Reports Shows Additional Undisclosed Surveillance Programs — And Likely Unlawful Conduct by Bush Administration

225px-george-w-bushA 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

76 thoughts on “Reports Shows Additional Undisclosed Surveillance Programs — And Likely Unlawful Conduct by Bush Administration”

  1. It’s not looking good for the rule of law or accountability, never mind core civil rights going back five hundred plus years. Poof!

  2. Mespo,
    I agree with your frustration, but the answer is the rule of law being followed, no matter who is in office. I believe that a citizen ombudsmen with subpoena power with any branch of the government could be the answer. If the Ombudsperson had real power, he/she can be the official whistle blower on corrupt pols of any party. How we get a position like that is another story. I am open for suggestions.

  3. This is an outrage. There must be a criminal investigation, as well as the appropriate hearings “with teeth.”

    I believe that John Dean put it this way: “When the entire truth comes out, it will be worse than Watergate.” We must stand up and demand a return to the rule of law.

    It’s time for men and women of conscience and courage to step forward and tell the truth about the lawlessness of the last many years.

  4. I’ll tell you what did it for me was watching Helen Thomas and Chip Reed this week when Helen Thomas, the most liberal white house reporter told Gibbs, “Im amazed, I’m amazed, you people call for openness and tranparency and then try and control”. She went on to say they have never had that in the Whitehouse. F it here’s the video again and again he ran on that he would have the most open and transparent administration and it is the exact opposite.

  5. This was nothing short of a neo-con coup. I now see why Jim Comey exited from this threat to our freedoms. It may be time to take our freedom back even if it means forming a third party and de-electing every damnable one of those aiders and abettors on Pennsylvania Avenue–both ends.

  6. This isn’t news to some. I only hope and pray that the entire truth is revealed.

    I agree with Jill. And she’s right that “someone needs to leak the whole thing.” Now.

  7. Bdaman,
    I know what you were talking about and I have acknowledged the changes in Obama’s stances on various issues, but your religious concerns aren’t mine and in my opinion, the mixing of religion with politics and government is one of the big problems that we face in this country.
    The CIA does need to be brought under control and additional Congressional oversight is a good beginning.

  8. I’m still shaking my head, this guy is unbelievable. Everything from, he would post bills online so the public could read them first and he would not sign them for five days to investigate Bush then side with Bush. This is crazy.

  9. You mean to tell me my government was not totally honest with me? I am appalled. This is just not right, I am deeply offended. It really hurts my feelings.

    Or you can believe that more is done that we have no ideal about. The CIA is evil, now why is the CIA fighting a war? What about the drones? They have a unaccounted for budget.

  10. Rafflaw you are missing my point, my point is Obama does the exact opposite of what he says he will do. I bet you if you went back through the archives here and look at older post from election day on, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about

  11. Bdaman,
    you left me in the dust there. I believe the abortions were down during the Clinton years as compared to the Bush years. When you believe that religion should considered in governmental decisions, bad things happen. When you try to stop sex education, bad things happen. The Pope is noone to be asking for someone to be moral. I guess according to you, I better call the doctor now.

  12. rafflaw, I seriously believe Obama has mental problems. Maybe Mike Spindell can explain it. Obama met with the Pope today and promised the Pope he would do everything in his power to reduce abortions in the United States. This from a man, deranged as he may be, who has signed several pieces of abortion legislation including funding foreign abortions. He also signed legislation to use taxpayer money to kill embryos in research And now democrats are pushing legislation that will force healthcare providers to perform abortions even if it violates their moral or religious convictions.

    Barack Obama is the most radical pro-abortion president in the last 35 years. Obama voted 4 times to support infanticide during his political career.

    The Vatican already attacked Obama for using taxpayer money to fund foreign abortions.

    And here’s the killer, he appointed John Holdren as his science czar. John Holdren, if the guy could bring back the gas chambers he would.

    John Holdren co wrote a book in 1977 and in that book this is what this luny bin says

    ** Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not
    ** The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food
    ** Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise
    ** People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility

    anybody who comes to this site, who voted for Obama, who cant see through this guy please, please seek medical attention.

  13. We have had a coup in this country. Too many people and groups of intelligence agencies are acting completely untethered to the law. I’m glad this information is coming out but it is difficult to know where to go as a citizen to bring back the rule of law. This is incredibly dangerous. It appears that there has been a seemless transition between Bush and Obama, allowing all matter of illegalities to remain in place and go unpunished. As we now know the PSP was completely illegal I see no reason for its classification. Someone needs to leak the whole thing and everything else. I will be contacting those few people left in Congress who seem to care for the rule of law. Holder should be impeached if he will not investigate by the end of two weeks.

  14. Bdaman,
    It is interesting that the same day the CIA admitted to lying to Congress and that an illegal operation was allegedly closed down by Panetta, that Obama states he is against more Congressional oversight. To me that is a red flag that we have to see what this closed operation was doing. Obama’s veto threat in reality is similar to the Wizard saying “ignore the man behind the curtain!”

  15. Thanks for the heads up re the appearance on Countdown. Just watched it and it was great. My husband, who is not a lawyer and does not normally care about these issues could not leave the room. He is fired up now and wants an investigation. Amazing, a man who had never voted before we were married, now on fire about a full investigation regarding these charges.
    Just love getting the word out. Helping others see why this is so important and why we all must take an active part in pushing for full disclosure.
    Good job.

  16. We already know how Obama feels about secret intelligence briefings. Democrats yesterday want to compromise with Obama on legislation to broaden legislators’ access to secret intelligence briefings.

    The Obama threatened on Wednesday to veto the bill, the same day that we find out that CIA Director Leon Panetta had testified secretly that agency briefers had misled legislators in the past.

    More openness and transparency

  17. It is time for Holder to get Yoo and Tenet and Ashcroft under oath in front of a Grand Jury and let them take the Fifth if they don’t want to implicate themselves in this illegal charade. Prof. Turley is correct that Holder is abusing his oath if an investigation into this criminal activity isn’t immediately undertaken. It also looks like Congress may be looking into it further as well. Each time we have an announcement that there was another secret program during the Bush regime and that the head of the CIA allegedly didn’t find out about for 4 months and he shuts it down, who is running the show here? Is there a rule of law or isn’t there?

  18. Illegal covert operations should not entitled to protection from disclosure on national security grounds. When illegality can be legitimately hidden from view, the inevitable result is what we are only now beginning to learn. Those upon whom we bestow the most power are those who most fervently demand unquestioned trust and who most frequently abuse it.

  19. Surprise! When you have secret government agencies, they create secret programs!

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