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  • I called the offices of our two Minnesota Senators (Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken) who sit on the Judiciary Committee and then messaged and e-mailed them both the packet info (which I will hand deliver to their Minnesota District Offices when we participate in the “Close Guantanamo Day” on May 23 ( (Unfortunately it was like pulling teeth these last couple years to get either Senator to even acknowledge that torture is wrong and illegal. They are both Democrats but are so worried about offending anyone in the Bush Administration who ordered illegal torture.) Both Senators are loathe to ever disclose their positions on issues generally and their staffers are obviously under strict orders to listen only. No wonder the Judiciary Committee has not been able to conduct effective oversight if they don’t even want to know what’s going on!

  • ColeenRowley commented on the diary post Not in my Name! by D. H. Kerby.

    2012-05-15 11:25:01View | Delete

    I agree that secrecy is one of the biggest underlying problems. I’m not so sure, however, that the oppression or violence done to others abroad necessarily results in an overall improvement in American quality of life given the growing disparities here in the U.S. (Certainly the foreign wars and oppressions might provide cheaper goods and [...]

  • Kevin G. is quite right. Mueller’s promises after 9-11 to adhere to the Constitution and protect civil liberties were quickly broken. The list of valid arguments against extending Mueller’s term even left out Mueller’s history as Acting U.S. Attorney in Boston during the time the FBI was operating murderer Whitey Bulger: In fact it looks as if Mueller could have aided in the cover-up of Bulger’s murders.

    More of us should have spoken out and I’m ashamed that I didn’t do so. Of course I’m cynical that any new FBI Director wouldn’t be worse (as Gonzales and Mukasey were worse than Ashcroft) but at least there might have been some time between Directors and the precedent would not have been established of breaking the 10 year term limit.

    I’m afraid that the author is also right that the extension of Mueller’s term ensures the FBI will continue to commit massive abuse of the law. What Inspector General would now want to conduct any investigations that could embarrass the FBI and Mueller?

  • Last summer’s Washington Post series about “Top Secret America” was well researched and well-written but stopped short of drawing any conclusions. So I just filled in some of the logical and obvious ones: . I have a good idea that most of what’s going on by the 854,000 analysts, agents, contractors and operatives with “top secret” clearances is simply opportunistic and the result of “green light on” type pressure as this is what drove the McCarthyism and 1960′s domestic security cases predicated upon the threat of communism.

    The Oslo terrorism incident should prompt some rethinking since “the bloody mayhem produced by a single Norwegian has no resemblance to the threat perception that has launched a thousand reports, military action across three continents and the massive invasions/occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor is it in any way related to the hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the West’s intelligence machinery.” (Prof. Michael Brenner at

  • The undercover “Karen Sullivan” (who I tend to think was a police woman due to her use of cover identity as a “lesbian former military member”) initially showed up in late spring 2008 spying on a Code Pink planning meeting (that meeting led to making of giant pink lady puppets that paraded on the first day of the “March on the RNC”). I happened to sit next to “Karen Sullivan” at that meeting and told her about our group that had, for several months, been displaying banners on the footbridges over highways, that it was perfectly legal and that we reached a lot of car traffic. We used big red banners that said “Support the troops—End the War” and “Support the Constitution—End the War”. “Karen” the undercover subsequently showed up (I guess to spy on us!) at our bannering vigils at least 4 or 5 more times that summer. I vaguely remember her asking questions and trying to pry a little but mostly I remember her cover story of being a Lesbian who had a bad experience in the military and who had a young daughter. She kept saying: “I want to get involved and do something.” I would think that she must have been wearing a body recorder or something and there must be some tape recordings of our conservations.

    Funny as I would never have expected to have retired from being the Minneapolis FBI legal counsel in 2004 and then only four years later be spied on by a FBI “domestic terrorism” undercover! This type of spying on domestic advocacy groups without a smidgen of suspicion was not legal when I was teaching constitutional law and Attorney General Guidelines to the FBI.

  • ColeenRowley commented on the diary post An Apology to My Government Officials Re: Torture by youmayberight.

    2011-02-08 15:39:22View | Delete

    Recommend you get a job writing for right-wing impressionist Stephen Colbert as this outrage at Bush’s lost “right to travel” liberties is right up his alley!