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I thought the Washington Post would take the prize for most pathetic post-election headline/story of the day:
Experts Cautious in Assessing Iraq ElectionBut later I caught the New York Times' "bombshell" on the radio via NPR.
High Turnout, Low Violence a Positive Step but Not a Turning Point, Analysts Say
NPR noted up front they were talking about a program enacted in the wake of 9/11. Thus my response - so what? My guess is most Americans would be just fine with that on September 12, and most any who would deny it are fooling themselves.
Just ask yourself whether you'll sleep better or worse tonight knowing such things were done - or if it will affect you at all. If you work in a high rise building, ponder it on your next elevator ride up.
Michelle Malkin gives this "scoop" the treatment it deserves, noting that the Times buried the key information 1,110 words deep into the story:
What the agency calls a "special collection program" began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, as it looked for new tools to attack terrorism. The program accelerated in early 2002 after the Central Intelligence Agency started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002. The C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said.Also this bit:
In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.If the Times thought they had a real story, they wouldn't have hesitated. I wouldn't doubt they shelved it last year and had forgotten it completely until a brief moment of clarity interrupted their feverish rage at yesterday's elections in Iraq.
But that's pure speculation. Michelle aims her disgust at the folks at the Times - but here's where I part ways with her analysis.I wasn't even going to bother with this story, until I actually read the Times' original. This paragraph was all it took:
Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.Was there abuse? Was it out of control? Here's what the Times says:
Some of the questions about the agency's new powers led the administration to temporarily suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions, the officials said.Now lets consider this bit again: Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
In other words - if the Times is to be believed - nearly a dozen individuals were willing to divulge information so sensitive that even they decided to delay a year and ultimately not to publish portions in this obvious hit piece. Forget the reporters - we appear to have a sizable group of "government service" people cleared to a high level who are willing to torpedo a successful anti-terror program for motives we can only imagine. (Hint: the story is in the "politics" section).
Now how will you sleep tonight?
The President, earlier this week:
When we made the decision to go into Iraq, many intelligence agencies around the world judged that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. This judgment was shared by the intelligence agencies of governments who did not support my decision to remove Saddam. And it is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As President, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq -- and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities.Please act fast - I'm tired.
Treason, as a statute, is as laughable as Jay-Walking in a one-stoplight town. What I mean by that is there is no way it will ever be enforced. Here we have clear instances of high level government officials giving aid and comfort to the enemy by jeopardizing ongoing operations, and not only will they not be strung up from the nearest oak, they will continue to be paid with our tax dollars. When are we going to have officials with the balls to start slapping people with treason indictments?Posted by YellerMax at December 16, 2005 05:57 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(1) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)