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Has the New York Times Violated the Espionage Act?
Commentary Magazine ^ | March 2006 | Gabriel Schoenfeld

Posted on 02/02/2006 3:22:56 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182

“Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.” Thus ran the headline of a front-page news story whose repercussions have roiled American politics ever since its publication last December 16 in the New York Times. The article, signed by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, was adapted from Risen’s then-forthcoming book, State of War.1 In it, the Times reported that shortly after September 11, 2001, President Bush had “authorized the National Security Agency [NSA] to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States . . . without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.”

Not since Richard Nixon’s misuse of the CIA and the IRS in Watergate, perhaps not since Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, have civil libertarians so hugely cried alarm at a supposed law-breaking action of government. People for the American Way, the Left-liberal interest group, has called the NSA wiretapping “arguably the most egregious undermining of our civil liberties in a generation.” The American Civil Liberties Union has blasted Bush for “violat[ing] our Constitution and our fundamental freedoms.”........"

(Excerpt) Read more at commentarymagazine.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaida; benedictarnold; cia; cialeak; democrats; espionage; espionageact; fifthcolumn; homelandsecurity; intelligence; leaking; leaks; nationalsecurity; nsa; nyt; nytimes; portergoss; rattreason; rattricks; rockerfeller; spying; topsecret; traitor; treason; unamerican; waronterror; waronterrorism; wiretapping; wot
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Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

To: Anti-Bubba182

A long piece with a lot of background on the history of the Espionage Act and how it applies to the NY Times.


2 posted on 02/02/2006 3:23:25 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

I think the New York Times owner and the editorial staff should be in prison for divulging national defense secrets in the middle of a war.


3 posted on 02/02/2006 3:30:15 PM PST by dinok
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Lets hope so. Based on news reports, their publishing the story has hurt the country.

Course, Sandy Burger stole TS documents and only got a slap on the wrist

How bad can hurting your country cost these days?

Not alot according to the government.


4 posted on 02/02/2006 3:32:56 PM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

I do know that if promoting socialism was a crime (and it SHOULD be, given its record of destroying wealth, societies, and lives), the NYT would have been banned a long time ago.


5 posted on 02/02/2006 3:39:11 PM PST by Hardastarboard (HEY - Billy Joe! You ARE an American Idiot!)
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To: dinok
I agree, but the article gives an example of how a paper did this and escaped.

"..Although it has gone almost entirely undiscussed, the issue of leaking vital government secrets in wartime remains of exceptional relevance to this entire controversy, as it does to our very security. There is a rich history here that can help shed light on the present situation.

One of the most pertinent precedents is a newspaper story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 7, 1942, immediately following the American victory in the battle of Midway in World War II. In a front-page article under the headline, “Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea,” the Tribune disclosed that the strength and disposition of the Japanese fleet had been “well known in American naval circles several days before the battle began.” The paper then presented an exact description of the imperial armada, complete with the names of specific Japanese ships and the larger assemblies of vessels to which they were deployed. All of this information was attributed to “reliable sources in . . . naval intelligence.”

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the Tribune article was that the United States had broken Japanese naval codes and was reading the enemy’s encrypted communications. Indeed, cracking JN-25, as it was called, had been one of the major Allied triumphs of the Pacific war, laying bare the operational plans of the Japanese Navy almost in real time and bearing fruit not only at Midway—a great turning point of the war—but in immediately previous confrontations, and promising significant advantages in the terrible struggles that still lay ahead. Its exposure, a devastating breach of security, thus threatened to extend the war indefinitely and cost the lives of thousands of American servicemen.

An uproar ensued in those quarters in Washington that were privy to the highly sensitive nature of the leak. The War Department and the Justice Department raised the question of criminal proceedings against the Tribune under the Espionage Act of 1917. By August 1942, prosecutors brought the paper before a federal grand jury. But fearful of alerting the Japanese, and running up against an early version of what would come to be known as graymail, the government balked at providing jurors with yet more highly secret information that would be necessary to demonstrate the damage done.

Thus, in the end, the Tribune managed to escape criminal prosecution. For their part, the Japanese either never got wind of the story circulating in the United States or were so convinced that their naval codes were unbreakable that they dismissed its significance. In any case, they left them unaltered, and their naval communications continued to be read by U.S. and British cryptographers until the end of the war.4.."

The part I bolded shows that their was little, if any, damage in the Tribune case. I don't think you can say that in the case of the Times, but I doubt if anything is done. The NY Times thinks itself bigger than the law and sadly has managed to make that stick. Their is neither the support or will in Washington to do more than complain.

6 posted on 02/02/2006 3:39:59 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

And when enemies of this country begin quoting dem talking points, you need to seriously think about charging the dems with it as well!

Mark


7 posted on 02/02/2006 3:42:40 PM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: Anti-Bubba182
That is a fascinating article. Thanks for posting it. The kind of reply it deserves would be outside the scope of a post on FR so I will have to confine myself to a few very basic points.

1. The Espionage act of 1917 is still on the books. But a mountain of jurisprudence both predating and postdating the Pentagon Papers case in the early 70's has left its constitutional viability very much in doubt. Also Congress has passed other espionage laws since then which would at least on the surface appear to have rendered the 1917 version effectively nullified.

2. In those days, severance (a now common practice) was not done with legislation. This was in an age when the courts very rarely interfered with federal legislation. Consequently if any part of the act were declared constitutionally null it would invalidate the entire act. It is almost inconceivable that the Espionage Act in its entirety could withstand judicial scrutiny.

3. Politically it would be extremely divisive to try and bring the Times up on charges. And I am not even talking about the Democrats. That kind of move would likely split the Republican party and the conservative movement. The simple truth is that a very sizable percentage of American conservatives are political and even social libertarians. They would rebel against any attempt to revive that now moribund law.

4. It is likely that any effort to revive the law would bring out very ugly facts about the way the Wilson (a Democratic) administration abused its powers and became something very close to an authoritarian regime in this country. There would almost certainly be a discussion over the sister legislation of the Espionage Act, the Sedition Act. That could make an ugly situation even worse.

In conclusion, the article is fascinating as an intellectual and hypothetical discussion on the possibility of reviving an arcane law. But as a matter of practical reality, it is not happening. The Espionage Act is a dead letter.
8 posted on 02/02/2006 3:48:34 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

bump for later read


9 posted on 02/02/2006 3:49:23 PM PST by angelsonmyside
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To: jecIIny
I think #3 is the dominant point of those you raise, but the act itself might be found Unconsitutional in part as you say in #2.

The administration won't do a lot more than complain in any case.

10 posted on 02/02/2006 3:54:55 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182
Has the New York Times violated the Espionage Act?

Is the Pope Catholic?

11 posted on 02/02/2006 4:11:21 PM PST by rockabyebaby (I'm not afraid to say out loud what the rest of you are afraid to admit.)
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To: dinok
I stand by my earlier prediction that nobody at the NY Times will face any kind of prosecution in this case, and that any grand jury investigation will be nothing more than a lot of hot air and political posturing.

I'm no fan of the NY Times, but it's hard to make the case that the newspaper "divulged national defense secrets" when all they really did was reveal information that had been revealed in open public records -- including at least one media report recently prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice -- on a number of occasions over the years.

12 posted on 02/02/2006 4:26:58 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Leave a message with the rain . . . you can find me where the wind blows.)
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To: Alberta's Child

Hmmm....very interesting....got any links?


13 posted on 02/02/2006 4:40:06 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Anti-Bubba182; NormsRevenge; SierraWasp; Grampa Dave; Marine_Uncle; Mo1; onyx; nopardons; Howlin
Thread on today's hearing:

CIA Chief Says Wiretap Disclosure Damaging (Democrats nervous)

14 posted on 02/02/2006 4:45:07 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Anti-Bubba182; Ernest_at_the_Beach; American_Centurion; An.American.Expatriate; ASA.Ranger; ...

Since the Nam mess and post Nam mess, the rats in DC and in the MSM have viewed what we see as treason as being good Americans.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of this bs.


15 posted on 02/02/2006 4:54:22 PM PST by Grampa Dave (The NY Slimes has been committing treason and sedition for decades.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks for the link. I hope they do have a Grand Jury, but I doubt if they do.


16 posted on 02/02/2006 4:56:17 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Grampa Dave
Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of this bs.

Ditto that.

17 posted on 02/02/2006 4:56:57 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Grampa Dave; Anti-Bubba182
ACLU at it again:

ACLU seeks data on 'spying'

18 posted on 02/02/2006 5:09:10 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

What in the world did you say in post 1?

Inquiring minds want to know...


19 posted on 02/02/2006 5:13:16 PM PST by Bender2 (Stop doodling around... Read the first three chapters of my Science Fiction novel.)
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To: Bender2

Same as in 2, but with better spelling.


20 posted on 02/02/2006 5:13:59 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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marking


21 posted on 02/02/2006 5:14:43 PM PST by eureka! (Hey Lefties and 'Rats: Over 3 more years of W. Hehehehe....)
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To: Anti-Bubba182
Re: Same as in 2, but with better spelling.

And here I thought you had used some really nasty words!!!!

22 posted on 02/02/2006 5:25:10 PM PST by Bender2 (Stop doodling around... Read the first three chapters of my Science Fiction novel.)
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To: dinok
I think the New York Times owner and the editorial staff should be in prison for divulging national defense secrets in the middle of a war.

SECOND that - I have been posting ever since Dec 16, 2005 that Pinchy Sulzberger and Risen should be frog marched off to prison. We don't need no trial they're undeniable proof they are traitors is in the paper.

23 posted on 02/02/2006 5:30:22 PM PST by p23185 (Why isn't attempting to take down a sitting Pres & his Admin during wartime considered Sedition?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
was adapted from Risen’s then-forthcoming book, State of War.1 In it, the Times reported that shortly after September 11, 2001, President Bush had “authorized the National Security Agency [NSA] to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States . . . without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.”

Unless Grannie is talking with al-Qaeda to plot and murder Americans ... WE AIN'T SPYING ON HER

I wish they would report the facts

24 posted on 02/02/2006 5:40:26 PM PST by Mo1 (Republicans protect Americans from Terrorists.. Democrats protect Terrorists from Americans)
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To: Anti-Bubba182
Maybe the Old York Times was protecting themselves rather than President Bush for the past year withholding this story. With their team of lawyers they have to know they were breaking the law but decided to go ahead to pump the book and hurt Bush. Too bad for them the American people agree with Bush!

Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters
25 posted on 02/02/2006 5:45:00 PM PST by bray (Jack Bauer '08)
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To: bray
What the times might have asked their lawyers is, "Is this legal or in other words can we get away with this?".

They know they can always throw a fit for the sake of the 1st Amendment and tie the goverment in knots with legal maneuvers.

Maybe there is a long shot chance a Grand Jury will hear this. It is a hell of a lot more serious than the Valerie Plame leak.

26 posted on 02/02/2006 5:55:30 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: jecIIny; CasearianDaoist; headsonpikes; beyond the sea; E.G.C.; Military family member; ...
My reading of the unexerped complete article would scarcely give comfort to a Times reporter or executive.

IMHO the fundamental problem with our First Amendment jurisprudence is the extent to which journalism has succeeded, by calling itself "the press" (as if book publishing were not "the press" and as if government-licensed broadcasters who couldn't exist without the censorship of competion were "the press") in establishing itself as being judicially regarded as seperate from "the people."

Thus, Congress can pass, the president can sign, and the supreme court can ratify McCain-Feingold - which explicitly grants establishment journalism superior rights above those of people who have not yet exercised their constitutional right to start a newspaper. It is nothing but arrogance, and devoutly do we hope that Justices Roberts and Alito constitute a 2-0 vote rejecting that concept and overturning the 5-4 precedent in which their predecessors split 1-1 to uphold McCain-Feingold.


27 posted on 02/02/2006 5:58:12 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: Anti-Bubba182
Not since Richard Nixon’s misuse of the CIA and the IRS in Watergate

The "usual suspects" didn't seem to make much noise when the Clintoons were using the IRS in an attempt to intimidate their political enemies.

28 posted on 02/02/2006 6:04:28 PM PST by HP8753 (My cat thinks Mark Dayton is a flake)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Dog Gone; tubebender; dalereed; Czar; sergeantdave
In answer to the title of this thread... I don't know for sure about the leaning leftist tower of the Times, but I strongly believe that who, or whomever LEAKED classified stuff to them has violated the act and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

Of course these days, then, the Times will cover the story of the prosecution with snearing and smearing of the law enforcers, constantly dissing and putting down any hostility expressed toward these acts as nefarious silliness by those concerned with winning a war and keeping the secrets necessary to do so!!!

You all know how it goes... I'm certainly not revealing any great paramount revelations at this moment!!!

29 posted on 02/02/2006 6:10:14 PM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism... America's establishment of it's unconstitutional State Religion!!!)
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To: Grampa Dave
Has the New York Times Violated the Espionage Act?

When haven't they?

30 posted on 02/02/2006 6:11:54 PM PST by beyond the sea (Cal Thomas: If only Robert Bork had cried ...................)
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To: dinok

It will never happen but should. No Congressional Com. will ever take on the Post or the Times. And the Left will always whistle up the Free Speech baloney. It would be brave if a Fed. attorney would indict the Times on this very thing, just to get the paper in a court to explain itself. But, that will never happen. The only thing that will bring down the Post and Times is for bloggers, Talk Radio and the alternative media exposing their anti-American Left wing bias on a daily level.


31 posted on 02/02/2006 7:02:38 PM PST by phillyfanatic
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Hopefully these scum bags will be more then just nervouse after a few of them get tagged. As we all have been saying this crap just has to stop. Thanks for the ping. Been doing things elsewhere such as developing program scripts so that I can control squads of Rangers as we rove through burned out cities in France during WWII in the Medal of Honor game. Sort of a nice break. I can get a half squad (fire team) to assemble and hold, regroup after fire fights, advance ahead of me on roads, into buildings, through bombed out rubble, follow behind me with some intellegience, and if I tell them I can point to enemy concentrated in a given area and have them lay down covering fire. Quite wild stuff to say the least. So as you can see, I have not been living at FR of lately. But do log in to check the lastest stuff.
The scripting program for MOH is much like C++. Quite powerfull to say the least.
32 posted on 02/02/2006 7:19:06 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Grampa Dave
Hey Dave! Thinking cap on.
I suppose it takes a bit of time to obtain warrants, legal protocols and all but I think the leaker or leakers and the media just messed with the wrong agency.
This started out as a leak to embarrass and defame the president. However the leaker stepped way across the line and has made media personalities and perhaps media institutions co conspirators vulnerable to prosecution.
Now, what will Justice do with whatever case presented?
33 posted on 02/02/2006 7:22:18 PM PST by BIGLOOK (Order of Battle: Sink or capture as Prize, MS Media)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Many thanks for the ping and link.

This is an important and very interesting article.

34 posted on 02/02/2006 8:52:06 PM PST by nopardons
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To: HP8753

Nor when JFK and LBJ did.


35 posted on 02/02/2006 8:53:57 PM PST by nopardons
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To: dinok

Don't forget that Risen character. He belongs in jail, too.


36 posted on 02/02/2006 9:01:43 PM PST by Purrcival (See Cindy. See Cindy flop. Flop, Cindy, flop!)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Damn....doing some good stuff I see!

Only thing I was semi-competent at was Assembler, Cobol and Sysgens of MVS!!!
37 posted on 02/02/2006 9:10:09 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Oh and JCL ....did a lot of that and setting up benchmarks with TSO/ SPF!!!

Did a lot of that!
38 posted on 02/02/2006 9:11:43 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: nopardons

Pretty historical and heavy reading....I need to go thru it again!


39 posted on 02/02/2006 9:12:40 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Yes, yes, and so do I.


40 posted on 02/02/2006 9:45:59 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Anti-Bubba182

You'd swear that the NYT was run by muslims.


41 posted on 02/02/2006 9:51:16 PM PST by Fruitbat
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

BTTT


42 posted on 02/03/2006 3:01:28 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: edcoil

Not according to Clinton judicial appointees anyway.


43 posted on 02/03/2006 3:26:49 AM PST by kellynch (I am excessively diverted. ~~Jane Austen)
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To: E.G.C.
On reflection, I'm bookmarking this puppy.

Very interesting info about not only the flip flop of the NYT, but about the Chicago Tribune:

One of the most pertinent precedents is a newspaper story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 7, 1942, immediately following the American victory in the battle of Midway in World War II. In a front-page article under the headline, “Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea,” the Tribune disclosed that the strength and disposition of the Japanese fleet had been “well known in American naval circles several days before the battle began.” The paper then presented an exact description of the imperial armada, complete with the names of specific Japanese ships and the larger assemblies of vessels to which they were deployed. All of this information was attributed to “reliable sources in . . . naval intelligence.”

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the Tribune article was that the United States had broken Japanese naval codes and was reading the enemy’s encrypted communications. Indeed, cracking JN-25, as it was called, had been one of the major Allied triumphs of the Pacific war, laying bare the operational plans of the Japanese Navy almost in real time and bearing fruit not only at Midway—a great turning point of the war—but in immediately previous confrontations, and promising significant advantages in the terrible struggles that still lay ahead. Its exposure, a devastating breach of security, thus threatened to extend the war indefinitely and cost the lives of thousands of American servicemen.

I really was under the illusion that FDR had the lid on pretty tight. After all, he was able to keep the lid on the fact that the German U-boats sank 500 merchant vessels off the American coast in the first six months of the war, without losing a single U-boat!
44 posted on 02/03/2006 5:06:48 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: beyond the sea

Since they started pushing the communist victory in the Nam war, they have been on a lying and traitor binge.


45 posted on 02/03/2006 5:41:10 AM PST by Grampa Dave (The NY Slimes has been committing treason and sedition for decades.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The ACLU aka the American Communist Lawyers's Union should have been declared an enemy of America decades ago and banned.


46 posted on 02/03/2006 5:42:58 AM PST by Grampa Dave (The NY Slimes has been committing treason and sedition for decades.)
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To: BIGLOOK; ASA Vet

Those of us on ASA Vet's MI list, know what would happen to us if we did something similiar to this.

Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end of this bs which started back in Carter's years, when the Compost and NY Slimes were outing active CIA agents while they were in country. The nation just smiled as these men and women and their families were placed in real danger. Their contacts in those countries probably suffered terrible deaths after being exposed.

Amazing how the left wing mediots who hate America were so upset when a non agent, Plame, was supposedly outed by our side. (The reality was the outing was due to her husband and herself.). Now they aren't concerned about real outings and endangerment.


47 posted on 02/03/2006 5:56:10 AM PST by Grampa Dave (The NY Slimes has been committing treason and sedition for decades.)
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To: Grampa Dave
Plame, was supposedly outed by our side.

How can one who was never "in" be outed?

48 posted on 02/03/2006 5:59:44 AM PST by ASA Vet (Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know.)
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To: ASA Vet

"Plame, was supposedly outed by our side."

'How can one who was never "in" be outed?'

She could only be outed in the perverted/drugged out minds of the lunatic lefties who controll the MSM and the rat politicians. Which is why I used the the adverb, "Supposedly".


49 posted on 02/03/2006 6:03:36 AM PST by Grampa Dave (The NY Slimes has been committing treason and sedition for decades.)
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To: Grampa Dave

The NYT was lying and covering for Stalin before that.


50 posted on 02/03/2006 7:03:34 AM PST by beyond the sea (Cal Thomas: If only Robert Bork had cried ...................)
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