Wednesday, January 11, 2006

NSA to investigate itself

At the request of House Democrats the Pentagon's Acting Inspector General has announced that his counterpart at the NSA is investigating the domestic spying program initiated by President George Bush.

39 House Democrats have requested both the Pentagon's Inspector General and the Department of Justice's Inspector General to investigate the warrentless spying program. Thomas Gimble declined responding in a letter to the House Democrats that the NSA Inspector General "is already actively reviewing aspects of that program" and has "considerable expertise in the oversight of electronic surveillance," indicating that the internal investigation was already underway. Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine declined stating that he did not have jurisdiction.

The Democrats responded with a letter to Fine on Monday, arguing that both the inspector general statute and the USA Patriot Act require Fine's office to get involved.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said NSA's inspector general should not be conducting an investigation if the office has played a role in approving the program.

"The inspector general for NSA has repeatedly reviewed this and okayed it, . . . so I don't know how his investigation is going to get a new set of eyes on this," Lofgren said. "How are they going to be able to investigate themselves?"

The Bush administration, from President George Bush to Vice President Dick Cheney to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has aggressively asserted it's claim to authority to override the Bill of Rights and spy on American citizens.

In the wake of the NSA eavesdropping revelation American's have recently learned that their mail is also subject to being opened and read by the Bush administration.

In related news indicted Rep. Tom DeLay has announced that he has assigned former staffers Tony Rudy and Ed Buckham to investigate his dealings with them and his close friend, convicted lobbyist and conman Jack Abramoff. In a subsequent press release Rudy and Buckham announced that they have hired Abramoff and his new firm, Capone, Gambino, and Rove, to launch an investigation of the prosecutors in DeLay's case. The firm has also been hired by the NSA to assist in the off-shoring of the NSA's work to a firm in Uzbekistan. It is estimated that the off-shoring of the NSA's spying will save the government $5 billion. The cost of the Abramoff sub-contract was announced at $3.5 billion.

1 comment:

nightquill said...

Joel Brenner sings:

I am the very thorough NSA Inspector General.
My interest in your privacy is flimsy and ephemeral.
My new investigation of the spying that I ratified
Will only end when all the perpetrators are beatified.
And while my probe is going on, I'll tell you from my podium
That any other prober should be treated with opprobrium.
And anyone who'd like to duck a question with agility
Can say that any comment would impede my probe's utility.
And so, since both my counterparts at Justice and the Pentagon
Eschew responsibility, and Congress won't prevent a con,
I'm hoping your attention span is flimsy and ephemeral:
I am a very thorough NSA Inspector General!