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Surveillance clang birds

No justice, no accountability:

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge Tuesday to the Bush administration's domestic spying program.

The justices' decision, issued without comment [thanks!], is the latest setback to legal efforts to force disclosure of details of the warrantless wiretapping that began after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The American Civil Liberties Union wanted the court to allow a lawsuit by the group and individuals over the wiretapping program. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, saying the plaintiffs could not prove their communications had been monitored.

The government has refused to turn over information about the closely guarded program that could reveal who has been under surveillance.

You're familiar with the concept of the Clang Bird, right?

That's the kind of bird that flies in every diminishing circles until it finally flies up it's own asshole and disappears. With, for some reason, a "clang" sound.

And so with this decision. The court says that the people suing have to prove they were spied on--and then allows the government to hide the evidence that would prove it!

Clang! (Which is why the parallel track of an attack on the telcos is so important if we're ever to find out what happened to our country; the evidence is really in two places: In the government's hands, as in this suit, and in the telco's hands. Which is why Bush is so desperate to get Congress to halt ongoing court cases and grant the the telcos immunity, to prevent the evidence of his criminal conduct from coming out.)

No justice, no accountability--and no redress.

Tell me again why the Supreme Bush Court is legitimate?

These guys are only there in the first place because Scalia helped Bush steal Florida 2000 in Bush v. Gore. Everything done with Bush nominees is fruit of that poisonous tree.

UPDATE Silly me. This was Judge Jackson's decision, although the AP story, a model of obfuscation, failed to mention that. Greenwald, of course, explains:

recall that in May of last year, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified that through 2004, the Bush administration was doing something with domestic surveillance that was so patently illegal, so extreme and unconscionable, that the entire top level of the DOJ -- including John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Comey -- threatened to resign if it continued. These are the same officials who would go on to endorse the NSA warrantless spying program. That's how extreme they are. Yet whatever it was that the Bush administration was doing back then was so illegal that even these right-wing extremists would have resigned in protest.

What was the Bush administration doing that provoked such an extreme reaction? What laws where they breaking? Even though (according to Comey) those activities ceased in 2004 -- and there is thus no arguable ground for continuing to conceal those activities -- we still have no idea what they did. We're completely in the dark about all of it. And every avenue for our finding out -- Congressional oversight and judicial accountability -- has been blocked, except for the lawsuits against the telecoms. And Congress is on the verge of blocking that final path to discovery and accountability as well.

Don't these facts just speak volumes for themselves? Imagine if, say, Vladimir Putin was accused by his own top officials of systematically spying on Russian citizens for years in ways that were patently illegal, but he then manipulated the courts to ensure he was never accountable, and had his political allies in parliament block any investigations, so that the activities remained concealed forever and he was never made to answer for what he did. Think about the grave denunciations that Fred Hiatt, Charles Krauthammer and the State Department would be issuing over such authoritarian and lawless maneuvering.

That's exactly how our country operates now. When high political officials here are accused of breaking the law, they need not defend themselves. Congress acts to protect and immunize them. The courts refuse even to hear the lawsuits. And executive branch officials are completely shielded from the most basic mechanics of the rule of law.

No hyperbole is necessary to sustain the Putin comparison. It's demonstrated by the facts themselves.

Now I know why the campaign season needed to start so early. There was a lot of distraction that needed to be done.

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