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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Schlozman resigns from Justice Department.

Mon, 2007-08-20 14:58

TPMMuckraker reports that Brad Schlozman, who politicized the hiring process in the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ and attempted to suppress the votes of minorities, has left his post in the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. Currently, Schlozman is under investigation by the DoJ’s Inspector General for his efforts to politicize the Department.

Levin: Escalation’s Goals Have ‘Totally And Utterly Failed,’ Begin Withdrawal In Less Than 4 Months

Mon, 2007-08-20 14:03

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently visited Iraq with Sen. John Warner (R-VA) and reported that the escalation is “totally and utterly” failing to produce the political reconciliation needed.

The media is reporting Levin’s comments as validation of Bush’s strategy. Fox News spins Levin’s comments as “praise” for the “surge results.” ABC claims the comments are proof of “success of the surge.”

In fact, in a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Levin conceded that the troop increase has “resulted in some reduced violence in some places in Iraq,” but specifically said the troop increase has not accomplished its stated objective:

[T]he whole purpose of the surge was to reduce violence so that the Iraqi leaders would have the breathing room to reach political settlement. That was the stated purpose of the surge.

Well, that purpose has not been achieved, even though the level of violence has been reduced in a number of areas. The purpose of the surge, by its own terms, was to have the — give the opportunity to the Iraqi leaders to reach some political settlements. They have failed to do that. They have totally and utterly failed.

Listen to a portion of his remarks here:

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Arguing that political reconciliation will not occur under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Levin called on the Iraqi parliament to replace him. “I hope that the Iraqi assembly, when it reconvenes in a few weeks, will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and a more unifying prime minister and government.”

Levin and Warner met with Gen. David Petraeus for 2 hours. Levin said that the situation in Iraq necessitates that the U.S. begin troop reductions within four months:

[I]t is clear to me that the capability that the Iraqi military now has and will have by the end of this year will allow us to begin reducing U.S. forces significantly below our pre-surge level. We should begin that reduction within four months. The increased Iraqi capability will also allow us to move most of our forces out of Iraq by the middle of next year and to transition the forces that need to remain to perform missions away from the civil war. […]

I cannot believe, however, that the president is going to do anything less than reduce the level our troops to the pre-surge level, because the way in which our troops simply have been so stretched out that they have very little choice but to do that.

Leahy: Cheney Told GOP-Led Congress It Was ‘Not Allowed To Issue Subpoenas’

Mon, 2007-08-20 12:57

Today in a press briefing, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) revealed that the White House had missed its 2:30 PM deadline to turn over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legal justifications for the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program. The Committee had already pushed back the original July 18 deadline twice after the White House requested more time.

Leahy said that the administration’s stonewalling amounted to “contempt of the valid order of the Congress,” and pointed out that these subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes. In fact, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the conservative-led 109th Congress, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) also attempted to ask questions about the program’s legal justifications. But Vice President Cheney personally barred him from issuing subpoenas:

In fact, we were about to issue subpoenas then and one of the senators came to our meeting and said that the vice president had met with the Republican senators and told them they were not allowed to issue subpoenas.

Not quite sure that’s my understanding of the separation of powers, but it seemed to work at that time.

Watch it:

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Leahy also said that while he didn’t receive the requested documents, he did receive “a letter this morning from the Office of the Vice President identifying some documents that would be responsive to the committee’s subpoena.” In the letter, the administration claims the Office of the Vice President is not part of the Executive Office of the President.

Leahy responds, “Well, that’s wrong. … [O]h, incidentally, at least this morning, as I left Vermont, I checked the White House Web site. And even their own Web site, this morning, at least, says that the Executive Office — that the vice president is part of the Executive Office of the President.”

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Transcript: (more…)

IEDs account for 66 percent of soldier fatalities in Iraq.

Mon, 2007-08-20 12:44

The AP reports that the daily number of IED attacks has increased six-fold since 2003. On one day in May, 101 of the 139 anti-U.S. attacks involved IEDs. IEDs now account for a vast majority of soldier casualties:

In the May-July period this year, the number of U.S. military deaths from IEDs soared to 203, accounting for 66 percent of all U.S. fatalities, according to the authoritative Web site, which tracks military casualties in Iraq.

Those numbers have climbed steadily from the same three-month period in 2004, when 54 Americans were killed by IEDs, 31 percent of total fatalities.

The Pentagon is spending $13 billion on the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in an attempt to “defeat” IEDs.

Petraeus To Testify Before Senate On September 11

Mon, 2007-08-20 11:19

The much-anticipated Senate testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, regarding the situation on the ground in Iraq has now been scheduled for September 11th. Petraeus’ testimony will accompany a September 15 status report from the White House that is expected to be a key moment in the debate over American involvement in Iraq.

The timing of Petraeus’ testimony was first revealed this morning by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in a conference call with conservative bloggers. According to the National Review’s Jim Geraghty, McCain said he had “been told” Petraeus would testify on the 11th:

The calendar I’ve been told is that Petraeus testify 11th. We’re off September 13 and 14 for Rosh Hoshannah. The Senate debate will begin September 18th.

Geraghty’s account of the conference call has been confirmed by other bloggers on the call, including the Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb and the American Spectator’s Jennifer Rubin.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe confirmed the testimony date during a press briefing on Air Force One today:

Q And the second one is, there’s been some confusion about the whens, hows, wherefores of the Crocker-Petraeus testimony to Congress. Can you say when they’re going to testify before Congress and under what conditions?

MR. JOHNDROE: Yes. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will testify in open hearings on the Hill. Administration officials are reaching out to Hill leadership today to discuss with them the potential dates for that testimony. Given the tight schedule leading up to September 15th and the congressional recess with Rosh Hashanah coming up, the likely dates for testimony are September 11th and 12th.

Q That’s really just because of the tight schedule and not because it’s September 11th?

MR. JOHNDROE: That’s right. Congress is not — as of right now, based on the last we checked, Congress is not in session because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, very much the week leading up to that Saturday, September 15th.

Petraeus is mandated by Congress to testify about the Iraq status report before the document is delivered on September 15.

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Olbermann gets tryout on primetime NBC slot.

Mon, 2007-08-20 11:00

TV Newser reports, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann is getting a tryout on NBC.” Countdown will air before NBC’s broadcast of this Sunday’s pre-season game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. NBC senior vice president Phil Griffin said, “The world has changed, and I think people have come in line with the smart, focused approach [Keith] has on the show.” In April, NBC announced Olbermann would be joining the roster of NBC’s “Football Night in America” pregame show. And Griffin adds, “It may be the first of several times you see Olbermann on the network.”

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Beck: I Live In Connecticut Because ‘It’s Out Of Reach Of A Nuclear Explosion In Manhattan’

Mon, 2007-08-20 10:20

A new GQ profile of Glenn Beck asks whether the CNN Headline News host is the “most annoying man on TV.” But whether he is “annoying” is beside the real point, which is that Beck has a long history of inflammatory remarks on-air.

The mainstream media continue to reward Beck for his hateful, divisive rhetoric. Earlier this year, ABC’s Good Morning America hired Beck as a commentator, and Washington Post radio is now considering bringing on the right-wing pundit because he “does a good job.” Beck’s television producer admitted to GQ, “He’s a polarizing figure. That’s why we hired him.”

In the GQ article, author Benjamin Wallace claims that Beck “is less partisan soldier than channeler of regular-guy id.” A look at some of Beck’s “regular-guy id” as evidenced by the GQ article:

On the Virginia Tech shooter:

This guy makes you have respect for suicide bombers,” Beck says, trying out today’s career-immolating zinger. “At least they’re killing themselves because they believe in something larger.”

On living in Connecticut:

In a mirrored room at CNN, on the fifth floor of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, a makeup artist paints cream under Beck’s eyes while her colleague, idle in a nearby chair, tells Beck that she’s moving to Riverdale, in the Bronx. “At least you’re outside the vaporization zone,” Beck says.

“Really?” says makeup lady number two. “I’m still in New York.”

“You could drop a one-kiloton bomb on Lower Manhattan and be safe in Chelsea,” Beck says.

“Good to know,” the woman says.

Beck: “Did you check the blast radius?”

“No,” she says. “I was more interested in the public-school system.”

“Priorities,” Beck says.

He is kind of joking, kind of isn’t. One of the reasons he lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, is that it’s out of reach of a nuclear explosion in Manhattan.

On work habits:

A Baltimore producer he fired named Tom Russell — who is not the Baltimore producer Beck fired for bringing him a ballpoint when he had asked for a Sharpie — recalls the time Beck seized him by his collar, hoisted him nearly off the ground, and said he would eat him “for fucking breakfast.”

In the profile, Beck also states, “If we don’t stop believing the worst in each other, we’re dead.” This is the same man who once described Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) voice as that of “a stereotypical bitch,” hosted a guest who said on-air that watching someone murder the Clintons would be “great,” and confessed that he is “afraid” to have “a lot of African-American friends.”

Rather than a “channeler of regular-guy id,” a better description of Beck might be what Jon Stewart said about him in 2006: “a guy who says what people who aren’t thinking are thinking.”

Chris Achorn at My Two Sense has more on the GQ profile.

Fox News still covering Iraq half as much as other networks.

Mon, 2007-08-20 09:48

In the first quarter of 2007, Fox News covered the war in Iraq half as much as rivals CNN and MSNBC. A new study, released today by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, finds that while Iraq coverage “fell sharply” across the board in the second quarter of 2007, the gap between Fox News and its rivals “remained and in some cases even widened“:

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REPORT: 68 Percent Of Foreign Policy Experts Favor Redeployment From Iraq

Mon, 2007-08-20 09:00

The Bush administration has regularly claimed that U.S. involvement in Iraq “will lead to a much safer world for our children and our grandchildren.” America’s foreign policy experts, however, strongly disagree.

In the third release of the “Terrorism Index,” a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy, a bipartisan group of more than 100 respected foreign policy experts see a more dangerous world and a war in Iraq that is “alarmingly” off course. Participants included senior government and intelligence officials, military commanders, and noted academics. Eighty percent have served in the government, including more than half in the executive branch, 32 percent in the military, and 21 percent in the intelligence community.

Their conclusions are deeply critical of the Bush administration’s national security priorities. The war in Iraq, however, received the harshest criticisms:

On Iraq:

92 percent said the war in Iraq negatively affects national security.

53 percent oppose decision to increase troops in Iraq (up 22 points from six months ago).

68 percent favor redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq over the next 18 months.

64 percent of conservative experts say the surge is having either a negative impact or no impact. 25 percent of the conservatives favor immediate withdrawal.

Only five percent of the experts believe al Qaeda will be weaker as a result of the escalation, and only three percent believe Iraq will become a “beacon of democracy.”

On the terrorist threat:

84 percent believe the U.S. is not winning the war on terror.

91 percent say the world is becoming more dangerous for the United States.

80 percent favor sanctions or diplomatic measures to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

While the administration has frequently fearmongered that the terrorist threat will “follow us home” after withdrawal, the experts disagree. Eighty-eight percent — including 58 percent of conservatives — believe it is unlikely that “terrorist attacks would occur in the United States as a direct result of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.”

Delays increase for burials at Arlington cemetery.

Mon, 2007-08-20 08:55

With skyrocketing casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a higher death rate for veterans of World War II and the Korean War, demand for burial plots at Arlington National Cemetery is increasing. According to the Pentagon, “nearly 2,000 veterans died each day” last year, and wait times for funerals can be as long as two months.

Kurtz criticizes media’s fascination with Rove.

Mon, 2007-08-20 08:20

In his column in today’s Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes that the media have baselessly gushed over Karl Rove in order to create a “better narrative“:

But what if journalists are part of an unspoken conspiracy to inflate Rove’s importance — not for ideological reasons but because it makes for a better narrative? What if they are the architects, using well-placed aides to build a stage for inside-dope stories involving Rove and his colleagues?

Or perhaps there’s a cruder explanation: that some journalists believe Bush lacks the intellectual heft to achieve big things on his own, so they attribute his most consequential decisions to a powerful Svengali at his side.

This is not to play down Rove’s crucial role as the president’s longtime confidant and chief strategist, who indeed helped engineer his election triumphs and map a governing approach that emphasized the care and feeding of Bush’s conservative base. But was Rove’s decision to quit, 17 months before the end of Bush’s term, truly deserving of lead-story status in the New York Times, The Washington Post and the three nightly newscasts?

Lieberman Shrugs Off Failed Iraq Predictions, Now Claims ‘Road To Victory’ Goes Through Syria

Mon, 2007-08-20 07:32

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) writes today in the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. “road to victory” in Iraq goes through Damascus, and urges Congress to “send a clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian regime“:

The United States is at last making significant progress against al Qaeda in Iraq–but the road to victory now requires cutting off al Qaeda’s road to Iraq through Damascus. […]

It is therefore time to demand that the Syrian regime stop playing travel agent for al Qaeda in Iraq.

When Congress reconvenes next month, we should set aside whatever differences divide us on Iraq and send a clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian regime, as we did last month to the Iranian regime, that the transit of al Qaeda suicide bombers through Syria on their way to Iraq is completely unacceptable, and it must stop.

Lieberman’s approach to confronting terror in the Middle East has only produced more violence and chaos. Shortly after the Iraq invasion — a move that Lieberman championed — he claimed the war would bolster the U.S. ability to take on Syria:

With victory in Iraq all but certain, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said Tuesday the United States should use what he called “very aggressive diplomacy” to handle Syria and other countries suspected of harboring terrorists.

“I certainly hope military action won’t be necessary against Syria,” Lieberman said. “I would guess that it will not be, and part of the reason it will not be is because we were willing to use our power in Iraq and made a very strong point there.” [AP, 4/15/03]

In an April 9, 2003 interview with NBC, Lieberman said the U.S. had “earned some strength” in its position vis a vis Syria because of the “mighty display of force in Iraq.” In fact, the very opposite of Lieberman’s prediction has occurred. The war in Iraq has bolstered the Assad regime in Syria, which now rests more comfortably knowing U.S. military options are limited. Moreover, Syria’s influence in the region has grown, not diminished, as a result of the Iraq war.

In an attempt to begin to repair the administration’s disastrous course in the Middle East, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Damascus recently to personally address U.S. concerns about Syria’s influence in Iraq. Pelosi delivered a “clear and unambiguous message” to Bashar Assad, “insisting that his government block militants seeking to cross into Iraq and join insurgents there.”

Lieberman’s response to Pelosi’s efforts to address Syrian support for terror was to attack, criticize, and smear her. Falsely implying Syria was behind 9/11, Lieberman said he “strongly disagreed” with Pelosi’s trip, calling it a “mistake” and “bad for the United States of America.” Lieberman has argued that talking Syria is like the “local fire department asking arsonists to help put out the fire.” His “message” to Syria should be viewed as such — not diplomacy, but rather another step towards military confrontation.

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UPDATE: A McClatchy analysis demonstrates that Syria is not a major exporter of violence to Iraq. Looking at the origins of the suicide bombers in Iraq since 2003, only 8 came from Syria, compared to 53 from Saudi Arabia.

Fleischer uses WH spin skills to defend metal bats.

Mon, 2007-08-20 07:20

Nearly four years since he left the White House, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has a new gig: fighting to protect metal baseball bats in Pound Ridge, NY. Fleischer is now the spokesman for Don’t Take My Bat Away — an organization which represents baseball bat manufacturers fighting the proposed ban. The Sun notes that Fleischer has a personal interest in lobbying for metal bats as well:

When he worked in Washington, Mr. Fleischer played in a men’s baseball league in Virginia that allowed metal bats. He said he batted around .300 at the time, but his average dropped to about .200 after he moved to Pound Ridge and joined a men’s league in Westchester County that plays exclusively with wooden bats.

Cheney has this ‘little-girl crush on strongmen.’

Mon, 2007-08-20 06:40

The Washington Post updates the progress of Bush’s “freedom agenda.” Peter Baker writes, “Two and a half years after Bush pledged in his second inaugural address to spread democracy around the world, the grand project has bogged down in a bureaucratic and geopolitical morass, in the view of many activists, officials and even White House aides.” Complaining about the influence of Cheney, one official tells the Post, “OVP [Office of Vice President] has this little-girl crush on strongmen.”

UPDATE: Laura Rozen suggests a few things that Baker may have missed.

ThinkFast: August 20, 2007

Mon, 2007-08-20 06:06

The Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.” The Army’s 38 available combat units are already mobilized, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that Bush sent to Baghdad this year.

Bombers killed an Iraqi provincial governor on Monday — the second assassinated in two weeks — “amid mounting tension between rival Shiite armed factions in Iraq’s southern cities.” Both governors were members of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, “one of Iraq’s most powerful parties and a bitter rival of another Shiite movement led by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.”

Reporting on the war in Iraq “fell sharply in the second quarter of 2007,” according to a new report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Coverage of the war’s three major storylines — the U.S. policy debate, events in Iraq, and their impact on the U.S. homefront — slipped to 15 percent of total coverage, “down from 22 percent in the first three months of the year.”

Today at 2:30 is deadline for the White House “to turn over materials regarding the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program to the Senate Judiciary Committee.” Even though the White House already received an extension from the original July 18 deadline, White House counsel Fred Fielding has stated that the administration will also miss today’s date.

The American Psychological Association, the nation’s largest group of psychologists, voted to restrict members from taking part in interrogations at U.S. military prisons that involve “any of more than a dozen specific practices, including sleep deprivation and forced nakedness.” The APA voted against a broader proposal to ban involvement in any interrogations that lack adequate human rights protections. (more…)

Cooper Contradicts Rove: He’s ‘Dissembling’ With ‘Nonsense’ About The Plame Leak

Sun, 2007-08-19 10:48

During his tour of the Sunday shows this morning, Karl Rove attempted to downplay and dismiss his role in the CIA leak scandal, telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he acted benignly in his conversations with reporters about Valerie Plame’s identity:

What I did say to one reporter was, I’ve heard that, too. And what I said to another reporter, off the record, was, in essence, I don’t think you ought to be writing about this.

Appearing on Meet The Press today, Matthew Cooper, one of the reporters to whom Rove spoke about Plame, said Rove’s version of the story was hard to believe. “I think he was dissembling to put it charitably,” said Cooper. “To imply that he didn’t know about [Plame’s identity], or that he heard it in some rumor out in the hallways, is nonsense.”

Cooper also contradicted Rove’s characterization of their conversation, describing the “essence” of it as much more than just an attempt to wave him off the story:

Look, Karl Rove told me about Valerie Plame’s identity on July 11, 2003. I called him because Ambassador Wilson [Plame’s husband] was in the news that week. I didn’t know Ambassador Wilson even had a wife until I talked to Karl Rove and he said that she worked at the agency and she worked on WMD.

Watch it:

Cooper’s right. Rove is peddling “non-sense” with his brushed off description of his role in the leak scandal. On Meet The Press, Rove also declared, “if a journalist had said to me, ‘I’d like you to confirm this,’ my answer would have been ‘I can’t, I don’t know, I’ve heard that too,’”

But as Cooper notes, Rove not only confirmed to him that Plame worked at the CIA, but he willingly pushed the information to him without it even being solicited, telling him that she “works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues.”

When pressed by Wallace about his conversation with Cooper, however, Rove resorted to the administration’s standard line when asked about inconvenient facts: “I don’t recall.”

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has more on Rove’s Meet the Press appearance here and here.

UPDATE II: Marcy Wheeler, who wrote a book about the Plame scandal, debunks Rove’s Meet the Press claims here.

Active-duty soldiers reject myth that escalation is working.

Sun, 2007-08-19 09:15

A group of infantrymen and officers of the 82nd Airborne Division write in the New York Times today that they are “skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable.” Reports of progress, they say, have “neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day.” They write:

The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. […]

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.

Rove On Whether He’ll Answer Questions About His Potentially Illegal Acts: ‘Nice Try’

Sun, 2007-08-19 08:30

On the Sunday shows this morning, Karl Rove was treated largely with kid gloves by the hosts and was not forced to confront many difficult questions about his ethical improprieties while serving in the White House.

In three Sunday show appearances, he was not asked once about his efforts to politicize the federal government, despite the fact that a front-page article appeared on that very subject this morning in the Washington Post. Rove was also not asked about his role in selling the war prior to the invasion. Nor was he asked about his connections to Jack Abramoff, his use of non-White House email accounts, or his stewardship over the Katrina reconstruction efforts.

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace attempted to press Rove on two troubling aspects of Rove’s record: his outing of Valerie Plame and his efforts to dismiss U.S. attorneys who refused to comply with the White House’s political orders. When Wallace tried to press for answers on these issues, Rove repeatedly answered, “Nice try”:

WALLACE: Why did you push to fire some U.S. attorneys in the president’s second term?

ROVE: Nice try.


WALLACE: What do you think of Joe Wilson?

ROVE: I’m not going to comment. Nice try.


WALLACE: When was the first time you told the president [about leaking Plame’s identity]?

ROVE: I’m not going to — again, nice try.

Watch a compilation:

Unable to generate substantive answers to legitimate questions, Wallace backed off and moved to other questions.

At the conclusion of the interview, Rove acknowledged that his unwillingness to be candid would intensify congressional pressure on him. “Let’s face it. I mean, I’m a myth, and they’re — you know, I’m Beowulf. You know, I’m Grendel. I don’t know who I am. But they’re after me,” Rove said.

Transcript: (more…)

FISA law grants powers well beyond wiretapping.

Sun, 2007-08-19 06:18

The New York Times reports that broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping. The legislation may allow, without court approval, certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans’ business records. More:

The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought.

It also offers a case study in how changing a few words in a complex piece of legislation has the potential to fundamentally alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a landmark national security law. […]

Several legal experts said that by redefining the meaning of “electronic surveillance,” the new law narrows the types of communications covered in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, by indirectly giving the government the power to use intelligence collection methods far beyond wiretapping that previously required court approval if conducted inside the United States. […]

For instance, the legislation would allow the government, under certain circumstances, to demand the business records of an American in Chicago without a warrant if it asserts that the search concerns its surveillance of a person who is in Paris, experts said.

Brownie’s ‘life after government.’

Sat, 2007-08-18 20:17

The Swamp reports that former FEMA director Michael Brown, who mismanaged the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, is now consulting and “offering disaster relief” for businesses that work with the federal government:

Michael Brown, the former federal official who bore the brunt of criticism for the government’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, has moved on to a new career — offering disaster relief and data-mining for government agencies and other customers.

One company he represents, InferX, has found work with the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency
, Brown says, and is attempting to sell its services to airlines and agencies that monitor passengers for potential terrorist threats. […]

“There is life after government,” Brown says, with a caustic assessment of how the administration treated him — “even after you have been run through the wringer, even after you have been thrown under the bus by the leader of the free world.”