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Sunday, March 19, 2006

When the cleaning people don't actually move the vacuum, you know they're FBI thugs

By now we know that not only does Bush conduct secret, warrantless, illegal electronic surveillance, He conducts secret, warrantless, illegal physical searches as well. So much for The Fourth Amendment.

But that's old--and expected--news. (Would it be simpler just to make a list of Constitutional clauses these guys haven't trashed? Because I'm having a hard time keeping track.) Here's my favorite part of the US News article that broke this story.

Thomas Nelson is the defense attorney who was a target of the latest outbreak of Republican bag jobs, and who, nine months before the NSA story broke, wrote U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut in Oregon that in the previous nine months, "I and others have seen strong indications that my office and my home have been the target of clandestine searches."

And here's one of those indications:

Late at night on two occasions, Nelson's colleague Jonathan Norling noticed a heavyset, middle-aged, non-Hispanic white man claiming to be a member of an otherwise all-Hispanic cleaning crew, wearing an apron and a badge and toting a vacuum. But, says Norling, "it was clear the vacuum was not moving." Three months later, the same man, waving a brillo pad, spent some time trying to open Nelson's locked office door, Norling says. Nelson's wife and son, meanwhile, repeatedly called their home security company asking why their alarm system seemed to keep malfunctioning. The company could find no fault with the system.

Of course, I'm sure this is an isolated incident, perpetrated by over-zealous, brillo pad-waving, apron-wearing field operatives....