Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by All_Around_Brown, Jan 3, 2006.
Among the two big leak cases?
More outrage in congress about the NSA. And I think it's because congress realizes that the NSA may very well be monitoring them. They're not outraged for America, they're outraged for themselves - but at least they're outraged.
This is a clear double standard. It basically says outing a CIA agent involved in WMD investigations overseas- not too urgent (thus politically pro-Bush).
Leaking of a gross abuse of power, a high crime and misdemeanor, concealed for three years by the executive branch - thats urgent (and is thus politically pro-Bush).
It will be interesting to see who in the media goes to jail for not disclosing their sources in the latter.
Well, there is some argument to whether the wiretaps are legal or not. Personally, I think they're illegal, but the Bush administration is making a two-pronged argument:
1. The wiretaps were authorized by statute. Basicaly, this is the blank check argument. The administration is saying that the law congress passed shortly after 9/11, which allowed Bush to use force against Al Queda, implicitly authorized Bush to do anything and everything to bring terrorists to justice. They have no shot at this one. If the courts agreed with the administration here I would hope even the administration would complain about the activist judges that rule for them.
2. The authority is inherent in the role of the executive and cannot be extinguished even by act of congress. This is a similar argument made by Lincoln when he suspended the writ of habeas corpus (found unconstitutional), by FDR to intern Japanese-Americans during WWII (found constitutional), and by Truman when he attempted to seize steel mills during the Korean War. Personally, I think the argument requires an "activist" reading of the constitution, but there's no telling how the courts would rule.
Assuming that the practice is indeed unconstitutional, you would be right that evidence gained through an illegal wiretap would be inadmissable under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. I don't think Bush intends to use this information for criminal prosecution, though. My feeling is (and I admit I'm just hypothesizing) is that Bush would use an alternative system of "justice" to avoid bringing cases like this to federal court. Perhaps by declaring people as enemy combatants and trying them in military tribunals.
FWIW...it looks as if they knew it was illegal, which is why FISA wouldn't sign off on it. Question is: what about it wouldn't FISA sign off? One speculation was that it was political retribution- spying on opposition. The disclosures of Greenpeace, religious groups, and PETA being spyed on doesn't help their case.
They are too scared of the political sleaze collected on them under the illegal wiretapping perhaps? If they speak out, the skeletons come stumbling out of closets.
This is also one reason why the FISA Law was enacted. Because it would be too easy to attack political opponents with such broad surveillance powers.
Now, take a look here...
The National Security Red Herring
By Larry Johnson,
[font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]Tue Jan 3rd, 2006 at 07:54:47 AM EDT :: War on Terror
(4 comments) [/size][/font]
[font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]Definition: A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue.Caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, President Bush is working feverishly to divert attention from the fact that he has subverted the FISA law by claiming that the revelation in the New York Times of the NSA spying program has jeopardized national security and given the terrorists a hand. Sorry Mr. President, that dog won't hunt.
The fact that the NSA has the ability to listen to electronic conversations, such as phone calls and emails, has been public knowledge since the 1970s. Al Qaeda has known this for more than ten years. The authors of the al Qaeda training manual dealt specifically with the need to take precautions to prevent their conversations from being captured by US listening posts. If we are dealing with terrorists who don't realize their conversations could be intercepted, then we are after people who really must be living in a cave.
Could our national security have been jeopardized? Yes, but only if the New York Times had divulged how the conversations were being intercepted. That knowledge would allow the targets of the intercepts to change their method of communicating. (In this case the President would be right to be upset.) But, that is not what happened. The Times did not reveal a methodology. The fact that the Government has the power to intercept conversations is why we have the FISA law in the first place. Telling the American people that the President is circumventing the law does not harm national security in any fashion, but it could threaten George Bush's job security.
Let's be clear: Bush is upset because he has been discovered violating his oath of office. Instead of protecting the Constitution, he has authorized procedures that violate the Fourth Amendment, ostensibly in the name of saving the nation. The inconsistency and hypocrisy of the Bush administration on this issue is breathtaking. They only scream about damage to national security when it suits their purpose. They had no qualms about outing Valerie Plame or Mohammed Noor.
The Government itself is very inconsistent on what can and cannot be told to the public. Robert Baer, for example, received permission from the CIA in 2002 to publish See No Evil (which is a terrific book). A careful reader, especially one who has held a Top Secret Special Access Program (SAP) clearance, can quickly pick out information in his book about a signal intercept program that is highly sensitive. Bob Baer was not trying to hurt the United States, he was just telling a great story and trusted the CIA to take out all damaging material. CIA censors, however, dropped the ball. In the latest battle over what the public can and cannot be told, CIA reviewers prohibited Gary Berntsen from telling certain facts in his book, Jawbreaker, which another CIA officer, Gary Schroen, was permitted to include in his 2004 work, First In.
The search for the leakers who have blown the whistle on the surveillance story is not about protecting national security. This is an effort to intimidate real investigative reporters who tell the American people the stories they need to hear. Unlike Judith Miller, who provided highly paid stenography services to the Bush administration, Jim Risen and Eric Lichtblau have a done a public service by alerting us to the fact that President Bush was ignoring the Constitution and acting like a king with a divine right to decide unilaterally what is and is not in the national interest. Larry Johnson worked as a CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). http://forum.truthout.org/blog/
Or choice #3, the leak of the out of country secret CIA prisions.
So many leaks, so little time.
The Plame leaker IF they violated the law should go to prison. I think Fitz has not indicted here because the law was not violated - she may not have been covert and the leaker has to disclose her knowing that she's covert. Yet IF it was not illegal but done out of political retrubution for husband Joe, the person should resign. In this universe if that happened we'll never know for sure.
The other national security leaks reflect a blatant disregard for operational secrecy in the midst of the war on terror. I hope the leakers are found, tried, convicted and jailed.
I am not surprised you feel that way. However, to say that outing a CIA NOC who was, at the time, working on nuclear non-proliferation is not a breach of national security is clearly a bias on your part. You support some leaks, but not others, depending on whether they help or hurt your boy, No?
If Bush broke the law, we need to know. That includes outing a CIA agent (I realize that the law is specific and very difficult to prove regarding Plame.) That also includes running secret prisons and rogue intelligence services.
This man needs to stop deceiving and obfuscating because its starting to get really obvious, and dangerous.
That still doesn't draw attention from what was leaked. Whistleblowing, in the right circumstances, is a very patriotic thing. No order is valid if it's illegal, and reporting an illegal action (assuming the wiretapping is illegal, which is still an open question) is heroic. Remember the right's hero-of-the-day, Linda Tripp, also obtained evidence by illegal wiretapping (by recoridng her conversations with Lewinsky without notification), though Republicans had no problem seizing the opportunity to use the ill-gotten info.
No. Try reading what I wrote rather than projecting.
I misunderstood you how? You suggest Plame was not really outed. You have doubts about the case of revealing a CIA operative. OK, but she is no longer working in counter-terrorism. She will never work undercover again. You seemed to downplay that leak to me, thats all. You've downplayed it before IIRC.
You are concerned about two leaks that damaged Bushs image. Based on your previous positions, I find that interesting. Political allegiance of an unprecedented scale, perhaps?
National security is in the eye of the beholder? Is the Bill of Rights negotiable to you? Read what Larry Johnson wrote and get back to me.
Again you misunderstand. I said jail if they violated the law. If not violate law but disclosed anyway for political reasons they should be fired.
You want me to say someone should go to jail for NOT violating the law?
You partisan lefties need to get a grip.
Real partisanship from us independants, sure. Look, I'm merely trying to figure out your response.
What laws were violated in any of these three leak cases is the obvious unknown.
My point of the entire thread was to determine what action we think would be prioritized. The leak of a CIA operative. Or the leak of illegal wiretapping.
Point being: the former case being delayed is a positive for Bush. The latter being delayed is a negative for Bush. The poll is to determine what we think will happen first.
The actual expediency of these serious leak probes will reveal the deep level of national security hypocrisy going on IMO. I personally expect people to be going to jail for not revealing their sources in the latter case, and soon.
And yet, Robert Novak is still mum....and free.
I did read somewhere that the prosecutor in the case (Fitzgerald) has said Novak is cooperating fully with the investigation. Grand jury testimony is secret, so the information could be out there and we just don't know it yet. I'd have expected an indictment right away if another name was dropped, but Fitzgerald could be gathering more evidence first.
Incidentally, your post is dead-on. Things in the real world aren't black & white (will go to jail versus will not go to jail). Little details, like the timing of investigations, can be effectively manipulated for a certain outcome.
I wonder how much crap will be uncovered after Bush leaves office.
Thats encouraging for truth and justice. Not so good for Karl Rove I suspect.
Libby stonewalled (and lied to a grand jury) repeatedly, only to be indicted later for it. Novak may be changing his story, or whatever, to keep this thing going until after the elections for all we know.
Who will break the whistleblowers at NYT? Will they use torture to get at the truth? Will it be shock and awe?
The next time you say a negative thing about a democrat , will be the first.
What is a democrat?
Oh...it should also be noted that the only thing worse than a two party system is a one party system. I'm sure you would agree.
Supposedly Novak is singing to Fitz. Judith Miller went to jail relame, albeit somewhat unnecessarily as she had permission from her source to reveal him. So, why wouldn't other NYT folks go to jail regarding sources for these other security leaks in wartime???
Lets first admit that the war on terror is like the war on drugs or the war on poverty. Its a conceptual war. Therefore, we could be at war from here forward. There wil always be people that disagree with us and there will always be a slice of those that break the law and commit terrorist acts.
You appear more concerned with the uncovering of unprecedented abuses of power than with finding the truth, as it might look bad for your political side.
Are you prepared to sacrifice (suspend) the fourth amendment indefinitely? That is the bottom line.
No amendments need be sacrificed. Ask constitutional scholars who aren't infected with BDS.
Separate names with a comma.