Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


Bush in April 2004: Wiretaps Require Court Order

@ 11:42 PM (110 months, 28 days ago)

By his own admission, Idiot Son has broken the law.

On April 20, 2004, while in Buffalo, New York, he said that wiretaps require a court order.

"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.

But a roving wiretap means -- it was primarily used for drug lords. A guy, a pretty intelligence drug lord would have a phone, and in old days they could just get a tap on that phone. So guess what he'd do? He'd get him another phone, particularly with the advent of the cell phones. And so he'd start changing cell phones, which made it hard for our DEA types to listen, to run down these guys polluting our streets. And that changed, the law changed on -- roving wiretaps were available for chasing down drug lords. They weren't available for chasing down terrorists, see? And that didn't make any sense in the post-9/11 era. If we couldn't use a tool that we're using against mobsters on terrorists, something needed to happen."

In related news, a federal judge from the court that oversees government surveillance, has resigned in protest of Bush's domestic spying program.

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest

NY Times: FBI Watched Activist Groups

@ 12:27 AM (110 months, 29 days ago)

Looks like the FBI conducted surveillance and intelligence-gathering on activist groups such as those involved in issues like the environment, poverty, and animal cruelty.

"Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show."


"The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes."

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show

Americans Needed More Food, Shelter

@ 12:14 AM (110 months, 29 days ago)

The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report which showed that last year, the number of requests for emergency food and shelter grew.  The data reported was for the period of November 1, 2004 to October 31, 2005. 

The number of Americans requesting food assistance grew by 12% over the last year, while requests for shelter grew by 6%.

Mayors Release Hunger, Homelessness Survey