Skip to comments.Corruption of the term 'National Security'
Posted on 02/18/2006 7:23:51 AM PST by Souldrift
Everyone agrees this is a trying time, and everyone--contrary to George Bush--agrees there actually are people out there trying to harm Americans. Everyone I know, even my most liberal of friends, agrees that there are people attacking us but disagrees about the solution. But in case you missed it, George Bush thinks he's still trying to convince people that Americans are targets:
I understand theres some in America who say, Well, this cant be true there are still people willing to attack. All I would ask them to do is listen to the words of Osama bin Laden and take him seriously.Because we've been targeted for attack since 9/11/01 and prior, as in the U.S.S. Cole incident, our country is fighting terrorism in the Middle East. Our government calls it a "war on terror." As I've blogged previously, we should be more careful with our phrasing, as the "war on terror" should actually be the "War on terrorism." Either way, however, the use of the militant term "war" is interesting, as there really is no identifiable country or army fighting us. The emphasis on the term "war" allows us to involve our military and operate under rules of engagement.
One of the rules that gains increased importance during wartime is protection of information classified for reasons of "national security." This phrase is an example of one that can be used as weapons, to isolate those of dissenting viewpoints. It is one thing to conceal operational details of programs which tell the enemy exactly what technologies are being used, and how they work, in our efforts against them. It is another to conceal only vague information which does not provide the enemy anything they do not know already, but which might prompt questions from the media or from the population at large. It is this second category which is most damaging.
Currently there are two battles for secrecy being fought (if not more) in the media. First, we have the release of information regarding the NSA spy program. As I blogged yesterday, Senator DeWine stated matter-of-factly "we dont want to have any kind of debate about whether its constitutional or not constitutional." The administration argues that *Details* about the program may aid our enemies, and to fully debate this would require divulging some of the details. This is valid, which is why the debate was to take place among a limited number of Senators (the Intelligence Committee) which would report back its findings, to hopefully satisfy the rest of Congress and the people.
Earlier, contrary to yesterday's assertion that "of course we're willing to work with the Congress," the White House was arguing that even talking about this program aids the enemy. Honestly, it's asinine to believe that terrorists who can plan and coordinate four planes crashing into multiple targets within an hour in different cities the same morning are NOT aware we can WIRETAP. But here's Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, trying to support this ridiculous argument:
Sorry, not good enough. If we were stating (illustration, people!) "we're using the AT&T VR-59 -2000 to tap into every CO in the American phone system, so that we intercept every phone call when it departs and enters the last-mile, and further......." we'd be giving way too much information. But WE'RE NOT! The American people also know we wiretap, but they assume that due to FISA and the events of Watergate, that wiretapping is conducted with some oversight. Because it is not, the information was leaked to the media by a concerned citizen, who can be considered a whistleblower. The White House is becoming alarmed at the frequency of leaks and is combating them. Some have called this the "most secretive administration in modern history" based on the amount of information it classifies, and this is another example.
And so, when the director of the CIA says this should really damage our intel capabilities, I would defer to that statement. I think, based on my experience, it is true -- you would assume that the enemy is presuming that we are engaged in some kind of surveillance.
But if they're not reminded about it all the time in the newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget....And you're amazed at some of the communications that exist. And so when you keep sticking it in their face that we're involved in some kind of surveillance, even if it's unclear in these stories, it can't help but make a difference, I think.
Another recent leak where the White House is framing a nearly opposite reaction is the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. In this case, the powers that be in the executive branch were frustrated by her husband's claims against the administration, and they sought to reveal her identity in a plot to discredit him. Recently it has been alleged by the indicted "Scooter" Libby that his superiors authorized him to leak information, and by others that Cheney was ultimately behind the effort.
In this case, though, where the identity of an undercover CIA operative was revealed, it is clear that intelligence-gathering is immediately compromised, as that operative's missions are over and those of her associates (those known to our enemies) are also jeopardized. In fact, their lives may be jeopardized. Yet instead of thoroughly denouncing this behavior, Cheney now argues that he has the authority to declassify information but yet will not confirm whether or not he has done so, only that he has participated in such discussions. This is clearing the brush for defense of Libby -- Libby claims his superiors authorized it, and if the "Superior" in question (his boss, Cheney) has the authority to do so, no harm no foul.
Meanwhile, even though Cheney is arguing he has this power, Libby's defense team is requesting further information on what information the White House has declassified, and the orders given to him to disseminate it. These requests are for a great amount of "classified" information, and the prosecution now argues that Libby is requesting this information--knowing the requests will be denied--only because he thinks it will cause the case to be thrown out. Therefore he's trying to take advantage of the administration's desire to suppress the notion that it used dubious and disproven claims in its case for war against Iraq, and the scandalous means it was willing to employ to make its case, because that information would likely diminish public support for the administration--and therefore infringe upon "national security."
Clearly we have current examples of the administraiton using the defense of classifying information for "national security" selectively to achieve its own ends. The American people cannot stand for this.
After reading your post, I realize we simply must revise our understanding of Human IQ. You are proof it is possible to have a negative IQ. People are actually STUPIDER after reading your writing. Quick! Get the Nobel committee on the phone, we need them to establish a new prize category. We must have a Nobel Prize of Stupidity JUST so this troll can be the FIRST to win it.
Care to, maybe, stay on topic?
IBTZ, but FYI, the White House, as the highest executive office, does have the power to declassify information.
I quit reading this after the second paragraph. Whoever left you with the impression that you have analytical skills did you a big disservice.Go back to your freshman year of class and see if someone can teach you some civics and some logic. Your education is sorely lacking in both.
Your bs sounds like a cloning of the Left Wing $inators, who do hate a strong America and work 24/7 to weaken our country.
well gee let's see here....
Have you ever stuck your finger in an electrical socket?
And whose moose bit you this time?
An appetizer before brunch today.
PS: Your sources suck, Blogpimp.
That right! Flaunt it! Most people are wise enought to HIDE a painfur personal failing but not you! NO you FLAUNT it. Well done brave soul!
Clean up on this aisle.
We have a left wing blogger pretending to be a conservative.
That's nice. Now you can drift your soul back to DU.
What gave you the impression I wanted to be considered conservative?
"Care to, maybe, stay on topic?"
Looks to me like the topic of this thread is your lack of analytical skills. Take, for example, these quotes:
"Sorry, not good enough. If we were stating (illustration, people!) "we're using the AT&T VR-59 -2000 to tap into every CO in the American phone system, so that we intercept every phone call when it departs and enters the last-mile, and further......." we'd be giving way too much information. But WE'RE NOT!"
Oh, but that is exactly where this is going. Prior to the exposure of this program, even Al Qaeda knew we could wiretap. Any discussion beyond the fact that we have been doing it immediately goes to the question of who and how we've been wiretapping.
"The American people also know we wiretap, but they assume that due to FISA and the events of Watergate, that wiretapping is conducted with some oversight."
In addition to your lack of analytical skills, the above quote indicates you don't even pay attention. As noted in numerous articles on this subject, the wiretapping program is reviewed and reauthorized every few months.
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