PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

April 25, 2009

Sen. Inouye in the Loop?

Filed under: HI Politics,National Politics — Tags: , , , — BobSchacht @ 4:42 pm

There has been a flood of new information lately on “The Program” of warrantless wiretapping and torture conducted by the Bush administration (see The Torture Document Dump Timeline, by: emptywheel, Saturday April 25, 2009)

Lost in this blizzard of news has been the role played by our own Sen. Inouye. But his role has not escaped the notice of the intrepid Marcy Wheeler (aka “Emptywheel”) in one of her recent diaries, on Pelosi: Of Hidden Memos and Covert Ops Hidden in Supplementals

We know that BushCo briefed Toobz Stevens and Daniel Inouye on the warrantless wiretap program in December 2001. … I wonder if they got more substantive briefings than the Gang of Four?

…And finally, a point klynn and Sara have been making–the guys who did this torture were contractors, not CIA officers. Which means they only had to get Uncle Toobz and his buddy Inouye to approve a contract in an emergency supplemental. And voila! We’ve got state-sanctioned torture!

We need to find out what Sen. Inouye knows about these matters. Did he aid and abet the Bush Administration in what may be war crimes? What was his role?

(Blogger Emptywheel has been on a roll lately, having been cited twice by the New York Times and then by the Washington Post for her work exposing that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times in a month. She has recently been the subject of several online tributes at DailyKos and FireDogLake.)


August 5, 2008

Sen. Inouye goes to bat for Sen. Stevens

Filed under: Barack Obama,HI Politics,National Politics — Tags: , , — BobSchacht @ 1:03 pm

Kos has a diary up about Sen. Inouye:

AK-Sen: “Dem” Inouye to campaign for indicted Stevens .

They have both been in the Senate since the 1960s, with Inouye there first by 6 years. Kos concludes,

Perhaps he sees that despite Stevens’ long service, he is under siege by primary opponents and a general election opponent who is slated to kick his ass this November, and fears he might face a tough primary or even general election contest himself in 2010.

Whatever the reason, Inouye is 83. Hopefully, that means retirement is in order and Hawaii gets a chance to elect someone who doesn’t shill for indicted crooks from the party that has given us our nightmare Bush America. (more…)

April 30, 2008

Why is Sen. Inouye (D) helping Sen. Stevens (R) raise campaign funds?

Filed under: HI Politics,National Politics — Tags: — BobSchacht @ 9:23 am


I need to preface this post with an acknowledgment of Sen. Inouye’s service to our country in general, and Hawaii in particular. To quote from Trapper John’s blog today,

Dan Inouye is one of the greatest living Americans. That ought to be stated at the outset of any post which is critical of the man. Inouye is a bona fide war hero — a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient — who lost his arm fighting for a nation which was simultaneously interning thousands of his fellow Japanese-Americans. He’s a son of immigrants, who after the war joined with a number of other Nisei veterans to found Central Pacific Bank — a venture which helped provide capital to scores of Japanese-Americans in Hawai’i unable to obtain loans from other sources. And he was the first Japanese-American elected to the US House of Representatives, and subsequently the first Japanese-American elected to the Senate. I was lucky enough to live in Hawai’i for a few years, and one of the first things I learned upon moving to Honolulu was how justifiably revered Dan Inouye is in the islands. He’s a truly remarkable American.

That said, I know that back during the last Ice Age when Hawaii and Alaska became states, Sen. Inouye and Sen. Stevens became BFF. But really, now that Stevens’ corruption has been exposed, and Democrats need a more than paperthin majority in the senate, why does Sen. Inouye continue to honor this friendship with this kind of support? I have no objection to their remaining friends, but there ought to be some limits. For details, see this blog:

Why is Daniel Inouye Raising Money For Senator Toobz?

By: Jane Hamsher Wednesday April 30, 2008 12:01 pm

And then also take a look at the remainder of Trapper John’s blog at DailyKos

Dan Inouye, Heartbreaker

by Trapper John, Wed Apr 30, 2008 at 12:40:13 PM PDT

This is the same Senator Inouye who was one of the Gang of 14 who enabled the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court to be approved. BTW, some of the other members of that gang? Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Joe Lieberman.

February 18, 2008

Sen. Inouye and FISA

Filed under: HI Politics,National Politics — Tags: , , — BobSchacht @ 10:08 am

The leadership role of our Sen. Inouye in the FISA issue has been little discussed, but intrepid blogger “emptywheel” has dug up some information:

The entire Congress was not briefed on the program

Aside from those members who have, at one point, been members of the Gang of Eight (Harman no longer is, and Pelosi has had two roles in it), just three members of Congress got briefings on the program before Risen and Lichtblau revealed it. The day after the hospital confrontation, Tom DeLay got a briefing, probably so he could tell Cheney that even he could not force through a bill authorizing the illegal program.

And, December 1, 2001, Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens–as the ranking members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee–got a briefing, presumably so they could authorize the NSA to pay the telecoms tons of money to wiretap Americans. (Bill Young and John Murtha got briefings in 2006, after the Administration started briefing more members of the intelligence committees presumably in response to the Risen-Lichtblau revelations.)

Tom DeLay is, thankfully, moot. But the Inouye briefing is interesting in that he was one of the sane* Democrats who repeatedly voted with Republicans in support of trashing civil liberties and privacy.

*[A commenter suggested a typo here, thinking that emptywheel probably meant to write “same”, not “sane”.]

The FISA “ball” is now in the House’s court, and of course President Bush is promising hellfire and damnation if the House doesn’t agree to rubberstamp the Senate’s FISA-gutting bill. Obligingly, 21 conservative Blue Dog Democrats have endorsed the Senate-passed bill, but Inouye does not appear to be one of them.

Commenting on emptywheel’s blog, JimWhite wrote

Inouye’s behavior on this is truly puzzling. I just checked his ratings on Progressive Punch. Overall, he is 32nd in the Senate. On topics directly related here, he is 23rd on corporate subsidies, 24th on government checks on corporate power, 19th on human rights and civil liberties and 27th on making government work for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. Only on war and peace, where he is 37th, is he appreciably below the middle of the Democrats.

Clearly, from the Progressive Punch ratings, Inouye is voting well out of his character on retroactive immunity. Also, I have noted earlier a high correlation of being in on early briefings on these programs and being out of government entirely. I continue to wonder if we still have only a very tiny part of the true scope of what has been going on in these programs, given the inexplicable impact of these briefings on the subsequent political careers of those taking part. If any documents survived these briefings, historians will have full employment for a very long time once classification expires.

Emptywheel replied to another commenter,

I have a gut feel (and a half-written post) that Lockheed is actually a major player on this program. They’re top recipients include Inouye, Mikulski and a fwe of the other Senators who voted for this.

If it’s true, it would be pretty stunning, since Comey is Lockheed’s Chief Counsel.

So, what’s up with Sen. Inouye?


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