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Tag: Bush

Donald Trump’s Persistent Campaign Against Federal Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Agencies

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump’s attacks on federal law enforcement and the intelligence agencies have been persistent and consistent since taking office.

Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic writes:  

In the 22 months since the FBI launched its counterintelligence investigation into potential coordination between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia, Trump has attacked his own intelligence and law-enforcement communities far more often than he has condemned Moscow for its election interference. The president has chided the FBI, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller, the Russia “witch hunt,” and the “deep state” in more than four dozen tweets since April alone. He used Twitter to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first and only time on April 8. On March 21, Trump tweeted: “Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing.” On April 2, he called the FBI and Justice Department’s desire to withhold sensitive information related to the ongoing investigation “an embarrassment to our country.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan—a frequent Trump critic who saw early intelligence about Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election and has landed in the president’s crosshairs—told me that this administration’s posture toward the intelligence community stands in “stark contrast” to what he experienced while working under former Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. “They looked upon me as representing the views and concerns of the intelligence community,” Brennan said of the former presidents. “I was frequently challenged, but it was always done respectfully. That stands in stark contrast to what I’ve seen of this administration from the outside, and during the campaign.”

Fox News: Surveillance of Americans Violates Constitution, Reduces Our Free Choices

By Judge Andrew Napolitano 
Fox News 

Readers of this page are well aware of the revelations during the past six months of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA vendor, risked his life and liberty to inform us of a governmental conspiracy to violate our right to privacy, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The conspiracy he revealed is vast. It involves former President George W. Bush, President Obama and their aides, a dozen or so members of Congress, federal judges, executives and technicians at American computer servers and telecoms, and the thousands of NSA employees and vendors who have manipulated their fellow conspirators. The conspirators all agreed that it would be a crime for any of them to reveal the conspiracy. Snowden violated that agreement in order to uphold his higher oath to defend the Constitution.

The object of the conspiracy is to emasculate all Americans and many foreigners of their right to privacy in order to predict our behavior and make it easier to find among us those who are planning harm.

To read more click here.

James Comey Nomination for FBI a “Poke in the Eye With a Very Sharp Stick For the Cheney Crowd”

James Comey

By David Corn
Mother Jones

WASHINGTON — The pending nomination of James Comey to become FBI chief is a poke in the eye with a very sharp stick for the Cheney crowd. Comey, deputy attorney general during the W. years, has drawn criticism from civil libertarians for being part of an administration that waterboarded (though Comey reportedly opposed the justification of this practice), yet

Comey is best known for saying no to a top-secret surveillance program much beloved by Vice President Dick Cheney and his lieutenants. He successfully defied the Bush-Cheney White House on this point in a dramatic encounter in a Washington hospital room, when top Bush advisers tried to bum-rush an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft into authorizing an extension of the program after Comey, then the acting attorney general, had refused.

But Cheney and his crew have another good reason to be aghast at the thought of Comey leading the FBI: he was the guy who started the independent Plamegate investigation that ended up tainting Cheney and convicting Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, of serious crimes.

To read more click here.

Executive Director of ACLU Says James Comey’s Nomination for FBI Director Needs to Be Scrutinized

Anthony Romero/ aclu photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In coming weeks we’re likely to hear comments — pro and con — for the nomination of James Comey for FBI director.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement Friday saying that that anticipated nomination deserves some scrutiny.

 

‘Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding,” Romero said in a statement.

Here’s his complete statement:

“While the ACLU does not take official positions on nominations to appointed office, there are many questions regarding Comey’s record that deserve careful scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official under John Ashcroft, Comey approved some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration. Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding. He also oversaw the indefinite detention without charge or trial of an American citizen picked up in the United States and then held for years in a military brig. Although Comey, despite tremendous pressure from the Bush White House, deserves credit for courageously stopping the reauthorization of a secret National Security Agency program, he reportedly approved programs that struck at the very core of who we all are as Americans.

“It’s critical that the Senate ensures that the men and women of the FBI know that they have a leader who will demand adherence to the rule of law and will hold those accountable who do not, wherever he or she may find them.”

 

New York Times: Obama to Nominate James B. Comey for FBI Director

James Comey

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama appears to have opted for a former Justice Department official from the Bush days to head the FBI.

The New York Times, citing a person with knowledge of the selection, reported that James B. Comey, a hedge fund executive and a former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, will be nominated to replace Robert S. Mueller III as FBI director.

The nomination must be approved by the Senate.  Comey is 52. A key front runner appeared to be Lisa O. Monaco.

To read more click here.

 

 

Column: The Deafness Before the 9/11 Attack

Kurt Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former reporter for The New York Times, is the author of “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars.”

By KURT EICHENWALD
New York Times
IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda.

That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack.

Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack.

To read the full column click here.

DEA Commando-Style Squads Operating Far Beyond the War Zone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s commando style squads that were established during the Bush years to battle Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan are operating in regions far beyond that war zone, field, according to the New York Times.

The Times reports that the DEA now has five commando-style squads that have been “quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels.”

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, the Times reported. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

To read the full story click here.

 

Justice Dept. Official Apologizes For Not Notifying Boss About “Gun Walking” Cases

Lanny Breuer

By Carrie Johnson
NPR

WASHINGTON — A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a “mistake” when he didn’t flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn’t tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.

“Knowing what I know now, I wish that I had alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time,” he said.

To read more click here.

 

Read NY Times story 

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