“I have no recollection of that at this point in time.” (Familiar phrasing to those of us of a Certain Age.)
(“Because, well, there’s no evidence to belie my statement, however much I be lying.”)
18 1/2 missing minutes of tape reprise.
Only this time, it’s not measured in minutes.
It’s measured in years.
President Bush’s White House early on scrapped a custom archiving system that the Clinton administration had adopted under a federal court order. From 2001 to 2003, the Bush White House also recorded over computer backup tapes that provided a last line of defense for preserving e-mails, even though a similar practice landed the Clinton administration in legal trouble.
As a result, several years’ worth of electronic communication may have been lost, potentially including e-mails documenting administration actions in the run-up to the Iraq war.
They can’t live up to their lawful obligation to preserve public records.
But these, natch, are the same folks who think they should know our every communication.
They call it the “Protect America Act.”
It is the “Destroy American Liberties Act.”
The so-called â€œProtect America Act of 2007,” which we are calling the â€œPolice America Act,” allows for massive, untargeted collection of international communications without court order or meaningful oversight by either Congress or the courts. It contains virtually no protections for the U.S. end of the phone call or email, leaving decisions about the collection, mining and use of Americansâ€™ private communications up to this administration.
Just ask him.
And wingnut fellow traveler Harry Reid is right there behind it:
Harry Reid — who has (a) done more than any other individual to ensure that Bush’s demands for telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping powers will be met in full and (b) allowed the Republicans all year to block virtually every bill without having to bother to actually filibuster — went to the Senate floor yesterday and, with the scripted assistance of Mitch McConnell and Pat Leahy, warned Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and others that they would be selfishly wreaking havoc on the schedules of their fellow Senators (making them work over the weekend, ruining their planned “retreat,” and even preventing them from going to Davos!) if they bothered everyone with their annoying, pointless little filibuster.
To do so, Reid announced that, unlike for the multiple filibusters from Republican colleagues, he would actually force Dodd and company to engage in a real filibuster. This is what Reid said:
[I]f people think they are going to talk this to death, we are going to be in here all night. This is not something we are going to have a silent filibuster on. If someone wants to filibuster this bill, they are going to do it in the openness of the Senate.
That is what Democrats have been urging Reid to do to the filibustering Republicans all year — in order to dramatize their obstructionism — but he has refused to make them actually filibuster anything, generously agreeing instead that every bill requires 60 votes. Instead, he reserves such punishment only for the members of his own caucus trying to take a stand for the rule of law and the Constitution, those who are trying finally to bring some accountability to this administration.
It is time to restore the rule of law.
Honestly, folks, those who willingly give up their liberties are those who are not worthy of them.
Portions via Atrios.