Take It As Red

"Blogging is, by its very nature, erratic and irregular, feverish effort punctuated by random silence, a conundrum wrapped in a contradiction wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an unclosed em tag. " - The Poor Man

Tuesday, January 18


Cute Cats, Death Squads and the Iran Invasion

Well,what with Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker giving us the inside skinny on the USA's latest madcap plans - oh, those jolly japesters and their hazing pranks - to invade Iran (hang on, haven't they done that already? Isn't that what sending special forces teams into a country you're not at war with is, an invasion? Oh, silly me, of course, that's just semantics. Those are US Freedom Squadstm!) I have been feeling the need for some fluffiness. So here it is:

Right on time, via The Poorman , here comes Christy Marx with the Silly Sleeping Pose Olympics. I'm not sure I want to know exactly how this cat got where it is, but suffice it to say it probably took some serious spatial geometry calculation, which, as we all know, comes naturally to cats. Dogs, on the other hand, can barely make it through long division.

There has been a lot of left blog commentary on Hersh's report, but what commentary I have read so far seems to miss the main thrust of the article. Instead they've concentrated on the whole Iran thing. I think this is a mistake. What comes over most clearly from the article is the way in which the normal checks and balances, such as they were, that kept the Pentagon from operating secretly have now been dismantled, that the CIA has become a busted flush and is now nothing more than an echo chamber for the administration, and that Rumsfeld has the power to send Special Forces anywhere at all, to do anything at all, with apparently no executive, judicial or legislative oversight. Humint is no longer within the purview of the CIA but that of Defence Intelligence ( that was what the whole Porter Goss purge was about, and aren't secret Executive Orders handy?) ; thus Defence Intelligence, directly overseen by Rumsfeld, is now in control, is free from reporting and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act or subject only when it suits.


"(a) Authority.--Subchapter I of chapter 21 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Sec. 426.
Protection of sensitive information: operational files of the Defense Intelligence Agency"(a) Authority To Withhold Operational Files.--The Secretary of Defense may withhold from public disclosure operational files described in subsection (b) to the same extent that operational files may be withheld under section 701 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 431), subject to judicial review under the same circumstances and to the same extent as is provided in subsection (f) of such section.

Apparently this is subject to judicial review, at least according to the above. So what happens when a request for a file is made, on the grounds that there might have been some wrongdoing? Here's a case,Paul Wolf v Central Intelligence agency (Civ. No. 01-00729) brought to be judicially reviewed under the very same subsection (f) that supposedly applies now to the Defence Intelligence agency:

"The CIA Information Act provides that exempted operational files are subject to search and review for information concerning "the specific subject matter of any investigation by the intelligence committees of the Congress . . . for any impropriety or violation of law, Executive order, or Presidential directive in the conduct of an intelligence activity." 50 U.S.C. ยง 431(c). "A congressional investigation that touches on CIA conduct in a particular incident or region, standing alone, is not sufficient to warrant the release of all CIA documents anent that incident or region." Sullivan v. CIA, 992 F.2d 1249, 1255 (1st Cir. 1993) Further, the information requested must relate specifically to the subject matter of the investigation."

Put very, very simply , even if you apply under FOIA and are turned down, and then take it to court, you still can't look at the files unless you exactly what incident they refer to. Which you won't know until you se the file. This is how it appears to me at least: IANA US constitutional scholar, but subverting the constitution, yet again, to allow mini-invasions, snatch and death squads and political assassinations seems to me to be not quite what the founding fathers had in mind. Or maybe I misunderstand what "strict constructionism" means?



11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004  
12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004  
12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004  
12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004  
12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005  
01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005  
01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005  
01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005  
01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005  
01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005  
02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005  
02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005  
02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005  
02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005  
03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005  
05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005  
05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005  
05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005  
06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005  
06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005  
06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005  
10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?