Heckuva Job, Bushie
The NYTimes is reporting today that the illegal NSA domestic spying led to…hold on, wait for it…dead ends. And a whole lotta Pizza Hut deliveries for chasing them down for the FBI.
Because, you know, what they need to do is devote countless manhours to chasing down repeated bad leads from the same source. I dunno, but after a while if the program isn’t panning out, wouldn’t you start to say to yourself…say after five freaking years of wasted leads and manhours and internal challenges to the legality of the program and having to cut out entire segments of the government because they refuse to go along with your little illegal, unproductive detour…"Hey, maybe this isn’t working well and we ought to try something else."
Of course, that requires that you are actually interested in protecting the country instead of you doing CYA and refusing to admit a mistake, eh?
But the results of the program look very different to some officials charged with tracking terrorism in the United States. More than a dozen current and former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, including some in the small circle who knew of the secret program and how it played out at the F.B.I., said the torrent of tips led them to few potential terrorists inside the country they did not know of from other sources and diverted agents from counterterrorism work they viewed as more productive.
"We’d chase a number, find it’s a schoolteacher with no indication they’ve ever been involved in international terrorism – case closed," said one former F.B.I. official, who was aware of the program and the data it generated for the bureau. "After you get a thousand numbers and not one is turning up anything, you get some frustration."
Gee, ya think? When you have a group of people dedicated to catching bad guys, and you send them repeatedly on wild goose chases, you think they might get the eensiest bit frustrated? Whoa, who knew? Especially when there are likely real, live sleeper cells in the United States that they can’t track down because they are too busy interviewing and surveilling non-terrorist school teachers on Bushie’s whim of an order? No, no frustration here. None at all.
Meanwhile, back at the
ranch pig farm, the Preznit and his AG are still dancing with their seven mangy veils on this. According to Glenn, the Gonzalez appearance on Larry King Not So ALive was just plain sad, and so verbally contorted that Gonzalez may have needed a chiropracter after the show for all the knots into which he tied himself in an attempt to cover the Preznit’s ass.
Unfortunately, it’s not working. Bushie has managed to piss off the far right, the far left, and a whole lotta folks in between. Some of whom are now suing him. And the Preznit has managed to bruise a lot of Congressional egos, by making them publicly look neutered. (I suppose it’s one thing to be neutered behind closed doors, but when you are exposed for the eunoch you are in public, the equation shifts a bit on whose shoulders the blame will be shifted. With the 2006 elections fast approaching, it’s going to be interesting to see who is more of a drag on the Republican party — Tom DeLay, George Bush, or some other unknown scandal waiting to rear its ugly head. Here’s hoping anyway…)
Oh, and here’s a funny headline: White House Accuses Gore of Hypocrisy. Do you think the WaPo did that on purpose to give everyone a big ole belly laugh? Pot, this is kettle… (ThinkProgress covers why the Gonzalez smear is a steaming pile of dung.) Oh, and speaking of the WaPo, their coverage of the Gore speech is here. With text of the speech here.
For some background on the illegal spying possibilities, take a peek here.
Heckuva job, Bushie. Cheney must be so proud of you. (Much more on all of this later today.)
(Graphics love to The Worried Shrimp via Political Humor.)