What is a Secret Session in the House of Representatives
Monday, October 6, 2008
House Debates, Holds Rare Secret Session
By Ryan Singel March 13, 2008 | 7:46:37 PM http://blog.wired.com
As Thursday night crawled toward midnight in Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives prepared to go into a secret session, whose first rule is “Don’t talk about the secret session.”
But prior to the one-hour secret session, House members spoke a lot about the secret session.
For more than an hour they debated the nuances of a proposed secret session of the House that the Republicans wanted in order to share secret information about a secret wiretapping program that is being debated by Congress due to a secret ruling from a secret spying court about the legality of the President’s secret spying program.
The House is scheduled to vote on legislation about spying and legal amnesty for partners in the president’s secret wiretapping program tomorrow, though that vote was ostensibly scheduled for Thursday and could get postponed again.
The gavel and curtain fell on the secret session discussion a little after 7:30 pm D.C. time. C-Span went dark.
and the secret session is expected, though not known, to begin at 8:00 pm
The secret session, according to a secret source, likely won’t start until closer to 11 p.m., giving the House security guards time to do a security sweep.
It will take the guards two hours to search for secret wiretapping bugs so that lawmakers can safely talk about secret wiretapping programs.
The session will be only the sixth secret session of the House of Representatives, and the first since 1983. (For more on the secret session, see this previous post).
New York Democratic Congressman Jose Serrano said he’s not going.
“If I forget and mention some of that debate in this debate [tomorrow], what kind of trouble am I in?,” Serrano asked. “This makes American people think we don’t want to discuss in public some things and may in fact strike fear into members to vote for a bill they should not vote for.”
Under questioning prior to the debate, Republican whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) said he doesn’t have new secret information, just secret information that only members of the intelligence committees have seen.
“I haven’t suggested it is at the Top Secret level or at the program level,” Blunt said. “This is information it would be helpful for all members to talk about. I’m not going to talk about the Top Secret part of the program, but I have some information that would help the debate that rises to the secret level.”
While members can’t later speak about any classified or unclassified information discussed in the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) clarified that members were free to say they went to the secret session.
Some Democratic lawmakers, such as Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Rep. David Scott (D-Georgia), questioned the timing and the motives behind the secret session.
“Is this not a political ploy?” Scott asked.
“Is this not a Trojan horse? Is this not a misuse of the House?” Scott asked, suggesting the Republicans will later use the session to vilify Democrats who votes against expansive wiretapping powers.
“Is it worth it to really undermine the openness in government?” Scott continued. “Our nation’s history is littered with examples of secrecy when there should have been openness.”
Blunt grew visibly weary of the questioning and the expectations, noting that the House had now discussed the secret session for longer the planned duration of the secret session.
“You could argue the discussion will be well worth the time,” Blount said.
Perhaps Blunt has a photo of Osama Bin Laden imprisoned in Room 641a, who will be let out if the Congress forces the close down its spying rooms inside the United States..
Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) says he’s not going either.
“Without referring to any content of any secret meeting I have been too, I have found from my own experiencing that secret meetings tend to be occasions for communication of information of dubious value,” Kucinich said.
Since coat room attendants won’t be allowed to the secret meeting, members will be told when the secret session begins via email, according to Hoyer.
One assumes he means secret, encrypted email, of course.
Dennis Kucinich speaks about secret congress meeting
House Holds Rare Secret Session on Spy Bill
The House of Representatives postponed a vote on a spy bill Thursday after Democrats agreed to a request from Republicans to hold a rare secret session to discuss what they termed classified security matters. It marked the first time a secret session was held in a quarter of a century and only the sixth time in the House’s history. We speak with Ohio Congressmember Dennis Kucinich, who refused to attend the secret session. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Dennis Kucinich joins us right now, though. The Ohio congress member, former presidential candidate, has just come from Washington, where he refused last night to attend a secret session of Congress.
Welcome to Democracy Now!
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Thank you, Amy. I also, yesterday on the floor of the House, spoke in support of the winter soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, and what they’re doing, I think, is so important here in Silver Spring.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, talk about what happened, only the sixth time in history did Congress, in a sense, go dark. C-SPAN went black, the screen.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Right. Well, the—one of the Republican leaders said that he had some secret information that he had to communicate with rest of Congress, and so he asked the Congress to go into secret session. I went to the floor of the House in that preliminary session and pointed out that this hasn’t happened but five times in 182 years, and I said that there should be a very high bar that has to be passed before we go into secret session. As soon as I said that, the member of Congress who asked for it started to backpedal a little bit. It will be interesting to see what kind of gravity came out of that meeting. My guess is that it had more to do with the desire of the administration to try to push for the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act than it had to do with any compelling new information about national security.
AMY GOODMAN: The President and the Republicans wanting to push through legislation that would grant immunity to the telecom companies for spying on Americans?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, that’s part of it, of course, but I’m thinking that yesterday there really was an attempt to try to basically use the procedure of a secret meeting to ratchet up the pressure to pass FISA and by—essentially, the Democrats called the bluff of the Republicans. And we’ll see if anything was produced in that meeting, because, actually, at any time Congress can vote to release the transcripts, make them public. And if that happens and it wasn’t a serious enough matter, there could be really extreme political repercussions, because we shouldn’t be going into secret session. I mean, there’s a reason why you don’t. You have a House of Representatives; it’s the people’s House. Transparency, it’s essential for a democracy. It’s very dangerous to have these things.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain how it works. 7:30, they sweep the Congress, all the members, to make sure you have no wires on you?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Right. Well, everyone asked—you know, now, I haven’t been in one of these for years. I do not sign the pledge of, quote, “confidentiality,” unquote, because what you essentially do is you give up your conscience. And when you go into these meetings, if something is being told that’s a lie, you can’t go outside and say they lied to you.
But I will tell you this, Amy, that in the times that I went to these—when I was an early member of Congress, I’d go to these sessions, and, you know, they were lying to members. And they would—so then you would be told this information, they’d try to propagandize the members. You can’t go outside and talk about it, because you’d be violating the confidentiality. I just stopped going to them, because I realized that they were attempts to try to spin the members of Congress under the pretext of a national security secret. I think democracy functions much better in sunlight than in the dark.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Congressman Kucinich, I want to thank you very much for being with us today. We’re spending the hour with soldiers, with veterans, who have come here to the National Labor College to talk about their own experiences. Again, this against the backdrop, the surprise last night of the secret session of Congress.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, you know, they’re telling their stories about a war that’s based on lies and the war that was concocted in secret. Here we are.
AMY GOODMAN: Can I ask you a quick question? In this presidential year, you were a presidential candidate. Big debate over Michigan and Florida. Your name, together with Hillary Clinton’s name, was on the Michigan ballot. What is your take on what should happen there and why Barack Obama, John Edwards did not have their name on the ballots then and what should happen now?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, you know, I basically, you know, ignored the directive of the party leaders.
AMY GOODMAN: And so did Hillary Clinton.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Yeah, right. And so, I think, you know, this is something that’s going to have to be worked out. I mean, the Democratic Party is going through a very dangerous period right now. Keeping that party together so it can be competitive in November is going to be a great challenge. And so, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have a lot of work to do.
AMY GOODMAN: Are you going to endorse someone?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: You know, I reserve the right to do that. I haven’t made any decision yet.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Kucinich, thanks very much for joining us, the congressman from Ohio. He’s just won his Democratic primary in Ohio. He’s here at the Winter Soldier hearings that are taking place in Silver Spring, Maryland.
What the house of reps “secret meeting” was about (1)
What the house of reps “secret meeting” was about (2)
On March 13th 2008 there was a secret closed door meeting of The United States House Of Representatives in Washington. During the last 182 years in the history of The United States, this is only the sixth time a secret meeting has been held by The House. Even though Representatives are sworn to secrecy by House Rules XVII, some of the members were so shocked, horrified, furious, and concerned about the future of America by what was revealed to them inside the secret meeting, that they have started to leak this secret information to independent news agencies around the world. The mass media said almost nothing about the secret meeting of the House, mentioning only one of the items being discussed. (The new surveillance techniques that are going to be used by the U.S. Government to watch all American citizens). The story was first released in a newspaper out of Brisbane, Australia revealing the contents of the secret U.S. Government meeting and plans for America including all of it’s citizens. Shortly there after, David J. Meyer from Last Trumpet Ministries found it and made it more available for the world to see.
Here is what was revealed:
The imminent collapse of the U.S. Economy to occur sometime in late 2008
The imminent collapse of the U.S. Government finances sometime in mid 2009
The possibility of Civil War inside the United States as a result of the collapse
The advance round-ups of “insurgent U.S. Citizens” likely to move against the government
The detention of those rounded up at The REX 84 Camps constructed throughout the United States
The possibility of public retaliation against members of Congress for the collapses
The location of safe facilities for members of Congress and their families to reside during massive civil unrest
The necessary and unavoidable merger of The U.S. with Canada and Mexico establishing The North American Union
The issuance of a new currency called the AMERO for all three nations as an economic solution.
Debate about Secret Session in House of Representatives pt1
Debate about Secret Session in House of Representatives pt2
Debate about Secret Session in House of Representatives pt4
Debate about Secret Session in House of Representatives pt5
Debate about Secret Session in House of Representatives pt6
Martial Law Declared In Congress
Having the Speaker of the House in The United States of America behind closed doors declare “that America is now under Martial Law” is in step with US Troops Patrolling American streets starting on the 1st of October.
It is obvious the the Congress is no longer in control. Listen and in this video to the remarks of Representative Michael Burgess, a Republican of Texas for the 26th District.
Congress threatened with REAL martial law?
The closed session