Mendocino County Today: November 7, 2013
by AVA News Service, November 6, 2013
CALTRANS claims that Will Parrish, all by himself, has cost the Willits Bypass project $500,000. DA Eyster seems to think the claim is reasonable, and is vowing to repeat-prosecute Parrish until he gets a conviction. How exactly the half-mil figure was arrived at remains a mystery, but it seems to come from press release claims by Caltrans' Eureka-based media man, Phil Frisbie, meaning it was plucked from mid-air or the darker regions of Frisbie's anatomy.
EYSTER'S prosecution of the AVA's ace environmental reporter is complicated by statements from Bypass contractors that they simply worked around the Bypass protests, did other stuff while the CHP's over-large contingent of highly paid traffic cops — their ridiculous overreaction also called for by their Sacramento bosses and Caltrans itself — plucked some anthromorphs out of their tree sits and pried Parrish off a piece of equipment he'd locked himself to. The CHP has spent a lot of money on 50 guys standing around all summer cracking hippie jokes, but this whole show was kicked off while Bypass lawsuits were pending and Caltrans was ignoring existing law. We look forward to seeing Eyster's witness list. Frisbie on the stand? That should be a real hoot.
NOT LONG AGO, the Little Hoover Commission study concluded that Caltrans was the most administratively top-heavy organization in California governmemt, which is quite a statement considering that the state government payroll is rife with people whose contribution to the public good is, to say the least, opaque.
BIG ORANGE'S gratuitous violation of registered archeological sites in the Bypass construction zone even roused Congressman Huffman to write a letter of “concern” to CalTrans’ boss Malcolm Dougherty.
THE NATIONAL CONGRESS of American Indians went further; they want to suspend federal funds for the Bypass.
IN REPLY, the ineffable Frisbie told Linda Williams of the Willits News, “We are focused on identifying and correcting any organizational inefficiencies contributed to the inadvertent impact to the cultural site. CalTrans will be presenting its findings to the Sherwood Valley Rancheria in a meeting in early December. CalTrans has met with tribal leadership twice since mid September to address concerns and to see what is possible to make things right,” Frisbie said.
SUPERVISOR JOHN PINCHES couldn't even get a second for his motion to set up an ad hoc committee to examine the water exportation question, the long and the short of which is that Sonoma County sells Mendocino County water for millions of dollars and Mendocino County gets a giant mud puddle at Lake Mendocino most summers. All Pinches wanted was a green light to see if Mendocino County might at least make a few bucks out of an historically skewed deal that goes back to the middle 1950s. That deal gave Sonoma County almost all the water stored behind Coyote Dam in Lake Mendocino. (They put up most of the money to build it.) The deal was later amended to say that if Sonoma County sold any of Mendo's scant allocation, Mendo would be compensated.
NEVER HAPPENED. Sonoma County's water agency, at huge profit, has sold water downstream to Marin and its own customers for years; Mendocino County hasn't gotten a dime out of it. We're trying to find out why Pinches' colleagues aren't interested in pursuing the matter. Stay tuned.
PRELIMINARILY, it's clear that the inland supervisors don't want to disturb the inland morass of water districts, all of them in seeming competition for a resource they know is seriously overdrawn and, of course, dependent on a precarious early 20th century diversion at Potter Valley where a hand dug, mile long tunnel supported by ancient redwood beams carries water from the Eel River through Potter Valley (where that community's noble sons of the soil have enjoyed free water for more than a hundred years) to Lake Mendocino where it's stored for Sonoma County. Some of the water, of course, supplies the Russian River which, before 1950s Lake Mendocino, was dry above Healdsburg during the summer months.
THIS PRECARIOUS water delivery “system” has fueled suburban growth from Ukiah to Sausalito, but it leaves so little for Mendo that Redwood Valley, for instance, is maxed out, and the water districts up and down the Russian River from Redwood Valley to Hopland jealously guard their allocations. As does the huge influx of wine grape growers. The wine people have put another large demand on the Russian River's overdrawn waters.
PINCHES is really up against an entrenched, mutually jealous, water apparatus that works for its shortsighted beneficiaries but is not viable over the long haul. Or viable only until the next big earthquake takes out the diversion tunnel at Potter Valley.
COLORADO VOTERS have approved a 25% tax on newly legal recreational marijuana to fund school construction. Opponents argued the tax rate would benefit black market sales. Meanwhile, residents of Portland, Maine, declared victory on a measure to legalize possession of recreational amounts of marijuana.
SAN FRANCISCO VOTERS wisely voted down a millionaire's waterfront condo project, correctly seeing it as a stalking horse for a basketball pavilion the Warriors want to build on the water near the Giants ballpark. Frisco's voters also narrowly passed a measure aimed at keeping the bums out of Golden Gate Park at night.
LONG-TIME POINT ARENA SCHOOL REFORM ADVOCATE SUSAN RUSH was once again turned down for the Arena School Board by south coast voters, getting about 10% (sixth) of the vote in an election that saw an incumbent, Leslie Bates, and three other people with school connections Bob Shimon, Vikki Robinson and Cindy Cione, take the four seats that were up for election. Incumbent Angela Marquez came in fifth, losing her seat. “Once again, I did not make the grade to be put on the board,” said Rush, “but Vikki Robinson did. I am happy because she and I are similar thinkers and I think she will be great.”
THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT rains of the season could arrive Monday or Tuesday. “It's too early to tell specific details about how much rain we'll get. But it certainly looks like rain is on the way,” said meteorologist Austin Cross of the National Weather Service. The precipitation is expected to come with a low pressure system moving toward California from the Gulf of Alaska, Cross said.
ON NOVEMBER 6, 2013 at 1:46pm Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a rural piece of private property located in the 300 block of MacMillan Drive in Hopland, California. Upon arrival Deputies contacted an adult female who said she had been walking her dog on the property. The adult female reported she found a deceased person in a brushy area while on the walk and contacted the Sheriff's Office as a result. Upon conducting scene investigations the deceased person was identified as being Casimir Janusz, who was reported as being a missing person to the Ukiah Police Department on October 16. Janusz was believed to have gone missing in the same area and several law enforcement initiated searches after his disappearance focused on terrain approximately a quarter mile away from where his body was ultimately found. An autopsy has been scheduled for November 7 as part of the coroner's investigation, but initial scene information suggests Janusz died as the result of suicide with a firearm. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)
BACKGROUND: Casimir George Janusz, 36, of Hopland had been sought for questioning in the death of his five-month-old son. Janusz brought the unconscious infant to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center's emergency ward about 9:30 Wednesday morning where the baby died. Police said the infant presented no visible injuries. The cause of death, dependent in this case on toxicology reports, is pending. Janusz disappeared while his son was being examined. His vehicle was soon located on his family's ranch at Hopland, but there was no sign of Janusz. A large-scale police search for him was conducted in the area of family property in Hopland.
ON NOVEMBER 5, 2013, at about 10am, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Officer were detailed to the Howard Memorial Hospital regarding an accidental gunshot wound. Upon arrival deputies spoke with the victim of the shooting and learned he had accidentally shot himself in the hand with a friend’s handgun at his friends residence while they prepared to go target shooting. The victim advised deputies of the location he had been at when the incident occurred and advised it was the home of Ralph Rumble, 38 of Willits.
Deputies responded to the location where they contacted Rumble. Rumble advised the victim’s statements were correct and further advised the firearm was belonged to him (Rumble). Rumble gave consent for deputies to retrieve the firearm from his residence, located in the residence was a .380 caliber hand gun and a 7.62 caliber rifle. Rumble advised both firearms belonged to him and that he had recently purchased them from a friend. Rumble is prohibited from possessing firearms and was subsequently arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of 29805 PC. Rumble is held on $25,000 bail.
(Sheriff’s Department Press Release)
ON OCTOBER 26, 2013 at about 11pm Mendocino County Deputies responded to an agency assistance call from Law Enforcement Officers of the United States Forest Service. The officers reported they had attempted to stop two vehicles leaving the Mendocino National Forest, the occupants of which were suspected to be involved in the cultivation of marijuana on forest lands. As the officers initiated two separate traffic stops, one driver and one passenger from each vehicle, jumped out of the vehicles as they were still moving. Both vehicles crashed with the suspects fleeing from officers into the woods. The four suspects were described as being Hispanic males. Officers searched the area but the suspects were not located. In one of the crashed vehicles officers located in excess of 40 pounds of processed marijuana. On 10/31/2013 around 9:55am a family member of Artemio Garcia Chavez, a 24 year old male, from Eureka, California, contacted the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office to report he'd been in one of the involved vehicles related to this incident and had fled from the officers. His family has not heard from him since 10/26/2013. One of the other involved suspects later told family members that Artemio called him approximately three hours after they fled to say he was “up on the hill and had sprained his ankle” but it was unknown exactly where he was when he called. According to the family member the three other suspects were accounted for but were not interested in coming forward to assist law enforcement with information related to this missing person's case. Mendocino County Deputies, family members, other residents of this area, USFS Fire crews, USFS officers and Mendocino County Search and Rescue Volunteers responded to the area where Artemio fled from the vehicle and conducted a search of the surrounding area but Artemio was not located. His whereabouts are unknown at this time. Artemio is 24 years old, is 5'07” tall, weighing 190 pounds, with black short shaven hair, and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is requesting anyone who has information related to this missing person's case contact the Mendocino County Tip Line at (707)234-2100.
UPDATE: On November 5, 2013, at around 10:20am the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call from a family member of the missing person. He advised the family had posted a $20,000 reward for information leading to the location of the missing person and posted flyers in the Covelo area. Within a short period of time they were contacted by an undisclosed person who told them Artemio was at a known location nearby. The family was taken to the location where they confirmed Artemio was alive and well. The family member did not have any further details about where Artemio had been nor the person who had picked up Artemio and allowed him to stay with them until he was found by family members.
(Sheriff’s Department Press Release)
As the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination nears I wonder how our nation has fared since those idealistic times. On many fronts, like civil rights, women and gay rights and the environment, much has indeed been accomplished. However, on the economic front, America has gone backwards. The gap between the rich and average citizen has vastly widened, most paychecks and the middle class have shrunk, and young people have dimmer prospects than their parents. Pessimism and extremism grows since our economy and government no longer serve average Americans. How did this regression come about? The 1960s civil rights, anti-war, counter-culture, environmental, women's and gay movements scared the ruling class. It responded with the 1972 Powell Memo, which Bill Moyers labeled, “A Call-to-Arms for Corporations” to regain national dominance by funding an unprecedented propaganda campaign to win back Americans' allegiance to “free-market” capitalism. Corporate profits poured into conservative think tanks, PR firms, lobbyists and the mass media, all to convince citizens that government, taxes and unions were bad; unregulated capitalism, privatization and globalization were good. This corporate sell-job worked! Well-funded Rightwing groups, playing on people's ignorance and fears, have rolled back American progress. In JFK's day CEO salaries were 20 times average wages; today they are 200 times. Then the rich were taxed up to 91% of income; it's only 39% today. And many of the giant corporations pay no tax at all! The rich fund the Tea Party to wage a cultural war that obscures their class war. It's one they've been winning for the past 40 years, reversing the gains average Americans had made between 1930 and 1970. The fat cats will continue buying politicians, slanting the media and looting our economy until enough Americans ACT to reverse this disastrous trend.
Tom Wodetzki, Albion
MENDO DA FILLS VACANCIES
Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster has announced the hiring of a former deputy district attorney and two new prosecutors to fill existing staff vacancies. Eyster also promoted a veteran staff member to serve as the supervising DA investigator. Eyster said the new hires and promotion are needed because budgetary constraints at the county level are keeping the office from hiring additional staff to meet current caseload demands. “We need these positions filled just to keep pace,” said Eyster.
Returning to the office is former prosecutor Kevin Davenport, who has been practicing law in Portland, Oregon, since 2006. Davenport previously worked for the office during the administration of former DA Norman Vroman. Eyster said Davenport has joined Deputy DA Tim Stoen in the Fort Bragg office on the Mendocino Coast, and has already prosecuted and won a felony jury trial since his return. “I feel fortunate to be able to rehire a deputy with Kevin’s skill set and overall knowledge of Mendocino County, a proven attorney who was desirous of returning to the quality of life we all enjoy here in Mendocino County,” Eyster said.
DA Eyster said the two new deputy district attorneys are Jessica Abramson, a Sonoma County native, and Jeffrey Boyd, a former Riverside County resident. Eyster said Abramson and Boyd are both assigned to the office’s misdemeanor trial team. Abramson is a 2011 graduate of the Chapman University School of Law. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. She was valedictorian at Healdsburg High School, where she graduated with honors. Before coming to Mendocino County to work as a prosecutor, Abramson was a supervising law clerk for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. She also previously worked in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office during law school, where she was assigned to the office’s gang unit. As noted on the office’s web site, Abramson was successful in convincing a jury to return a guilty verdict in her first jury trial as a prosecutor. New prosecutor Boyd is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was on the Dean’s List. He graduated with his undergraduate degree in 2004 from the University of California, San Diego. Boyd worked as a volunteer attorney in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office before accepting employment with the Mendocino DA’s office. Prior to that, Boyd was in the private practice of law for firms in Riverside and San Diego. He also was a certified law clerk during law school for the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Eyster said Abramson and Boyd are welcome additions to the office. “Jessica and Jeff are both as smart as a whip, and both have already demonstrated a good work ethic. I’m glad they accepted my offers of employment and that we have them on board,” said Eyster.
Eyster’s new supervising DA investigator is Kevin Bailey, a veteran law enforcement investigator and top aide to Chief Investigator Tim Kiely. “I selected Kevin based on a competitive process, where his training, experience and common sense seemed to best match up with my expectations and need for effective leadership, strong work ethic, professionalism and result-oriented investigations,” said Eyster. Eyster said Bailey’s experience reflects “…traits that ultimately help all of us help victims, and traits that bring honor and respect to what we do – and do well – day in and day out.”
(District Attorney’s Press Release)
THE SOOTHING WATERS OF DIRTY SOX
I’d like to add a name and location to Bruce Patterson’s list of names in the October 23 AVA: Dirty Socks Spring in Southern Owens Valley and on the south side of the mostly dry Owens Lake. As one bathes in the therapeutic waters of the spring the logic of the name becomes apparent.
— Harold Ericsson, Harbor City
WHAT A RURAL GROW LOOKS LIKE
Two Arrested, Eight Trimmers Released at the Scene of Marijuana Grow Op Out Hwy 36
Andrew Goff Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: On 11-5-2013, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents and California Fish and Wildlife Officers served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search warrant on a parcel of property near the Burr Valley Road, Highway 36 intersection, Dinsmore. At the this location the officers detained Ronald Mattson, 47 years old and his wife, Angela Mattson, 42 years old. The officers searched the property and located approximately 78 pounds of marijuana bud packaged for sale, 293 pounds of drying marijuana, two handguns, three shotguns, four rifles, scales and packaging material, along with money orders and a thousand dollars in five dollar bills. While at this location the officers located trails and a road that led to two other adjacent parcels. A second Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant was obtained for those parcels and officers located and detained four men and four women. While speaking with the men and women, officers learned they were trimming for the Mattsons. Officers searched the property and located 101 marijuana plants growing outside, ranging from four feet to eight feet tall, all budding. Officers also located approximately 25 pounds of marijuana bud, 106 pounds of drying marijuana and 127 pounds of loose marijuana, along with over $2,000 in cash. After interviewing the trimmers, they were released at the scene. The Mattsons were both arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked for cultivation of marijuana, transportation of marijuana for sale and being armed in the commission of a felony. Their bail was set at $50,000.00. They both posted bail. Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the HumCo Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
(Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Press Release; Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)
Grow Site pics, with Ronald & Angela Mattson
AV FIREFIGHTHERS TOY DRIVE
It’s that time…the AV Firefighters Association will be handing out toys at the Food Bank on December 17th. We need your help! Please drop off a toy(s) or a small donation at the firehouse in Boonville. We need gifts for both male/female ages 1-12 years old. Let’s make everyone’s Christmas a little brighter this year. All That Good Stuff will again be offering a 10% discount for gifts purchased there. Be sure to mention that the toys are for the Toy Drive to get your discount. They will also be available to help you pick out that special gift. If you’re looking for a place to make a local donation we’re sure the Food Bank would be very happy to receive some help.
Thanks, Judy Long and Sarah McCarter, AV Volunteer Firefighters Association, Boonville
ADOPT A WINDOW PROJECT DINNER AND SILENT AUCTION
A benefit for Project Sanctuary
On Saturday, November 16, at the First Baptist Church in Ukiah (300 W. Smith Street) from 5-7pm, join Project Sanctuary and Lia Patterson, local ReMax/Full Spectrum real estate agent, for a fundraising dinner and silent auction to raise the remainder of the funds needed to complete the Adopt A Window project. Guests will enjoy live music with local musician Les Boek, a tri-tip dinner provided by the Forks Market in Calpella, along with side dishes and dessert, and silent auction items from businesses such as Mendocino Bounty, the Golf Course, Grace’s, Shoefly, and more. Proceeds benefit the Adopt A Window project, supporting the ongoing efforts to improve and maintain Project Sanctuary’s 100 year-old transitional safe house, open to women and children victims of domestic violence abuse throughout the county.
Adopt A Window, a project envisioned by Patterson as part of her participation in Leadership Mendocino, a local leadership and professional development program, had an original goal of replacing the windows in Project Sanctuary’s transitional house. This house, donated to Project Sanctuary, is extremely old and requires constant maintenance. The previous windows were single-pane, contributing to costly heating and cooling bills. Project Sanctuary needed to make several repairs to this building that has housed up to five families at a time, but lacked the necessary financial resources. The intent was to replace the old windows with new, double-paned, enery efficient ones that would save the organization upwards of $3,000 annually.
Through community donations from the Ukiah Co-Op and local businesses and inviduals, Patterson raised $6,000 for the Adopt A Window project. On Saturday, October 26, with the help of Mendocino College Sustainable Technology students and three contractors, 16 out of 20 windows were installed. The rest of the windows are on order and the project will be completed as soon as they arrive.
However, when the contractors were inspecting the house, they noticed that its roof was falling apart and lacking gutters. Patterson and Project Sanctuary are now trying to raise another $5,000 to start a fund for home improvements that could go toward large unexpected costs such as these, as Project Sanctuary doesn’t currently have a budget for facility maintenance.
Project Sanctuary is the local resource center for county-wide survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and has both an emergency shelter and a transition house for women and their children fleeing domestic violence. Other services include crisis counseling, survivor support groups, rape crisis advocacy, assistance in obtaining restraining orders, teen support groups, and education sessions in our schools to help kids make healthy choices. All of these services are free of charge, and crisis assistance is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Tickets for the Adopt A Window Project fundraising dinner and silent auction are $25 for one or two for $40, and can be purchased at Mendocino Book Company or Project Sanctuary. Proceeds will have a direct impact on Project’s Sanctuary’s mission to end domestic violence and sexual abuse and will help keep the victims in our community safe and protected. For more information contact Lia Patterson, email@example.com or 707 391-5420.
SECRETARY FRACKER VISITS PA
Good Morning All.
We are expecting a visit/meeting here in Point Arena by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior Sally Jewell, this Friday at 2:00 p.m., November 8, 2013 regarding the Stornetta Public Lands. This is very exciting news, and a significant step in the process of securing our coastline's National Monument recognition!! On Friday Secretary Jewell is expected to meet with stakeholders and members of the public to hear about the community's vision for the continued protection of Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands, a significant and scenic area along the Mendocino coastline in Northern California. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the area provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation and important wildlife habitat. For More Information regarding the Stornetta Public Lands — please follow the link below to the U.S. Dept. of Interior's website — and see the new webcam page for this beautiful Point Arena treasure!!
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ukiah/stornetta.html If you wish to attend please arrive around 1:30 p.m. to check in — the event will start at 2:00 p.m. It will take place at 24000 Highway One, Point Arena* — if the weather is wonderful, we may all walk out back on the bluffs. [[ *note this address is also known as 451 School Street; and serves as the Point Arena Justice Center; Point Arena City Hall; the Coastal Senior Center; M.C. Sheriff Sub-Station; and is the Mendocino County Veterans Hall and most recently, BLM Gateway!! — yep, it's a busy place ]] Thank you — Ms. Alexander Hunter M. Alexander City Administrator/City Clerk
BIG BROTHER’S LOYAL SISTER: HOW DIANNE FEINSTEIN IS BETRAYING CIVIL LIBERTIES
by Norman Solomon
Ever since the first big revelations about the National Security Agency five months ago, Dianne Feinstein has been in overdrive to defend the surveillance state. As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she generates an abundance of fog, weasel words, anti-whistleblower slander and bogus notions of reform — while methodically stabbing civil liberties in the back.
Feinstein’s powerful service to Big Brother, reaching new heights in recent months, is just getting started. She’s hard at work to muddy all the waters of public discourse she can — striving to protect the NSA from real legislative remedies while serving as a key political enabler for President Obama’s shameless abuse of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
Last Sunday, on CBS, when Feinstein told “Face the Nation” viewers that Edward Snowden has done “enormous disservice to our country,” it was one of her more restrained smears. In June, when Snowden first went public as a whistleblower, Feinstein quickly declared that he had committed “an act of treason.” Since then, she has refused to tone down the claim. “I stand by it,” she told The Hill on Oct. 29.
Days ago, taking it from the top of the NSA’s main talking points, Feinstein led off a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed piece with 9/11 fear-mongering. “The Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States was highly organized and sophisticated and designed to strike at the heart of the American economy and government,” she wrote, and quickly added: “We know that terrorists remain determined to kill Americans and our allies.” From there, Senator Feinstein praised the NSA’s “call-records program” and then insisted: “This is not a surveillance program.” (Paging Mr. Orwell.)
Feinstein’s essay — touting her new bill, the “FISA Improvements Act,” which she just pushed through the Senate Intelligence Committee — claimed that the legislation will “bridge the gap between preventing terrorism and protecting civil liberties.”
But as Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Trevor Timm writes, the bill actually “codifies some of the NSA’s worst practices, would be a huge setback for everyone’s privacy, and it would permanently entrench the NSA’s collection of every phone record held by U.S. telecoms.” California’s senior senator is good at tactical maneuvers that blow media smoke.
In late October — while continuing to defend the NSA’s planetary dragnet on emails and phone calls — Feinstein voiced concern “that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn’t satisfactorily informed.” Spinning the myth that congressional oversight of the NSA really exists, she added: “Therefore, our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased.”
As usual, Feinstein’s verbal gymnastics were in sync with choreography from the Obama White House. The “certain surveillance activities” that she has begun to criticize are the NSA’s efforts targeting the phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other allied foreign leaders. Feinstein mildly chided Obama for ostensibly not being aware of the eavesdropping on Merkel’s cell phone (“That is a big problem”), but she was merely snipping at a few threads of the NSA’s vast global spying — while, like the administration as a whole, reaffirming support for the vast fabric of the agency’s surveillance programs.
The White House is now signaling policy changes in response to the uproar about monitoring Merkel’s phone, the New York Times reported on Nov. 5, but “President Obama and his top advisers have concluded that there is no workable alternative to the bulk collection of huge quantities of ‘metadata,’ including records of all telephone calls made inside the United States.”
Feinstein is on the same page: eager to fine tune and continue mass surveillance. With fanfare that foreshadows a drawn-out onslaught of hype, Feinstein has announced that the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold hearings on NSA surveillance. “Her committee is now making preparations for a major investigative undertaking, which is expected to take at least several months,” the Wall Street Journal reports. When the show is over, “The report that results from the probe will be classified.”
With Dianne Feinstein’s hand on the gavel, you can expect plenty of fake inquiries to pantomime actual oversight. She has shown a clear commitment to deep-sixing vital information about the surveillance state, in a never-ending quest for the uninformed consent of the governed. “From out of the gate, we know that her entire approach is to make those hearings into a tragic farce,” I said during an interview on C-SPAN Radio last week. “Her entire approach to this issue has been to do damage control for the NSA…. She is an apologist and a flack for the surveillance state, she is aligned with the Obama White House with that agenda, and we at the grassroots must push back against that kind of a politics.”
(Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org<http://www.warmadeeasythemovie.org/>).