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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Saying "no" and "yes" to Georgie

Recent revelations of the Bush administration illegally monitoring US citizens without a warrant mask another sinister element of this sordid tale. The New York Times agreed to hold the story for an entire year and only published the revelations after discussions with senior government officials. The key section:

"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 understand scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials, 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."

We now learn, furthermore, that Bush himself called the Times publisher and executive editor to the White House and begged them not to run the story. They clearly refused but questions remain.

Bush probably knew that he would be exposed as a law-breaker, massively over-stepping his constitutional rights and leading to further erosion of his non-existent credibility. But what of the Times? They need to come clean and explain why they held this explosive story for one year, what sections, if any, were excised and whether they have actually gained any experience from the Judith Miller saga.


Blogger Shabadoo said...

Anty, you're leaving out the bit where the author of the story had a big book coming out to plug -- coincidence?

Anyway, if it was a legal violation -- and there is actually a lot of debate about this, and the case law re: the 4th amendment is very complex and nuanced -- it was a violation not for personal gain but for national security, and the public is always going to want the prez to err on the side of national security...this is why the dems won't get any mileage out of this politically (and dig the senators who were briefed on this feigning outrage!) ...Furthermore, Clinton was a FAR bigger abuser of this sort of thing, just to put it in perspectve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:21:00 pm  
Blogger Stev said...

You know what Ben Franklin said about those who would give up liberty for security.

I agree that in the current climate of fear the public will favour security, but I truly believe this won't always be the case.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 4:59:00 pm  
Blogger R L Barto said...

I would like to add a few more quotes - history does repeat itself...

It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.
James Madison

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
Louis D. Brandeis

We developed a system of protecting human liberty such that judges and independent judges are a necessary part of that protection.
Stephen Breyer

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.
Edmund Burke

'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Friedrich August von Hayek

and finally...

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 5:29:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

National secutiry my arse.

The Pentagon has lists that include peace activists, Quaker groupd opposed to the war and other harmless groups.

Bush was on the record as saying that wire taps don;t ahppen withotu court orders and now his band of merry men are inventing some legalistic loophole that says that the presindent is entitled to such powers under war time. Trouble is that COngress has not declared war.

The other problem is that FISQA has refuse 6 in 1000 requests for phone taps, so Buh's position is tenuous.

The calls for impeachment are gather momentum. About bloody time I say.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 12:35:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The calls for impeachment are falling flat on the floor.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:36:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Sure they won't happen, but more people are using the I word.

Bush has stacked the Superme Court too well for this ever to happen.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:10:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The Supreme court does not control the impeachment of a President.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 4:28:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

It does have a say in the descision as to whether he broke the law with reagrd to phone tapping.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:51:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The Supreme court does not have to say anything, they merely sit as Judge. Others indite and sit as jury.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:56:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

That's true, but surely the descision that needs to be made by legal minds first (if it get's that far), whether provisions in post 911 resolutions give the president the authority to wiretap without FISA's approval.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:09:00 pm  

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