the major telecommunications providers, the owners of the backbone, have been federalized. In other words, an undeclared and modified state of martial law is in effect. This explanation would cover the lengths the government has gone to in hiding the details of the FISA and AT&T/NSA scandals. It would also explain the curious Doublespeak being used in discussing these cases. What we see our government doing and what it really is doing are two different things. What we are allowed to know and what is easily discovered by investigative journalists are smokescreens to draw our attention away from what lies behind them.

No comments: