Once again, it seems that the Bush Administration is using 9/11 to justify unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of Americans. This time, they’re looking at our financial transactions:
Since late 2001, the government of the United States has been running a program that lets intelligence officials search the international banking transactions of thousands of Americans.
Run through the CIA and the U.S. Treasury Department, the program examined financial records from an international banking co-operative known as Swift, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times first reported in their online editions Thursday night.
Swift, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a Belgium-based service that routes millions of messages from 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.
Under the program, which was initiated shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. intelligence officials could search Swift’s database by entering names, said the New York Times report.
This is a huge coup for the Bushies. They love having access to all this information; it gives them more power and more control, and that’s what this is all about: Control. They want to keep tabs on us and make sure we aren’t doing anything they don’t approve of. Whatever happened to getting a warrant first? Whatever happened to probable cause?
This will be abused. It’s just a matter of time if it hasn’t happened already. Power corrupts and the more the Bush clan chases after absolute power, the more corrupt they become. They had plenty of power to hunt down terrorists before 9/11, they just didn’t use it. They were either asleep at the switch or they let it happen on purpose to bolster their foundering agenda. Bush was not considered a legitimate president by much of the nation on September 10th, 2001.
I swear, the more the Bush administration abuses the memory of 9/11 to gain more and more and more and more power for itself, the more I suspect that they were involved with the crime itself. How can they exploit 9/11 so shamelessly? Isn’t it suspicious that they leapt into action so quickly after 9/11 in an attempt to use it to fulfill their wishlist of unconstitutional powers, all assigned to the executive branch? So far, we’ve got the Patriot Act, the NSA wiretapping scandal and now the data mining of financial records. Am I forgetting a couple? Probably. Regardless, we have to watch these guys, and we have to consider the horrible possibility that we were attacked on 9/11 not just by Osama bin Laden, but also by our own government. It’s a horrifying thought, but knowing the Bush administration as I now do, I wouldn’t put it past them. They’ve already dragged us into a war in Iraq that has cost the lives of (hundreds of?) thousands of people.
White House officials quickly defended the program, saying it fell under the president’s emergency powers in his administration’s war on terror.
Question: Is there anything that doesn’t fall under the president’s supposed emergency powers? Seems to me that George is busy making himself emperor. You realize that this is how Rome turned from a democracy into an empire, right? Even if Bush has the purest of intentions (he doesn’t), this is a dangerous increase in his powers. Alberto Gonzalez basically told Congress that the president can do whatever he likes in a time of war. But that’s not what the constitution says. And how does that fit in with the fact that the War on Terrorism is so open-ended that it could go on forever? Doesn’t that result in a defacto dictatorship under Gonzalez’s interpretation? And wasn’t Gonzalez also arguing in favor of torture as a legitimate tool? How long before his administration starts using torture against political opponents? “Trust me,” they say. Fuck that. I’d sooner trust the devil himself.
White House officials lobbied the newspapers not to publicize the story, arguing it could jeopardize its effectiveness, said the New York Times. The story first appeared on the websites of the three newspapers on Thursday night.
Bill Keller, the New York Times’ executive editor, said the paper carefully considered the Bush administration’s argument, but decided it was in the public’s best interest to know.
No shit the White House would love to bury this story. Glad to see that they didn’t succeed.
This is just one more example of the Bush administrations fascism. They look at Congress the same way a teenage girl looks at a zit in her mirror. It’s something to be expunged, hidden, routed around, abused, hated, popped or outright destroyed. The Congress is the only thing standing between us and full blown dictatorship. Only problem is Congress is full of toadies and it’s controlled by Republicans who are also, conveniently, fascists. Congress as a whole has an approval rating slightly above rugburn: 23%.
That’s a mandate, if I’ve ever seen one; a mandate for change.
Will Congress act to challenge Bush’s usurpation of power? Of course not. That’s why we need to vote the bums out in November. But we’ve got to be mindful of the last couple elections and the fact that they were probably stolen. We cannot let them get away with that again. Do not let them call you a moonbat for insisting on fair elections. The polls clearly show that the people hate what the Republicans have done to the country. We must stand firm. And we can’t let the Democrats chicken out as usual, the weak-ass bitches. Neither party stands for us, but we’ve got a better chance with the Democrats, who are too weak to stand up to… anybody, really. Which means DKos has a shot. I’m not a Democrat, but I wish him the best of luck and I hope he takes control of the party away from the Vichy Democrats who are currently suckling at GW’s teat. Fuck party politics. Stand up for AMERICA!!