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Bush's Secret Government

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posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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Suit Decries New Secrecy in Government

Breaking a tradition of openness that began in 1816, the Bush administration has without explanation withheld the names and work locations of about 900,000 of its civilian workers, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

``Citizens have a right to know who is working for the government,'' said Adina Rosenbaum, attorney for the co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group at Syracuse University, who sued under the Freedom of Information act to get the data.

Since 1989, TRAC has been posting on the Internet a database with the name, work location, salary and job category of all 2.7 million federal civilian workers except those in some law enforcement agencies. The data are often used by reporters and government watchdog groups to monitor policies and detect waste or abuse.

Recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility used the database to identify and locate U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists for a survey. Many of the scientists complained of political intervention into their research.

TRAC used the data to monitor the Bush administration's promise to increase security along the Canadian border after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Six months later, TRAC found Border Patrol agents on that border were up from 331 to just 346. Another year later, the number had reached 515, but not one was assigned to the Canada-Alaska border despite Alaska's potential strategic targets.

The New York Daily News used the data to find the names of guards at a federal detention center where prisoner abuse was alleged. Another reporter used it to find the names of Transportation Security Administration guards assigned to New York's LaGuardia Airport to pursue cargo theft allegations.

``Secret governors are incompatible with a free government,'' the TRAC co-directors wrote the federal Office of Personnel Management last Feb. 2 when the agency withheld the data. ``Basic information about the employees who carry out the day-to-day actions of government is critical for meaningful public oversight...''

OPM spokesman Mike Orenstein said the agency would not comment until it had time to review the lawsuit.

Using FOIA, TRAC has obtained the data on compact discs every three months since 1989. But the federal government began publicly naming its employees, their job category, salary and workplace in 1816...

The last complete data set provided by OPM covered 2003. Since then, all records of civilian employees of the Defense Department have been withheld and name and duty locations were withheld for an estimated 150,000 other civilian workers, the lawsuit said. The others work in 650 occupations at 250 different agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, the National Park Service and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Gary A. Lukowski, OPM's workforce information manager, wrote TRAC in late 2004 that the agency was reviewing its policy ``on disclosure of individual employee records as this relates to the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.''

Last spring, Lukowski forwarded the 2004 discs and noted that the ``major change affecting your request is that individual records for the Department of Defense are excluded from the file provided.'' He told TRAC it would have to request the records from the Pentagon directly.

The lawsuit said that, in violation of the FOIA, OPM did not even mention that another 150,000 names and workplaces had been deleted or why and that OPM has not responded to requests to explain its new policy.




There is simply no excuse for this.


This administration has effectively removed itself from all means of accountability...and the public is blissfully letting it happen....




posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 11:18 AM
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GREAT find.



Originally posted by loam

This administration has effectively removed itself from all means of accountability



That's what it is, all right. No accountability. Modern day fascism.





...and the public is blissfully letting it happen....


How can we stop it loam?





posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
How can we stop it loam?


In my view it starts with the MSM....They should be attacked relentlessly for failing to ask the hard questions or probing what is going on.

In the end, they are a business and there needs to be a grass roots movement that exposes their wilful or negligent complicity in all of this. Fix the free press and all else will follow....



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by loam

Fix the free press and all else will follow....


I agree, and I'll bite.

How?



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by loam

Fix the free press and all else will follow....


I agree, and I'll bite.

How?


Few possible methods there. Their weakness is their need for profit. If you can take away their income, they might see the need to invest in some ACTUAL reporting. Boycott.

Alternatively just create a better, indepdent free press everyone likes more


Great post loam!



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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What about the possibility of peaceful protests at the headquarters and offices of major news outlets? And to make it "fair and balanced" Fox, CNN, (MS)NBC, CBS, ABC would all need to be protested at the same time. The networks would be for starters as well as Time magazine, NY Times, LA Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, etc. It would be pretty hard to ignore thousands of people tearing up/burning newspapers and magazines outside their own offices.

Google "media watchdog" and you'll get quite a few groups like mediacenter.org and fair.org that advocate fairness in reporting.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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Our greatest strength as Americans lies in our overt lust for consumer goods. Before the gravity of this power disappears we must wield it forcefully. Boycott television news completely. It's all scripted. We're told what they need to tell us and nothing more.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by YIAWETA
Our greatest strength as Americans lies in our overt lust for consumer goods. Before the gravity of this power disappears we must wield it forcefully. Boycott television news completely. It's all scripted. We're told what they need to tell us and nothing more.


Unfortunately, unless you have a Nielsen box, none of these networks will care if you watch them or not. You'd have to convince their advertisers that the ratings numbers arent respresentitive of the actual viewership.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 01:43 PM
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I've been boycotting cable news for over a year now (with the exception of Jon Stewart.) It's amazing how much better I feel physically. Seriously, I'm no longer clenched in an ongoing state of rage at something. I still watch Jim Lehrer, listen to NPR, and read newspapers/internet. The cable news channels are just the spawn of the devil. They do nothing but feed the beast of shadenfreud. They offer no informed reporting on anything and are a complete waste of airtime on the same level as infomercials, if not slightly lower. What's ironic is that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (the self described "fake news") is the only place to get actual news on cable!



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by ekul08
Unfortunately, unless you have a Nielsen box, none of these networks will care if you watch them or not. You'd have to convince their advertisers that the ratings numbers arent respresentitive of the actual viewership.


I have a TiVo... does that count? Doesn't TiVo offer "aggregate" information to Nielson? Vote with your TiVo!



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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Did anyone stop and think that information may be kept secret because of the loads of Gov't employees working in the broader middle east. I mean with the kidnappings of not just American employees, but those from the rest of the countries who are lending a helping hand. I think this is for security of these idividuals, and if we can get our hands on that information then those who are hostile could get their hands on it as well. And that wouldnt be very nice, itd be advertising the sensitive information of names and locations of our fellow citizens abroad, this article is just another cheap shot.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by ludaChris
Did anyone stop and think that information may be kept secret because of the loads of Gov't employees working in the broader middle east.


That's the cover story - but this president approved spying on US citizens, and a huge amount of labor is required in the USA to fulfill those orders.




I mean with the kidnappings of not just American employees, but those from the rest of the countries who are lending a helping hand. I think this is for security of these idividuals,


The reason volunteers are being kidnapped and tortured is because the US uses international health volunteer organizations as cover for their military and spying operations. Everyone knows - so innocent volunteers suffer as a result of US military policy.




and if we can get our hands on that information then those who are hostile could get their hands on it as well. And that wouldnt be very nice, itd be advertising the sensitive information of names and locations of our fellow citizens abroad,


Accounting does not require the use of names and locations. Governments need to be accountable. No excuses. When they're not, it's fascism.




this article is just another cheap shot.


That would be your argument you're describing.


[edit on 21-12-2005 by soficrow]


Ram

posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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Here's a link to a nice video...
I hope for you American's - you will find a way...To your best dreams one day...

Enjoy the video... Best regards..
video Link



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 08:37 AM
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Anything goes! Its a free for all now. What is it going to take to make the staunchest pro-Bush people say "enough"?

Whatever is going on you can bet is leading us to a dark path beyond anyones wildest imagination. AND there wont be any change in 2008.
Bush & Company is here to see us into Armageddon, no matter how long it takes. This government isnt going to go away- Nope. I have said that over and over and i stick to my story. Prior to another election it will be simple enough to stage something major and Bush & Co. will stay to protect us- After all, we trust him to care for the people against those evil terrorists....

Anyway, his secret government i am sure is prepared for well beyond 2008.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
Bush & Co. will stay to protect us- After all, we trust him to care for the people against those evil terrorists....


National Emergency + "continuity of leadership" = full dismantling of US checks and balances.





posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 09:29 AM
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= MORON

I don't think Bush is cappable of anything so devious, its the people pulling his strings you have to worried about. He's just a puppet controled by his handlers.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 09:34 AM
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HE IS THE COMANDER IN CHIEF? I dont care who pulls the strings- It is he who is held accountable.


Who else but a (moron) would allow his strings to be pulled, anyway?



posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by SKMDC1

Originally posted by ekul08
Unfortunately, unless you have a Nielsen box, none of these networks will care if you watch them or not. You'd have to convince their advertisers that the ratings numbers arent respresentitive of the actual viewership.


I have a TiVo... does that count? Doesn't TiVo offer "aggregate" information to Nielson? Vote with your TiVo!


Unfortunately, advertisers (Networks income) have little faith in TiVo, basically as the more people watching on TiVo, the more people who can completely skip their ads. Its kind of like their worst enemy, now you mention it.

Everyone get a TiVo.


Actual reporting comes at a cost, unfortunately. Perhaps we need a non-profit, independent media (run by a large body of people, not just one) that can be subscribed to (thus helping pay for any reporting). Subscribers could perhaps have input on what they want covered. Course you'll need some reporters will balls, who aren't scared to ask the hard questions.



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