The paranoid secrecy of the former Cheerleader and his thugs continues. Read this report from the Council on Foreign Relations:
• In six years, President Bush has issued at least 151 signing statements, challenging 1149 provisions of laws. In the 211 years of our Republic to 2000, fewer than 600 signing statements that took issue with the bills were issued. Among recent residents, Reagan issued 71 statements challenging provisions of laws before him; G.W.H. Bush issued 146; Clinton, 105.
• Since 2001, the “state secrets” privilege has been invoked a reported 39 times—an average in 6.5 years (6) that is more than double the previous 24 years (2.46).
• On average since 2000, non-competed contract funding makes up more than 25 percent of all awards: 26.2% ($559.9 billion) In 2006, 25.9 percent ($107.5 billion) of federal contract funding was given out without any competition; another
5.1 percent ($21.3 billion) was awarded without competition because of specific requirements. In 2000, 45 percent of contract dollars were awarded under full and open competition; by 2006, only 34 percent followed such open procedures.
• A 2007 Justice Department Offi ce of the Inspector General report on secret wiretap warrants indicated that the government made 143,074 National Security Letter requests in the period 2003-2005. The number for 2006 remains classified.
• With 2,176 secret surveillance orders approved in 2006, federal surveillance activity under the jurisdiction of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court more than doubled in five years.
It should be incumbent upon all of us to ask the current crop of prospect if they will commit to a less secretive government. Some things should be non-negotiable.
(h/t Andrew Sullivan)