Saturday, June 03, 2006

Toronto terrorism threat (UPDATE 3)

The National Post is reporting that "[a] Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries":

Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden, and Bangladesh.

The six-month RCMP investigation, called Project OSage, is one of several overlapping probes that include an FBI case called Operation Northern Exposure and a British probe known as Operation Mazhar.


More details of the arrested suspects are coming out. Also from the Post article linked above: "With the exception of two men, who are aged 43 and 30, the alleged terrorists are all in their teens and early 20s. They include men of Somali, Egyptian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian origin. All are residents of Canada and 'for the most part' all are Canadian citizens, police said."


The Post has published a secret CSIS document on "Sunni Islamic Extremism". See here.


And, finally, the Post's Stewart Bell asks why Canada is "growing its own extremists". See here. Basing his claims largely on CSIS reports, Bell asserts that "[a] Canadian Jihad is apparently underway".

This must be taken seriously, and CSIS and the government are certainly doing so, but I would advise caution before jumping to such a dramatic conclusion.

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Toronto terrorism threat (UPDATE 2)

How CSIS tracked down the suspects

From the Toronto Star:

Last night's dramatic police raid and arrest of as many as a dozen men — with more to come — marks the culmination of Canada's largest ever terrorism investigation into an alleged homegrown cell.

The chain of events began two years ago, sparked by local teenagers roving through Internet sites, reading and espousing anti-Western sentiments and vowing to attack at home, in the name of oppressed Muslims here and abroad.

Their words were sometimes encrypted, the Internet sites where they communicated allegedly restricted by passwords, but Canadian spies back in 2004 were reading them. And as the youths' words turned into actions, they began watching them.

According to sources close to the investigation, the suspects are teenagers and men in their 20s who had a relatively typical Canadian upbringing, but — allegedly spurred on by images of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and angered by what they saw as the mistreatment of Muslims at home — became increasingly violent.

Police say they acquired weapons, picked targets and made detailed plans.

They travelled north to a "training camp" and made propaganda videos imitating jihadists who had battled in Afghanistan. At night, they washed up at a Tim Hortons nearby.

Read on. It's fascinating (and terrifying) stuff. Apparently those arrested even had "a list of targets" that included the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and CSIS's Toronto headquarters.

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NYT! Behind the Diplomacy

By Creature

This morning I told you all about a happy, bubble-busting, propaganda piece in today's Washington Post. Well, it seems The New York Times does not want to be left out of the kiss-ass-fest that counts as news for our media today. In an article slated for publication tomorrow, the NYT takes us Behind the Diplomacy as our decider-in-chief takes a chance and makes a monumental decision regarding Iran and our willingness, for the first time in almost three decades, to join in direct talks with them. The fact that the decisions were predicated on a big fat "if" that the Iranians would never agree to plays no role in this piece by Helen Cooper and David Sanger. The president, in need of rehabilitation, gets the good ink, while Tony Snow earns his keep. Look, everyone, the president is doing his job.

He's curious...

The president grimaced, one aide said, "with a look that said, 'O.K., team, what's the answer?' "

He listens...

Mr. Bush's aides rarely describe policy debates in the Oval Office in much detail. But in recounting his decisions in this case, they appeared eager to portray him as a president who determined that he needed to rebuild a fractured coalition still bearing scars from Iraq, and to find a way out of a negotiating dynamic that, as one of his aides said recently, "the Iranians were winning."

He's engaged...

Mr. Bush's own early misgivings about the path he was considering came in a flurry of phone calls to Ms. Rice and to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser, that often began with questions like "What if the Iranians do this," gaming out loud a number of possible situations.

He's in control...

Even after Mr. Bush edited and approved the statement Ms. Rice was scheduled to read on Wednesday morning before she flew to Vienna to encourage Europe and Russia to sign on to a final package of incentives for Iran — and sanctions if it turns the offer down — Ms. Rice wanted to check in one more time. She called the president back. Was he sure he was okay with his decision?

"Go do it," he responded.

He's informed...

Mr. Bush, one aide noted, "had Iran on the mind" because he was receiving special intelligence assessments every morning, some on Iran's intentions, others examining Mr. Ahmadinejad's personality, still others exploring how long it would take Iran to produce a bomb.

By gosh, he's the actual president...

While Mr. Bush initially told Ms. Rice that others could work out the final negotiations, Ms. Rice told the president that "only you can nail this down," an apparent reference to keeping Ms. Merkel and Mr. Putin on board. Mr. Bush made the calls.

Cheney magnanimously requested not to be included in this article. In a sidebar interview the Times is quoting Cheney as saying, "I don't need the spotlight here. The fact that I had to dial the phone for the president doesn't subtract from the importance of this monumental, brave, far-sighted, and all-around peachy decision." Soon after making this statement the vice president was rushed to Bethesda Medical Center with a self-inflicted bite wound to the tongue.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Toronto terrorism threat (UPDATE)

According to Reuters, "[s]ome members of a group of Canadians arrested on terror-related offenses may have been in contact with two U.S. suspects now in custody who were based in Georgia".


The CBC quotes Luc Portelance, CSIS Assistant Director of Operations: "For various reasons, they appear to have become adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaeda."

However, says the CBC, "officials stressed there's no direct link between those charged and the militant group".


From the Canadian Press: "Three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a commonly used fertilizer used to make explosives, were recovered by police, who say that's three times the amount used in the bombing of a government building in Oklahoma that killed 168 people."


Prime Minister Harper's statement in response to the arrests (via the Globe):

This morning, Canadians awoke to the news that our law enforcement and national security agencies have arrested 17 individuals for terrorism related offences.

These individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism against their own country and their own people.

As we have said on many occasions, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Through the work and co-operation of the RCMP, CSIS, local law enforcement and Toronto's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), acts of violence by extremist groups may have been prevented.

Today, Canada's security and intelligence measures worked. Canada's new government will pursue its efforts to ensure the national security of all Canadians.


The accused are being held in Brampton and Pickering, two Toronto-area suburbs. The Toronto Star has the story here.

The police station in Pickering has been turned into "an armed fortress" guarded by "heavily armed officers". I spoke with two people who drove by the station a short while ago (4 pm ET), and they confirm this.

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British police raid suspected chemical weapons laboratory in London

The Times reports on the early-morning raid here.

And there is more: "A desperate search is under way for a 'chemical vest' that a British suicide bomber was ready to deploy in a terror attack on London."

Needless to say, such intelligence, such potential threats, must be taken seriously. But where is the evidence here? One hopes MI5, which had been monitoring certain Bangladeshi youth for some time, knew what it was doing.

The BBC has more here.

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From the U.N.: Ten stories that deserve our attention

We at The Reaction often blog about stories that have been neglected, stories from around the world that aren't getting nearly the attention they deserve, but the United Nations has done us all a great service by releasing its 2006 list of "10 STORIES THE WORLD SHOULD HEAR MORE ABOUT". They are:

Try to find the time to read (and learn more about) these stories. Iraq, Iran, terrorism, and Bush's approval ratings are legitimate and important stories, don't get me wrong, but there's so much else going on in the world, so many problems affacting so many people that require our attention, too.

(Hat tip: Joe Gandelman.)

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Toronto terrorism threat

From today's Globe and Mail: "Police across the Greater Toronto Area launched counterterrorism raids yesterday, arresting at least eight people in a roundup expected to continue overnight and beyond."

Here are the specifics, as they are currently being reported: Local officers operated in conjunction with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This may have been "the most concerted such sweep in Canada" since 9/11. The apprehended suspects "are Muslims, but not Arabs". They are "suspected of connections with al-Qaeda".

In a separate article, the Globe is reporting that the RCMP is alleging that "[a] terror attack potentially three times more devastating than the Oklahoma City bombing has been averted". The sweep raises "the spectre of homegrown terrorists striking Canadians from within our borders". The suspects "are Canadian residents from variety of backgrounds".

For more, see reports in the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, as well as at the CBC.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Condi's Calendar

By Creature

Don't they know we have an election in November?

VIENNA, Austria - The United States warned Iran it will not have much time to respond once offered an international package of rewards designed to encourage Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment, suggesting that the window could close and be replaced by penalties if it doesn't act quickly.

"It really needs to be within weeks," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told NBC television, referring to a response to a package of perks and penalties from six world powers aimed at halting Iran's enrichment activities. [Read More]

There's a time-table people, could ya get with the program.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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With friends like these

By Creature

Don't you just hate it when you go out of our way to free a country from a crazy dictator, install a new "democratic" government, and then the new government starts playing you for a fool? I know I do. I guess someone forgot to read their talking points today.

In his comments, Mr. Maliki [Iraqi Prime Minister] said violence against civilians had become a "daily phenomenon" by many troops in the American-led coalition who "do not respect the Iraqi people."

"They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion," he said. "This is completely unacceptable." Attacks on civilians will play a role in future decisions on how long to ask American forces to remain in Iraq, the prime minister added. [Read More]

The spin of course will be that this is a sovereign government, just being sovereign. So, how long do you think it will be before Cheney has enough of all this sovereignty crap? Ah, if only the whole Chalabi thing had worked out as planned.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dealing with Iran: Six world powers agree to carrot-and-stick approach

According to the Post, "[t]he United States and five other major world powers agreed [today] to offer Iran a broad new collection of rewards if it halts its drive to master nuclear technology". Said British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett: "There are two paths ahead. We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals, which would bring significant benefits."

BUT: Let's not get too excited. This carrot-and-stick approach -- which is well worth trying, don't get me wrong -- is also an ultimatum. Iran must stop its uranium enrichment program or else. Will it? "Iranian diplomats... did not reject outright the U.S. proposal for talks, but they criticized the demand that their country end enrichment first."

I hope this works. At the very least, it's a start, and perhaps we should just take it as such. Russia and China have signed on, at least for the time being, and perhaps some deal can eventually be worked out with Iran. Besides, it's not like a military response to the problem is desirable (see here and here), and, as I've argued here before, it is time to talk seriously with Tehran (see here and here).

We'll see.

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Paris is burning (again)

Has all that much changed since last year's riots? Apparently not:

Small gangs of youths pelted riot police with rocks and set cars and garbage bins ablaze late Tuesday in a second night of unrest in the Paris suburbs, raising fears of a return of the disturbances that inflamed 300 French towns and suburbs last fall.

The violence of the last two nights -- in which youths attacked police cars, government buildings and riot police -- was sparked in part by mounting resentment toward the mayor of the northeastern Paris suburb of Montfermeil, who in recent weeks imposed a law prohibiting 15- to 18-year-olds from gathering in groups of more than three and requiring anyone under 16 to be accompanied by an adult on city streets after 8 p.m.

Hardly the way, it would seem, to incorporate disenfranchised (figuratively, not literally) youth into French society. I don't endorse rioting, and surely these aren't the healthiest of communities in and of themselves, and the mayor may have had good reason to impose these restrictions and curfews, but what are the marginalized and largely hopeless to do?

One wonders what lessons, if any, the French have learned.

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Kerry 2004 redux

According to RFK Jr., writing in Rolling Stone, the 2004 presidential election was not quite what it was officially determined to be. Indeed, despite claims to the contrary in leading publications like NYT and WaPo, "indications [have] continued to emerge that something deeply troubling [took] place in 2004". RFK lists some of the troubles. They include "malfunctioning machines" and "shredding". It seems that "as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast".

And in one of the key battleground states:

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

Any election will have its "anomalies," but:

[W]hat is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.

This confirms what many of us have long suspected. Something was rotten in '04 election. The legitimacy of its outcome is still in doubt. The second Bush term may very well be the product of fraud.

RFK's article is quite long, but it's absolutely a must-read. It's a thoughtful, argumentative piece backed up by sound research and analysis (and detailed documentation). It may not persuade closed minds to reconsider their prejudices, but it seems to me that an open and honest evaluation of what really happened back in 2004 is long overdue.

American democracy deserves no less.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's those stronger hurricanes, stupid!

The New York Times is reporting on two new studies that connect recent hurriacanes like Katrina and Rita back to global warming: "Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence yesterday supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes."

No, there's no conclusive link, but the evidence is building. See also here, for example.

Let me repeat what I've written before (because I can think of no better way of saying it differently at the moment): "In my view, given the inconclusive evidence and the disagreement among experts, shouldn't we err on the side of caution and take global warming seriously? It may not be the only cause of more and stronger hurricanes, but it's likely a cause. At the very least, how can it be ruled out as a cause? Besides, there are other consequences to global warming besides more and stronger hurricanes. Clearly, we ignore this problem at our own peril."

Let's not be stupid anymore. This is important in a future-of-humanity sort of way. Doesn't that appeal to your innate sense of self-interest?

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Why privacy matters

Guest post by Greg Prince

Congrats to Bruce Schneier for offering the best discussion I've seen on why privacy matters:

Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest — or just blackmail — with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies — whoever they happen to be at the time.

Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.

A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty.

Read the whole thing. Now!

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The Reaction in Toronto (including thoughts on the World Cup)

Well, I'm back from a lovely two-week vacation in England. It was so lovely, in fact, that I preferred to spend most of it well away from a computer. If I remember correctly, I only wrote three posts. I didn't even watch much television. Sure, I read the newspapers, sort of, but I barely paid attention to what was going on in the news. And, I tell you, it was wonderful. A much-needed break.

(A huge thank you to my co-bloggers and guest bloggers. They really came through during my absence. They make The Reaction so much better than it would otherwise be.)

I did learn this: Tony Blair is extremely unpopular over there, and not just in the Tory stronghold of Buckinghamshire where I spent most of my time.

But what's on the mind of most in England at the moment isn't the tense situation at 10 Downing Street, nor the tenser one in Iraq. It's the upcoming World Cup in Germany (of soccer, of course -- football, if you will). Specifically, there is much concern, magnified in the press, that star striker Wayne Rooney won't be fit enough to play in the tournament, or perhaps not until the elimination rounds, should England even make it that far (a broken foot is the unwelcome culprit). Simply put, England is World Cup-crazy. The St. George's cross flag, England's flag, is everywhere. Almost every pub promises to show the games live. No doubt much beer will be imbibed. Souvenirs and other World Cup paraphernalia seem similarly ubiquitous. The anticipation is palpable.

Hockey arouses our passion up here in Canada, particularly when one of our teams is deep in the Stanley Cup playoffs (Go Edmonton!) or when our national team competes on the world stage, especially at the Olympics, but nothing -- nothing -- compares to the World Cup (not even the Olympics).

In England, the English players -- Beckham, Owen, Lampard, Gerard, et al. -- are superstars, perhaps even more super, to the English (of which I am one), than our hockey stars are to Canadians (which I am, too). Since Canada isn't much of a soccer nation, at least not on the world stage, I have no conflict here: I'll be cheering for England with passion. And Toronto, one of the world's great multicultural cities, will come alive, too -- well, more alive than usual. This city, home to so many communities from around the world, to so many soccer-playing communities, will burst with passion. I often worry about the state of Canadian nationalism, about the state of our cohesiveness as a national community, about what it means to be Canadian, but now is not the time for that. Now is the time to celebrate one of the world's greatest spectacles. It will be played out in Germany. And -- peacefully, one hopes -- it will be played out here in Toronto, too: Italians, Brazilians, Portuguese, Czechs, Ukrainians, Koreans, Serbs, Croats, Poles... They'll all be out waving their flags, cheering on their teams.

And I'll be there, too, along for the ride, hoping for 1966 all over again, very much, as I am now, concerned about the state of Rooney's foot.

I love England, but it's good to be back in Toronto again.

Go England!

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Science Break

By Creature

Damn liberal media! Why do they continue to push the lefty agenda of evolution?
"Every species we examined had no eyes which means they lost their sight due to evolution," said Dimantman.

The Israelis find a cave supposedly containing an ecosystem millions of years old, and all the media can do is spout this junk science. I just don't get it...

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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While I was out

By Creature

I was out of town, and out of touch, when the news that George Bush's buddy Ken Lay was convicted for his Enron energy crimes and I never got a chance to let out a proper blog-cheer. So, a big belated "yay!" is in order. Yay! Now if only Bush and Cheney would follow in Ken Lay's footsteps, then I would be really happy. But why bring up old news today? Because Robert Scheer, writing at Truthdig, asks the basic question that needs to be addressed:

The Bush family consistently acted to put Enron and its longtime CEO, Ken Lay, into a position to rip off investors and taxpayers. Why is the mass media ignoring that fact now that Lay has been convicted in arguably the most egregious example of white-collar fraud in U.S. history?

Enron is a Bush story, end of story.

Read Scheer here.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The shake-up that wasn’t

By J. Kingston Pierce

This is just so typical of the Bush White House. After months spent dithering over whether to can Treasury Secretary John Snow, who never seemed to engender confidence in the financial markets and appeared to be on his way out the door shortly after the 2004 presidential election (despite administration expressions of “total confidence” in his leadership), George W. Bush finally announced today that he would nominate Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Henry M. Paulson Jr. to replace Snow. But then he promptly signaled that a change of faces and office furnishings at the top of Treasury won’t make a whole lot of difference, because the Republican administration intends to continue pursuing its fiscally irresponsible policy of giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and leaving the next generation with the bills.

“Hank shares my philosophy that the economy prospers when we trust the American people to save, spend, and invest their money as they see fit,” the prez
said during a Rose Garden roll-out of Paulson’s nomination this morning. “The tax relief we delivered has helped set off the economic expansion that we’re seeing today. And one of Hank’s most important responsibilities will be to build on this success by working with Congress to maintain a pro-growth, low-tax environment.”

So much for all the happy talk about how Paulson, Bush’s third Treasury Secretary in just over six years, will have a
bigger role in shaping the administration’s economic policy than did his two successors, Snow and Paul O’Neill. Unlike President Bill Clinton, Bush does not like to share the media spotlight with any other members of his Cabinet--save for Dick “Shooter” Cheney, of course. Nor does he want at Treasury somebody who’ll be overly honest with the American public about the damage he’s doing to the nation’s economic future. The prez continued his campaign of obfuscation and double-talk today, when he told the press: “Hank also understands that the government should spend the taxpayers’ money wisely or not at all. He will work closely with Congress to help restrain the spending appetite of the federal government and keep us on track to meet our goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009.” Who is Bush kidding here? This is a guy who has yet to veto a single piece of congressional spending legislation, even though the U.S. budget surplus is projected this year to reach a record-setting $423 billion and the Defense Department continues to shell out “about $4.5 billion a month on the conflict in Iraq, or about $100,000 per minute,” according to The Seattle Times. Yet Bush expects his Secretary of the Treasury to hold the line on spending?

It might be a bad sign that, on the same day Bush nominated Paulson (who must still be approved by the U.S. Senate), the value of the U.S. dollar sagged in comparison to other major currencies, and the “Dow Jones industrial
skidded almost 185 points.”
* * *
An interesting side note to the Paulson selection: It seems Bush has been caught lying to the American public. Again. On Thursday, May 25, in answer to a press question about whether John Snow intended to leave his Treasury post, the prez answered, “No, he has not talked to me about resignation. I think he’s doing a fine job.” (See the video here.) However, The Carpetbagger Report says that “White House Press Secretary Tony Snow acknowledged today that John Snow and Bush talked on May 20, Snow stepped aside, and Henry Paulson agreed on May 21 to take the job.” Well before Bush claimed not to have talked with the secretary about his leaving.

Spinner Tony Snow sought to excuse the prez’s latest prevarication, saying it was justified, because Bush didn’t want to upset the financial markets before Paulson had been completely vetted for his new job. However, as Carpetbagger’s Steve Benen observes, this administration wasn’t nearly so prudent when it was spreading rumors about John Snow’s short-timer status.

Have you ever seen a president so very unwilling to take responsibility for his actions?

Bush Selects Goldman Chief to Take Over Treasury Department,” by John O’Neil and Jeremy W. Peters (The New York Times); “What’s So Special About Goldman Sachs?” by Daniel Gross (Slate); “Dems Say Oil Execs, Bush Admin. Set to Gain From Estate Tax Repeal” (Raw Story); “What Does the Treasury Secretary Do All Day?” by Brenden I. Koerner (Slate).

(Cross-posted at Limbo.)

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Chip, chip, chip away

By Creature

Today the Bush tilted Supreme Court made it clear that if you blow a whistle in your capacity as a public employee, you will not be protected.

The Supreme Court declared today, in a ruling affecting millions of government employees, that the Constitution does not always protect their free-speech rights for what they say on the job.

In a 5-to-4 decision, the court held that public employees' free-speech rights are protected when they speak out as citizens on matters of public concern, but not when they speak out in the course of their official duties.

Justice Stevens, writing in dissent, explains why this is just dumb:

"The notion that there is a categorical difference between speaking as a citizen and speaking in the course of one's employment is quite wrong," Justice Stevens wrote. He said the majority ruling could have the "perverse" effect of giving public employees an incentive to speak out publicly, as citizens, before talking frankly to their superiors.

The bold is all mine, because Stevens points out the exact hypocrisy of this conservative ruling. Ever since the initial NSA warrantless wiretapping scandal broke in December the Bushes have been crying foul, and cracking down, because the whistle-blowing spooks went to the media, as opposed to going through the proper channels within the system. So, after today's ruling there is one less incentive for a public employee concerned about illegal activity to go to their superiors. Now if they follow proper channels they are not protected under the Constitution. How will the Bush administration square this ruling with their whistle-blowing fears? They won't, because their desire has always been to curtail the whistle-blower, and not the method by which they blow.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Bush nominates Gore lover

By Creature

The big news (wev) out of the White House today is that Treasury Secretary John Snow has resigned (finally) and that the president has nominated Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Henry M. Paulson Jr. to be the new economic mouthpiece (snore).

But wait, thanks to Think Progress we learn Paulson may not be the team player Bush hopes he will be.

President Bush’s new nominee for Treasury Secretary, Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr., not only endorses the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse emissions, but argues that the United States’ failure to enact Kyoto undermines the competitiveness of U.S. companies.
- - -
As a result, Paulson’s nomination is strongly opposed by a coalition right-wing groups seeking to cast doubt on climate science, such as the National Center for Public Policy Research, describing Paulson as “diametrically opposed to the positions of [the Bush] Administration.”

Could this be a White House nomination that really does shake things up? I doubt it. The Bushes rarely let anyone from the outside in. So, I'll go out on a limb here, and say that the Paulson nomination is just more window-dressing for an administration that is biding its time until they get to step down and enjoy the fruits of their criminal capers.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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