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« Another Fox | Main | "The Great Gulf War" »

Turnabout's Fair Play?

Not really. Cathy Young says that the American Thinker piece that I linked the other day gave the New York Times treatment to the New York Times:

It's true that liberals who accuse Bush of ushering in a police state forget that it was the Clinton administration that first pushed for a rather dramatic expansion of surveillance and other government powers in order to combat the threat of terrorism. (Conservatives are prone to forget it as well.) But that's a far cry from the blatant double standard Tate claims to have detected. So the bloggers might want to hold off on the gloating about hypocrisy and media bias; all that's exposed here is a very shoddy attempt at an exposť.

I frankly didn't take the time to delve into it the way she has, but I thought it was worth linking to, regardless. I link, you decide.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 14, 2006 07:35 AM
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That American Thinker piece is written by somebody who did not do a lot of thinking. It is fraught with internal contradictions and outright falsehoods.

If you want the real story on Echelon, read this:

http://www.thebulletin.org/article.php?art_ofn=ma00richelson

That is a 2000 article written by Dr. Jeffrey Richelson, author of over a dozen books on the American intelligence community.

Echelon was first exposed in 1988 by a British reporter, then discussed further in a 1996 book by an Australian writer. In other words, the revelations about the program predated the Clinton administration.

All these people blogging about intelligence collection don't know a damn thing about it.

Posted by Dwayne A. Day at January 14, 2006 02:59 PM

So absent one possibly disgruntled former NSA employee, all we have from the Times is anonymous leaks about a program that might not be much different from one the Times first reported on in the science and technology section and yet the Times gives it front page coverage and barely beats one of their reporters who wrote a book about it. I don't need coverage of this to prove bias in Times, which is where all this started. Claiming this doesn't show bias at the Times is like saying Clinton didn't have sex with all of the women he knew.

Posted by Bill Maron at January 15, 2006 09:53 PM

Claiming this doesn't show bias at the Times is like saying Clinton didn't have sex with all of the women he knew.

That assumes that he had sex with Hillary (shudder). I think Chelsea was adopted.

Posted by Mac at January 16, 2006 05:31 AM

"So absent one possibly disgruntled former NSA employee, all we have from the Times is anonymous leaks about a program that might not be much different from one the Times first reported on in the science and technology section and yet the Times gives it front page coverage and barely beats one of their reporters who wrote a book about it."

Please do some research. The warrantless eavesdropping issue IS different than the reports about Echelon. When Echelon became a controversy, the Director of NSA publicly testified that the agency DOES NOT eavesdrop on Americans or "American persons" to use the common term. The new story is that they DO now do that, without a warrant. That is a big difference.

And your claim that the Times "barely beat one of their own reporters" is nonsensical. The Times story was written by the same guy who wrote the book.

Posted by Dwayne A. Day at January 16, 2006 07:03 AM

Dwayne, The editors sat on it for a year and finally had to run with it because Risen's book was coming out and they didn't want to get scooped by their own reporter. So I guess the tail was wagging the dog. Reporter says my book is coming out so if you don't want to get scooped, better run the story. I'm explaining it twice to make sure you get it since you didn't the first time. Also Echelon sure had the capability of domestic surveilance. The ACLU was up in arms about it. But until Bush was in the White House the Times was pretty ho hum about the whole issue.

Posted by Bill Maron at January 17, 2006 12:21 PM

"Also Echelon sure had the capability of domestic surveilance."

That was not in dispute. The issue is the legality, not the capability. Domestic eavesdropping, without a warrant, is illegal.

However, you still misunderstand what Echelon was. It was a system for sharing the collected product. It was not the system for actually doing the eavesdropping.

And you claim that the Times was "ho hum" about the issue. Did you count the number of articles in the Times on Echelon?

Posted by Dwayne A. Day at January 17, 2006 08:34 PM


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