Monday, December 19, 2005

All The News Fit To Print?

"Speaking of the motto of the New York Times, 'All the news that's fit to print:' It is hard to think of any group of seven words that have aroused more newspaper controversy". --Gerald White Johnson

According to a recent New York Times article, "Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

I have a couple of things to say about this.

In the first place, I am skeptical of it's credibility. This is the same newspaper that has employed some rather unscrupulous reporters in the past, and don't seem to have any reservations about employing them still. Does the name, "Jayson Blair" ring a bell? How about "Charlie LeDuff"?

Additionally, The New York Times was one of the 36 news organizations that admitted in a court of law to lying in the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame case.

Another red flag is the use of the familiar "anonymous sources" in a blatant attempt to conjure up credibility where there is little or none. One doesn't have to be a newspaperman to know a story about anything, especially a controversial one, needs expert testimony to make it believable. Just making accusations out of whole cloth without them wouldn't even be printed. So cue the anonymous sources.

In this story, the Times has gone the extra mile to assure credibility with this statement:

"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".

Nearly a dozen! Wow! That's a lot! You sold me!.... Not!

So the old adage, "Don't believe everything you read" applies here. In spades.

But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the story is true.

Another thing that jumped out at me in this article:

"Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda".

Duh. A Presidential order makes it legal.

By the way, If the FISA court and Senator Jay Rockefeller, and others knew about it, it wasn't secret.

Another point:

Is it just a coincidence that this story came out the day after Iraq's historic election that established a free and independent democracy when the Times claims they have been sitting on the story for more than a year? Why the delay? Could it be they were waiting for just the right moment, for something positive to happen so they could use the story to distract America's attention from a monumental Bush victory?

It surely appears that way.

My opinion? I think anything we can do that ferrets out terrorists and prevents more 9/11 type attacks on the innocent American citizens in our country and around the world is wholly justified. I don't care if eavesdropping on suspected terrorists and terrorists sympathizers is legal or not. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Does anyone think the terrorists would stop and consider whether they are violating some law before they attack? Does anyone think they would abandon plans to bomb us when they found out, to their surprise, that murder is illegal?


Here is my suggestion to the NSA:

Wiretap them. Put microphones in the homes, in their cars, in their offices, in their clothes. Set up hidden cameras everywhere they are likely to be. Monitor them 24/7/365. Surgically implant microchips in their brains. I don't care.

What I do care about is the safety of my family, my children, my neighbors, my fellow American citizens, all innocent people.

If it takes illegal wiretaps or any other illegal activity to insure a victory in the war on terrorism, I'm all for it.

If we allow the New York Times, or anyone else to pressure the President, or the NSA, or any other agency to stop following up on suspected terrorists and their activities within the United States, another attack will almost certainly take place.

The next target could be you. Or your family.

For all we know, the New York Times may be the next intended target.

Wouldn't that be ironic?


Liam said...

Mark, I think you may be a little out of the loop on this one; George Bush admitted yesterday that the story was true.
Also I doubt that a Presidential Order in itself makes anything legal; the Presidency is the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch. He has the right to veto new laws, but not ignore existing ones. (On Meet The Press yesterday, Condoleeza Rice wasn’t able to say which law granted him the power to make that order and ignore the FISA requirements – you would think that the inner circle of Presidential advisers would have that information to defend the decision with once it was made public!)
On your final conclusions are you really sure you want to advocate ignoring laws in the pursuit of terrorists? Isn’t the rule of law what defines America? If the government is free to ignore the law what then distinguishes the USA from a Dictatorship? You are leaping with both feet on to a very slippery slope! Step back and keep the moral high ground. Perhaps ask yourself what Jesus would have advised?

Toad734 said...

So what you are saying is that you can deny that anything printed that you don't agree with is a lie. That has been a tactic of this administration for some time, not that he ever reads the news.

So I guess this means 70% of Iraq didn't really turn out to vote and the Colts still remain unbeaten.

Denial is a very powerful tool.

Mark said...

No, Toad, I'm saying The New York times can't be trusted. And I offered examples.

Mark said...

The laws do not apply to terrorists. They apply only to Americans. No law is being broken.

Ask yourself this: If terrorists blew up your family, and it could have been prevented if someone had tapped their phones, either legally or illegally, wouldn't you want to know before it happeed?

Mark said...

By the way, the New York Times story is still a lie, because it says Bush secretly tapped phones, and as I said, it wasn't a secret.

Poison Pero said...

Any American known to be hanging out with, doing business with, and in general helping Al Qaeda should have their asses in jail.

I've said all along there should be wire taps in every mosque in America......Civil rights always take a hit in wartime, and they will in ours as well.

The American people would rather we protect ourselves than hang ourselves with the noose of our own "civil rights".

Per normal, those without reason to worry, don't need to worry about this problem.....Those wishing to do us harm should be worried.
FYI: I'm sure the Dems would be doing the same thing if they were in power........And the (R)'s would probably be bitching about it.

Politics is sick.

Pamela Reece said...

Mark, I've been watching all angles of this story via MSM and other outlets. First off, I am not surprised the NYT printed this story. They are so far left and corrupt they are fotunate to have any readership at all. Even the dems realize this.

What really bothers me about this is the failure of those complaining about this to remember 9/11. Whatever happened to all the flag-waving "let's get 'em" "whatever it takes" attitude? They have forgotten, that's what happened. I hate to say this, but I think it's going to take another terrorist attack to remind people how badly terrorist want to strike us. How far will the terrorists go to achieve this goal? To any lengths! Are we to stand by and let it happen? It's sad, truly sad that 9-11 has been forgotten so quickly.