A new government report has disclosed that President Bush authorized secret surveillance activities that went beyond the previously disclosed NSA program – raising the prospect of additional unlawful conduct by the Bush Administration. At the same time, a House member has revealed that CIA Director Leon Panetta has shutdown a program that was never revealed to Congress in direct violation of federal law. I discussed these stories on this segment of MSNBC Countdown.
In a notable change, the report now describes the entire program as the “President’s Surveillance Program,” going beyond the domestic surveillance program. It also highlights the individual who is most accountable for criminal violations as well as the failure of the Obama Administration to allow investigations into unlawful surveillance or torture. As the evidence of such unlawful conduct mounts, the blocking of a criminal investigation by Attorney General Holder grows more serious as an abdication of his oath to uphold our laws.
Notably, the “usual suspects” refused to be interviewed: former CIA Director George Tenet, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card; former top Cheney aide David Addington; and John Yoo, who served as a deputy assistant attorney general. Given the potential incrimination prospects, they have at least acted in deference to the criminal code even as Holder appears to ignore it.
For the full story, click here.
It was also disclosed that CIA Director Leon Panetta has terminated a “very serious” covert program kept secret from Congress for eight years. Rep. Jan Schakowsky disclosed the violation of federal law, but once again Congress is silent on holding anyone accountable.
For that Panetta story, click here