Documenting the slide into fascism

OK, so the title's a little strong. Nevertheless, here's more on the Pentagon's domestic spying program. The picture of Donald Rumsfeld touring the KGB museum is a bit much, however:
...Created three years ago by the Defense Department, CIFA's [the U.S. Army's top-secret Counterintelligence Field Activity] role is "force protection"—tracking threats and terrorist plots against military installations and personnel inside the United States. In May 2003, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy Defense secretary, authorized a fact-gathering operation code-named TALON—short for Threat and Local Observation Notice—that would collect "raw information" about "suspicious incidents." The data would be fed to CIFA to help the Pentagon's "terrorism threat warning process," according to an internal Pentagon memo...

...A Pentagon memo obtained by NEWSWEEK shows that the deputy Defense secretary now acknowledges that some TALON reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained. The number of reports with names of U.S. persons could be in the thousands, says a senior Pentagon official who asked not be named because of the sensitivity of the subject...

...on Oct. 25, the TALON team reported another possible threat to national security. The source: a Miami antiwar Web page. "Website advertises protest planned at local military recruitment facility," the internal report warns. The database entry refers to plans by a south Florida group called the Broward Anti-War Coalition to protest outside a strip-mall recruiting office in Lauderhill, Fla. The TALON entry lists the upcoming protest as a "credible" threat. As it turned out, the entire event consisted of 15 to 20 activists waving a giant BUSH LIED sign. No one was arrested. "It's very interesting that the U.S. military sees a domestic peace group as a threat," says Paul Lefrak, a librarian who organized the protest...
Then see "Exclusive: Can the President Order a Killing on U.S. Soil?"
In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Steven Bradbury, acting head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, went to a closed-door Senate intelligence committee meeting last week to defend President George W. Bush's surveillance program. During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances...

A Justice Department official, who asked not to be ID'd because of the sensitive subject, said Bradbury's remarks were made during an "academic discussion" of theoretical contingencies. In real life, the official said, the highest priority of those hunting a terrorist on U.S. soil would be to capture that person alive and interrogate him. At a public intel-committee hearing, Feinstein was told by intel czar John Negroponte and FBI chief Robert Mueller that they were unaware of any case in which a U.S. agency was authorized to kill a Qaeda-linked person on U.S. soil. Tasia Scolinos, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told NEWSWEEK: "Mr. Bradbury's meeting was an informal, off-the-record briefing about the legal analysis behind the president's terrorist-surveillance program. He was not presenting the legal views of the Justice Department on hypothetical scenarios outside of the terrorist-surveillance program."


The Republicans are finally right: the government is now something to be afraid of.

I'm amazed that people fail to see what this is about:


Since day one, Rove & Cheney have been about getting, maintaining and holding onto power at all costs.

They would have hitched their wagons to the Communist party, if that would have gotten them into power.

The reason there are all these Byzantine rules about separation of powers put in by the founding fathers is precisely BECAUSE of people like this.

What they have been practicing is treason, pure and simple.

DAOU has you posted on the right, if so, thanks for the integrity. Work hard.

Thank you for saying it. It needs to be said, often and loud. If the administration divides us between right and left, we will be conquered by tyranny and democracy will be lost to us.

Yes and now the Israelis live in peace because they are "firm" rather than weak on terrorism.

In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.(...)
Not to defend the proposed practice, but the Israelis have done the same thing, at least in the Occupied Terriories. I recall, for example, when the wheelchair-bound Sheik Yassin was killed by an Israeli air-to-ground missile.

Good on you! The title isn't too strong at all. It's exactly what's happening, and I wish more people would come out and say it.