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August 08, 2007


The journalists need to start stating, "If this is so important then go on the record. Needing an anonymous sourcing tactic to get the word out on your spin is not credible. If you want me to give a credible sourcing and perspective, then
on the record please."

The better papers need to just stop taking the anonymous challenges and spin. If WH officials do not have the courage to be on the record when contradicting a researched and reported issue, then they are cowards at their worst. Manipulative, lets create divisiveness, disfunctional, dishonest, self-centered hacks.

You are so right, call them what they are, liars.

Might I add, while FISA was being debated in the media just before the vote, gas prices where I live dropped from $3.05 to $2.55. I pointed that out to my spouse and said, "See, they know we are distracted by issues like gas prices and look, the prices drop creating a 'bright shiny object' that the average citizen will jump on and then be unphased by their rights being violated by a piece of legislation. I know many folks who actuallly think if gas prices are lower then things in the US must be doing better. I've noticed the gas prices drop every time something controversal about the administration comes up. I've noticed them go up whenever the D's make headway. It would be interesting to study this across the country...

I think Risen and Lichtblau are being very careful with words these days. They may know "facts" but seem to be treading gingerly around the sourcing needed to make direct challenges.

The Tamm investigation, if it leads to indictment, may see them both sitting in jail until they reveal the Warrantless Wiretap leakers.

My guess is the admin wants to push the Tamm trial as fast as possible to send a message to others in the MSM who might have the sourcing to challenge them on domestic spying and other issues in which "classified" info is leaked: Habeas Corpus, Torture, and now the Kontogiannis trial.
This Administration's use of selective classification and declassification is incredible.

Looks like everyone's getting into the anonymity act.

A military official, who asked not to be identified because the probe is confidential, said no charges were filed against Beauchamp. Instead, the official said, the matter is being handled administratively, with Beauchamp punished by having his cellphone and laptop confiscated for an undetermined period.

Can an executive privilege claim be far behind?

You have now answered the question posed in your last post. The media can't reclaim their role as the Fourth Estate until they "call'em like they see'em" in the news pages.


I thought the most damaging leaked information on domestic spying came from a government official accidentally handing over the call log evidence to Al-HAramain's (The American Islamic non-profit) lawyer Lynne Bernabei. In fact, I thought this is the one case on domestic wiretapping that could prove FISA unconstitutional.

As for the Tamm investigation, the lawyers for the Al-Haramain case have as much info as needed regarding what and how much the government has been spying on US citizens. This makes the prospect of the Tamm leak moot in some regards. The evidence was made public previously and not by a leak, but simply by the government supplying evidence to a lawyer in a case and then realizing they handed over "classified" information. Bernabei (who gave copies of her evidence I think to Risen and Lichtblau) has pointed out that the evidence she had did not reveal state secrets but just the extent to which her client was a victim of warrentless wiretapping through a simple call log. Her handing over the evidence did lead the NYT's to writing the warrentless wiretapping story if I am not mistaken.

My point being, I think I read somewhere that the Tamm investigation is a scare tactic for anyone leaving DOJ to not talk and expose the admin. or confirm anything that has been said by Comey and others to date.

The Ashcroft hospital showdown is quite damning to this admin and I think they are working hard to shut any further evidence down.

Actually, another way the Bushies are manipulating the media is by couching information as "leaks." Media reporters think they are getting the inside scoop on something because it is presented in a secretive manner. That, in turn, makes it all the more appealing to report.

Woodward and Bernstein obtained much of their information and background for Watergate in that manner, a la Deep Throat. So, now, if it is information provided in a secretive manner, it could be the next big thing!

I think it is also having the effect of blunting true whistle-blowers, because it negates the information that they provide. That way, no one knows for sure what is going on and it is one person's story versus another.

I agree with your take here, but the another consideration is that Lichtblau wanted to use the language you stated, but some Bush friendly editor above him nixed the part he wrote that used the phrase "dirty rotten pathological liars". Yes and why would someone need to be anonymous to talk more freely here about this information if in fact the claims you're making about the legislation did uphold the constituion and did not allow spying on Americans and only targetted those nasty bad guy foreigners? Is that opinion and those facts not popular in America and you're afraid of the backlash? The only reason I can think of in this case would be if you're lying your arse off and know it. But if some source of mine was proved to be wrong I would think it would be "fair game" to out this person for being so bogus and trying to mislead. Hey but at least that guy that appeared on PBS the other night (Cunningham) spouting that same talking point didn't need anonymity...even if he looked like fool.

And on the bright side....well at least Lichtblau didn't pull a Judith Miller here and source it to an "anonymous congressional hill staffer."

I think all such stories should start off with the phrase "Unwilling to go officially on record, an anonymous senior White House official" etc, etc.

That way, everyone would understand that these guys have something to hide or obfuscate.

Remember we're dealing with a president who almost choked on a pretzel watching a football game, not one who might have played one game too many without a helmet.
To the football mind the best defense is a good offense, and so the Bush Roving Sons of Watergate will never desist in their propaganda promotions. No lie is too bold or too hackneyed to perpetuate. Emulating the repetitive cadence of the fundamentalist preacher, the lie takes on a life of its own - e.g. Saddam was responsible for 911.
I believe it was Jefferson that said something to the fact that the price of liberty is constant vigilance.

A house built on a foundation of lies, and every time the lies start showing and the house begins shaking, they shove some more lies in to shore it up. Doing it anonymously is the equivalent of doing it in the middle fo the night, complete with the plaster and paint to hide the 'repairs'.

"I thought the most damaging leaked information on domestic spying came from a government official accidentally handing over the call log evidence to Al-HAramain's (The American Islamic non-profit) lawyer Lynne Bernabei. In fact, I thought this is the one case on domestic wiretapping that could prove FISA unconstitutional."
This is the leak that now exists only in the minds of those who saw the documents (unless someone has surreptiously made copies). This was not the source of the tech details on data mining or wiretapping that someone from the gov't leaked.
I agree they want to shut down any further leaks by intimidation, but I also wonder whether they will go after reporters if the Tamm investigation proceeds...? At least the precedent is there and the threat lingers....

Starting the article with, "In the latest anonymous briefing designed to spread disinformation, the White House said..."

Or, y'know, 'asked not to be identifed as a liar'.

My guess is that the White House was shit-scared. Not at a terrorist threat, but at the deets of Project X coming out before FISA and the Fourth Amendment got eviscerated. The Tamm raid is pour encourager les autres well in advance of the sunset clause. And, by the time the two Judiciary Committees come back, Abu G will have a nice file of phone and email records that he reasonably considers foreign intelligence, in his mind, at this moment.

"In the latest anonymous briefing designed to spread disinformation, the White House said..."

I object to your framing.

Stephen Hadley, the former hill staffer, is just acting as a anonymous watchdog of the press and correcting the grey lady, the paper of record, anonymously with a new improved set of facts about the FISA law, which was passed under threat of terrorist attack, at the end of the term.

"Time is short," said Bush.

The Anonymous Lying Briefers and the Shameless Stenographers are working from the same talking points - steadily becoming evermore distant from the Facts of Daily Life that the rest of us experience.

That's the way it works, right? The Ministry of Propaganda employs everyone on both sides of the Information Podium to shape the warm-and-fuzzy fairytale Narrative that keeps us productive in increasingly oppressive conditions?

Bridges are falling down - foreclosures and bankruptcies are skyrocketing - we have a negative savings rate per household - 43 Million of us aren't insured - the cost of energy is becoming a heavy burden - and

Bush wants to invade Iran, increase domestic spying and raise the national (ie - everybody's) debt limit, while establishing the 'elites' as the 'controlling class' - the ones who get to 'say' how it is for all of us - all in the name of 'Terror.'

People get paralyzed with cognitive dissonance (resulting in mental confusion and physical lethargy) when they are faced - on the one hand - with the Painful-And-Getting-More-Painful Facts of their Daily Lives - and - on the other hand - the 'Comfortably Numb Unified Lie' of the Government and the Press.

Ideology is a consuming, overwhelming, maddening Illness that can't check or balance itself. Ideology *Runs Amok* when cloaked in secrecy. The Bus is racing for the cliff, and the Anonymous Lying Briefers are giving us the 'Welcome to Disneyland' canned bullhorn speech.

Unfortunately for us, however, most of our friends on the Right - at present - are more than happy to snuggle-in, all cozy and comforted - eyes buried in the Ideology Brochure - to the Lie.

In the powerlessness of our nearly voiceless minority, we're going to have to live on Snark until the Right wakes-up and tips the scales back towards Reality, Clarity, and Sensibility.

Kind of a side issue:

Last evening, waiting for the train to leave on the way home, I overheard half a cellphone conversation from some rows behind me. The talker was going on about how frightened she was when someone she didn't recognize would get up (presumably in order to use the onboard facility) and leave a bag on their seat. Apparently she has spent so much time listening to terror alerts that she now panics at everything.
(Yes, there is a possibility of terrorism on the train; however, it's much less likely than the train running into a vehicle.)

"My guess is that the White House was shit-scared. Not at a terrorist threat, but at the deets of Project X coming out before FISA and the Fourth Amendment got eviscerated."

I wonder the same thing, and posted several diaries on Kos arguing that the real issue is domestic-domestic wiretapping.

Importantly, I think the Administration is still deeply hemmed into the frame that "TSP" and other NSA programs did not involve purely domestic surveillance.

I wonder if Feinstein's capitulation on this vote reflects knowledge that the real issue is warrantless domestic-domestic surveillance, which as far as I can tell, is not permitted by this bill.

In essence, passing FISA centers the debate on spying on domestic entities that have a foreign contact. No one is asking the big questions about purely domestic wiretapping that raised such a stink in March 04.

Comey, Goldsmith, and Philbin, know why they were prepared to resign, and I hope Feinstein knows as well.... I don't think it was the activities now allowed by the FISA update...

drational, I second your post. I have felt all along that FISA is only a part of what the administration wants and needs to become 'legal.' The domestic-domestic issue? It has been going on all along in my opinion. With the Tamm case, we now have a new version of White House Plumbers workings to stop the leaks.

The late, great psychiatrist and writer M. Scott Peck (who wrote "The Road Less Traveled") also wrote another book entitled "People of the Lie." I keep thinking that I would like to go back and re-read it, but I don't have to do that in order to state that just about everyone involved with Bush fits into the profile Peck put forth.

The effects that these people are having on the public's psyche are the same as those created by abusive parents or relationships. The continual denials and reframings ("We didn't really mean that" or "Are you sure you heard that right?") are driving people crazy. Belief in treasured institutions is fading, and it is rapidly becoming every man for himself.

I truly hope that, before I die, I will know the absolute truth about what all has gone on...

Does anyone anywhere believe that we are not surveilling Domestic-Domestic "terrorists". Not even SJC Republicans are buying that one (from 2/6/06 SJC):

KYL: And finally, you noted that this was as interpreted by the NSA professionals.
Now, I thought there were two particularly interesting lines of inquiry. And one was Senator Biden's question about whether or not, if this program is really necessary, we shouldn't try to evaluate whether it should also be applied to calls from Al Qaida terrorist A to Al Qaida terrorist B, although they happen to be in the United States.
And it was my understanding you said that the analysis of that had not been conducted. Is that correct?
GONZALES: The legal analysis as to whether or not that kind of surveillance -- we haven't done that kind of analysis, because, of course, the president -- that's not what the president has authorized.

If we are doing so based on NSA data mining and outside of FISA, then this is issue should certainly raise broader civil liberties hackles.

I wonder whether the FISA update is pushed presently to saturate the issue with the relatively less controversial foreign-domestic surveillance. This allows the topic to be debated and allows citing the bipartisan congressional support for this version of wiretapping Americans. Then when the purely domestic-domestic issue is reached by the SJC, there is desensitization of the public to this further 4th amendment intrusion.

I hope that the ongoing SJC and HJC investigations will reveal the exact depth of what was being done illegally. I fear that Dems are pulling punches because they stand to inherit the broadened executive power in 2008....

drational and PinNC - I would hazard a guess that drats, via pinc, interpretation that "I don't think it was the activities now allowed by the FISA update..." is somewhat correct. However, I think that, as to the current FISA update imbroglio, this was PART of the greater whole that spooked Comey, Goldsmith et.al. Here is why: It is to easy to get caught up in solely the domestic versus international distinction. In most regards, the far more important distinction is the standard of review (probable cause as opposed to reasonable suspicion as opposed to "anything we detect") and who is doing the reviewing (Standard court as opposed to FISA Court as opposed to imbecilic shill Gonzales). To a real lawyer with experience in the justice system, these are the linchpins and what would cause screaming to start. So, for that reason, I think Comey, Goldsmith et. al. were concerned with the current issues in addition to domestic-domestic.

What I come back to is the incredibly careful testimony of Gonzales. He and the administration insist that there was no controversy in the TSP, which was narrowly defined to surveil americans in contact with foreigners. And this is what we now get legalized with FISA update. It was other aspects of NSA-driven surveillance that really set off Comey et al. The most cereful parsing from SJC 2/06 was Gonzales' initial denial (in response to broad questions) that legal analysis of purely domestic wiretapping had been done.

His written correction of that testimony notes that he was referencing only the artifically defined TSP. this changed testimony essentially admitted the legal analysis of dom-dom wiretapping had been performed in other aspects of govmt, probably yet named portions of the original NSA program. This may have been the basis of Comey's issue. At the 2/6/06 SJC hearing, none of the dems on intel(feinstein, feingold), nor schumer, asked about dom-dom surveillance. I wonder if this was because they had been briefed and feared direct questions would leak their classified knowledge...? Schumer knew at least part of the comey issue, because he raised the name.

at any rate, i am fixated on this particular issue because it is yet unresolved, and similar to the issues that sunk nixon- domestic warrantless surveillance and coverup- it is a clear liability for the admin and should be pursued....

the timing of the upheaval= primary season 2004- also makes me wonder if there was a specific incident (political access to program) that triggered the crisis.

drational - I don't disagree with anything you say here particularly, I just tend to believe that both what you and I have postulated are in play. I don't frequent DKos because, frankly, there is just to much noise for my taste in addition to the really excellent stuff that is also there. I do, however, recognize your name as one that bright people here have repeatedly referred to as doing great work there. I don't know how much you have been a reader here, but it has long been my take that this "program", "program the President disclosed", "ProgramX" stuff is a bunch of crap. It is all one program generated in response to 9/11 (lusted after for decades by the Cheney types I might add). They simply try to artificially sever off parts of the program, and move them around under different names de jour, as a shell game to suit their subterfuge and cover up. Rhetoric and semantics aside, they are spying, it does reel in innocent American citizens, and there is EVERY reason in the world to believe they would use it for political purposes; that is who they are, it is in their DNA.

I used our comments here to put together a Kos diary:


I am wondering if pushing this now when they could get it through was also by design to trap dems into an internal party dispute to further detract from the real issue....

for some reason i had never seen this site. i started blogging in march, on kos, so have stayed there and TPMM. i have been struggling with Kos for months- the good and bad.
After reading comment threads here for about 6 hrs last night, I am migrating.
as to
"It is all one program generated in response to 9/11 (lusted after for decades by the Cheney types I might add)."

I agree, and diaried this at Kos a bit ago. One Program.

If you get a chance, watch the c-span panel w/Move-On, Mike Stark, Makaka (spelling!) and the guy who apparently broke the Mark Foley story last year.

There was a moment when some MSM reporter asked a question and Mike answered it. It would be a very good link to this story.

James Risen is also relaying on anonymous sources.If anonymous sources can level charges,they can also refute them.
If a reporter finds that his source has misled him on a fact,on which the source was well informed,then he should not grant him anonymous status again and should never use him as either a provider of fact nor as a conformer.

victoria2dc-a link , or at least a date and some info on what panel you mean.

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