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June 26, 2006

Snow: "NYT has undermined Americans' right to live"

The President and his administration are furious at the New York Times and other media outlets for revealing details of the Treasury Department's secret program to monitor financial transactions.

Here's what Press Secretary Tony Snow had to say:

[T]he New York Times and other news organizations ought to think long and hard about whether a public’s right to know in some cases might override somebody’s right to live, and whether in fact the publications of these could place in jeopardy the safety of fellow Americans.

Asked whether the White House attacks on the New York Times represented an effort “to create a chilling effect on media outlets,” Snow responded, “I don’t think so.” [ThinkProgress]

Watch the video of Snow's attack at ThinkProgress.

In other news, China may impose fines on journalists who report on disasters without permission.


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It is always difficult for us Westerners to place ourselves in the position of people who live under constant government observance, but I can understand that it might even make some journalists of the major newspapers / newssources feel like they can ... [Read More]



You can only despair when you read some of the comments here.

No, America will never let the element take power nationally. The people are far too intelligent to let that happen.

I'd like for there to be a political option that is more left than the Republicans (so called) conservatives present us with now, but it cannot happen. Not now. The "progressive" left either think security is a joke, or its something that they oppose, or they're more afraid of Dick Cheney than they are of Al Queda. That's simply not rational thought.

By their words we shall know them. Bookmark this thread, and the next time some nitwit tells you that the left cares about security as much as the average American, send the link to them.

What would be the point of that? Everyone you would send it too would already have agreed with you anyways without a thread to prove it. And saying someone "doesn't care" about national security is a double edged sword - since I haven't seen that the Republicans care any more about National security issues than the Democrats have.

So you mean that the Republicans officials and Congressman having sex orgies with prostitutes at DC poker parties is protecting our national security or destroying its ability to perform it? What about running our country into massive debt to the point where we couldn't even afford another large scale war if we wanted to without someone else to bankroll it - let alone affording the ability to close off borders. Oh wait NAFTA and CAFTA which circumvented any potential chance for American workers to compete with foreign workers, thus indebting America even more, somehow is guarding our national security. Sorry, your argument that Republicans guard national security more than that of the Democrats is null and void. Neither have.

Of course, if the vice president or a trusted adviser of the president happens to reveal top secret intelligence to the news media as part of a personal vendetta or to build support for erroneous reasons to go to war, well, that's okay. Isn't it?

BTW, I love the new picture, Lindsay!

The only defintion of treason worth considering in this matter is the legal one by the Constitution of the United States, Article 3, Section 3, Clause 1:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Now if people at NYT committed treason, isn't the president malfeasant and derelict in his duty if he doesn't see to it that the putative treason is prosecuted? Isn't he supposed to (Article 2, Section 3) "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"? If the treason be real, Bush is aquiescent in it -- might he bean accomplice, a traitor too?
Shouldn't the Republican Congress, if the treason be real, at least pass a Sense of the Congress resolution that NYT be prosecuted? Should
they not move heaven and earth if NYT has betrayed the republic? Are they not acquisecent in whatever treason NYT might have committed if they will do nothing about it but shoot off their mouths like windy demagogues? Can they deserve re-election?
And Republicans who would continue to support a supinepresident who refused to prosecute treason and a Congress that would do nothing to compel such a prosecution, are they not on their knees to treason, traitors themselves? Why should anyone listen to the squawking hypocrisy of chickenhawks?

Lindsay, didjman, ahem, cfrost, Alon, Jeffrey, 1984, Sean, paperwight, Uncle Kvetch, Damien, Steve, Alex: you don't take national security seriously.

Guilty as charged. It's likely that the term "national security" has meant "fascism" since its inception; it certainly means that now, and it certainly meant that in the Cold War.

Nobody invokes national security to support non-fascist policies that increase the national dick size: for example, the language that pro-science nationalists use tends to revolve around American greatness and the challenge of China rather than around national security. The one time science was considered a national security issue, it became mired in the swamps of censorship and nationalism, too.

When a doctrine is only applies in those cases where it is used to exclude, censor, invade, impoverish, or destroy, it's time to give up on it. Terrorism-wise, it won't really matter, seeing as how creeping fascism has repeatedly failed to uproot terrorism.

Terrorism is an international law enforcement problem. The Bushclowns have worked overtime to damage our relations with the rest of the world, whih include essential cooperation in fighting terrorism. The Bushcriminals have not the slightest interest in making us safer; to them, it's all about domestic politics. The abject stupidity of their pathetic dupes, like Publius and Phantom (what utterly lame handles, by the way- quite symptomatic of their intellectual feebleness) is what makes this strategy pay off.

I'm hereby changing my handle to Count Zero since Godstar has too religious of a connotation, and Count Zero was fictious data cowboy, which is in reality what I am.

--Terrorism is an international law enforcement problem.--

False. Law enforcement has its role, but this is a new type of war. Get used to it. The people who want to kill you and me call it a war, and I call it a war.

It's not a war- any more than the 'ear on drugs" is- just because criminal politicans have duped you into repeating their lies. Get used to it.


Repeating your lie does not make it any less false.

By your logic, when we went to war in Afghanistan, against Al Queda/Taliban, we should have sent the NYPD in their patrol cars instead of the US/NATO force that went in there.

You did support Afghanistan?

By the way, idiot, how's that war against the Taliban going these days? Or do you pay attention to anyting besides Bush propaganda?

Name-calling gets you nowhere. Answer the question

Answer mine, clown. You don't get to pontificte about Afghanistan until you come to terms with the disastrous ongoing mess your hero Bush has left there. He never bothered actually defeating the Taliban- or bin Laden- before going on to his real target, Iraq. He couldn't care less about our security. But you probably don't know about any of that since you're so utterly ill-informed. Wanker.

Steve LaBonne

Your words speak for themselves. I have no further comment.

Of course you don't; you have no idea what you're babbling about. Don't let the door hit you in the ass ont he way out. And stick to the right-wing blogs where your drivelling will be sympathetically received.

"Name-calling gets you nowhere. Answer the question."

Irony at it's best. Some great Phantom quotes:

"You're too stupid to bother with."

"The fools must love their country more than they hate President Bush."

"You hate Bush more than you love your fellow citizens. Fact."

You and Steve both have been 'zinging' each other, though you are now just regurgatating his prior statement now. Quaint.

"That's why they become terrorists in the first place, because they assume that America is watching their every move"

"At which point a million monkeys flew out of his ass."

""Live Free or Die" isn't just a license plate slogan."

"How stupid do you Rethug tools think the rest of us are?"

Yes, I know they responded in kind with the same spew, but you can't complain about it afterwards when you did nothing but the same thing yourself.


The first two comments came before my first comment was made.

paperwight lowered the bar further by speaking about authoritarians and trolls and whatever.

That's ok, I can take a few poodles yapping at my ankles, but things degenerate so quickly in internet threads, there's little actual conversation that ever takes place.

I Read William F Buckley's speech in memory of his political adversary / lifelong friend John Kenneth Galbraith in the current National Review. We've fallen a long way from that level of conversation, friendships too.

I propose we start a new debate: is this exchange more in line with middle-school trash talk or with elementary-school trash talk?

Excuse me, Phantom, I didn't realize you were throwing my name around. You dare accuse me of caring nothing for our national security, when I have been completely consistent for the past year in:

1) Calling attention to the looming and serious problem of China, including pointing out the spies that (according to the Guardian) they have left with every entourage?

2) My whole objection to the Iraq War was that it was a stupid diversion from the war against Al Qaeda, which was also urgent to national security (though less so than the China threat)?

This bears repeating:

>they are more upset that they are getting yet more bad press than they are about the damage to national security.


I've not seen your writings on China. I just now looked at your blog, and saw something on that. Good for you.

As for the Iraq War, we disagree.

I'll grant you a pardon from my earlier post.

Thank you. I am very deeply concerned about China. For those others who haven't seen my earlier posts, I referred to an article from the Guardian ( of last year, which mentioned that every time an official visit has been made by the Chinese to the US or Britain, the entourage has been missing one or two dozen of the people that it started out with. What this means is that the People's Republic of China is depositing spies here and in Britain, for industrial espionage and probably military espionage as well (see the Wen Ho Lee case during the Clinton years). This is, for me, the number two issue of security that faces us.

The number one issue was, as another poster mentioned, the fact that we're exhausting our military in Iraq. Phantom and I have discussed this before, and we disagree. I considered it axiomatic from the beginning that Iraq was not affiliated in any way with Al Qaeda, and though they did threaten Israel, which is our ally, they posed no threat whatever to the US itself. This is why I consider Iraq an insane diversion. I also consider that the selling of the war to the American people was managed incredibly poorly. Anyone with any knowledge of history knows that the casus belli of a war often, or even usually, has little to do with the real reason for going to war. However, those of us who are at all intelligent have had that intelligence insulted by the ham-handed propaganda we've been served over the last three-years.

I have seen many suggestions as to why we really invaded Iraq. One idea was that Iraq, having taken steps to price its oil in Euros instead of dollars, threatened the primacy of the dollar as the world's reserve trading currency. I believe that Paul Krugman attempted to debunk this idea by trying to prove that the dollar's world reserve trading currency status would only affect our GDP by 1%, but I still believe that a dollar crash might follow such a loss of status. The Chinese, indeed, having stopped buying dollar bonds last year, and the Japanese and other countries, who are actually selling off billions of dollars' worth of bonds, may precipitate such a crash soon. It is only because some unnamed sources (many think it's the oil sheikhdoms) have been propping up the dollar by buying huge amounts of bonds in 2005, through London and Caribbean banks. What will follow, if they stop and the dollar crashes, is: even more interest rate hikes; a landing, soft or hard, of the housing market; and economic hurt, as the cash the homeowners used to pump into the economy dries up. Expect this soon. Diversify from the dollar.

Another idea as to the reasons for invading Iraq, and I only saw this voiced once, is that America is responding to China's threat, and seeking a forward base (incidentally, with oil) against this rival. This is the only excuse for invading Iraq that would really make sense to me, but in any case, since only one public affairs magazine suggested it, and no-one else seems to believe it, I'm not sure that is likely.

Wow. A former Fox News/Rush stand-in is mad at the New York Times for printing a story that made Dear Leader look bad. And look! A bunch of right-wing apologists flock to left-wing blog to cry "treason!" and demand that heads roll. Couldn't have seen that coming.

Oh, wait, yes, I could. This is pretty much SOP for the right when it comes to bad news about Dear Leader and his merry men.

Well, here's the rub: Ain't nothing in that story (and yes, that involves actually reading the story, as opposed to listening to what Rush or Sean said about it) that hasn't been reported on before. Hell, the facts in the story can easily be found on the intraweb by anyone with an attention span that's longer than five minutes. (Hint: try hitting that large arrow at the bottom of the Google page. You'll get more results that way.) Hell, the president practically bragged about "following the money" two years when he was running for re-election.

So what's the big deal? It's pretty much the same deal all along: do I trust this bunch with my personal information? Given that they can't seem to hold onto laptops with millions of vets info, their propensity for fooling around with black voter records during an election, and the whole NSA mess (remember "we're only listening to the bad guys?"), the answer is a resounding "no".

Save the phony outrage, wingnuts.

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