Democrats & Liberals Archives

Arrest the Press

Alberto Gonzales said he would not hesitate to “track” phone calls made by reporters as part of a leak investigation. He goes on to say officials “would not do it routinely and randomly.” We all know what that means.

Based on this administrations past record, this means they're tapping (tracking) randomly and routinely and have been since 9/11 and will continue to do so because the cowardly act of flying planes into buildings, killing innocent people has some how anointed this President king of the universe and bestowed unto him the power to break laws, ignore the constitution and dismantle human rights.

“There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility.” Gonzales said referring to the prosecuting of reporters.

This is the selective secrecy the Bush administration is famous for.
They're for secrecy when it comes to the attendees of an “Energy Committee" meeting.
They're against secrecy when it comes to disclosing the name of CIA operative whose husband disputes over-blown secret “Yellow Cake” intelligence.
They're for secrecy when it comes to “secret prisons.”
They're against secrecy when it comes to “mining” our phone calls.
They're for secrecy if it's the actual budget numbers for Iraq invasion.
They're against secrecy when it comes to “anonymous sources.”
They're for secrecy if they are the "anonymous sources.”

Dick Cheney shoots a man in the face; his first reaction was to try to hide it as long as possible.

Why is it that the aluminum tubing, mobile death labs and other invented intelligence that supported the invasion of Iraq was shared with the public accompanied by over-dramatic fear invoking crap like “in the form of a mushroom cloud,” but real information that the public deserves to know is hidden from us?

They want to know everything about us yet they hide routine, mundane things like budget information, contract awards, meals, travel, meetings and photographs of lobbyists from us.


“In just its first year in office, the Bush administration created an astonishing 33 million new secrets, according to the federal Information Security Oversight Office. This was a 44% increase over the last year of the Clinton administration. Furthermore, whereas the Clinton administration held public hearings before adopting its secrecy policy in 1995, Bush officials see no need for such a step today.”
From The Bush Administration's Suffocating Secrecy
By Steven Aftergood

"An iron veil is descending over the executive branch,"
Dan Burton (Rep. Indiana)

From the Henry Waxman Report on Government Secrecy:
http://democrats.reform.house.gov/features/secrecy_report/index.asp

“Rep. Henry A. Waxman has released a comprehensive examination of secrecy in the Bush Administration. The report analyzes how the Administration has implemented each of our nation's major open government laws. It finds that there has been a consistent pattern in the Administration's actions: laws that are designed to promote public access to information have been undermined, while laws that authorize the government to withhold information or to operate in secret have repeatedly been expanded. The cumulative result is an unprecedented assault on the principle of open government.”

Take a look at the systematic closing of the curtain on this administration and this is after we've already seen the bumbling wizard.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/index.html

Arresting members of the press. Hiding government actions from its citizens. Secret prisons. The NSA wiretapping our phones. Promoting torture. Preemptive war. Unprecedented secrecy. Rampant corruption.

Does this sound like a Democracy to you?


Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at May 22, 2006 11:36 AM
Comments
Comment #150142

I think we should not only arrest members of the media who report classified secrets of the U.S.A. but also senators and u.s.congress members like John kerry and his ilk who leak the top secret information to the media!!!!

Posted by: factman at May 22, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #150148

Does that include guys like Dick Cheney and President Bush who have also leaked classified intelligence to the press?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 22, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #150192

Why arrest them? They’ve done more to elect Republicans than anyone else in the last 20 years. Americans, in spite of the plaintive cries from the left, despise bias and unfairness. I say, let the press continue. In all the famous Pew Research polls, they rank lower than Congress!

Oh, also George Clooney and Alec Baldwin need to make more appearances. I think they would really help the left if more Americans just knew their views!

Posted by: David C. at May 22, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #150193

Weren’t you guys really interested in that investigation where you thought you would net Karl Rove. What do you think that Fitzmas was all about?

I wrote many times that it was maybe not a good thing to be so enthusiastic about it. Did you listen? No.

I say now what I said than - if someone has done something illegal, we should investigate and punish he wrongdoers. But we should be careful about hunting for witches on either the left or the right.

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #150196

This information is a bit one sided yes, but what it is trying to convey, I believe is completely a fair assesment of the Bush administration. As far as ‘declassification’ is concerned, Bush has been declassifying information with out going through the proper procedures. He is able to get away with this simply because he is the president, and we are coming nearer and nearer to a police state every year. How is this possible? Simple, set up a few tactictly placed bombs, planes, terrorists… and BAM! A simple recipe for an easily played population. The only way for the Bush Administration to contain their hold and tighten the bonds on the citizens is to continue with their strategies of terrorists and threats from with in. The ‘administration’ is simply trying to keep us at bay… they don’t want to show us or let us know what exactly it is that they are doing behind closed doors because most of it will get them thrown out of office. I fear for the future of our government, especially with our ‘Republican’ leaders who are more Communist than the Communists ever were. All will unfold with time to come I suppose. I however will not try remaining for the outcome. And just as a side note, each of us have our own opinions, please do try being courtious even if you disagree with what is being said.

Posted by: Arcane Shadow Cat at May 22, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #150197

{applause}{applause}i agree Andre!

i love this crap from the right. Immediately going after the messenger and not the message. And what’s really interesting is hearing Orrin Hatch talk on the subject. Wasn’t the person that, on September 14th, 2001 said:


“They have an intercept of some information that includes people associated with [Osama] bin Laden who acknowledged a couple of targets were hit”,

Which, of course, prompted:

“Well, that helps a lot!” exclaimed one CIA official, who added an expletive for emphasis, after learning of Hatch’s comments.

and…

“It’s important to underline that, when people deal with intelligence information and make it available to people who are not cleared for that classified information, the effect is to reduce the chances that the United States government has to track down and deal with the people who have perpetrated the attacks on the United States and killed so many Americans,” Rumsfeld told reporters after hearing of Hatch’s comment.

“people who ought to know better” Rumsfeld continued.


Yup… people ought to know better.


Posted by: john trevisani at May 22, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #150210

Fantastic article, Andre.
Too bad the rightwing trolls are trying their best to suck this thread straight into the toilet.

Yes, secrecy for the Neocons, no privacy for anyone else. Seems like only the brain-dead fail to see where this is leading.
A few stories I’ve been reading this morning:

Police in Utah can enter unannounced.

Motions being filed to unseal the evidence of AT&T’s records over NSA wiretapping

NATIONAL SECURITY DEPT.
LISTENING IN

Posted by: Adrienne at May 22, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #150217

Factman, two of your comments have been junked for not complying with our Critique the Message, Not the Messenger, policy. This will be your only warning to comply before your comment privileges are suspended.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 22, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #150218

Listen-don’t tell anybody,especialy not on the phone but I heard that someone may be listening. No,not like when your Mom picked up during your “What do you mean you missed your period” phone call. Not even when you had tickets to the game and came down with the “I don”t know sir,this bug just hit me phone call. And why,you ask do they invade my oh so sacred privacy? 911
son,911. If you say things like bomb,or Al-Queda,or even Bill Gates into into your trusty phone,chances are good that you may wind up playing a little game we like to call potential terrorist threat or PTT for short.
Now the rules for PTT are simple. Just say something that we can take out of context,mix it up with a little violation of constitutional protection and garnish with a dash of irrational fear. Serve this on a large plate or wrap it up in the flag. It is unpalatable either way.

Posted by: jblym at May 22, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #150223

watchdog managing editor So what you are saying is if you are democrat and or liberal the sky is the limit but if you are republican or conservitive pull the old big brother crap?Sorry ive hurt some ones feelings.Free speach what a line.

Posted by: factman at May 22, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #150236

Factman, please send me the name of the article, the date and time of the comment, and a quote of the comment by any liberal deriding or personally namecalling another visitor or writer at WatchBlog and they will receive the very same warning. Email the information to editor@watchblog.com.

Thank you for your assistance in helping us enforce our policy fairly and equally in all columns.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 22, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #150239

Watchdog managing editor why did you take,
the verbiage that I did make?
Such blatant culling doth cause much fear,
Cold breath of oppression do I feel near. Surely,goodness and light can only flow from,the practise of free speech which I had some.

Posted by: jblym at May 22, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #150243

jblym-
Don’t mind that. Unless you make things personal, you don’t get censored. Take a casual read of what passes muster, and you’ll soon realize how little danger people are in of being censored simply for their views.

The only thing this is aimed to block is the trolls and the provocateurs who make insulting comments about their opponents.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #150246

I think the Bush Administration is more concerned about preserving it’s way of doing things than preserving Democracy, since in their view, their way of doing things accomplishes the latter. It considers the civil liberties to be something that only the weak and the guilty worry about, since they only go after people who are asking for it. They would like to believe there’s nothing wrong with using government power to frustrate and stop those reporters who would report things harmful to what this administration sees as their beneficial efforts.

All in all, it’s a matter of the self-absorption of the Bush administration- they just can’t see outside their own perspective on things to see how people might be legitimately threatened and outraged by their actions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #150258

steven daugherty Dont mind that you i guess are able to decide who is a troll and who is causing problems for your politically correct world of utter sissification.

Posted by: factman at May 22, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #150271

Steven- thanks for the scintillating definitions of what constitutes free speech. If you had seen the post,I think that while very Wagnerian in tone and tempo,it spoke of generalized mindless adherence to a demogogue and did not attack or describe any one particular person.

Posted by: jblym at May 22, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #150273

I don’t consider myself as Right wing or Left wing, Watchblog manager.come on you guys! calling people watchdogs is not funny, also calling people rightwing trolls is also not funny.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 22, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #150359

factman-
No, actually, on this entry, I am not able to decide who is a troll and who is not. That right belongs to Mr. Hernandez and the Watchblog Editors.

As for causing problems for my “politically correct world of utter sissification”? Well, jeez, it’s not so much that I can’t endure folks like that, it’s just that I really don’t want to. I’d rather deal with Eric Simonson across the way, as much as he sometimes frustrates me, than some person who seems to be combing through the thesaurus for new words call other people morons with.

jblym-
What might have gotten you in trouble, sight unseen, is if the arrangement of the postings made it seem like you were implying someone specific.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #150368

Factman,

It’s ok to call liberals whining, pink dressed, faggots, just not a contributor to these posts. I realize that’s a fine line, but that is the line here at watchblog.

But be warned, if you do, we libs might want a date and to quote Betty, a reach around.

Posted by: gergle at May 22, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #150370

But seriously, If you want to be more than a troll, make a reasoned argument and support it with some, well, facts. Then people might actually engage you and might even expand your thinking. I’ve learned a lot here, from all sides. No one will be “easy” on you, but that is the point isn’t it?

Posted by: gergle at May 22, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #150383

“Because freedom of the press can be no broader than the freedom of reporters to investigate and report the news, the prosecutorial power of the government should not be used in such a way that it impairs a reporter’s responsibility to cover as broadly as possible controversial public issues. This policy statement is thus intended to provide protection for the news media from forms of compulsory process, whether civil or criminal, which might impair the news gathering function.”

Anyone want to guess who said this?

Posted by: tony at May 22, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #150385

I’ll be easy on you, Factman, just give us the ‘facts’ man…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 22, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #150386

ummm, Hitler? I figure it’s a trick.

Posted by: gergle at May 22, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #150387

Sorry - trick question. It’s actually the Judicial Guidelines for legal action against the press.

Basically - it says that you shouldn’t.

Posted by: tony at May 22, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #150390


Tony: I’m with Gergle, it’s a trick. So i’m going to say Dick Cheney. It can’t be Bush unless Someone wrote it for him.

Posted by: jlw at May 22, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #150391

So - given this official mandate - how do you rationalize Gonzales’ tapping the press’ phones?

Posted by: tony at May 22, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #150394


If the administration is tapping the phones of the free press, does this mean that Fox news is exempt. Even fox is begining to have doubts about the great leader. Woudn’t you love to see Shawns face when Rupert tells him to start praising Hillary.

Posted by: jlw at May 22, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #150404

That would mean you would have to consider Fox news… news. That’s a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: tony at May 22, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #150425
But seriously, If you want to be more than a troll, make a reasoned argument and support it with some, well, facts…

factman? factman?! gergle, I think you scared him off with that. :)

Good post Andre. There’s no dout that this is the most secretive administration since Nixon — and John Dean says it’s worse than that.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 22, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #150447

For better or for worse, members of the American press are endowed by the constitution with a sacred trust, a trust no less critical to the freedom of our nation than that of the greatest or the least of our government officials. The agencies to whom we entrust information crucial to our safety have historically unprecedented methods of determining the trustworthiness of their employees, unprecedented methods of identifying those who may or have betrayed their trust, and clear precedent for how those who betray the trust will be dealt (reference Julius Rosenberg and more recently Robert Hanssen).

Again, for better or worse, the press is obligated to report that which they deem to be newsworthy, regardless of security sensitivity. If a member of the press reveals sensitive information that costs lives, or could cost lives, as was the case with Foxnews embedded reporter Geraldo Rivera, that press member cannot and should not be held criminally responsible for revealing such information. Certainly the government is obligated to prevent such information from falling into the hands of the press, but sometimes it’s a tender balance. In the Rivera case, as with all embedded reporters, the trade off was the perception of transparency in how the war was fought.

For the most part, the press has been extremely vigilant in protecting secrets which might have immediate impact on American security. Despite the protests of the bush administration, revealing the underhanded way in which they have trampled the rest of the bill of rights does not create an immediate risk. To further diminish the authority of the bill of rights by criminalizing responsible journalism, as defined by journalistic standards, compounds the abuse of power the bush administration has arrogantly displayed.

By all means, we have entrusted this administration through democratic election (voting irregularities aside) with determining that which should be classified and that which should be revealed. It is THEIR responsiblity, not that of the press, to assure that classified material is not revealed. By all means, those vetted government employees entrusted with secrets who reveal such classified information do so at their own peril, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Make no mistake about it, those who would risk prosecution to reveal classified information would find a way to do so regardless of any leash that might be put on the press. In the age of the internet, when information can be disseminated as fast as the speed of light without regard for authenication, the press, at least, are equally obligated to certify that which they pass on. No less a respected member of the press than Dan Rather can attest to that.

Posted by: Thom Houts at May 23, 2006 4:47 AM
Comment #150532

If you think that Gonzalez tapping into reporter and other cell phones is bad,wait until the next generation of sub-cutaneous transcievers is installed on your body. George Orwell’s problem was that he did’nt have enough imagination.

Posted by: jblym at May 23, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #150533

Privacy will and can only exsist inside your own head. Everything else is subject to disclosure. Get used to it people.

Posted by: jblym at May 23, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #150687

‘Berto Gonzalez is the greatest affront to our Constitution to have ever held that post. Same can be said of the President. But, America will survive such as these, keep an eye on November.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #150795


All of those who defend this administrations views and actions in the vast area of surveilance can take heart in the knowledge that the left wing pinko commie terrorist lovers are being watched, monitored, the administration has their NUMber. You can also be assured that the government and other corporate entities are probably no more than a decade away from the ability to totally monitor everything that every citizen does and says from the time that she/he gets up in the morning till the time that she/he gets up in the morning. Will this mean that every person will be transformed into a near perfect law abiding, never questioning citizen? How long will it be before the government and the corporations have the ability to know what you are thinking? Once control has been established, the ability to foment resistance to such control will be negated. The time to resist is now or never.

Posted by: jlw at May 24, 2006 3:49 AM
Comment #150817

To All,

Let’s not forget the Democrats have said or done very little about this.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 24, 2006 8:34 AM
Comment #150824

Andre -

I agree. Democrats are like Republicans with less “suck.”

Posted by: tony at May 24, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #150940

How exactly can we fight back? Everything that has been done so far to stop these occurences of secrecy with in the administration has been placed in a bloody halt. Many actions by congress to get information on the President’s actions has been declined or stalled long enough that it comes to public discretion first. How can we fight something like this when they are trying so hard to keep us blind? We are a democratic republic by nature, the only thing we can do is open the eyes of our fellow compatriots, but what will they do?
We will probably end up with a civil war before we can do anything about the Bush administrations BS. It is sad to say that, but as we stand now, people have it in mind that his term of service is nearly over. While this may be true, it is not just Bush’s actions in office that are causing us problems. What of those who are not getting the light that are provoking the situation? Will they continue in office? If so, will they continue to push for more of a dictatorship through few hands? Will we continue to drive forward to a police state? What will become of our nation, I don’t know, but it is frightening to see how we are losing the battle for civil rights. It seems like such a basic thing really, but we have grown fat with content over the decades. Now they (big brother) has come to take what it wants from us by instilling fear of outside threats to which they invite within their boarders and even help orchistrate. We simply fall right in line.

Posted by: arcane shadow cat at May 24, 2006 2:27 PM
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