Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Glenn Greenwald: NYT Plays Up Bogus Fears on FISA and Telecom Amnesty

One interesting tidbit is that Glenn Greenwald isn't even publicly aware that the war on terror is totally bogus since the US, Israel and other states like the UK plan and execute virtually all the significant terror, especially the high profile events like 9/11. Has anyone else besides Greenwald exposed the NYT for their complicity? --Ronald

Glenn Greewald
NYT circulates fear-mongering claims on FISA debate
Tuesday June 10, 2008

The New York Times' Eric Lichtblau has a long, prominent article today on the pending debate over FISA and telecom amnesty -- headlined: "Return to Old Spy Rules Is Seen as Deadline Nears" -- that features (and endorses) virtually every blatant falsehood that has distorted these spying issues from the beginning, and which is built on every shoddy journalistic practice that has made clear debate over these issues almost impossible. The article strongly suggests that a so-called "compromise" is imminent, a "compromise" which will deliver to the President virtually everything he seeks in the way of new warrantless eavesdropping powers and telecom amnesty.

One paragraph after the next in Lichtblau's article features shrill warnings, mostly from unnamed "officials," about all the scary things that will happen if Congressional Democrats do not quickly pass a new FISA bill that is similar to the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill and that is agreeable to the President. If a "compromise" isn't reached, reports the article, then we'll all have to live under the so-called "old" FISA law -- meaning the law used by the U.S. to defend itself from 1978 until August, 2007 and then again from February, 2008 until the present. Moreover, the one-year surveillance orders obtained last August under the now-expired Protect America Act are set to expire in August, 2008. We learn from Lichtblau's article that this would be so very dangerous because:

* expiration of the one-year PAA orders in August would create "a situation that some officials predict could leave worrisome gaps in intelligence";

* if no deal is reached, then "'We'll start losing intelligence capabilities,' Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri said";

* "government and Congressional officials said in interviews that they saw [reversion to FISA] as a dangerous step backward" because "government lawyers, analysts and linguists would once again have to prepare individual warrants, potentially thousands of them, for surveillance of terrorism targets overseas."

* Scarier still: "Telecommunications companies would also have to spend considerable time shutting down existing wiretaps, and then start them up again if ordered under new warrants, officials said."

* Without any explanation as to why, Lichtblau grants anonymity to an administration official to oh-so-bravely-and-valuably spout the administration line: "A senior intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration was concerned that reverting to the older standards and requiring individual warrants for each wiretap would create a severe gap in overseas intelligence by raising the bar for foreign surveillance collection."

* "Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has described the idea of reverting to the older standards of foreign surveillance as 'unthinkable.'"

* As always, pitifully frightened Congressional Democrats feed these claims: "'Until August, were O.K.,' said one senior Democratic Congressional aide involved in the negotiations. "After August, we're not O.K."

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