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June 24, 2006

Liberal Anti-War Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy.

Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election."
- Senator John Foregainst Kerry

Is there anything Senator John Kerry won't do to win an election? The man is a one-man monument to liberal hypocrisy. How do you square that comment with his proposal to withdraw our troops by July 1, 2007 - a proposal voted down by an overwhelming, if increasingly rare, bipartisan consensus in the Senate? It's hard to top examples like that, unless of course you care to recall past Kerry show-stoppers like these:

'I've never made any judgments about any choice somebody made about avoiding the draft, about going to Canada, going to jail, being a conscientious objector, going into the National Guard,' Mr. Kerry said. 'Those are choices people make.'

I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way.

What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.

We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it.

Over the years, Kerry has shifted and blown with the wind of popular opinion. But he is not the only one guilty of this particular sin.

For the past six months, this nation has been embroiled in controversy over the illegal "outing" of an entire classified anti-terrorism program by James Risen of the New York Times. Oddly, the very same people infuriated by the alleged "outing" of a single CIA operative who had so little regard for her own cover that the editor-in-chief of the liberal New Republic knew who she worked for long before Novak's fateful article throw their wholehearted approval behind the illegal "outing" of entire classified anti-terror programs:

Still, in a lot of dining rooms where I am a guest here, there is outrage that someone in the vice president's office "outed" Ms. Plame, as though everybody in Georgetown hadn't already known she was under cover, so to speak. Under cover, but not really.

It would seem that for some, national security is only a compelling interest if it helps overturn the results of a national election your party lost. In that aim, liberals have two powerful allies: James Risen and Bill Keller of the New York Times.

The Times' rationale for publishing the details of a secret NSA terrorist monitoring program (rather than reporting it to the Congressional committee charged with intelligence oversight) was their reverence for the law and the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Simply translated, though a legal means for ensuring oversight of this program existed, the New York Times arrogantly and unilaterally, without a public mandate or any vestige of oversight of its own activities, broke the law in order to uphold the law.

If you're confused about this one, you're not alone.

Strangely, James Risen's lauded concern for the privacy rights of U.S. citizens was nowhere in evidence in 1999, when the Clinton administration used a far broader surveillance program called Echelon to eavesdrop on ... you guessed it, U.S. citizens:

From 1974 to 1984 Peg Newsham worked on the satellites and the computer programs developed at Lockheed's headquarters in Sunnyvale California, and in 1977, she was stationed at the largest listening post in the world at Menwith Hill, England.

"On the day at Menwith Hill when I realized in earnest how utterly wrong it was, I was sitting with one of the many "translators". He was an expert in languages like Russian, Chinese and Japanese. Suddenly he asked me if I wanted to listen in on a conversation taking place in the US at an office in the US Senate Building. Then I clearly heard a southern American dialect I thought I had heard before."

"Who is that?" I asked the translator who told me that it was Republican senator Strom Thurmond. 'Oh my gosh!' I thought. We're not only spying on other countries, but also on our own citizens."

Where was the New York Times when this happened? Why wasn't this courageous "whistleblower" paraded front and center? Risen certainly was aware of both the program and its scope:

...the N.S.A. has also been attacked for accumulating far more power than it needs. Its huge international communications collection and monitoring operation, called Echelon, which is conducted jointly with the agency's counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is criticized both in this country and overseas as an excessive intrusion into the private communications of Americans and their allies. As James Bamford, the author of the classic study of the agency, "The Puzzle Palace" (Houghton Mifflin, 1982), recently noted in The Washington Post, the Echelon system relies on satellites and ground stations to intercept and then sort global communications, searching for specific names, words or phrases. The N.S.A.'s computers can then sort out intercepted communications that include names of drug dealers or political leaders or references to espionage or terrorist actions. The agency is prohibited from intercepting strictly domestic communications unless it gets a special court order.

But under Clinton, James Risen was worried that the NSA had become obsolete and inefficient. Where were the concerns about an overly-broad net back then? Under Clinton, Risen wasn't worried the NSA was violating our privacy or collecting too much information. No, he was concerned that the spy agency was collecting so much information that they couldn't sift through it all in time:

“No government organization has been better insulated from public scrutiny than the National Security Agency. Its very existence as America's premier eavesdropper and code-breaker was classified for decades, and the N.S.A. -- also known as "No Such Agency" -- has been able to keep the press and Congress largely at bay even as the Central Intelligence Agency has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of its cold war excesses and failures.”

“At the same time, sophisticated, commercially available encryption technology is making it much tougher for the agency to sift through that mountain of intercepted communications and decipher the few messages that are actually important to the nation's security.”

And lest you think that, as so many liberals maintain, the press gave the Clinton administration a pass because they trusted him, this story by the very same James Risen gives the lie to that notion. This shocking story places the current Democratic furor over rendition and the fate of US detainees in an entirely different light. Does anyone remember the saturation coverage provided by the New York Times when the Clinton administration detained and then deported six Iraqi dissidents during Saddam Hussein's reign?

Newly declassified Government documents show that the United States has relied on weak and unsubstantiated evidence that has never been fully investigated to detain six Iraqi dissidents who worked with the Central Intelligence Agency against President Saddam Hussein.

The six have been held for more than a year and a half based on circumstantial allegations of espionage that the Government has never tried to prove, declassified Federal Bureau of Investigation interviews and reports and formerly secret court testimony show.

The Iraqis, removed in August 1996 by the Clinton Administration along with 600 other C.I.A.-supported dissidents and an additional 5,000 Iraqis and Kurds as Mr. Hussein's forces attacked opposition groups in northern Iraq, have been in legal limbo in an Immigration and Naturalization Service center in Los Angeles since early last year.

In March they were denied asylum and ordered deported in a secret hearing in which they were not allowed to see the evidence, hear the testimony or even know the charges that were keeping them in custody indefinitely.

Of course you don't. Because it never happened. And then there was FileGate:

The FBI files matter, or ``Filegate,'' is as serious an issue as the Clinton administration has encountered. The discovery of the unauthorized access to so many FBI background files on so many former White House employees is bad enough. These files contain the most private and personal information on an individual, his spouse and family. The fact that two individuals, Craig Livingstone and Anthony Marceca, with extensive political involvement and checkered pasts were in charge of handling the files is cause for alarm and investigation.

Presented with real examples of Clinton-era officials misusing government surveillance to harrass their political opponents, liberal advocates of privacy and our Constitutional rights immediately called for his impeachment... not. And now of course, it's too late, isn't it? Time is short, and these Privacy Avengers are far too busy wallowing in delicious angst over the administration's "unprecedented" possible civil rights infringements to think about the very real way their rights were routinely violated under a Democrat administration.

Over and over we have been told the Bush administration is vindictively crushing dissent, always without concrete examples. Where is the liberal condemnation of intentional harrassment and intimidation under Clinton when anyone who dared criticize the White House found themselves the targets of not only vicious smear tactics, but suspiciously-timed IRS audits?

Media crusaders on behalf of the people's right to know and the sanctity of independent prosecutors fall strangely silent when the subject of investigation might tar the legacy of a Democrat President. Where is the widespread concern over the suppression of the Barrett Report? Unsurprisingly, nowhere in evidence. All the more reason for those who support the war and this administration to distrust the media.

If the rights of US citizens are in danger now that we're at war, they were far more endangered during the Clinton administration when we were not at war and the White House was using both our secret services and the IRS to spy on Americans and harrass their political opponents in peacetime. Where is the outrage?

Hint to the clueless: you don't get to ask. Don't forget that when it comes to your safety and your rights, Bill Keller is the decider.

Just trust him.

Posted by Cassandra at June 24, 2006 11:09 AM

Comments

The MSM is dying a slow, painful death, led by the NYT and its now decades long track record of bias, fabrication, and pure stupidity.

This is why I refuse to buy the paper. Any paper.

Posted by: caltechgirl at June 24, 2006 01:35 PM

I just paid 49.95 for a Times Select subscription.

Only so I can use it to drive the last nails in their coffin. These people are the most arrogant and lawless I think I've seen in my lifetime.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 24, 2006 01:45 PM

Huntress takes up the fight on the Left Coast.

And "emails away!"

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at June 24, 2006 02:02 PM

Awesome post Cass...I'm linking.

Posted by: Raven at June 24, 2006 04:09 PM

I was for the Times, before I was against it.

Good post, Cass. I've posted before that I read no newspapers, magazines, periodicals, TV, or radio of the MSM. They all tow the same liberal line. Its a one-note samba that gets real old after a while.

I've even made a game out of it with my friends, "Guess that Spin!". They give me a current events topic, and I put the appropriate liberal spin on it. Then we check the MSM to see if I'm correct. I rarely lose.

The "women, children hardest hit" headline is always a classic.

Posted by: a former european at June 24, 2006 04:20 PM

The Times seems pathologically driven, selectively blind, and clearly a menace to society.

Posted by: Jane at June 24, 2006 07:50 PM

But, you don't understand. John Forgainster Kerry is just exercising his right to dissent, and his woman's er...prerogative to, "change her...er, his mind."

Only Republicans use the Iraq war for political purposes! Hillary says so

Posted by: JannyMae at June 24, 2006 10:40 PM

Well, I'm just now getting over here - as usual a day late and a dollar short. Great article!

Posted by: beth at June 27, 2006 10:17 PM

Great article - sorry I was so late to visit. Drudge report should take over the world.

Posted by: Greta (Hooah Wife) at June 28, 2006 08:17 AM

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