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  • Meanwhile there's a war on

    Here's a nice engine starter for you: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012808.php

    Here's how CBS, for example, covered the story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...8DU8I500.shtml

  • #2
    Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

    "My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.
    I'm sorry, was I supposed to keep reading after that?
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    • #3
      Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

      Sure if you want to learn something more than you want to be a smartass. We each must make decisions about how much attention we pay views that differ from our own versus conserving our precious time. My guess is that you'd appreciate the courtesy of being heard out by others when presenting your views. You may wish to extend the same courtesy to others.

      Or at least keep your mouth shut if you have nothing positive or interesting to contribute, right?

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      • #4
        Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

        There is being courteous, and then there is indulging the conservative pundits at Powerline in their silly delusions of persecution. My capacity for courtesy does not extend that far. I'm sorry if you tie your own beliefs close enough to that of Powerline for that to offend you, but that's not my problem.
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        • #5
          Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

          Of course you aren't required to keep reading something that midly displeases you for a sentence or two. I suggest that you work on your focus if that's all it takes to knock you off a subject, but, as you say, that's not my problem.

          Your popping in to say nothing more than "that's stupid and beneath me" (I paraphrase) is the height of discourtesy. Didn't your momma teach you that?

          If you think the article is stupid, say why and support your position. Voila, an interesting exchange of ideas. If you are incapable of doing that, try at least to shut up.

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          • #6
            Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

            Originally posted by powerline
            The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.
            It does not follow. I don't see any reason they are linking the NSA big-brother tactics to this arrest. It's just a big unfounded jump. Although I did not read the rest of the article (when it seem to change topic and proceed to engage in excessive levels of ball-cupping).

            Originally posted by powerline
            News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.
            When the Russians arrest a small number of Chechens it goes virtually unreported in the American media. Conspiracy? I think not.

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            • #7
              Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

              You don't see how it follows? This link between NSA big-brother tactics and this arrest is "Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy"...

              and then the conspiracy element follows in the same quote: "...to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11."

              If the Russians arrested a small number of Chechens who were planning a series of major attacks inside the US, and it went virtually unreported in the American media but widely reported around the world, then yes I would wonder why and I might draw connections between the Media's actions and their policital positions and objectives.

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              • #8
                Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                Originally posted by leejo
                Of course you aren't required to keep reading something that midly displeases you for a sentence or two. I suggest that you work on your focus if that's all it takes to knock you off a subject, but, as you say, that's not my problem.
                You are taking my snark too literally. I did in fact read the horrible article.

                "The media is out to impeach the president," seems to me to be a patently absurd statement in it's own right, without any commentary from me. But then, one man's absurdity is another man's gospel. Even leaving aside for the moment the points that a) Congress has the power to impeach, b) the media is made up of thousands of distinct voices of varying political stripes, and c) most of the networks and papers have been very careful about criticizing Bush up until the last few months, it's still a silly paranoid statement. The Times had the story before the last election. If they really wanted to skewer the President with it, I think they had ample opportunity to do so at that time.

                That line is where I simply judged that the author was too far gone to trust any of his claims as rational. Not that Powerline has a particularly strong record of rational thought.

                Furthermore, to spin the Italian arrests (which are quite frequent, given the comparatively large militant population there, of various factions) as somehow relevant to the NSA wiretapping scandal is an act of political desperation. The author is searching for any kind of justification for the President's illegal order. It's a BS argument.

                And finally, is anyone else as sick as I am of these whiny "articles" about how the news isn't covering a particular event the way the author would like them to? "OMG! The MSN isn't catering to my narrow political view of the universe! This is clearly a conspiracy against America!" If you have information or a viewpoint that adds something constructive to the news cycle, something that someone may have missed, by all means share it, but spare us the self-righteous outrage that someone in Altanta isn't looking up your personal ideological preferences when they send copy to the newsroom.
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                • #9
                  Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                  Better! And thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                    Originally posted by leejo
                    This link between NSA big-brother tactics and this arrest is "Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy"...
                    Warrantless NSA wiretaps or standard-procedure Italian wiretaps? If it were the former then the blog article would have mentioned it because it would give their bias/conspiracy theory credibility.

                    Originally posted by leejo
                    and then the conspiracy element follows in the same quote: "...to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11."
                    Ok, my mistake. The plans were in fact to attack the US so it would seem that US news should report it. The question is "why didn't they" but I'm not ready to jump to this blogger's conclusion (see above) without more information.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                      Originally posted by leejo
                      You don't see how it follows? This link between NSA big-brother tactics and this arrest is "Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy"...
                      I admit upfront that I am mostly ignorant of Italian law and surveilance requirements. So, I have to ask, were the wiretaps in Italy legal? Or were they secret/illegal like what people are going after Bush for?

                      I see no mention in the Power Line article of which is the case of the wiretaps in Italy. If they were done legally (according to Italian law), then it really has no bearing on the illegal wiretaps in the US. If they were illegal, it's just as silly. To quote an old saying about a bridge, "If Italy were to capture terrorists by killing suspected family members, would you do it too?"

                      I'm sure there's a thousand illegal things that we could do to catch terrorists. What should set us apart from the rest, however, is that we don't violate law in order to do so.
                      [squadl]
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                      • #12
                        Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                        Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                        I'm sure there's a thousand illegal things that we could do to catch terrorists. What should set us apart from the rest, however, is that we don't violate law in order to do so.
                        Can you tell me what law is broken by conducting this type surveillance on people for the purpose of national security (as opposed to doing it for a criminal case)?

                        We all know that the Constitution protects our rights in criminal cases. Nobody could be criminally prosecuted for anything found out via these secret taps. But do those laws apply in this situation? Does Osama and his henchmen deserve this type of protection?

                        And if anyone really thinks that US network news is balanced, I believe you're a fool.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality
                          Can you tell me what law is broken by conducting this type surveillance on people for the purpose of national security (as opposed to doing it for a criminal case)?
                          So the whole needing judicial oversight on a warrant thing disappears once we put the words "national security" to the situation? Although I suppose it can be argued legal to the word of law, there's the spirit to be considered.

                          Aside from the wiretaps, there is this:

                          http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/09/ter...eut/index.html

                          My problem is not so much with how things are going now, but with what it has the potential to become in the future. Twenty years from now, I don't want to find out that my phone conversations are being taped without a warrant because the police mistakenly thought I was a criminal, and used what's happening today as a basis to change the law. Argue all you want that it would never happen, and is silly, but I'll let you google for silly laws that got approved anyway.
                          [squadl]
                          "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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                          • #14
                            Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                            Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                            Although I suppose it can be argued legal to the word of law, there's the spirit to be considered.
                            Yes, the spirit certainly needs to be considered. I don't think our laws were written to protect the rights of terrorists, do you?


                            And our legal rights have been suspended on other occasions without us losing them forever. Just think about some of the things we did during the World Wars. Heck, look at all the things that President Lincoln did during the Civil War.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Meanwhile there's a war on

                              Originally posted by CingularDuality
                              Yes, the spirit certainly needs to be considered. I don't think our laws were written to protect the rights of terrorists, do you?
                              You are arguing the wrong issue. The government has the duty to monitor suspected terrorists for potential threats. This is built into our criminal code and our justice department. The FISA courts were established to provide significant judicial oversight of the process to ensure that 1) a requested wiretap had some evidentiary reason behind it, and 2) wiretaps conducted in this matter fit the narrow national security interest, and were not broader criminal or political eavedropping (the first being a matter for criminal justice, and the second illegal).

                              The Bush order instructed the NSA to bypass the FISA approval process entirely to screen "international" communications for potential threats. We have no good idea yet of exactly the scope or technology involved in that program, because it is still classified, but obviously some people in the department itself are uncomfortable with what's going on. If the eavesdropping is being used to build huge databases for datamining or phishing, then you have a definite problem regarding domestic spying.

                              Now, here's the fishy part - the FISA courts are incredibly lenient, and allow you to get permission 72 hours after you have already tapped a line. So the system is very friendly to these critical investigations. But Gonzales said that what they wanted to do would not have gotten past the FISA courts, thus requiring the extra Presidential order. In other words, "we have to break the law in order to enforce the law."

                              That begs the question then, what are they actually doing? If it's so edgy that they have to bypass the courts to do it, then guess what, it's probably either illegal or wildly unpopular. The only thing they are cutting out of the process is the public record of what they are doing - that smacks of covering one's ass.

                              So all this "being tough on terrorists" or "giving rights to terrorists" BS can stop. This is about some very shady dealings at the top of the government, and not about defending us from anything.
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