Tuesday, May 16, 2006




The Writings of Greg Palast

I received an email from my friend Maddi... RIGHT ON MADDI. I wanted to change my telephone service to Qwest as soon as I heard they were the only telecommunications company who did not buckle under the Bush's "above the law" arm-twisting conduct BY REFUSING TO HAND OVER their customer telephone call records . I hope there is a rush on this... it will show the corporate goons WHO EXACTLY IS RUNNING THE CORPORATIONS, IT IS NOT THE CEO'S IT IS ... WE THE CONSUMING PUBLIC!! WITHOUT US THEY WOULDN'T HAVE A COMPANY. WITHOUT US THERE WOULDN'T BE A NATION. WAKE UP AMERICA, WE HAVE MUCH MORE POWER THAN BELIEVED. STOP CONSUMING LIKE GOOD LITTLE ROBOTS AND START DEMANDING THAT THE CONSTITUTION BE HONORED AND RESPECTED! thinkingblue

Please consider sending an e-mail to Qwest telecommunications corporation to praise them for their moral and ethical stand against the NSA in its "quest" to engage telephone corporations in SPYING ON US!!!!! I've just sent them an e-mail to that effect, and asked when Qwest's varied telephone and digital services will be available here in Ohio. I will not hesitate to switch to a company that practices patriotic, constitutional, and democratic values.

Pass to your friends. When a company practices what it preaches, that's a good thing. Let's give such companies our business and discontinue supporting organizations that do not value what our country supposedly stands for.


Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer David J. Heller

email: Corporate.Compliance@qwest.com


Karl Rove: Americans 'Sour' on Iraq War

Presidential adviser Karl Rove blamed the war in Iraq for dragging down President Bush's job approval ratings in public opinion polls. "People like this president," Rove said. "They're just sour right now on the war."


Former CEO Believed Handing Over Call Data Violated Privacy, Telecom Act WASHINGTON, May 12, 2006 White House spokeswoman Dana Perino (CBS/AP)

AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., and BellSouth Corp. began sharing records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls with the NSA shortly after the 2001 terror attacks, according to USA Today. But when the NSA came calling, former Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio broke ranks with fellow former Bell companies. "When he learned that no such authority had been granted and that there was a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process, including the Special Court which had been established to handle such matters, Mr. Nacchio concluded that these requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommications Act," Nacchio's attorney wrote in a statement.

Nacchio agreed with Qwest's attorneys that surrendering its customers' "call-detail records" to the NSA was wrong. Qwest balked at the request, and pressure, from the NSA, with Nacchio reportedly "deeply troubled" by the implications, USA Today reports. Current CEO Richard Notebaert halted talks with the NSA in 2004 after the two couldn't agree on the details. According to USA Today, the NSA told Qwest that not sharing the phone records could compromise national security and affect its chances at landing classified contracts with the government, two issues that play a role in Nacchio's own legal woes. Qwest has been accused of massive fraud by the government and restating $3 billion in revenue. Former executives have been accused of wrongdoing, including Nacchio, who faces 42 counts of insider trading accusing him of illegally selling $101 million in company stock after privately learning Qwest might not meet its financial goals. Meanwhile, CIA director nominee Gen. Michael Hayden on Friday defended the secret surveillance programs he oversaw while head of the National Security Agency as lawful and designed to "preserve the security and the liberty of the American people." Hayden's visits to lawmakers on Capitol Hill were complicated by reaction to public disclosure of a NSA program that has been collecting millions of Americans' everyday telephone records.

"Everything that the agency has done has been lawful. It's been briefed to the appropriate members of Congress," Hayden told reporters outside a Senate office. "The only purpose of the agency's activities is to preserve the security and the liberty of the American people. "And I think we've done that," he said.

The White House stood by Hayden as he spent another day promoting himself in face-to-face sessions with lawmakers, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports. President Bush announced Hayden as his choice to head the CIA on Monday.

"We're 100 percent behind Michael Hayden," press secretary Tony Snow told reporters Friday. "There's no question about that, and confident that he is going to comport himself well and answer all the questions and concerns that members of the United States Senate may have in the process of confirmation." After meeting with Hayden on Friday, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said that he has "absolute confidence" in the general and said his Senate confirmation hearings would help get the facts on the surveillance programs. "He's going to have to explain what his role was. To start with, did he put that program forward, whose idea was it, why was it started?" Hagel said. "He knows that he's not going to be confirmed without answering those questions." Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, praised Hayden as an excellent nominee but said Congress should ask tough questions about the NSA programs. The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., told CBS News he would call the phone companies to appear before the panel in pursuit of what had transpired. "We're really flying blind on the subject and that's not a good way to approach the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional issues involving privacy," Specter said of domestic surveillance in general. But the disclosure, reported in Thursday editions of USA Today, could complicate President Bush's bid to win Hayden's confirmation, one Democratic Senator said. Earlier Friday, Judiciary Committee member Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., told CBS News' The Early Show that he thinks the disclosure will hurt chances for Hayden to be named the new head of the CIA.

"Hayden is a first-rate guy… But I think he's caught right in the middle of this. I think it's going to make it difficult," Biden said.

In a poll taken Thursday, almost two thirds of Americans said it was acceptable for the NSA to collect phone records. When asked if they would be bothered if the NSA had their phone records, Democrats and independents were more likely to be bothered than Republicans. The ABC-Washington Post poll surveyed 502 people by telephone.
The president on Thursday sought to assure Americans their civil liberties were "fiercely protected."

"The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval," said Mr. Bush, without confirming the NSA program. "We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans."
Lawmakers, however, continue to demand information from the Mr. Bush administration about the NSA's database of telephone records.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the telephone industry, should open an investigation into whether the nation's phone companies broke the law by turning over millions of calling records to the government, an FCC commissioner says.

The National Security Agency has been collecting records of calls made in the U.S. by ordinary Americans as part of its anti-terrorism efforts, according to USA TODAY. The newspaper story followed reports that the NSA has been conducting eavesdropping on the electronic communications of suspected al-Qaeda members and their contacts in the U.S. without warrants.

Commissioner Michael J. Copps' comments also come as the three phone companies allegedly involved — AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. — face a growing number of lawsuits by consumers. The latest, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, seeks billions of dollars in damages for violation of federal privacy laws.
"There is no doubt that protecting the security of the American people is our government's No. 1 responsibility," Copps, a Democrat, said in a statement. "But in a digital age where collecting, distributing and manipulating consumers' personal information is as easy as a click of a button, the privacy of our citizens must still matter."
AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. began turning over tens of millions of phone records to the NSA after the spy agency requested the records shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, USA TODAY reported last week. The paper said the NSA is building a massive call databank to analyze calling patterns.
The telecommunications company Qwest said it refused to cooperate with the NSA after deciding that doing so would violate privacy law.

On Monday, Atlanta-based BellSouth issued a statement that an internal review had "confirmed no such contract exists and we have not provided bulk customer calling records to the NSA." Verizon has refused to confirm or deny whether it has participated in the program.

The New York Times reported in December that the NSA was eavesdropping on electronic communications involving suspected al-Qaeda members abroad and associates in the U.S. Critics of the program have questioned whether the NSA has stepped outside the law by not seeking court-ordered warrants.
President Bush, while not discussing the details of any NSA programs directed at detecting terrorism plots, has repeatedly assured Americans that the initiatives he authorizes are within the law and the Constitution and are not violating the privacy of ordinary Americans.

When the NSA developed the programs it was under the direction of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, now Bush's choice to replace Porter Goss as head of the CIA. The eavesdropping program and the phone call databank are likely to be the focus of questions Thursday when the Senate Intelligence Committee begins Hayden's confirmation hearings.

Sen. Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he wants to gather testimony from phone company representatives about how they work with the NSA.

An FCC investigation, if undertaken, would be the second attempt this year by the government to explore an aspect of an NSA program. The Justice Department sought to investigate the role of its lawyers in the warrantless eavesdropping program, but it ended the inquiry last week because its lawyers were denied security clearances.
Meanwhile, Monday's lawsuit in Washington asks the court to immediately bar the phone companies from turning over records. The complaint also seeks a penalty of $1,000 for each violation of federal privacy laws, an amount that could reach billions of dollars for turning over tens of millions of records. It mirrors a similar lawsuit filed last week in New York.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Scarborough on FREE FALL BUSH





CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!