Monday, June 18, 2007

The Bush Presidency: Number by Number

As reported in the Blue Herald News the Bush Presidency has many accomplishments that often go unreported. These accomplishments are not necessarily good for Americans. In fact the Bush administration would like nothing better than for the eyes of the public to focus elsewhere.

Below will find a breakdown number by number of some of the "secret" things the Bush administration has been doing. Number by number, many secrets are revealed. Number by number shows they have a lot they need to answer for.

Number by Number;

The Courts

2,072 Orders of the Secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court does not reveal much about its activities, the Department of Justice reported that the FISC approved 2,072 orders — rejecting none — in 2005 but does not identify the activities being investigated or provide basic information about how the orders are used.

National Security Letters:

9,254 National Security Letters Issued A Justice Department report on secret wiretap warrants indicated that the government issued 9,254 National Security Letters during 2005. These letters can be used to obtain information about individuals without the government applying for a court-reviewed warrant.

Private Enterprise:

106 New Patents Kept Secret, 4,915 “Secrecy Orders” in effect in 2005, the federal government closed the lid on 106 patents. Overall, that brings the total number of inventions kept under “secrecy orders” to 4,915.

Classified Documents:

$134 Spent Creating New Secrets for Every $1 Spent Releasing Old Secrets.For every $1 the federal government spent in 2005 releasing old secrets, it spent $134 creating new secrets. The good news is that is a $14 drop from 2004. To put this slight drop in context—from 1997 to 2001, the government spent less than $20 per year keeping secrets for every dollar spent declassifying them.

17% of DOD FY 2006 Budget Is Classified or “Black”

“Black” programs accounted for 17 percent of the (FY) 2006 Department of Defense (DoD) budget of $315.5 billion, requested in 2005. Classified acquisition funding has nearly doubled in real terms since FY 1995, when funding for these programs reached its post:Cold War low.

Freedom of Information Act:

FOIA Requests Continue to Rise; Agencies can’t keep up adjusted for an abnormal increase in Social Security Administration numbers, the number of FOIA requests has increased by 65,543 requests since 2004. Agencies overall have been unable to keep up with the number of requests, with 43 percent more pending requests this year than in 2002.Used rarely in the Cold War, “State Secrets” Privilege Used at least 22 times since 2001 reported invocations continue to rise. The “state secrets” privilege allows the sitting U.S. president to nearly unilaterally withhold documents from the courts, Congress and the public. At the height of the Cold War, the administration used the privilege only 6 times between 1953 and 1976. Since 2001, it has been invoked a reported 22 times—an average in 5.5 years (4) that is close to twice as high as the previous 24 years (2.46).

Presidential Signing Statements:

132 Signing Statements challenging over 810 Federal Laws in George W. Bush’s Presidency. In the 211 years of our Republic to 2000, Presidents had issued fewer than 600 signing statements that took issue with the bills they signed. Among recent Presidents, President Reagan issued 71 statements challenging provisions of the laws before him, and President George Herbert Walker Bush issued 146. President Clinton issued 105. George W. Bush has issued at least 132 to date.