Unintelligent Intelligence

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/Torture, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

Everyone should read the Washington Post's recent effort in investigative reporting, Top Secret America. As a piece of journalism, it represents what actual journalism should be — not what passes for journalism in today's he-said-she-said creaming-heads world. That said, the subject of the piece is distressing. Since George W. Bush, we've had this reckless, ridiculous, uncoordinated expansion of intelligence agencies, all sucking … Read More

The McClellan Book

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Iraq, Plamegate, War on Terrorism/Torture, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

You know, it doesn’t say anything that many of us didn’t already know.  It’s just nice to see someone on the inside of the Bush Administration admit that these things went on: WASHINGTON (CNN) — The incidents that first left then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan "dismayed and disillusioned" about Washington involved the surreptitious release of classified information, McClellan said … Read More

Strong Words

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/Torture, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

In an editorial in today’s New York Times, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton (the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 commission) outright and openly accuse the CIA and the White House of obstruction: The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of … Read More


Ken AshfordWhite House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Well, well, well…. Look how much the Bush Administration has spent for paper-shredding over the past few years. Each bar off the vertical axis represents $500,000 dollars. John Cook: In 2000, the feds spent $452,807 to make unpleasant truths go away; by 2006, the "Cheney Effect" had bumped that number up to $2.9 million. And by halfway through 2007, the … Read More

Policy Trumps Facts: Part XXVII

Ken AshfordHealth Care, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Yet another example emerges of the Bush Adminstration keeping you in the dark: A surgeon general’s report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration’s policy … Read More

Gonzales: Another Bit Of Perjury Yesterday

Ken AshfordCongress, Crime, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

This centers around a meeting held on March 10, 2004 with members of the Bush Administration and the "Gang of 8", members of Congress who head up intelligence committees.  The topic discussed was —  well, that’s the issue. Here’s what Alberto Gonzales said under oath on Tuesday: At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Gonzales repeatedly testified that the … Read More

“Lost” White House E-mail Update

Ken AshfordWhite House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Here’s the story so far. There are two laws at issue here. One is the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all communications and documents from and to the White House be preserved.  This includes, among many other things, e-mail. Then there is the Hatch Act.  This requires that campaigning and other such matters NOT be done within the White … Read More

Breaking: White House “Lost” 5 Million Emails

Ken AshfordWhite House Secrecy1 Comment

In just a two-and-a-half year period – March 2003 to October 2005. That’s astounding.  This from a report just issued by CREW. Of course, "lost" doesn’t necessarily mean what people think it means.  Just because an email is deleted, and even deleted from the "deleted trash" folder, doesn’t mean it’s gone.  From Justin over at ABC: …But “deleted” doesn’t mean … Read More