Third Party & Independents Archives

Media Under Pressure

The Bush Administration is putting increasing pressure on journalists to reveal their sources. Some reports have been released about FBI efforts, despite the gag order accompanying the receipt of a National Security Letter.

Little by little, we're receiving reports from various media groups outlining their recent dealings with the FBI as they attempt to stop the leaking of 'sensitive national security information'. The Washington Post brought part of the program to light with a front page story on Sunday. The administration is cracking down on their own agencies, who are taking it in turn to the journalists. From the article:

“In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.

“Numerous employees at the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and other agencies also have received letters from Justice prohibiting them from discussing even unclassified issues related to the NSA program, according to sources familiar with the notices. Some GOP lawmakers are also considering whether to approve tougher penalties for leaking."

Bill Keller, the executive editor of the NYTimes added this:

"There's a tone of gleeful relish in the way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries, their appetite for withholding information, and the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors. I don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values it professes to be promoting abroad."

Mr. Keller has hit pretty close to home, especially considering what CIA Director Porter Goss told Congress recently:

"[I]t is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information. I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserve nothing less."

It seems that this administration is of the opinion that anything having to do with national security is beyond supervision, and anyone trying to hold them accountable will be subject to the crushing wrath of the executive branch wielding an ever-growing hammer. Why would any sensible individual turn as witness against his organization if he/she knows that the public release of that information will not be protected by those journalists? What we will see, if the privacy of sources is not maintained, is the drying up of any legitimate sources, and essentially a controlled media (moreso than it already is).

I understand the need for secrecy in certain circumstances, and in this situation, the administration tries to paint the picture that they absolutely need complete secrecy in their dealings. However, we have evidence of the abuse of that power, and especially when those dealings begin delving into unconstitutional and specifically illegal waters, it is the duty of the media to expose those criminal acts. These criminal acts are precisely the ones that the administration is specifically seeking information on. They want to know who leaked these embarassing facts because now they have to possibly accept a congressional leash. This administration is not after national security, they're looking at how to better cover their own tracks in the future.

Posted by Andrew Parker at March 10, 2006 3:12 PM
Comments
Comment #132712

All I can say is “Go Doug, go” There,I hope I am on their infantile list as well. Bastards.

Posted by: ray at March 10, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #132741

Do you believe that the employee should have open discussions concerning their job at the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and other agencies?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #132746

WW-

I think I addressed your question in the article. I’m not advocating “open discussions”, and I’m not talking about details of their job in general. What I’m speaking of are instances when employees turn whistleblower and leak information to the press regarding illegal activity within government.

The government wants to know the identities of sources, but it’s not to protect National Security, it’s all about making sure they don’t get embarrassed in the press and ensuring that they don’t attract enough attention to require oversight of their activities. A leash is the last thing that they want.

Posted by: AParker at March 10, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #132750

Can you clarify what information was leaked?

… attempt to stop the leaking of ‘sensitive national security information’.

That was the extent in your post of specific information that was leaked.

What information is being leaked?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #132752

Web Site: http://22blog.com/AParker

404 error on that link Andrew.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #132753

People with security clearances are not supposed to discuss these things period. They don’t get to choose which they think are important.

Classifed information is not open to discussion in the media. They don’t have the right to know and nobody has the right to tell them.

If a person is so sure that he needs to pass information, he should also be ready to suffer the consequences. He should be willing to fall on his sword in the name of integrity. It will come out if he was right.

BTW - this goes for the Plame people too. I think the person should step forward and face down the critics, if he thinks he did the right thing.

Posted by: Jack at March 10, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #132757

I thought so.
I’m still waiting for the proof that there are really secret prisons.

I have doubts as to the validity of the wiretapping story. Many lawmakers are proclaiming the value of the surveilance measures taken and the need for them. They are recognizing the LAW WAS FLAWED. I hate caps.

You can’t hold someone responsible for not following a bad law. The only thing The military soldier can do on his own is disobey an unlawfull order. Why is the commander in chief excluded from that?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2006 10:28 PM
Comment #132758

Jack-

I get it. People who have access to classified information are not supposed to share it. That is what classified means. The administration is currently on the warpath against those who tipped off the NYTimes to warrantless spying. Do you accuse those who helped to make the public aware of this illegal activity? Should they have kept their mouth shut and allowed the government to continue without any awareness or accountability?

So, there’s a specific example for you Willie, right from the article. I don’t know what you’re confused about. Additionally, my blog is closed - I blog here now. Overall, I guess I just can’t tell what you’re trying to say with your posts.

Posted by: AParker at March 10, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #132761

Jack-

Also, double check the quote from the Washington Post above. Specifically the bold statement, employees were prohibited from discussing even unclassified information about the NSA spying scandal. This isn’t just about keeping secrets, its about controlling the release of all information.

Posted by: AParker at March 10, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #132764
People who have access to classified information are not supposed to share it. That is what classified means.

We agree on that point.

Should they have kept their mouth shut and allowed the government to continue without any awareness or accountability?

Yes, because the law was flawed and a failure to use the technology would have consequences.

The administration is currently on the warpath against those who tipped off the NYTimes to warrantless spying

As the administration should be! A vital weapon was lost when this story was implemented.

That loss was the first thing I thought of when I heard this story. A law from 1978 pops up in 2005 and the guy in the ring is looking at his towel flying thru the air, like in that movie.

The only reason everyone was glad to see the towel thrown into the ring is because throughout the whole movie this guy was made out to be a loser.

So, there’s a specific example for you Willie, right from the article.

Thank You, Andrew.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #132765

Yes, they should have kept their mouths shut because it is not their call. If they decide it is so important that they need to break their words, they should have the integrity to stand behind their decision and not cower in the shadows. Some things should be worth losing a job and even jail time.

We have too much pretend integrity these days. People volunteer to get arrested at protests. People make a bold decision with no consequences for themselves.

The person who revealed the information had reasons. They probably were not pure. They may even have been traitorous (i.e. reveal secrets to weaken his country’s fight against terror.) If the bastard hides from us, we don’t know. We have to assume the worst.

Re unclassified information - it is just bad manners to take your problems to the media. Usually people are trying to use the media to further their own bureaucratic power goals.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #132766
employees were prohibited from discussing even unclassified information about the NSA spying scandal.

ie. Loitering around the water cooler on company time is prohibited.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #132767

Only the media has the power to make a joke like that work.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #132769

Jack-

Obviously we have different definitions of ‘integrity’.

The person who revealed the information had reasons. They probably were not pure.

I don’t know who you’re talking about here, and additionally, you’re hardly in a position to make a claim on their motives. And I don’t believe that we have to assume the worst, that’s just the way that the current administration paints it. In my view, they’re upset by the fact that they may now have to accept oversight of their previously unbridled voyeurism.

And as far as unclassified information, we’re not talking about taking personal problems to the media. We’re talking about NSA employees being denied the right to speak of unclassified details of the spying program. This falls in the same vein as the administration recently reclassifying declassified documents. Many of which have already been published elsewhere, and others which apparently don’t contain any sensitive information.


Willie-

Who are you to say that the “law was flawed”. This seems completely unjustified. The law is what it is, and if it needs to be changed, then take it through the proper channels instead of acting like an outlaw. This disregard for proper oversight of power is exactly what we as a nation ought to be concerned about.

Also, that ‘vital weapon’ is not lost because the weapon is surveillance, and it is perfectly effective to request that capability from the FISA court. The only thing that is lost is the circumvention of supervision. That is hardly a ‘vital weapon’ in the ‘war on terror’.

Posted by: AParker at March 11, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #132770
..just the way that the current administration paints it.

I thought they were secretive.

..hardly in a position to make a claim on their motives

neither are you.

And I don’t believe..

Hmmm.

Willie-Who are you to say that the “law was flawed”.

It wasn’t me. It was many lawmakers who opposed and propagated the entire debacle. They reversed themselves and decided the survailance is necessary. They are considering altering the law. That is an admition the law is flawed.

get over it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #132773

and BTW, the vital weapon was lost.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #132774

Willie-

It’s really a great conversation skill to take things from a separate conversation out of context, and avoid responding to what I actually said to you.

BTW, the repetition of a point that I’ve already challenged without adding any new insight is nice too.

I think this conversation has played itself out.

Posted by: AParker at March 11, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #132775

Are you willing to say the goals expressed by President Bush are not valid because the media says he’s incompetent?

I heard President Bush say 2025 is the year we will be energy independant. Is the media devoting themselves to this goal?

Just listen.

Nope.

Can’t hear anything but port and torture and the president is stupid.

I must be out of the lupe.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #132782
I think this conversation has played itself out.

We fired ar guns an they begin a runnin, on down the missisppi t da gulf a mexico.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #132788

Willie:

Do you believe Bush has the authority to assasinate people on his say so?

Posted by: Aldous at March 11, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #132789

APP

When we were working on the Atomic bomb, many people felt it was too dangerous. What if one of them took it on himself to share details with the Nazis and the Japanese?

In fact, that is exactly what the Rosenbergs did with the H Bomb and the Soviet Union.

The terrorist are a network organization. If you want to pass information to them, the best way to do it is through the media.

Whoever leaked this is at best misguided at worst a traitor and in all cases a bad American. The revealation was hurtful and may cost the lives off thousands of us.

He had options. If he did not trust the administration, he could have gone to one of the Democratic members of Congress. Revealing it in the media was a cowardly and dishonest method and it makes the case that we are dealing with a cowardly and dishonest person. By his works, we know him.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #132790

Jack-

I think your example is a bit much. We’re talking about someone pointing out that the government is breaking current law. Some people seem to be overlooking that fact: Bush’s executive orders to authorize warrantless surveillance were illegal. We’re not talking about concerns of safety, we’re talking about illegal activities being exposed. Should the Nixon administration have demanded that Woodward and Bernstein be dragged before a court and ordered to name deepthroat? After all, he did something similar to what we’re seeing now; he exposed illegal government behaviour.

What information are you worried about being “passed to terrorists”? “Hey! Terrorists! Watch out because the government is spying on people without authorization!” It was already public knowledge that the government could get authorization to spy on citizens, this is hardly a revelation of new information to terrorists. I would think them a stupid terrorist indeed if they didn’t bother to secure their communications against snooping.

I disagree with your assessment of this person being a traitor and a bad American. I think you’re oversimplifying the situation.

Posted by: AParker at March 11, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #132792

Deepthroat, as we now know did not have good motives.

The informant should have gone to a member of congress if he thought it was so important. He did wrong. I would investigate and if I found him guilty, I would put him in the same prison as Jonathan Pollard.

The information was not that we were watching terrorist. It was that we gave details. The fatalism that says the terrorist knew anyway is silly. Why bother with any security at all, since the terrorist will try to figure out ways around it (and will sometimes succeed)

The bottom line, however, is that the informant had no legal or moral right to do what he did. We should persue this with at least as much vigor as we did the Plame (which had a special prosecutor).

I don’t know all the facts of the situation, but right now it looks really bad for the bad guy who helped terrorist. He certainly is no hero (neither was Deep Throat, BTW, or the Rosenbergs)

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #132794

Jack-

I never said we shouldn’t spy on terrorists, I only said that this “revelation” didn’t change anything security-wise, and it didn’t. The revelation was that if the government wanted to spy on you, they could do it without having to have a valid (national security) reason. Look at what we’ve already seen, there’s been federal espionage on several anti-war groups, with no violent history, and no ties to any terrorism whatsoever, they just disagreed with the administration’s war policy. And you say that we gave details, what details exactly? The detail that the president can order spying on anyone? How is this a significant detail? How is that helping terrorists?

You’ve also never addressed the fact that the “revelation” uncovered blatant illegal activity. Yes, under current constitutional interpretation, the President’s actions were illegal. Revealing corruption in government is hardly misguided/traitorous/un-american.

Posted by: AParker at March 11, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #132801

The law was flawed. The revelation got people killed. It exposed a weapon just as if they pointed to the camoflaged soldier and said “There he is! Shoot Him!”

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #132805

Jack,

The person who revealed the information had reasons. They probably were not pure. They may even have been traitorous (i.e. reveal secrets to weaken his country’s fight against terror.) If the bastard hides from us, we don’t know. We have to assume the worst.
Re unclassified information - it is just bad manners to take your problems to the media. Usually people are trying to use the media to further their own bureaucratic power goals.
But it was OK to leak Valerie Plame’s name? You can’t have it both ways, Jack.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 11, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #132810

Andrew, of course you are 100% correct.

But Jack will never agree with you because he just has to defend the presidents illegal actions. I think many of us in this blog realize that at this point there is likely very little that he (and others like him) wouldn’t be willing to accept from this administration.
For purely partisan reasons, they will continue to stand by these clowns and cobble together truly pathetic arguments and endless excuses. One is swiftly forced through the looking glass in the attempt to debate them — and personally, I’ve grown very sick and tired of that pointless experience.
But oh, the collosal nerve to say that Deep Throat should have gone to jail! How bloody ironic can it get, I ask you? Because it was due to Nixon’s identical illegal wiretapping that the FISA laws were first implemented! Amazing.

Just like Tricky Dick Nixon, Bush deserves to be impeached for what he has done — broken the law, and violated the rights of American citizens. Those who honestly give a damn about preserving protecting and defending the Constitution already understand this. Even a certain percentage of Republicans do — because they’re not all hypocrites, and they know they’d be loudly complaining and demanding accountability if the president was a Democrat who was trying to get away with what this president is doing/has done.

PS. Weary Willie, if you’re wondering why you get so few responses to your posts, it’s because they seldom make a lick of sense.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 11, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #132823

Jack and Willy ….you guys are over the edge with your melodramatics !!!
Why are you so terribly concerned with trying to protect the honor of King George ??? He continues to flaunt this power he feels is limitless, and you give no consideration to the loss of life due to his narrow-minded determination to carve out a niche for himself in history. Why is the Plame outing any less significant to you?? We may never know how destructive that little debacle has been, or will be to us in the grand scheme of things.
It is my opinion, and I’m entitled to it whether you agree or not, that whoever blew the whistle should be commended, and not pistol whipped, for his/her integrity.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 11, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #132826

willie,

“The law was flawed. The revelation got people killed. It exposed a weapon just as if they pointed to the camoflaged soldier and said “There he is! Shoot Him!””

Oh, please!

Jack,

Why must we question the motives of those that do the right thing?

The problem with Nixon wasn’t the burglery, it was the cover-up.
It’s is interesting to watch how those on the left and the right react to different circumstances.
Nixon, for all of his paranioa, did some very good things, both for the country and the world.
Clinton, except for his pecadillos, also did good things for the country and the world.

The jury is still out on Bush, and only history will sort things out.

It will always be the cover-up, not nescessasarily the crime, that leads to the downfall of those in power.

We are supposed to be a country built on laws.
How can we expect the population to follow the laws, when those in power don’t?

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #132835

We are more of a threat than a terrorist is because a terrorist doesn’t have to do anything to win. We are going to beat ourselves like we did in Viet Nam. More soldiers are going to die because the enemy will not stop if they have hope we will defeat ourselves.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #132836

willie,

“We are going to beat ourselves like we did in Viet Nam.”

Do you actually have any concept of history?

We didn’t do what was nescessesary to win in Viet Nam. We jerked around and alowed the “insurgents” to get the upper hand because body counts were more important.

We’re living in a CYA world, and have been for some time.

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #132839

What are we doing now? We have a president, according to most, that can do nothing right! Nothing!
Our enemy isn’t deaf. They see us fighting ourselves, just like during the Viet Nam war. They know from our own history we will eventually get tired of this war and pull out just like the Viet Nam War. All they have to do is kill a few soldiers every couple of days to keep it in the news.

All we have to do is keep making things up and blowing issues out of perportion for political gain.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #132841

andrew,

keep in mind that for many of these people, the president can break no law because, by virtue of his sacred office, he is the very embodiment of law… his will is law.

this naive, unfounded attitude is not worth arguing against, as you will never convince someone who believes this that the president is capable of being wrong, much less criminal actions. it is far more effective, i think, to point out this ignorant, unpatriotic belief for what it is - authoritarian nonsense, aimed at a totalitarian state.

having made this fact salient, others who read the blog will be able to decide for themselves if the arguments of these individuals have any bearing on democratic justice - and for instance, if a president should be allowed to assassinate political dissidents, or whether he should be imprisoned for the attempt. i must note that they did not respond to your question concerning assassination. i wonder why.

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 11, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #132842

Who did President Bush assasinate?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #132843
there’s been federal espionage on several anti-war groups, with no violent history, and no ties to any terrorism whatsoever, they just disagreed with the administration’s war policy.
How many people from these anti-war groups were thrown in jail? Was Michael Moore and Cindy Sheenan thrown in jail?

Were they targeted and survailed specifically? Or did they just use a telephone while the NSA was looking for terrorists?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #132844

willie,

“They know from our own history we will eventually get tired of this war and pull out just like the Viet Nam War.”

And if they have any sense of history (Bin Laden, for instance, is an educated man), they will also realize that this is only a recent development in American history.
It seems the those on the right think that we are dealing with complete idiots.

Oh, and BTW, if our fearless leaders don’t want those amoung us with short attention spans to succeed, all they have to do is quit screwing around and finish the job and get us out of there.

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #132845

How is President Bush suppose to achieve this goal if he is portrayed as an idiot and stupid and being second guessed at every move?

You don’t send your fighter into the ring with his hands tied and beat him with a stick while he’s trying to win the fight.

And this war isn’t a 6 part mini-series that ends next week. It’s a long war and Iraq and Afganistan are battles. Winning ones, I pray.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #132849

willie,

“How is President Bush suppose to achieve this goal if he is portrayed as an idiot and stupid and being second guessed at every move?”

And yet in spite of the ineptness and stupidity, the war goes on.

Go figure.

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #132850

“Who did President Bush assasinate?”

bush assassinated someone? that’s news to me. are you leaking classified information?

seriously though, if you are referring to my previous post, i never claimed that bush assassinated anyone - i was merely endeavoring to explicate the full implications of the unlimited powers that bush has proclaimed are granted him by the constitution.

this argument (for unlimited power) is utter bullshit, of course; however, if you agree with bush that he has these unlimited powers, then he surely has the right to assinate anyone he desires. i have not heard any bushie denounce the unlimited powers theory (as it is the sole rational basis for his illegal conduct), and if you affirm this notion, then you must necessarily agree that he has the right to rape, murder, and pillage by virtue of his vested and unlimited presidential powers.

comments? (try actually addressing the charge - does bush have unlimited powers or not? a simple yes or no should suffice, but feel free to elaborate after the initial yes/no.)

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 11, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #132853

People drive 65 miles an hour in a 55 mile an hour speedzone. Do they have unlimited power. The answer is no.
Has President Bush actually said “I have unlimited power!”
The answer is no.
He is being accused of breaking a law that is outdated and lawmakers have said the practice should not stop.
Perhaps it is the congress who is trying to take the power from the President.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #132855

willie,

“He is being accused of breaking a law that is outdated and lawmakers have said the practice should not stop.”

Outdated?
Let me think……..

Regardless, it is still the law.

By your example, I think that the speed limit is outdated, and by your reasoning I shouldn’t be prosecuted for breaking that law, but I still am.

Amazing, I should be president.

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #132857

Bush is an idiot….ane he earned the title all by himself….and he’s an embarassment to many of us!
Willy…reading the posts you’re responding to might be helpful. It’s nearly impossible to follow you now..
And once a law is on the books, it remains a law, until it is altered or removed. They don’t have expiration dates on them. The law he is breaking re: wiretapping, is still in effect, he just chooses to ignore and avoid it. There is no Presidential privelage that allows him to break laws at will.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 11, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #132861
Who did President Bush assasinate? [sic]

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 05:37 PM

Well, acting under his ultimate authority, his authorised agents and representatives (Scooter Libby and Karl Rove) intentionally exposed a top-secret operation working to prevent weapons of mass-destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists. The Cover-Organisation (Brewster-Jennings) had to be retired, and every foreign operator and cutout was immediately placed at risk. Estimates are that several of them have been executed by their governments after the Plame-Wilson outing, whilst still others have been arrested and/or exiled.

So that’s sort of like Bush, Rove, and Libby pointing to several camouflaged [correct spelling] soldiers and shouting, “There they are! Shoot them!” - isn’t it?

Let’s see the incredibly lame and hypocritical response to this…

Posted by: Betty Burke at March 11, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #132870

willie,

you are most assuredly mistaken. the president has, in fact, claimed that he has inherent, unlimited power as commander in chief in times of war, as “guaranteed by the constitution.” yes, this is entirely moronic, yet he made the argument in defense of his illegitimate actions. if you don’t believe me, perhaps you had better look into it a bit more…

regardless, i don’t think you properly addressed my question. you erroneously claimed that bush never asserted that he had unlimited power. the *actual* question was whether or not you agreed with his claim to unlimited power in times of war… so, do you?

(perhaps you’d better confine yourself exclusively to a yes/no answer, in order to ensure that you actually provide an answer to my question this go ‘round).

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 11, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #132874

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20031004.shtml


WASHINGTON — On the same day in 1999 that retired diplomat Joseph Wilson was returned $1,000 of $2,000 he contributed to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore a month earlier because it exceeded the federal limit, his CIA-employee wife gave $1,000 to Gore using a fictitious identification for herself.

In making her April 22, 1999, contribution, Valerie E. Wilson identified herself as an “analyst” with “Brewster-Jennings & Associates.” No such firm is listed anywhere, but the late Brewster Jennings was president of Socony-Vacuum oil company a half-century ago. Any CIA employee working under “non-official cover” always is listed with a real firm, but never an imaginary one.
A footnote: In July when he revealed himself as author of a report commissioned by the CIA, Wilson sought a book agent. After being turned down by a prominent agent, he has now found one.

Sounds like Robert Novak is outing an instance of campaign contribution fraud. Why would an undercover cia agent draw attention to a false business with a fantom partner?


http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2003/10/10/apparent_cia_front_didnt_offer_much_cover/

Vince Cannistraro, the CIA’s former counterterrorism chief, said that when operating undercover outside the United States, Plame would have had a real job with a more legitimate company. The Boston company “is not an indicator of what she did overseas,” he said.
David Armstrong, an Andover researcher for the Public Education Center, believed that the Brewster Jennings & Associates cover had not been done convincingly and that other covers would have been established for her by the CIA


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #132882

i wish to submit, for the record, that my question was *still* not answered. typical.

the president is a citizen of the united states, and thereby subject to all laws pursuant to that status.

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 11, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #132889

diogenes…. I’ll check back tomorrow to see if you ever get that answer…and thanks for your informative postings.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 11, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #132902

Diogenes, if you are searching for an Honest Man amongst the crypto-fascist component of WatchBlog, then I fear your curse to be Everlasting, indeed!

It is my measured opinion that the Gorillas here on our very own Planet Of the Apes - just as with the ones in the novels by Boulle and the Hollywood movies - understand one thing and one thing only: the point of a weapon being held at their throats.

That was, after all, one of Boulle’s themes: one could never get the belligerent, xenophobic, jingoistic Gorillas to even pause in their wanton and ignorant pillaging and warfare without actually threatening their lives first.

And, in my opinion, that is what it will take to ensure that America remains free and does not become a tyrranical militaristic dictatorship such as Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, Jr. have sought to make it: nothing less than bloody revolution will do - just as Jefferson predicted and espoused.

(For the likes of WatchBlog fascists: I can’t *wait* to turn the crank on that water-coooled Vickers when you’re faces are up against the back wall of the Lincoln Memorial someday.)

Catch You Later


Waiting For The Clarion Call,

- Betty

Posted by: Betty Burke at March 11, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #132916

I think im going to try and tred a little above some of the flak flying back and forth here.

1. Any government activity, be it to protect us, or for any other reason, is done with our money, and with our consent. The people of this country are the SOLE source of power, or should be (money seems to have changed things…damn you rediculusly obsurd distribution of wealth).

2. Any government action done cloak and dagger has the potential to be violating a US law, or to be generally immoral. If something is going on that is illegal, it is the responsibility of any citizen of this nation who respects our laws and constitution to come forward and reveal what is going on. The oath of office is to the constitution, not to whomever is in charge.

3. Leaking information for political reasons is a violation of US law and should be punished. Leaking something that is actually against the law, or might be against the law (read: realistically, since you could make some real stretch calls on this one) is not just admirable, it is downright essential.

4. I’m not going to get into the wiretapping or the plame speils here, but the fact of the matter is, you have to have oversight, i don’t care what the reason for a program is. I dont trust any one of those politicians any more than I would any other nutcase who’s got too much power. Our system was designed so that the greedy bastards would play tug of war over their powers and keep their hands off our rights. Secrecy makes all of that more complicated.

5. A few words: Watergate, Iran-Contra, Selling weapons to Iraq, Overthrowing governments across the middle east and central america, Haiti in general, etc. there are a million things that weren’t known at the time and were completely arbitrary uses of power. Things have to be looked over, or they will go down the path of abuse. I don’t care who is president, they are going to be a slimy worthless politician whos only aims are to misuse and molest the possition he/she is given in good faith, and whos goals are soley for his/her gain. That is not to say there arent wonderful people out there, but for the time being, no one good or human will be elected to the office of president, its not benificial to the ones with the power…i mean money…well…same thing.

www.iandanger.com/blog

Posted by: iandanger at March 12, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #132956

No

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #132958

“diogenes…. I’ll check back tomorrow to see if you ever get that answer”

cross your fingers, but don’t hold your breath.

“…and thanks for your informative postings.”

you are most welcome, and thank you for yours.

“Diogenes, if you are searching for an Honest Man amongst the crypto-fascist component of WatchBlog, then I fear your curse to be Everlasting, indeed!”

if it were merely amongst the fascist faction of WB i was searching for honesty, i would not be so dismayed. my concern is that these people are simply and mindlessly regurgitating the blitherings of our dishonest, corrupt elected representatives (and thus, we are all cursed.)

best,

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 12, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #132959

“No”

well i’ll be damned. if only we could get so much from the president.

…so, if the president must abide by the law, and congress passed a law which clearly delineated the limits of his authority concerning wiretaps - then, by what authority did the president break said law?

he has admitted his actions. his actions were diametrically opposite the law. this, in my humble opinion, constitutes a violation of said law. if you disagree, please provide justification for your reasoning. if you concur, then please explain to me how you can still stand behind this criminal?

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 12, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #132964
… Are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, would not the official oath [to see that the laws are “faithfully executed”] be broken, if the government should be overthrown, when it was believed that disregarding the single law, would tend to preserve it? Abraham Lincoln
… I think the time not unlikely to come when I shall be blamed for having made too few arrests rather than too many. Abraham Lincoln
Clinton L. Rossiter calls the use of war powers that exceed the government’s ordinary authority a “constitutional dictatorship.” The goal of a constitutional dictatorship, Rossiter says, is to end a crisis and restore normalcy. A constitutional dictatorship requires the government to be “temporarily altered to whatever degree is necessary to overcome the peril and restore normal conditions.”
Daniel P. Franklin, …, concludes that presidents have almost unlimited power during emergencies. However, some form of approval from one of the other branches of government is necessary for the use of such power to be deemed legitimate in the eyes of the law.
Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the Unites States; and Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it resolved … that the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force … to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States. George W. Bush

http://www.highbeam.com/library/docfree.asp?DOCID=1G1:134162922&ctrlInfo=Round19%3AMode19b%3ADocG%3AResult&ao=

my concern is that these people are simply and mindlessly regurgitating the blitherings of our dishonest, corrupt elected representatives (and thus, we are all cursed.)

Indeed

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #132970

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20020607.html

While FDR continued to ask Congress for what he needed, he gave them no choice as to whether they would accede. For example, in demanding that Congress repeal provisions in the Price Control Act (prohibiting ceilings on certain food products), he told the Congress: “In the event the Congress should fail to act, and act adequately, I shall accept the responsibility, and I will act.” And he reminded the Congress: “The President has the power … to take measures necessary to avert a disaster which would interfere with winning of the war.”
Professor Albert Sturm, a student of Rossiter’s work, has also written of constitutional dictatorships. In a 1949 essay “Emergencies and the Presidency” in the Journal of Politics, for example, Sturm found that these “temporary concentrations of power in an executive” for meeting emergencies, which have been “employed by vigorous democracies since ancient times,” are necessary for “the preservation of the established system in the face of temporary crisis.” Typically, such authority lasts only as long as the crisis, Sturm notes, and it is sanctioned by the “existing constitutional system.”
Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #132971

NATIONAL EMERGENCY POWERS
Federal law provides a variety of powers for the President to use in response to crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances threatening the Nation. Moreover, they are not limited to military or war situations. Some of these authorities, deriving from the Constitution or statutory law, are continuously available to the President with little or no qualification. Others—statutory delegations from Congress—exist on a stand-by basis and remain dormant until the President formally declares a national emergency. These delegations, or grants of power, authorize the President to meet the problems of governing effectively in times of crisis. Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the President may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens. Furthermore, Congress may modify, rescind, or render dormant such delegated emergency authority.

Until the crisis of World War I, Presidents utilized emergency powers at their own discretion. Proclamations announced their exercise of exigency authority. However, during World War I and thereafter, Chief Executives have had available to them a growing body of stand-by emergency authority which became operative upon the issuance of a proclamation declaring a condition of national emergency. Sometimes such proclamations confined the matter of crisis to a specific policy sphere, and sometimes they placed no limitation on the pronouncement whatsoever. These activations of stand-by emergency authority remained acceptable practice until the era of the Vietnam war. In 1976, Congress curtailed this practice with the passage of the National Emergencies Act.
http://usa-the-republic.com/emergency%20powers/crs.html

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 12, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #132972

I guess the point of that last posting is that these edicts don’t allow for one man to be able to determine how to call the shots. So King Bush still can’t just mention in passing to a handful of cronies in Congress his intent to take an action, and have that be considered Congressional approval.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 12, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #132976
As enacted, the National Emergencies Act consists of five titles. The first of these generally returned all stand-by statutory delegations of emergency power activated by an outstanding declaration of national emergency to a dormant state two years after the statute’s approval. However, the Act did not cancel the 1933, 1950, 1970, and 1971 national emergency proclamations because these were issued by the President pursuant to his Article II constitutional authority. Nevertheless, it did render them ineffective by returning to dormancy the statutory authorities they had activated, thereby necessitating a new declaration to activate stand-by statutory emergency authorities.
Since its enactment, however, the National Emergencies Act has not been revisited by congressional overseers. Nonetheless, as the final report of the Senate Special Committee on National Emergencies suggests, the prospect remains that further improvements and reforms in this policy area might be pursued and perfected.
Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #132978
So King Bush still can’t just mention in passing to a handful of cronies in Congress his intent to take an action

Shhhh. Be vewy, vewy qwiet. Wur hunting tewwowists!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #132986
I would think them a stupid terrorist indeed if they didn’t bother to secure their communications against snooping. Posted by: AParker at March 11, 2006 10:57 AM
That’s just it!! They were stupid until you let the cat out of the bag! Shame on you. You couldn’t wait. You had to use anything you could get your hands on to regain power. Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #132988

willie,

“They were stupid until you let the cat out of the bag! Shame on you. You couldn’t wait. You had to use anything you could get your hands on to regain power.”

I just can’t belive that an adult actually belives this crap.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #132990

You didn’t know the NSA was wiretapping until someone leaked it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #132991

willie,

“You didn’t know the NSA was wiretapping until someone leaked it.”

Are you really that naive?

There have been articles about the NSA for years.

You need to read more, and from better sources.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #132992

Feel free to discredit my sources.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #132995

Willie,

“Feel free to discredit my sources.”

Just let me know what your source was that told you I didn’t know that the NSA was wiretapping until someone leaked it.

This is too easy.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #132998

How did you know the nsa was wiretapping?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #132999

that’s strange willie,

i just asked you if you believed in bush’s inherent, unlimited powers in times of emergency, and you responded, “No”.

funny thing is, now you’re backstepping on me, giving me this line of bs as your only defense of bush’s unlawful actions? (so your only argument is one in which even you do not believe?)


there were numerous issues brought up in your source which you left out;

the precedent set by Lincoln and Roosevelt (that presidents have unlimited power in times of emergency) was, according to your source, not specifically upheld by courts; rather

“Opinions regarding war powers have often been general and avoided the larger issues at hand. In the midst of crises, the Court has frequently ruled on a minor, technical aspect of a case, thereby upholding the president’s specific actions but, at the same time, avoiding the larger questions of where and how to limit the executive’s war powers.” Rossiter

furthermore, “The majority opinion, Kallenbach writes, ‘stands as a monument dedicated to the proposition that the presidential war power is not unlimited and that under the American system of government the military is subordinate to the civil authority.’”

also, note that,
“In contrast to the Lincoln and Roosevelt cases, though, war has not been formally declared and the United States is faced with an unconventional war without a clearly definable end.”

perhaps you should have read all the way through your source, as it ends with this interesting caveat;

“The President, then, needs to be aware that the undefined nature, goals, and duration of the War on Terror could ultimately detract from the legitimacy of his war powers.”

they *are* calling this “the long war” now, aren’t they? hmmm. wonder what that’s all about.

this source does not offer a definitive answer on the legality or constitutionality of bush’s actions as you seem to think it does, nor could it. it will all come down, in the end, to whether or not the legislature and/or courts have the fortitude to reprimand this despot.

the constitution does not grant the president this power, and the precedents do not apply. (in the instance of the warrantless wiretaps; neither Roosevelt nor Lincoln directly defied acts of congress, to the best of my knowledge, as bush has certainly done.)

but i don’t need to tell you, as you have already agreed that this analysis of the legality of bush’s actions is entirely bunk.

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 12, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #133000

Are you Jay Rockafeller?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #133002

Willie,

If you give the government the power to do something, you can be assured that they will take advantage of that power, and given the opportunity, it will overstep the bounds set every time.

Like I said before, the NSA has been the subject of more than a few articles in the last several years.
I think there was even a CNN special on the campus that was set up in England, and how they could monitor cell phone and internet traffic.

The boots may be new, but this isn’t my first rodeo.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #133003

The boots may be new, but this isn’t my first rodeo.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 08:08 PM

Who said that first? Are u j rockafeller?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #133004

willie,

“Are u j rockafeller?”

No.

Posted by: Rocky at March 12, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #133006

Are you Bullwinkle’s buddy?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #133010

I have to go because it is thundering and lightning.
Very, Very, Frightning.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #133011

to me.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #133012

…..welcome to the Twilight Zone…… Is this the way to respond when backed into a corner? I’ve got house plants that make more sense.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 12, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #133014

http://www.comm.uiuc.edu/hutchins/davidson.htm

Is this you?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #133015

willie………nope….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 12, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #133016

I was just curious.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #133017

Send me a pic, ok?

I apologize.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #133020

It’s really raining here so I have to go. Thanks for the weekend. It really hurt my eyes ‘cause I’m an ol’fart that can hardly sit up straight.

But I did enjoy the banter. I found specifics where none were previously. I really enjoyed this thread.
Thanks

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #133039

…Okay I don’t mind the debate about the wiretaps, that has some relevancy, but goodness, could we stop with the excessive and completely insane posts about Rocky and Bullwinkle?

It makes the discussion completely impossible to follow.

iandanger.

Posted by: iandanger at March 12, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #133041

iandanger,

“but goodness, could we stop with the excessive and completely insane posts about Rocky and Bullwinkle?

It makes the discussion completely impossible to follow.”

Ya think?

Posted by: Rocky at March 13, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #133056

iandanger and diogenes:

Brilliant.

(And thank God - I am so truly weary of the Weary Willies of this world that it gives me the willies just thinking about it. If scientists ever devise a way to harness the energy of Wilful Ignorance, we will be able to power every home on the planet indefinitely.

Posted by: Betty Burke at March 13, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #133058

Weary Willie reminds me of a 8 yr old who keeps asking “Why?” not because he is curious but because he wants to watch the grownups get annoyed.

Posted by: Aldous at March 13, 2006 4:23 AM
Comment #133068

I was beginning to think that he was just lonesome and liked the attention…….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 13, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #133104

“If scientists ever devise a way to harness the energy of Wilful Ignorance, we will be able to power every home on the planet indefinitely.”

…we wouldn’t be reliant on foreign oil, we would undoubtedly run an enormous trade surplus, and bush would finally serve a useful purpose! brilliant!

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 13, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #133139

Some seem to be of the rather adament opinion that any amount of personal privacy/liberty is exceptable to lose if it produces even the slightest possibility that terrorist might be caught. That is unacceptable and outright dangerous.

If goverment whistle blowing against constitutionally questionable acts is no longer allowed even in wartime, the terrorist have won in removing the American freedoms they hate because the war on terror will never end. There will always be those fighting for or against something.

Posted by: Dan at March 13, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #133146

“Gore Vidal worries about setting a bad precedent. If, as Bush has posited, the September 11 terrorists sought to force the United States to destroy it’s own liberty in order to protect itself, Vidal says”

they are succeeding beyond even their dreams, as each day, with each
extension of “emergency powers,” our Bill of Rights is shredded more
and more. Once alienated, an “unalienable right” is apt to be
forever lost, in which case we are no longer even remotely the last
best hope on earth but merely a seedy imperial state whose citizens
are kept in line by SWAT teams and whose way of death, not life, is
universally imitated. (55)

you can thank willie for the source!

Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 13, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #133274

It’s great to finally have something to thank Willie for.

Posted by: ray at March 14, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #133371

If scientists ever devise a way to harness the energy of Wilful Ignorance, we will be able to power every home on the planet indefinitely.


Posted by: Betty Burke at March 13, 2006 02:50 AM

I was beginning to think that he was just lonesome and liked the attention…….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 13, 2006 11:15 AM

…reminds me of a 8 yr old who keeps asking “Why?” not because he is curious but because he wants to watch the grownups get annoyed.

Posted by: Aldous at March 13, 2006 04:23 AM


Anybody listen to Arlen Specter on the Senate Floor Monday?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 14, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #134199

http://www.democraticunderground.com/crisis/06/050_ep.html

More and more evidence keeps coming up that the neocons might be manipulating elections in their favor. For years they’ve been corrupting our democratic system so that the government is no longer for or by the people (except large corporations who can afford to lobby and bribe their way into the government). Average people no longer really have a voice that counts.

However, if they have been committing election fraud, that will likely be the last straw, and it will be time for a full-scale revolt. The early americans knew when you couldn’t go through government channels to affect change, it was time to fight tyranny.

Posted by: john at March 17, 2006 5:06 PM
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