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Keeping the Nation Secure? — Why Now?
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Keeping the Nation Secure?

The Associated Press reports that Domestic spying inquiry killed:

The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers security clearance.

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax Wednesday to Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York saying it was closing its inquiry because without clearance it could not examine department lawyers’ role in the program.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey’s office shared the letter with The Associated Press.

The OPR investigation was only concerned with the conduct of the lawyers, not the program itself, but secret stuff has to remain secret.


The Secret Service isn’t very good about logging entries and exits from the White House:

Secret Service records made public Wednesday show that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff went to the White House twice in the past five years, omitting three other occasions that have been acknowledged by the Bush administration.

Those three occasions and the two the Secret Service logged don’t include the visits that were referred to by Scotty McClellan in press briefings.

Maybe Jack Abramoff used the Invisibility Cloak that Jeff Gannon bought in Diagon Alley, or won at a poker game at the Watergate.

The White House isn’t very good at keeping secrets:

A public sanitation worker in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday found a thick stack of papers with nearly every detail of President Bush’s trip to Florida on the floor next to a big trash truck.

The documents offer the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, Nighthawk 2 and 3, as Washington CBS affiliate WUSA-TV first reported.

The documents also list every passenger on board each aircraft, from President Bush to the military attaché with the nuclear football. CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reports it was a copy of the president’s exact schedule for the day, which the public never sees for security reasons.

Hopkins is an ex-con working in sanitation, and said he felt it was his civic duty to tell somebody about what he’d found, he told WUSA-TV.

“We’re going through a war, and if it would have fell into the wrong hands at the right time, it would have been something really messy for the president’s sake,” Hopkins said.

A sanitation worker with no training in security knows that this information has to be protected to prevent an assassination, but the White House doesn’t.

A Bush motorcade passed within a block of where I’m sitting at the moment and they had the area locked down for hours because no one was allowed to know the schedule. Several identical vehicles were used so no one would know which one contained the Shrubbery, but this is no big deal.

Even without a war, this would be a big deal.


1 andante { 05.11.06 at 2:29 pm }

It sounds to me like the Justice Dept. lawyers need to think a bit more outside the box.

Start rummaging through trash cans, take pictures of people entering the White House, and just tell Rove they’re after Democrats. He’ll squeal everything he knows.

2 Bryan { 05.11.06 at 4:59 pm }

I can’t believe how sloppy their security is on the most basic level.

If they can’t provide basic protection at the White House, why would anyone assume they can protect the country?

3 Steve Bates { 05.12.06 at 12:01 am }

How long can the Bush administration continue to deflect all attempts to ascertain the validity of their theory that the preznit (sorry, after all this time, I still cannot call him President, because of what happened in 2000) has no accountability for the potential illegality or (likely enough) unconstitutionality of his actions? Can the Justice Dept. simply abandon the investigation? Can the NSA simply prevent Justice from investigating?

If the preznit has no accountability to anyone in the other branches of government, then we are no longer the America that I was brought up believing in. I want my three-branch government back. I want checks and balances again. If I don’t get them back, then George W. Bush is no better than George III.

4 Bryan { 05.12.06 at 12:46 am }

NSA has the right and power to do this for reasons I can’t go into, the clearance for NSA is a unique thing and only NSA can grant it, but it is an incredibly stupid action. There will be an investigation eventually and these stalling measures just tick people off.

If the Dems take over either house this year, the NSA budget is going to take a hell of a hit after what they’ve been up to for the past five years.