After a particularly good post of yours, I started visiting this blog a few months ago as one of my regular rotation. I think I'm done now.
Thanks for the good posts. There have a been a few that were thought-provoking and well-researched. You're obviously a very smart guy. Unfortunately, there are also posts (like this one) that frankly make the blog unreadable for me. It's your blog, you should feel free to write whatever you like, and it's clear from the comments above that there's an audience for this kind of mindless bashing. So I'll do my reading elsewhere.
Take Care and Best of Luck!Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 21.01.2006 @ 14:07
I'm sure I would be chastised for responding seriously to this light-hearted Coulteresque satire, so I guess I'll respond with light-hearted Frankenesque satire.
All right, I give in, the right has won.
President Bush is right. Let's allow the government to arrest US citizens on US soil and hold them indefinitely without a lawyer, incommunicado, without a chance to defend themselves before a court, or even to know the charges against them. (See Jose Padilla)Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 3.01.2006 @ 15:24
OK, now we're making progress. I can see some points of agreement:
1. It seems that we agree that revelation of eavesdropping without a warrant was not in itself damaging.
2. We agree that where information regarding methods and practices of eavesdropping is revealed, then that is harmful.
Which brings me to what I think is my new position:
I continue to believe that the Bush Administration's reaction to the original NYT article was overblown and perhaps even cynically manipulative, given that the article did not delve into eavesdropping methods, but rather focused on the legal aspects of the program. However, I also believe that subsequent speculation about eavesdropping programs in various media outlets (connected or not to the recently revealed NSA program) is in most cases not a responsible topic for journalists to broach.
Which brings me to a new question:Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 3.01.2006 @ 11:53
Do bloggers get an exemption to my new position, or should they also be condemned for speculating as to methods of eavesdropping?
Hmmm... I don't mean to be offensive, but that's not a very convincing answer.
The fact is that we do know precisely what was in the NYT article. Therefore, we know exactly what new information that article provided to Al Queda. The new information in a nutshell was this: Eavesdropping is being done without a warrant. And so the question becomes: How could the knowledge of warrantless bugging (as opposed to warranted bugging) conceivably be used by Al Queda to their advantage? I just don't see how it could.Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 3.01.2006 @ 10:26
I'm still listening if anyone would like to explain precisely what advantageous information was gained by the terrorists in regards to this leak.
I really do have an open mind on this.
If anyone can explain why the terrorists have gained an upperhand as a result of this leak - as asserted repeatedly by the Bush Administration - please feel free to do so. If your explanation is feasible, I am perfectly willing to recant, reconsider, repent, and reform. :)
Thanks.Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 3.01.2006 @ 09:19
Just to be clear, I'm not defending all such leaks. Condi Rice claims that Osama stopped using a satellite phone when news reports alerted him to the fact we were tracing it. If that is true, then that is clearly a case of irresponsible journalism.Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 2.01.2006 @ 16:55
OK, I'm willing to listen.
Specifically in this case - What information was learned by Al Queda, and in what way can it be used against us?Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 2.01.2006 @ 16:51
I agree that the most important information regarding this story is yet to come. Frankly, I don't think most Americans object strongly to the President's program even if it is eventually ruled illegal, as long as it shown to have been directed solely at terror suspects. However, if the public discovers that the program has been used to monitor anti-war activists, reporters, Muslims in general, etc. then I believe that public sentiment will turn dramatically against Bush, even if the program is ultimately judged technically legal. That's when we start moving into Richard Nixon territory.
My only other observation on this subject is that I find deeply unbelievable the Bush Administration's repeated assertions that national security has been damaged by this leak. What possible advantage is gained by the terrorists upon learning that the President is eavesdropping on them without a warrant, as opposed to eavesdropping on them with a warrant? I just don't see it.Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 2.01.2006 @ 16:10
Rick,Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 19.12.2005 @ 19:22
What a childish ending to an otherwise good post. Geez... Can't we get through even one post without calling the other party names.
Although I'm not a Democrat, I guess I must be one of those who has created an alternate universe where Bush's team has not told the complete truth, so I suppose I should try and defend my little fantasy world as best I can.
First, I believe Mr. Bush genuinely believed that there were WMD. So, I'm perfectly willing to give him a pass on that point.
However, I disagree with Rick and Stephen Hayes that the relationship between Al Queada and Saddam Hussein reached the critical threat level that was depicted by the Administration. When I read what Hayes has written, I find myself thinking "If this is evidence of an insidious relationship to a terrorist organization, what middle east nation is innocent?" On this count, I believe the Administration is guilty of significant exageration.
On the issue of Africa and yellowcake, the Administration itself has admitted (to their credit) that this should not have been in the State of the Union address. Case closed.
Additionally, I think it's fair to say on several specific occasions, that some in the Administration went beyond the absolute truth. For example, when Condi Rice evoked the image of the "mushroom cloud", it was well known that Iraq had no nuclear program, in fact the AEIA certified that that was the case. Overselling the threat level in this manner was quite common.
Finally, there is a class of untruth-telling that involves re-telling uncertain intelligence in certain terms. An obvious example was the time Rumsfeld appeared on one of the Sunday morning talk shows and stated that he "knew" where the WMD were located. Of course, he did not. Other examples of this sort of talk abound.
In conclusion, it seems only logical to me that when an Administration (not just this one) decides on a course of action, they want to sell it. In the course of selling it, some untruths are always told - both intentionally and uninentionally. To suggest that the Bush Administration is somehow an exception to this natural order of things, seems to me to be a fantasy - not the other way around.Comment Posted By LaurenceB On 8.11.2005 @ 09:04
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