Saturday, December 17, 2005

More On the Times' B.S.

The New York Times forgot to mention this in explaining why it is only just now reporting that Bush has authorized illegal wiretaps on Americans when it had the information a year ago:

The paper offered no explanation to its readers about what had changed in the past year to warrant publication. It also did not disclose that the information is included in a forthcoming book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," written by James Risen, the lead reporter on yesterday's story. The book will be published in mid-January, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster.

In other words, it is only because the reporter was about to publish his report in a book that the Times suddenly decided it was OK to report what it knew.

What cowardly slugs the editors at the Times have become.

Mr. Bush, Meet the Constitution of the United States of America

Steve Gilliard offers the most comprehensive and devestating dismantling of Bush's plan to tap Americans' phone calls I have seen. You have to read it.

In a nutshell: Bush is literally the antithesis of everything the United States of America is supposed to be about.

All The News That's Cleared By George Bush To Print

The decision by the New York Times to withhold from its readers for a year the fact that George Bush personally agreed to secret and illegal wiretaps on American citizens as part of the so-called war on terror is yet another example of how the Ivory Tower US mainstream media have let themselves get played by the Bush administration. It further demonstrates, along with the crappy WMD reporting, the secret conversations about CIA officer Valerie Plame, and the near-silence surrounding the so-called Downing Street Memos, how badly the media have left the American people in the dark about the operations of their government, thereby failing to fulfill their most important responsibility.

The excuses given by the Times for this latest case of ball-dropping are as bad as any they have given for any of their other recent lapses:
A year ago, when this information first became known to Times reporters, the Administration argued strongly that writing about this eavesdropping program would give terrorists clues about the vulnerability of their communications and would deprive the government of an effective tool for the protection of the country's security.

So, what, the terrorists didn't already know that they were being spied on without a warrant? Then why do they always talk in code, retards? There is nothing in the the story's revelations that would have hurt the administration's ability to monitor the activities of terror suspects, and the reputedly highly-intelligent Times editorial staff had to know that.

Then the Times says:
Officials also assured senior editors of The Times that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no legal questions.
Still believing these documented liars? What is the Times' problem?

So why, a year later, did the Times change its mind?

First, we developed a fuller picture of the concerns and misgivings that had been expressed during the life of the program.
It doesn't take a year to find out that folks are concerned about this. People have been raising hell about the Patriot Act for years. This secret wiretap business is but the bastard child of the Act. The Times had to know immediately upon hearing about this program that there would be huge misgivings about its legality.
Second, in the course of subsequent reporting we satisfied ourselves that we could write about this program -- withholding a number of technical details -- in a way that would not expose any intelligence-gathering methods or capabilities that are not already on the public record.
Again, it does not take a year to figure out how to write about this without revealing key secrets. Not if you're a whizbang smart journalist like those at the Times.

Another Brick In The Wall

Last week, George Bush nominated a minority-disenfranchisement specialist to join the US Federal Elections Commission. Just another step in the decades-long process of ensuring that violations of black and Latino voting rights go unpunished.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

If The Sheet Fits...

So, Mr. Bush is insisting that his non-response to the Katrina disaster was not due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of those being shown on TV suffering were black.

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Monday the federal government's reaction to Hurricane Katrina was appalling, but was not the result of racial indifference to blacks hard-hit by the storm. "You can call me anything you want, but do not call me a racist," Bush said.

That might be easier to accept if Bush hadn't used the first five years of his presidency to:
  • attack affirmative action
  • appoint federal judges with at-best quesetionable views on civil rights
  • used Condi Rice and Colin Powell to lie for him in justifying an unjustifiable attack on a Middle Eastern country
  • ignore the slaughter of black Africans in Sudan
  • sign into law tax cuts that will benefit a nearly black-less class of Americans and corporations

and if he hadn't come to occupy the White House through the smothering of the voting rights of blacks in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

Mr. Bush can not rescue his reputation with blacks, though it is doubtful that he cares about that anyway. More important to him would be helping the GOP in Congress retain its ever-diminishing share of the non-Southern white vote. Those voters can be turned-off by racist tones in policy, and they hold the key to the GOP's chances in the 2006 elections and to Mr. Bush's "legacy."