Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Paying Attention to the Auras | And You Thought the Golden Spa... »

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. But…

posted by on October 17 at 9:45 AM

I missed this article from a few days ago. It’s worth putting on Slog.

You know how the Bush Administration is always justifying its warrantless spying program by saying … “If we had had this before Sept. 11…”

The implication of this scare-tactic politicking, of course, is that if the Democratic Congress doesn’t sign off on Bush’s creepy surveillance policies, the Democrats are aiding the terrorists.

“They don’t understand the Post Septmeber 11 world,” Bush admonishes critics of his Stasi ways.

In that context, this report from the Washington Post in which a telecom official from Qwest claims the administration may have been using illegal surveillance tactics seven months before September 11—is, if true—extra embarrassing for Bush.

1) It means President Bush’s “Post September 11 World” rationale is a lie, and he’s been spying since the earliest months of his administration.

2) It means, this extra spying shit doesn’t work to prevent things like September 11 anyway, and so Bush is telling a double lie.


3) The Bush administration is so incompetent that even when they use drastic surveillance measures, they can’t stop the bad guys.

From The Post:

Nacchio’s account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts.

The Qwest exec also claims that the administration punished his company for not participating in the questionable spying program by canceling an unrelated, lucrative government contract.

RSS icon Comments




Posted by Mr. Poe | October 17, 2007 9:48 AM

I swear to GAWD, that I read somewhere that this has been going on since at least 2000, if not earlier. The C.I.A. has this Project Echelon (SP?) that has allowed them to do warrentless wiretapping for years. Google it or sumptin'...

Posted by BillyBob | October 17, 2007 9:51 AM

I have Verizon right now. While I know they all suck I'm starting to think I might switch to Qwest.

Posted by monkey | October 17, 2007 9:54 AM

Ah, Josh, Air America has been talking about this little fact for nearly two weeks. (Even fart joke lady Stephanie Miller has covered it) But welcome to the party, even though you are a little late.

Posted by Just Me | October 17, 2007 9:57 AM

Doesn't it seem that something like this should be covered in depth by the major news outlets? I also heard this a couple of weeks ago on Air America and Keith Olbermann and just can't wrap my head around why this isn't a lead story on the NBC, CBS and ABC nightly news broadcasts? It must be that notorious 'liberal media bias' I always hear about.

Posted by Darrell | October 17, 2007 10:02 AM

Maybe Bush meant September 11 1973, when Salvador Allende's government was overthrown.

Posted by Gabriel | October 17, 2007 10:04 AM

I am still trying to understand why/how the Stranger claims to be "alternative" media when they tend towards mainstream media topics.

Posted by Just Me | October 17, 2007 10:11 AM

4) All of the above

Posted by multiple choice | October 17, 2007 10:21 AM

Oh, man. I can't believe it has come to this. Somehow, Joe Nacchio of all people is going to come the aid of us poor, defenseless, wiretapped Americans? Joe "Insider Trading" Nacchio was able to dump his Qwest stock before it came basically worthless, which decreased the worth of thousands of their employees' pensions. You may remember that he was sentenced to six years in federal prison for it.

I wouldn't rely too heavily on any information that asshole is willing to provide, especially since he's trying to claim that his conviction is retaliation for his refusal to provide documents to the NSA.


Posted by Meagan | October 17, 2007 11:23 AM

"using illegal surveillance tactics seven months before September 11—is, if true—extra embarrassing for Bush."

Or would be, if anything, anything at all, embarrassed Bush. Or, really, even got his attention...

Posted by Nose Knows | October 17, 2007 8:36 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).