FOX News, the president’s propaganda channel, just aired a one hour documentary attempting to compare President Bush and his legacy to President Lincoln. Naturally the usual Fox News idiocity not prevailed (as noted by Think Progress, Lincoln wasn’t hated when he left office, he was assassinated just after being re-elected by an overwhelming margin).
As expected from myself and a lot of other people, the State of the Union address (hopefully the last) given by President Bush was no surprise, and was filled with the usual scare tactics aimed at bullying Congress and getting his way, regardless of public opinion or truth, and the usual lies involving Iraq and the economy.
The ACLU published a report that does a good job of debunking Bush’s State of Delusion address, I mean his State of the Union address last night. One lie involved Bush telling the public that on February 1, when the Protect America Act expires, terrorists will be calling other terrorists in the United States and our intelligence agencies won’t be able to eavesdrop — and our citizens will be in great danger because Senate Democrats refused to cave in to his demands and pass the faulty legislation intended to cover his butt, his administrations butt and the butts of telecoms involved in the illegal spying. If the Protect America Act expired, Americans would probably be a lot safer.
The secret FISA Court that authorizes wiretap arrest warrants has only rejected 5 requests for warrants — 5 requests out of over 20,000 requests from 1979 through 2006. Obviously FISA laws have done nothing to impede our ability to track terrorist threats. In an emergency, agencies have a 72 hour windows that allows them to start a wiretap and get it authorized later. On top of that, all current surveillance orders started now can be extended into 2009.
A few days ago I posted information on how lawmakers are still betraying Americans by destroying the rights and liberties of every citizen. This post contains more information about the showdown going on in the Senate right now and what the fight is about.
Coincidentally, today is also the annual State of the Union (SoU) address by the president. A brief history of a couple previous SoU addresses can also be found below.
Directly below is a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union urging Senators to stand firm on FISA along with a lot more information about the ongoing battle and the importance of contacting your Senator.
ACLU Urges Senators to Stand Firm on FISA (1/25/2008)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (202) 675-2312 or [email protected]
Washington, DC – Anticipating an important Senate vote on warrantless wiretapping on Monday, January 28, the American Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, which can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington Office of the ACLU:
Americans are being sold out and betrayed by an incredibly corrupt federal government while the vast majority of main stream media is sitting by watching it happen, leaving a lot of Americans uninformed of how their freedoms, privacy and rights are being quelled and destroyed by threats of vetoes and blatantly obvious uses of fear and terror.
Due to the importance of the outcome of the FISA amendment being ram-rodded through the Senate by a self-appointed imperialistic presidential administration, it’s important to make more people aware of the incredible BS going on with the vast majority of our elected officials in the federal government.
Entirely too many of our Senators have been bought and paid for by large corporations. As a result, our Senators don’t listen to their constituents. A large majority of Americans object to the retroactive immunity intended to be used to cover up massive abuse of self-appointed powers: fraud, illegal spying on Americans, lies and deceptions, torture and numerous other war crimes — just to name a few — not to mention the cluster you-know-what called the Iraq war, that has killed too many and left too many others hung out to dry.
Because it is so important, between the lines below is a post from AlterNet written by Christy Hardin Smith regarding the ongoing FISA battle and the Bush administration’s demands for retroacive immunity.
A study conducted by two nonprofit journalism organizations found what a lot of people have known for years — President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds (935 to be exact) of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following 9/11.
The statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidely false pretenses” according to the conclusion of the study. In other words, the Bush administration knowingly used false propaganda to push their war.
The Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism published the study on their web site.
935 False Statements In Two Years
935 false statements were found in transcripts, news clips, more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews by the study in the two-year period. Bush and other members of his administration stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them, had links to al-Qaida or both.
People born after December 1, 1964 could reportedly be affected by the REAL ID Act — rules wanted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requiring states to issue REAL IDs. In the government’s desire to gain complete control of every American’s rights and liberties under the guise of ‘the war on terror,’ people born after that date, as well as every other American citizen, should be concerned with what the government will do with their data, not to mention the Big Brother aspects of it.
To add to the complete incompetence of how the government handles your personal information, a report from The Washington Post released earlier this month detailing how more personal identification is available on government web sites that provides a wealth of information ripe for picking — if you’re an identity thief. Full Social Security numbers of untold numbers of Americans can be easily found in file rooms and on web sites run by the government.
Estimates from The Federal Trade Commission show that 8.3 million Americans were victims if identity theft in 2005, the most recent data currently available. Social Security numbers can be mined easily in the government’s own records, potentially creating social insecurity for millions of people.
Social Security numbers are readily available in many courthouses — in land records, criminal and civil case files, as well as numerous government web sites that offer easily accessible public documents with a few mouse clicks.
In the past 7 years of the disaster known as the Bush Administration, one factor has remained consistent — the excessive use of fear and terror to coerce cooperation or to circumvent the law. Every time more power to ‘protect the citizens’ is ‘needed,’ fear and intimidation plays a crucial factor.
Aside from the fact that inducing terror is also an act of terrorism, there is more than enough evidence to impeach or prosecute both Bush and Cheney. There may be one more piece of evidence to add. As noted by the Len Hart at the existentialist cowboy blogspot, despite previous reports of bin Laden’s death, Bush has conveniently managed to keep him alive.
Shortly after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto this past month, a video containing excerpts of an interview she gave to David Frost from November of 2007 showed up on YouTube. In the video Bhutto acknowledged the death of bin Laden in 2001. For reasons unknown (aside from the obvious), the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and FOX news decided to censor the admission from Bhutto out of their copy of the video before airing it.
Bhutto wasn’t the first to acknowledge that bin Laden was dead. On December 26, 2001 Fox News reported that bin Laden had died of an untreated lung complication. Roughly six months later, the New York Times also reported that Osama bin Laden was dead.