DeFazio: "Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right."

Peter DeFazio wants to see the classified portion of the continuity-of-government plan. But the White House has denied him access.

From the O:

As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says.

Even conservatives are calling this White House on its bizarre secrecy and use of executive power:

Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he "cannot think of one good reason" to deny access to a member of Congress who serves on the Homeland Security Committee.

"I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House," Ornstein said.

DeFazio had asked to see the documents so that he could alleviate the fears of conspiracy-minded constituents. So much for that plan:

"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio said.

Discuss.

Comments

  • jeffk (unverified)
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    The Cheney/Bush regime operates in conspiracy mode most of the time, so yes, DeFazio, there is a conspiracy. They are conspiring to acquire and accumulate power and money. And even if they weren't doing anything wrong/illegal/evil, they'd still want to keep it a secret, because that's the kind of people they are.

  • John-Mark Gilhousen (unverified)
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    He's on the Homeland Security Committee. He needs access to the continuity-of-government plans to do his job! Sheeesh!

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    In some of his most recent photographs, Peter does look a little pink - commie pink if you know what I mean. I can understand Dick Cheney wanting to cut Peter out of the loop. Along with everybody else in the USA who has an IQ over 63, because anybody else might ask why George II and Dick I are screwing the Constitution and the rest of the USA. Don't ask, don't tell.

    Unfortunately, while our elected executive branch continues to trample on the Constitution, the great unwashed electorate continues to ignore everything except the latest episode of "Dancing with the Network Stars".

    Does Democracy require a certain minimum level of voter intelligence? Have we dropped below the minimum?

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    kind of reminds you of the adage that your rights only exist if you exercise them and are willing to fight back against those who would try and prevent you from exercising your rights.

    i wonder if this changes DeFazio's attitude at all towards impeachment.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Par for the course. Why doesn't the Homeland Security Committee subpoena the documents? Why don't they hold the White House in inherent contempt when Bush refuses? Really, in which secret vault is Congress hiding its spine?

    Meanwhile, we learn in the weekly White House Friday press dump that a) the administration advance teams organizes bands of Nazi brown shirts before every public engagement, b) that the surge is officially scheduled through July of '08 as opposed to slipping to November of this year as is being reported in the media, and c) Dick Cheney becomes President for the day tomorrow.

    Happy Weekend.

  • Jesse B. (unverified)
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    Where's the source for this post?

  • wharf rat (unverified)
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    Hi Folks...

    You might also consider that they don't have a plan.

    Regards

  • Ted (unverified)
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    Oh now that's quick, DeFazio. I thought you might have caught on when the sworn testimonies of over 300 firemen who were inside the WTC on 9/11 and witnessed first hand explosions going off in the basement and other levels before the towers started to collapse, but then had all of their testimony withheld from the 9/11 Commission Report, may have cued you. Or maybe the fact that these guys spent so much time denying that they torture people, until they got caught, then started trying to justify the need for American torture.

    So what are you going to do, Pete? Play partisan politics? Talk about 2008 and health care? Be a man and introduce articles of impeachment NOW!!!

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    Ted, if these "300 firemen" who "witnessed first hand explosions" had their "testimony withheld", I'd expect that it would be on some lunatic MIHOP site.

    Nope. Not a single hit on google. So maybe you ought to stick to one of the more established 9/11 "Bush the mastermind" macro-conspiracy theories (that all disagree with each other).

    Or, if you're going to make up your own, you should at least launch your own website about it. And not bother us. We prefer at least a modicum of credibility here.

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    Personally, I can easily believe the "conspiracy" that Bush's people have written dozens of "What to do in a government emergency" that simply expands on their "Unitary" (e.g. dictatorial) Executive theories. And they don't want a Democrat - who would immediately have a press conference about it - to have any access. They'd be immediately embarrassed.

    I'm utterly against this, of course. But I also find it pretty hypocritical of some people, critical of Bush, turning right around and praising Hugo Chavez who not only wants - but has actually gotten - the unitary executive power to shut down T.V. stations and rule by decree.

    And many of them seem to be Made It Happen On Purpose macro-conspiracy theorists.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Am I the only one who wishes my browser had some sort of "9/11 conspiracy" filter?

    Save me a lot of time.

    And headaches.

    The Bushies are as bad as they come, known 'em for 20 years now, the kind of people who would shoot their best friend in the face and not be late for dinner.

    But, using the heroic NYC firemen, with Rudy at the helm, God love them, to make a cheap, beyond the pale political point, well, it's just not right.

  • newspaper (unverified)
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    the source is DeFazio, reported many places including here: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/118489654058910.xml&coll=7

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    Added the source to the original post. Thanks.

    And, PLEASE, this is not a post about 9/11 conspiracy theories. Stay on topic.

  • Ted (unverified)
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    The implication is that the Bush Administration is knowingly acting in defiance of the law to serve its own agenda and doing so in a manner that is in direct conflict with our constitutional system of government. There is a clear pattern of secrecy and non-democratic behavior that is always done under the rubric of "national security." Always.

    So I would argue that just as you can't separate the Burning of the Reichstad in Nazi Germany from the sequence of events that led to the horrible slaughter of the Jewish people and the Holocaust, neither can you separate the unanswered questions of 9-11 from the PATRIOT Act, CIA renditions, the run up to the war, Libby Gate, attorney gate, etc.

    My point is that there is a pattern to the abuses of the Bush Admin, the secrecy, the refusal to comply with checks and balances, facts that are conveniently ignored, etc. You can pick any one of a dozen "conspiracy theories" related to this Administration and the pattern of obfuscating facts and obstructing justice will be there. Yet "impeachment is off the table."

  • Troix (unverified)
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    Inherent contempt proceedings are the only available route for Congress to fight the absurdly expanding presidential/republican obstructionism. Until I hear DeFazio beating that drum (and maybe he is, but I haven't heard it), I really don't want to hear any mock surprise at being denied access.

    And I can't help but respond to this nugget:

    But I also find it pretty hypocritical of some people, critical of Bush, turning right around and praising Hugo Chavez who not only wants - but has actually gotten - the unitary executive power to shut down T.V. stations and rule by decree.

    If CBS actively promoted and helped a corporate coup of the US govt., I think you'd agree they shouldn't be allowed to have their broadcasting license renewed. Hell, Chavez didn't even "shut down" the tv station (and we're only talking one here)-- just took away their governmentally owned frequency access. They still exist and are continuing their pro-big business stories online and in print. Like him or not, at least Chavez was truly democratically elected. Twice. And, as far as I can tell, he operates within the rule of law in Venezuela.

  • QuestionGirl (unverified)
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    What ISN'T a secret with these guys?

    OT, I wanted to say how much I like your blog!! A new find for me today!!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Let's consider a little piece of history that seems to have been forgotten. After Bush and Cheney took power they arbitrarily canceled the release of the Reagan-Bush, Sr. era papers. Why? Too much embarrassing material? If so, or for whatever reason Bush, Jr. and Cheney most likely have a lot more material of their own that they wouldn't want out in the public domain. So how to prevent this? Shredder? That's one possibility. Clean hard drives? That's another. How about if Bush invoked a directive that would place all governmental powers in his hands in the case of a catastrophic emergency and "a catastrophic emergency" occurred just before the November 2008 elections? This tactic has worked in the past and could work again.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Let's consider a little piece of history that seems to have been forgotten. After Bush and Cheney took power they arbitrarily canceled the release of the Reagan-Bush, Sr. era papers. Why? Too much embarrassing material? If so, or for whatever reason Bush, Jr. and Cheney most likely have a lot more material of their own that they wouldn't want out in the public domain. So how to prevent this? Shredder? That's one possibility. Clean hard drives? That's another. How about if Bush invoked a directive that would place all governmental powers in his hands in the case of a catastrophic emergency and "a catastrophic emergency" occurred just before the November 2008 elections? This tactic has worked in the past and could work again.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    After a long tortuous segment on Meet the Press just now, Sen. Russ Feingold got a few minutes to pitch his censure resolution against Bush et al. When asked if he would get Republican support, he only mentioned one colleague by name, Gordon Smith, noting his use of the word "criminal" with regard to the Iraq war. Will Smith take the bait?

  • Jon (unverified)
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    "9/11 Commission Report bars 503 1st responder eyewitnesses" www.youtube.com

  • Blueshift (unverified)
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    As much as I support Congress finding the President, et al. in contempt, I'm afraid we have a more serious hurdle to overcome first. The biggest story no one else covered on Friday was this:

    -WashPost Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases

    That's right, folks. The Administration, through an extremely convoluted argument, is saying that because US Attorneys are members of the Justice Department, which technically belongs to the executive branch, and because the President has already decided that he has executive privilege, US Attorneys will not be permitted to carry out Congress' contempt directive. The President just expanded his powers exponentially, and nobody seems to be concerned!

    That's right.

  • zilfondel (unverified)
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    I think Bush and Cheney are aliens. That's why they don't communicate so well and appear extremely uncomfortable in front of television cameras, because it is difficult for aliens to adopt human social customs.

    Not to mention the awful jokes Bush makes, like the soldier who lost his legs in Iraq and Bush says "we'll get 'em some new legs!"

  • CharlieL (unverified)
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    The Friday announcement about not being able to be held in contempt wasn't so much NEWS as simply THREAT.

    Any time Congress holds somebody in contempt it must be passed to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to take it to a Grand Jury and get an indictment. It is VERY unlikely that the Bush-appointed and "Loyal Bushie" would do that, but just in case, they are saying that they won't LET him (or any other D.O.J. employee) do it.

    The only way to actually get some accountability for the Rethuglican criminals in this administration who scoff at the Constitution and ignore the Bill of Rights and U.S. Law is by INHERENT CONTEMPT, bypassing the D.O.J. and taking the contemptable (and in contempt) Rethuglicans into Congressional custody for a trial in the House and "imprisonment" there till the conclusion of the House's term. With Habeas Corpus no longer a right, they can stay there the 500+ days and it will be longer than Scooter got.

    That DeFazio hasn't been SCREAMING about this from every podium, press conference, sit-in, and other venue since it occured is a VERY bad sign. This was an OUTRAGE and should be corrected IMMEDIATELY!

  • Doug Stanhope (unverified)
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    Maybe they don't want him stuffing sensitive documents down his pants and in his socks, like 'ole Sandy Berger?

  • Dan Kelly (unverified)
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    @Steven Maurer: Here is a link to the testimony of many people who said they heard explosions in the WTC (firefighters, WTC workers, etc.). 300 may be high, but it's well over one hundred firefighters alone.

    http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/survivors.html

    Here's what John Lear, son of Bill Lear, the founder of the Lear Jet Corporation, had to say about 9/11 (Bear in mind, Lear is a retired commercial airline pilot with over 19,000+ total hours flown in over 100 different types of planes for 10 different airlines in 60 different counties around the world. He flew for over 40 years. He holds every certificate ever offered by the FAA and has 23 different FAA type ratings. He held 17 world records including speed around the world in a Lear Jet Model 24, set in 1966. He was presented with the PATCO award for outstanding airmanship in 1968, and the Symons Wave memorial. His flight experience includes Boeing 707 and 727, McDonnell Douglas DC-8, Lockheed L-1011 and many others):

    "Well, you know, five minutes after it happened, I knew that it was a scam. ... No Boeing 757 ever crashed into the Pentagon. No Boeing 757 ever crashed at Shanksville. ... And no Arab hijacker, ever in a million years, ever flew into the World Trade Center. And if you got 30 minutes I'll tell you exactly why he couldn't do it the first time. Now, I'd have trouble doing it the first time...Maybe if I had a couple tries to line up a few building, I could have done it. But certainly not the first time and certainly not at 500 or 600 miles an hour."

    I highly recommend going through this site as thoroughly as possible. It is a collection of well-credentialed people from engineers, pilots, architects, and many high-ranking members of the armed forces and the CIA, among other entities. In other words, it's not a bunch of "conspiracy kooks." Discovering the truth about 9/11 may well be the most important endeavor in this country's history. http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/

    Here's what Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, known as the "father of Reaganomics," former Wall Street Journal editor (this guy is no radical nut case, to say the least) has to say recently on the subject of false flag operations and Bush invoking martial law: http://www.vdare.com/roberts/070718_wakeup.htm

    Read all Roberts' columns here (he's been blackballed by the mainstreamed media):

  • Ted (unverified)
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    I have to thank everybody for supporting me on the hypocrisy of this thing. What I mean is, why is it okay to suspect Bush/Cheney et al of lying about the Yellow Cake Uranium, about torture, about vote fraud, FDA clearance of 911 dust, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, but critics are scared #@%$less at the thought of suggesting the same pattern of behavior may extend to 911.

    I was very proud of Thom Hartmann today, who said in his show that Bush was under a lot of pressure, but was suddenly quite confident in the weeks leading up to 911 when U.S. allies Israel, Russia, Germany, and France ALL warned that they had intelligence indicating an imminent attack on U.S. soil, some implicating the hijack of airplanes.

    And yet Condi Rice stated under sworn testimony, "Nobody could have anticipated..." Yet intelligence documents and preparedness exercises dating back to the 1970s clearly indicated that the U.S. had a broad, cross-functional awareness that planes might be used as weapons some day.

    I don't want to promulgate "conspiracy theories." I want people to be true Americans, look at the evidence, reject what they don't accept, and retain what they do. Then evaluate the evidence you retain. Hartmann said that he believed the Bush Admin may well have stood back and did nothing, ordering the nation's defenses to 'stand down' as a matter of political opportunism. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan justice official suggested the same thing, as have many other very prominent members of the upper-crust political establishment.

    Now is the time to have the balls of Paul Revere and be willing to ride through the streets sounding alarm. It's like Pascal's Wager--the cost of doing nothing is eternal damnation for the nation, yourself, and your siblings. Better to prepare for the worse and at least have the courage to believe that the worst might be at hand, than to be too cowardly to do nothing at all.

  • T. Paine (unverified)
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    A "knee-jerk overextension of power"? That's an interesting way of describing a clear attempt to establish a secret govt, sneering at the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend.

    They have granted themselves dictatorial powers in the event of a "terrorist" attack (which is whatever they decide it is, apparently). They've refused to allow the citizens' representatives to even see the plan. This HAS to be treason. Again, this HAS to be treason.

    We also have Chertoff telling us he "senses" an attack coming soon. What? This is what we get from the head of the DHS six years after 9/11? Over a trillion dollars spent on "defense" and pointless wars (to fight them over there...), and this the outcome? They sense another attack is coming?

    Think this through and weigh the evidence. They would not have laid out a detailed plan and written "laws" that allow a dictatorial seizure of power if they weren't intending on using it. They'll leap at the first opportunity to free themselves from that burdensome Constitution. Does anyone doubt this?

    And isn't it duplicitous for them to say they can "sense" an attack without knowing enough to stop it? Isn't it more likely that the "opportunity" will be orchestrated by devils within DoJ, DoD, and intelligence?

    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people... Where is it today? In the hands of a dictatorial executive, a complicit Congress, and an embedded fourth estate. There aren't enough people who understand or believe this is happening yet...but we're getting there. Listen to Ron Paul!

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