Morning Report 1/25/06
Gag Orders

On Wampumgate, Katrinagate, Spygate — OK, OK, we're gagging already

Harkavy (Senate Indian Affairs probe)

Heap trouble: Wampumgate crooks Jack Abramoff (whom I adorned with a Choctaw war bonnet) and Mike Scanlon made monkeys out of us all, as their e-mails show.

As if they were pressing a Band-Aid onto a bloody stump, George W. Bush's handlers are trying to stanch the flow of information about scandals past, present, and future. It's enough to make us gag.

In fact, it even makes Joe Lieberman gag. The absurd war on Iraq doesn't make him lose control, but the hawkish conservative Democrat finally reached his limit with the revelations about a Katrinagate coverup. As the AP's Lara Jakes Jordan reports this morning:

    The White House is hampering a Senate inquiry into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina by barring administration officials from answering questions and by not handing over documents, senators leading the probe said yesterday.

    In some cases, staff members at the White House and other federal agencies have declined to be interviewed by congressional investigators, said the top Republican, Susan M. Collins of Maine, and the ranking Democrat, Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. …

    "No one believes that the government responded adequately," Lieberman said. "And we can't put that story together if people feel they're under a gag order from the White House."

We need a full probe of Katrinagate if only to figure out which parts of that scandal of malign neglect stemmed from incompetence by Bush and toxic clown Mike Brown and which from craven politicking related to the war on Iraq and other schemes.

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And what about the White House's contacts with criminal Jack Abramoff (seen above with fellow scumbag Mike Scanlon)? Bush's aides say photos and other info are irrelevant. Uh-huh. And how are we supposed to matriculate at the Wampumgate school for scandal?

Meanwhile, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defends the Bush regime's right to spy on us.

At least people are starting to visibly protest this outrageous behavior. Gonzales was met with a silent, but effective, protest at his Georgetown Law School speech, as the Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports:

    Gonzales's appearance, which was part of a three-day White House campaign to defend the NSA program, was punctuated by a silent protest from more than a dozen students who turned their backs to Gonzales, who continued to speak without acknowledging them and did not take questions afterward.

    Five of the students wore black pillowcases over their heads — an apparent reference to the mistreatment of U.S. detainees overseas — and held a banner roughly paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

And the secrets and secret deals continue to tumble out. Another Post story, this one by Jonathan Weisman, reveals that House and Senate negotiators cut a deal behind closed doors to save the health-insurance industry $22 billion.

Pssst. Pass it on.


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