What Goes Around Comes Around

Remember the proverb? Sow the wind, reap the motherfucking whirlwind, suckahs:

The right-wing blogs, Fox News, and the usual gang of idiots are all up in arms, so to speak, about a report that was released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently. Glenn Greenwald provides a summary:
Right-wing polemicists today are shrieking in self-pitying protest over a new report from the Department of Homeland Security sent to local police forces which warns of growing “right-wing extremist activity.” The report (.pdf) identifies attributes of these right-wing extremists, warning that a growing domestic threat of violence and terrorism “may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and “groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.”

Conservatives have responded to this disclosure as though they’re on the train to FEMA camps. The Right’s leading political philosopher and intellectual historian, Jonah Goldberg, invokes fellow right-wing giant Ronald Reagan and says: “Here we go Again,” protesting that “this seems so nakedly ideological.” Michelle Malkin, who spent the last eight years cheering on every domestic surveillance and police state program she could find, announces that it’s “Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real!” Lead-War-on-Terror-cheerleader Glenn Reynolds warns that DHS — as a result of this report (but not, apparently, anything that happened over the last eight years) — now considers the Constitution to be a “subversive manifesto.” Super Tough Guy Civilization-Warrior Mark Steyn has already concocted an elaborate, detailed martyr fantasy in which his house is surrounded by Obama-dispatched, bomb-wielding federal agents. Malkin’s Hot Air stomps its feet about all “the smears listed in the new DHS warning about ‘right-wing extremism.'”

The ultimate reaping of what one sows: right-wing edition

[links from original]

As Glenn points out, the same people who are now complaining about this situation were some of the main cheerleaders for the domestic surveillance and human rights abuses of the Bush Administration. This report has opened a rich vein of irony that may supply all our needs for decades.

Nay, Cujo359: I think this mother lode will last us for centuries.

I have nothing to add. Cujo, Glenn, and Brendan have said it all for me:

Thanks to the efforts of conservatives and wingnuts over the past 8 years, Obama has the power to lock you up forever, with no charges. We tried to warn you.

Thanks to the efforts of conservatives and wingnuts over the past 8 years, Obama has the power to tap your phones without a warrant. We tried to warn you.

Thanks to the efforts of conservatives and wingnuts over the past 8 years, Obama has the power to have you waterboarded if he wants to. We tried to warn you.

Over and over we tried to warn you. Bush will not be president forever. The Republicans will not have a permanent majority. Do you really want Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton empowered to lock you up with no recourse to the judicial system?

You made your bed, and now you can lie in it. Oh, and how does it feel to know that YOU’RE being watched now? Honestly, if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Suck it up, bitches. This is the brave new world you ordered for us. And you’re the ones who ensured there’s a no-returns policy, too bad so sad. And the most pathetic thing? You stupid fucking Cons don’t even have enough insight to realize you brought it on yourselves.

Pathetic.

This Is Why We Limit Police Powers

One of the common arguments amongst the law-and-order crowd is that we don’t have to worry about giving law enforcement agencies unfettered surveillance powers because they’ll only use them against the guilty. “If you’re innocent, you have nothing to worry about!” some perky authoritarian will chirp. “We can’t tie their hands!” Which sounds great and reasonable until news like this brings the kumbaya chorus to a rude end:

In July, the Washington Post reported on undercover Maryland State Police officers conducting surveillance on war protesters and death penalty opponents. Today, we learn that the monitoring was worse, and more pervasive, than first believed.

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored — and labeled as terrorists — activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a “security threat” because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. Angry consumers fighting a 72 percent electricity rate increase in 2006 were targeted. The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation.

One of the possible “crimes” in the file police opened on Amnesty International, a world-renowned human rights group: “civil rights.”

And people wonder why “civil-liberties types” worry about government abuse when it comes to surveillance of Americans.

Isn’t there some old police saying that states, “Everybody’s guilty of something?” Apparently, the MD state police took the next logical step and decided that they could make everybody guilty of something. The kumbaya chorus should keep this in mind the next time they’re prattling about how the police would never ever target the innocent.

The best law enforcement officers tend to take a jaundiced view of humanity. The worst tend to employ their police powers to enact their sadistic authoritarian fantasies. American history is full of mad, bad and simply mistaken policemen abusing their powers. This is why we can’t give them power without limits, which is something Antonin Scalia seems to have a difficult time understanding. If the above case doesn’t provide a wake-up call, Ed Brayton has another:

Ever since Justice Scalia declared that there was no more need for a rule against no-knock raids because there was a “new professionalism” among police, Radley Balko has been mocking that claim with example after example of corruption and incompetence by the police. Here’s a perfect one to add to the list. Jonathan Turley has the story:

Police in Galveston, Texas are being sued for allegedly arresting a 12-year-old Dymond Larae Milburn outside of her home as a prostitute in 2006. The girl did not realize that the plainclothes officers were police and fought back as she screamed for her father inside the house. She was reportedly beaten by the officers and ended up with sprained wrist, two black eyes, a bloody nose, and blood in an ear. Weeks later, the police arrested her for resisting arrest.

Sgt. Gilbert Gomez and Officers David Roark and Sean Stewart have insisted that their conduct was entirely appropriate.

The police were responding to a report of three white prostitutes working in the area, but some how ended up arrested and roughing up a 12-year-old black girl in front of her house.

The honor student was then arrested at her middle school on a charge of resisting arrest — but a mistrial prevented further prosecution.

Because it’s really easy to confuse a 12 year old black girl in her front yard for 3 adult white prostitutes on a street corner. And by the way, she was several blocks from where the prostitutes were allegedly at.

[snip]

This is a perfect example of Scalia’s new professionalism. An amateur would have been fooled by her clever disguise as a middle school honors student of an entirely different race far from the scene of the alleged crime. But not these professionals.

div.blogMain p.newMeta2 a {display: block; float: left; margin-right: 24px; padding: 3px 0 3px 24px; background-position: 0 50% ! important; background-repeat: no-repeat;} Oh, yes. Beating a young black female. Uber professional, that is. We might as well throw the laws limiting police power and behavior right out the window, because they’d obviously never abuse their authority.

Police these days are so super-professional, in fact, that you can’t find stories of them killing people with the enthusiastic over-use of tasers here, here, here, here, here, and here. Oh, and a nice story about police shooting a man who took a Taser here. Oh, and did I mention that was all during the month of December? I especially liked the one about the man in diabetic shock getting shocked, didn’t you?

I’m not going to spend the next paragraph being fair-and-balanced and saying how much I wuv da police. Anyone who’s read this blog for a long time knows I respect and appreciate the vast majority of our policemen and women. Calling for clear and strict rules for them to follow, laws that restrict their behavior, and limits on their power doesn’t diminish that appreciation. Corruption and beatings and killings do. Things like that stain the reputations of the officers out there doing the job right. They make it harder for good officers to do their jobs.

For their sakes, let’s make it harder for law enforcement to go to such ridiculous extremes.

President-Elect Obama, Report to the Woodshed

This may surprise you all a bit, but I’m no blind supporter of President-Elect Obama. Just visually impaired. But even through the mists of my rose-colored spectacles, I can see when it’s time to take the man out to the woodshed for an intimate discussion with the Smack-o-Matic.

This is that time. I discovered part of the reason for his ridiculous vote on FISA, which has been the only thing he’s ever done that’s stuck in my craw. And now it seems that the thinking – or lack thereof – that went into that vote could influence his presidency in all the wrong ways.

Glenzilla sez:

Last Wednesday, I wrote:

It simply is noteworthy of comment and cause for concern — though far from conclusive about what Obama will do — that Obama’s transition chief for intelligence policy, John Brennan, was an ardent supporter of torture and one of the most emphatic advocates of FISA expansions and telecom immunity.

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan noted that observation but then linked to this post from James Gordon Meek of the Counterrorism blog, which reported that Brennan — a top CIA aide to George Tenet during most of the Bush administration — is a leading candidate to replace Mike McConnell and become Obama’s Director of National Intelligence. Meek, not providing any links or citations, wrote: “Among many things Democrats like about the softspoken Brennan are his anti-torture views” (emphasis added). Andrew is right when he says: “They both can’t be right.”

Glenn then goes on to paint, in lavish detail, the portrait of a man who may think waterboarding is a bit beyond the pale, but everything else is right and just and For Our Nation’s Safety. The man hasn’t spoken out against the other “enhanced interrogation” techniques that would be called what they are – torture – if this wasn’t America. He’s a big fan of the extraordinary renditions. He’s cheerled for some of the worst of the neocon abuses. And Obama apparently listens to him:

And in July, 2008, NPR attributed Obama’s reversal on FISA and telecom immunity to the fact that he was relying on the advice of Brennan, an emphatic supporter of those policies:

What’s important here is Obama’s reference to the information he’s received. He’s advised on intelligence matters by John Brennan, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Like many intelligence professionals, Brennan says the FISA program is essential to the fight against terrorism. By adopting Brennan’s view, Obama improves his standing with the intelligence community. For someone looking ahead to a presidential administration, that’s important.

This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you, Obama, old son. I trust you, but not in this. So let’s just get this over with.

What the fuck are you doing listening to this fuckwit?

You and I both love this country and want to protect it, but you don’t protect it by breaking its laws. You don’t protect it by spying on its own citizens. You don’t protect it by condoning torture and throwing the Geneva Conventions out the window. If you do all of these things in order to protect America, you’re turning America into a country that isn’t worth protecting.

We elected you to roll back all of these abuses. We didn’t elect you to continue them. We expect you to defenistrate the intelligence “experts” who got snowed by the Bush regime’s 24-inspired cowboy covert operative mentality. We want those fuckers tossed out of the highest window you can find. There are plenty of sober, superbly skilled intelligence experts who can advise you how to protect this country while restoring its laws and reputations to the condition they were in before Bush & Co. came along and shredded them along with America’s international reputation and pride.

Do not fucking let us down.

Don’t let America down, and don’t let the world down. You rode in on a wave of international hope and joy. If you let this freakish bullshit continue in the name of national security, that hope and joy will turn to anger and disillusionment faster than you can say “extraordinary rendition,” our reputation goes right back down the toilet, terrorists get to point to you and say, “See? They’re still the Great Satan. Here, strap on this bomb!” and we are no better off than where we began. Worse, in fact. America expects better of you, and so does the world, and if those expectations are dashed, we’ll make all those bitter people in rural America who voted against you because you’re some super-scary socialist uber-liberal look positively cheerful.

I don’t care if you keep Brennan on. But you should take everything he says with a fucking salt block, and fuck this making him Director of National Intelligence. Fuck this listening to the little bugger spew neocon bullshit as if any of it has a place in a fucking democracy. It doesn’t. We do not torture, we do not engage in wholesale spying on our own fucking citizens, and we do not throw the rule of law out the door just because it makes the spies work harder. The fact that we did these things for eight fucking years should be an abomination, not the norm.

That is what you need to etch onto your heart. That is what you need to bring us back to. Talk to those people in national security who did a stellar job of it under Clinton. Talk to those people who saw 9-11 coming without the “benefit” of warrantless wiretapping, torture, and mayhem, and would’ve prevented it if the fucking president hadn’t been too busy playing rugged rancher to give two shits about the safety of this country. Put a person in charge of national intelligence who’s actually demonstrated some.

We didn’t elect you to continue the abuses of the Bush years. We elected you to put a stop to them. All of them. Do it.

I trust we won’t have to have this little talk again, but remember: the Smack-o-Matic is always right here waiting.

Well, Now. This Could Get Interesting

Seems like our new Administration may have no choice but to uncover and punish the abuses of the previous one:

Wired is reporting that a potential army of whistleblowers-in-waiting have been talking to reporters and media outlets saying “call me on January 20th”, the day the White House changes hands.

“I’d bet there are a lot of career employees in the intelligence agencies who’ll be glad to see Obama take the oath so they can finally speak out against all this illegal spying and get back to their real mission,” says Caroline Fredrickson, the ACLU’s Washington D.C. legislative director.

New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh already has a slew of sources waiting to spill the Bush administration’s darkest secrets, he said in an interview last month. “You cannot believe how many people have told me to call them on January 20. [They say,] ‘You wanna know about abuses and violations? Call me then.'”

Is there an army of people chomping at the bit to spill the beans? I sure hope so. But it is up to both the new administration AND Congress to create a hospitable environment for that. I know Obama said no witch hunts, I’m not suggesting that, but we cannot sweep the depredations of the last two terms under the rug in that name of “moving on.”

If new whistle-blowers do emerge, Fredrickson hopes the additional information will spur Congress to form a new Church Committee — the 1970s bipartisan committee that investigated and condemned the government’s secret spying on peace activists, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other political figures.

If any of you reading this blog are among those potential whistleblowers, I just want to say one thing: go for it. This country needs you to stand up and expose exactly what happened over the last eight years. We need to ensure it never happens again. The only way to do that is to get the full truth out.

It will be the greatest service you ever performed for your country.

An Urgent Question for Tonight’s Debate

The ACLU sent me an email with an interesting question. I’d dearly love to have the answer to this one:


Tomorrow night, at the last debate, one thing we can be sure of is that Barack Obama and John McCain will go out of their way to tell us how much they respect America’s fighting men and women. There’s a simple test that moderator Bob Schieffer can use to see if they mean it.

He can ask them how and when they plan to put an end to our government’s ineffective and unnecessary spying on the personal phone calls of innocent Americans, including the phone calls of military personnel serving far away from home.

Late last week, two whistle-blowers — former National Security Agency (NSA) military intercept operators — the people who actually listen in on phone calls — revealed that hundreds of innocent Americans, including soldiers and humanitarian workers for the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, were routinely and intentionally eavesdropped on.

It’s hard to think of a more insulting way to disrespect those serving our nation and the world overseas than intruding on their personal, sometimes intimate, phone calls back home.

Email Bob Schieffer, and tell him to ask the candidates about warrantless NSA spying on innocent Americans, including military personnel and international relief workers. (Clicking on this link will open up a new window in your browser.)

Anyone vying to be our next Commander in Chief should have a ready answer. The only way to stop this reckless spying is to make sure the NSA does not have unchecked spying power. That is why the ACLU is challenging the FISA Amendments Act with our Amnesty International v. McConnell lawsuit brought on behalf of an impressive array of journalists, human rights organizations and lawyers.

I can hardly wait for McCain’s answer….

Bush Lied, Abused Surveillance Powers. In Other News, the Sun Rose this Morning

Anyone surprised by this has bounced their reality check:

In the most unsurprising revelation imaginable, two former Army Reserve Arab linguists for the National Security Agency have said that they routinely eavesdropped on — “and recorded and transcribed” — the private telephone calls of American citizens who had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. The two former NSA employees, who came forward as part of journalist James Bamford’s forthcoming book on the NSA, intercepted calls as part of the so-called “Terrorist Surveillance Program,” whereby George Bush ordered the NSA in 2001 to eavesdrop on Americans’ calls in secret, without first obtaining judicial approval as required by the law (FISA). That illegal eavesdropping continued for at least six years — through 2007.

The two NSA whistleblowers, Adrienne Kinne and David Murfee Faulk, were interviewed by ABC News’ Brian Ross. Kinne said that “US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and ‘collected on’ as they called their offices or homes in the United States.” He also said his co-workers “were ordered to transcribe these calls.” Faulk told Ross: ”when one of my co-workers went to a supervisor and said: ’but sir, there are personal calls,’ the supervisor said: ‘my orders were to transcribe everything’.” He said that the intercepted calls included highly personal and intimate conversations and even phone sex.

Because eavesdropping on pillow talk is ever so important to our vaunted national security.

This is what comes of those “trust us” arguments put forth by the government, especially Bush’s regime. Grant government power without meaningful constraints, and you get the NSA transcribing every sigh and naughty word of an officer’s call to his Stateside wife. And what do they do with this critical intelligence? What would you do if you were an NSA employee, ostensibly on the hunt for terrorists but forced to listen to nothing but bread-and-butter American conversations all day?

[Former Navy Arab linguist David Murfee] Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.

“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News. […]

That’s right. This is why we had to grant Bush sweeping powers to eavesdrop on Americans: so bored bureaucrats could waste their time passing around sweet nothings they had no business listening to in the first place.

But remember: if you’re not guilty of anything, you have no reason to fear Big Brother might be listening. Wasn’t that one of the assurances we got when they were cramming this program down America’s throat? Isn’t that always the lie?

But maybe, you think, it’s worth risking a few abuses in the interests of America’s safety. After all, a program thorough enough to catch journalists, humanitarian workers, and military brass in flagrante delicto has to be catching all the bad guys.

If that’s your thinking, you’d best think again:

These abuses aren’t merely grotesque invasions of privacy and civil liberties, though they obviously are that. Independently, surveillance abuses undermine genuine counter-terrorism efforts and national security interests in the extreme. If NSA agents are listening in on the calls of innocent Americans, including journalists and aid workers — including their intimate calls and even their “phone sex,” as Faulk said — then that means they’re not listening in on actual terrorist suspects. That’s why, as Rep. Rush Holt among many others have long argued, allowing oversight-less eavesdropping not only guarantees civil liberties abuses but also destroys genuine counter-terrorism efforts.

That’s right. While NSA agents are busy passing around titilating bits, they’re missing the actual terrorists plotting actual attacks. Do you feel safer now?

This is nothing but political, my darlings. There’s no other reason for targeting – yes, targeting - journalists, aid workers and military officers. How much would you like to bet that if a thorough investigation is done, we’ll discover that these transcripts were used to squelch stories that might have proved embarrassing to the government? I’ll bet you my damned life savings there are blackmail files lurking around in the bowels of the NSA, just waiting for that moment when pressure would have to be applied. What’s amusing to transcriptionists is gold to rulers in need of leverage. Johnny Journalist is about to break a story that would put the government in a bad light? Pull out his file. Ask him if he wants his wife to know what he’s been saying to his mistress.

You know they’d use it. No government is innocent, and this one won’t even hesitate an instant before they do the immoral thing. Decency seldom wins out over political expediency. This government has no clue what decency is.

Do you want to see what America has become?


Black, on this map, denotes countries that are “endemic surveillance societies.” We now share that distinction with places like Russia and China. You know, the very places we like to howl self-righteously at for their atrocious human rights and freedoms records.

We are all going to have to work hard to force our representatives to roll back the abuses of this regime. We let this go too far. It’s time to realize just how much freedom we’ve given uselessly away because we let a bunch of power-mad assclowns frighten us into submission. It’s time to get a grip on our fear and put the checks and balances back in place.

Otherwise, China may start to look like a bastion of freedom compared to the United States.

(Tip o’ the shot glass to Steve Benen, whose closing paragraph says it all: “Imagine that. Hand over excessive and largely unchecked surveillance powers to the Bush administration, and gross abuses become commonplace. Who could have guessed?” Who indeed.)

People Are Dying

Dr. Dawg has an appalling list of people the Department of Homeland Security has all but personally murdered over the last few years. This is what our government is doing to keep us “secure:”

Hiu Lui Ng died in agony last Wednesday, under guard in a Rhode Island hospital. He had terminal cancer, which had spread to his bones, liver and lungs. He had a fractured spine. His captors, working for the Department of Homeland Security, claimed for months that he had been faking it.

His hideous crime was overstaying a visitor’s visa. He applied for asylum and was denied. This man had a wife and children. He wasn’t a fucking terrorist, but our government defines as a threat to national security anyone not born in the right zip code with the correct political views.

When American history books are updated, this era will go down as the darkest, most shameful failure of justice, democracy, and decency since this country’s birth. We don’t know a fraction of the evil that’s been done.

I’ve been angry with my country before. I’ve been embarrassed at some of its more bone-headed blunders. But I’ve never been so ashamed as I am now.

The Unintended Consequences of Unchecked Warrantless Wiretapping

Kevin Drum has an answer for all of those who dismiss the dangers of the government’s dramatic new warrantless wiretapping powers by believing the same government that brought us torture, unending war in Iraq, unprecidented levels of secrecy and lawlessness, and a slew of politically-motivated hirings, firings and prosecutions will nevertheless confine themselves to only listening in on the terrorists.

Let’s jump out on a very long, thin limb here and say this were so. The FISA law would still be a bad idea. Kevin knows why:


Former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges explains how the new FISA legislation will handcuff him and his colleagues:


This law will cripple the work of those of us who as reporters communicate regularly with people overseas, especially those in the Middle East. It will intimidate dissidents, human rights activists and courageous officials who seek to expose the lies of our government or governments allied with ours.

….The reach of such surveillance has already hampered my work. I was once told about a showdown between a U.S. warship and the Iranian navy that had the potential to escalate into a military conflict. I contacted someone who was on the ship at the time of the alleged incident and who reportedly had photos. His first question was whether my phone and e-mails were being monitored.

What could I say? How could I know? I offered to travel to see him but, frightened of retribution, he refused. I do not know if the man’s story is true. I only know that the fear of surveillance made it impossible for me to determine its veracity.

We rely on our reporters far too much to have them crippled like this. Think about it. What’s going to happen if the few reporters left who actually investigate and report facts can’t do it because their sources are too terrified to talk to them? How the fuck can we possibly stay informed enough of important world events to be able to make the critical decision as to who we vote into government to handle this stuff?

Not worried enough? Kevin has more:


Second, reporters who cover terrorism and the Middle East are pretty obvious targets for NSA surveillance since they talk to lots of bad guys. This surveillance is illegal, of course, and under the old FISA law it was hard to get around this because the FISA court had to issue a warrant if NSA wanted to tap the phone of an American citizen. But now? They don’t need to directly tap reporters’ phones. They’re listening to every piece of traffic that goes through American switches and NSA computer software is picking out everything that seems interesting — and no matter what they say, doesn’t it seem likely that their algorithms are going to be tweaked to (accidentally! unintentionally!) pick up an awful lot of reporter chatter? It’ll eventually be “minimized,” but algorithms are infinitely malleable, they’re hard for laymen to understand, and they can almost certainly be changed to accomplish the same thing if a judge happens to order modifications. What’s more, it hardly matters: the new law allows NSA to hold on to all those minimized conversations forever even if a judge eventually decides the surveillance was illegal.

I’ve highlighted the bits that should make you sweat. Remember that the government has a history of listening in on the conversations of people they don’t like. Remember that they could decide very quickly that they don’t like you. There’s no way now for you to be assured they have to have probable cause to tap you. There’s nothing standing between you and the curious ears of a federal agent, where there used to be a Fourth Amendment requirement for a warrant.

Laws like this are slippery slopes. They’ve justified it by saying they need it to fight terrorism. Tomorrow, it could be expanded to fight drugs. The day after that, financial crimes. The next week, they need it to chase down criminals who may have fled across international borders. The week after that, it’s subversive political groups that might turn violent. The following month….

And the thing is, all of those steps will sound reasonable. If you focus on the reasons you’re given for taking the next step, the next, the next, and never look up to see where you’re going, you’ll end up in a world where your government can tap you at any time, for the flimsiest reasons, and then use anything they hear against you, no matter how illegal it was for them to collect it, no matter if your only “crime” was being active with a political group the government didn’t like. After all, there are other slippery slopes that lead to opposition groups being painted with brushes broad enough to make them the same color as the terrorists or other undesirables.

That’s why I won’t let this FISA thing go. Neither should you. Even if you’re the government’s BFF right now and think you have nothing to fear, the next government may think you’re the devil incarnate and go after you.

They now have all the tools they need to do so.

The Fourth Amendment used to give you some protection. Might be a very good idea to restore it to its former glory, or we can expect more stories of unintended consequences. The next one just might be you.

Become a StrangeBedfellow and Hold Washington Accountable!