Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bushco: Breaking Laws All Over the World?

Remember the recent controversy about the New York Times so-called treasonous actions in publishing the story about the use of the international banking program known as SWIFT? The fearosphere was in such an uproar that it willfully overlooked the fact that its use had been public knowledge for years and that Bush's minions had talked about it in the past. The New York Time's Frank Rich was more than a little pissed off about the reaction, to say the least.

Well, now via The Guardian, we learn that the use of SWIFT to track suspected terrorist financing may actually be illegal overseas:

A covert programme under which confidential information about British banking transactions is passed to the CIA with the full knowledge of the government may breach both British and European law, the Guardian has learned.

The information commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act, is investigating the arrangement, which has seen details of computerised transactions from around the world passed to the CIA in an attempt to spy on the financiers of jihadist terrorism.
A spokesman for the information commissioner told the Guardian that the privacy issue was being taken "extremely seriously". If the CIA had accessed financial data belonging to European individuals then this was "likely to be a breach of EU data protection legislation", he said, adding that UK data protection laws may also have been breached if British banking transactions had been handed over. The commissioner is requesting more information from Swift and the Belgium authorities before deciding how to proceed.

Which begs the question, of course: if it is found to be a breach of law, what will be done about it? It's not like Bush surrenders his almighty power to anyone and his serial law-breaking in the US is quite well-known. Frankly, if the Republican congress had the power to do so, they'd retroactively change EU and British laws to cover Bush's butt, as they have in the US.

So, considering that British parliamentarians, already incensed with sock puppet Blair's pandering to Bush, may exert some power to end the surveillance of British bank accounts - even though representatives from SWIFT claim they gave out the information based on 'legally issued subpoenas' - Bush Power™ may be dealt one big blow from across the pond after all. And, if that happens, count on the fearosphere to then label those Brit MPs as treasonous, traitorous terrorist-appeasers just like they did to the NYT. That fact that they're British wouldn't even factor into their use of that label since anyone of any nationality around the world who opposes the Great White House's policies is a traitor to America. After all, didn't the world say 'we are all Americans now' after 9/11?

Let's hope that commissioner doesn't find himself to be a guest of the CIA on a sudden late-nite plane ride to Uzbekistan.

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