back to article Dubya surveillance exceeded warrantless wiretaps

As yet unrevealed domestic intelligence activities by the Bush administration sent shock waves through Washington on Friday, as a report critical of post-9/11 US surveillance programs capped a week of increasingly acrimonious debate in the American capital about Bush-era policies. Disconcerting reports of abuses by the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A cloud of paranoid vapor

    A non-operational program is cancelled by the Director when he discovers it never really went anywhere and had never been reported to Congress. These are the only real facts regarding this.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Ol' Ben Franklin's spinning.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

  3. Stevie

    Stap Me Vitals!

    Effing hell!

    This comes as a completely unexpected bolt out of the blue, and no mistake.

  4. Daniel 4

    @AC 17:59

    "An illegal and unconstitutional non-operational program is cancelled by the Director when he discovers it never really went anywhere and had never been reported to Congress on orders of the former Vice President himself, against all legal requirements to do so."

    There, I corrected it for you.


  5. Andy Bright

    I'm a little confused..

    Are you saying that Pelosi was accidentally vindicated when she said that intelligence agencies routinely lied about what they were getting up to? Because if so this is an absolutely awesome smack in the face of all those right wing congressmen that called for her head.

    I'm so far left that Pelosi and Obama represent to me nothing more than the new Republican Party and what was the Republican party is nothing more than a bunch of religious lunatics these days.

    The Democrats block important healthcare and social programs whilst at the same time support un-constitutional programs like this surveillance as well as a plethora of corporate entities. They also backed the invasion of Iraq despite the obvious lies (obvious to everyone except Cable News apparently) and they backed torture in the case of the mythical ticking time bomb scenario, something any intelligence officer who doesn't have his head stuck up his arse will admit is pure fantasy.

    So if Pelosi went down I'd be as happy as when I saw Gingrich et co get busted for their corruption and congressional page kiddy fiddling . The only silver lining to her accidentally telling the truth would be it would infuriate those right wing religious nutjobs that call themselves conservatives. The problem is we won't be able to tell if she's laughing or not because her face muscles haven't moved in a decade.

    Does any of this surprise me? Of course not. The Register has done a magnificent job reporting these sorts of violations of the last 8 years and they weren't the only ones.

  6. Chris C

    @AC 17:59, @Daniel 4

    Daniel, you've done a good job correcting the AC's post, but you missed one important part: "non-operational program". The Director never said the program was "non-operational"; he said it was "never fully operational". In other words, it WAS operational, just not to the full extent that they wanted it to be. So, for the corrected form of your correction:

    "An illegal and unconstitutional incomplete-but-operational program is cancelled by the Director when he discovers it never really went anywhere and had never been reported to Congress on orders of the former Vice President himself, against all legal requirements to do so."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Democracy - such a quaint concept

    First, many die to win it, then the public servants (sic) fight it, they then mock it, then they ignore it.

    Not quite what Ghandi had in mind. Still, these days, most Americans couldn't handle the truth...

  8. Keith T


    The only thing more dangerous than a psychopath with a gun is a coward with a gun.

    The Bush Whitehouse had both.

    And the guns included nuclear weapons.

  9. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Big Brother

    Re: corrections

    Apparently it's even worst than that. It's threefold:

    -part of it has been submitted to the congress for approval, then modified after approval

    -part of it has not been submitted to the congress at all

    -and the persons responsible for that lied to the congress when asked about it.

    It's a completely, undeniably deliberate bypass of any "democratic" control. By the Vice. With the approval of the Homo redneckus who was in -erm- "control" at the time, I'd wager. Care to remind me of the definition of "dictatorship"?

    But that's OK, it was "never fully functionnal" a bit like how GMail is beta... Y'know, only monitoring 99.9% of the population, I swear! (damn "white niggers" in the bayou sometimes don't even have a phone, what'ya sposed ta monitor?)

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    A shovel-ready project, it would seem.

    The only way to clean up this stinking mess is to decapitate the whole domestic intelligence bureaucracy from the top down and and start over with a reduced set of new faces and agencies.

    Not holding my breath here.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Thank Gord

    We've got Gordon Brown on the job, otherwise our precious freedoms would have gone the way of the merkins'.

  12. Steve Evans


    Politicians lie.

    Politicians spy on the public they are supposed to serve.

    Politicians break laws...

    Sorry, but I can't see what's news worthy here, it all looks pretty normal to me!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John Ashcroft

    ... is a lucky, jammy b*gger. History will remember him as the brave guy lying on his bed on the point of death who refused to be bullied by Gonzales. In reality he wasn't much better than Gonzales himself.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    ....that'll be Treadstone then.

    Black helicopter because...just because...

  15. Jimmy 1

    Focus - don't f*ck us.

    ".....the report reaches a troubling conclusion: that the sacrifice of civil liberties has led to no measurable improvement in the safety of the country." is currently engaged in a public consultation about its very own mass surveillance programme, the Intercept Modernisation Programme (IMP). Exactly why it should take a twelve week talk-in to establish what is bleeding obvious to anyone with half a brain is beyond comprehension.

    Searching for needles in a haystack is made infinitely more difficult if you insist on increasing the size of the haystack until it occupies the whole field. Conversely, loading a haystack with millions of needles makes it extremely difficult to distinguish between the good and bad needles.

    The security agencies understand only too well that they need to focus their resources on specific zones of interest rather than waste their time on politically inspired fishing exercises like IMP. With the government's known complicity in the Phorm scandal you can be absolutely sure that any reassurances the offer about "not reading your actual data" should be taken with a large pinch of the proverbial sodium chloride.

  16. Eddy Ito

    How do we know?

    After all they are probably just lying again. Are we expected to believe it is really different because the CIC has a (D) after his name instead of an (R)? Come on now, I was born in the morning but it wasn't _this_ morning. Sure, they say they cancelled an secret program that didn't exist, didn't do anything, wasn't implemented and wasn't legal, what's not to believe? Oh yeah, the most powerful people in Congress claim weren't informed, no credibility problems there. Sometimes, I think they do this shit just to create "conspiracy theorists" so they can point a finger and say, "who are you going to believe, us or that paranoid whacko conspiracy nut?"

    I need another drink, it's 5 o'clock somewhere. Can you hear me now, Director?

  17. Chris C

    re: John Ashcroft

    "History will remember [John Ashcroft] as the brave guy lying on his bed on the point of death who refused to be bullied by Gonzales."

    History, perhaps. I, however, will always remember Ashcroft as the puritanical twat who wasted $8000 of taxpayers' money to hide Lady Justice from the public. And by god, it had to be done! After all, we all know how offensive the female breast is. We need only look at the infamous Super Bowl halftime saga to remind us of that.

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