If Al Qaeda Calls, We Can't Take the Call

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110007944

    Can We Talk?
    If al Qaeda phones, tell them we can't take the call.

    BY DANIEL HENNINGER
    Friday, February 10, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

    Let's start with the one thing we know for sure about the Bush administration's program to listen to al Qaeda's phone calls into and out of the United States: It's dead.

    After all the publicity of the past two weeks, does anyone think that the boys working on plans for Boston Harbor, the Golden Gate Bridge or Chicago's Loop are still chatting by phone? If the purpose of the public exposure was to pull the plug on the pre-emptive surveillance program, mission accomplished.Be safe, Times Square.


    At the least, al Qaeda's operatives in Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Hamburg and the U.S. will hold off phoning in the next mass-murder plan until the U.S. Senate finishes deliberating Arlen Specter's proposal to legislatively order up an opinion from the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, est. 1978, as to whether the antiterrorist wiretap program violates the law that created their jobs.
     
  2. elijah_lives

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    This is why the leakers and the New York Times should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Substituting their judgement for that of an elected president is treason. Great harm has been done to our national security under the guise of the "public's right to know" and freedom of the press. And if this results in failing to detect and stop another attack, that failure will be used politically against GWB. This sickens me.
     
  3. hillclimber

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    exactly right elijah.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    I agree but democrats are just being democrats.
     
  5. Enoch

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    I completely agree!!!
     
  6. StraightAndNarrow

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    Protecting our constitutional rights. But nobody cares about that anymore.
     
  7. LadyEagle

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    Me, too! [​IMG]
     
  8. Dragoon68

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    Correct! Leaking classified information should be prosecuted. It should also be viewed as the irresponsible act that it is and should bring great shame upon the perpetrator. The public has a right to expect everyone - including senators and the news media - to keep secret that which is so designated by the proper officials entrusted by the people.
     
  9. carpro

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    My money would still be on Sen. Jay Rockefeller as the leaker...if I had any.
     
  10. elijah_lives

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    If so, could he be prosecuted? Seeing how he's a sitting Senator? Why wasn't Leahy prosecuted?
     
  11. JamesBell

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    He could be prosecuted, there is no exemption from treason charges for a sitting Senator. Of course, he won't be charged, because that would be seen as a political stunt. I guess that's what it boils down to now. Keeping America safe is seen as nothing more than a stunt by the right.
     
  12. Dragoon68

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    What?
     
  13. KenH

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    I disagree. I am glad that Snoopgate became public to we citizens. How else can we protect ourselves from the government if potentially unconstitutional and unlawful activities are kept secret from us? If the action was clearly constitutional and lawful then I would have no problem with it being kept secret. But that was not the case in this situation. It needs to be aired out in public.
     
  14. elijah_lives

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    KenH, there is a specific whistleblowers protection act that legislatively details how someone in the intel community who suspects illegal or unconstitutional activity can report that activity without public exposure. It was written to address your concerns. By leaking classified data outside of that framework, this person (or persons) has broken the law, exposed a program that can no longer be used, and endangered our nation. People may die from this leak, quite possibly thousands of people. That is treason.

    Every agency has identified officials to contact in the event that an employee with a clearance has a problem with something he sees or knows about. This includes a pipeline to Congress itself. We cannot operate an intelligence apparatus that leaks, period.

    And, while you may allege that it was illegal and unconstitutional, there is a great difference of opinion on this matter. We don't know all the facts, and so it is irresponsible to draw conclusions. Should a jury come back with a "guilty" verdict when a trial is only half over? What happens if, as many reputable legal scholars claim, the program was constitutional? The program has been outed, and can no longer be used.

    No, the leakers should be prosecuted. They could have resolved this within the law, but instead substituted their judgements for those of the Administration (which briefed some members of both parties in Congress). They violated their trust, their clearances, and the law.
     
  15. KenH

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    That is why I used the term "potentially".
     
  16. KenH

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    Without a free press there is no freedom.
     
  17. Terry_Herrington

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    I disagree. I am glad that Snoopgate became public to we citizens. How else can we protect ourselves from the government if potentially unconstitutional and unlawful activities are kept secret from us? If the action was clearly constitutional and lawful then I would have no problem with it being kept secret. But that was not the case in this situation. It needs to be aired out in public. </font>[/QUOTE][​IMG]
     
  18. Dragoon68

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    Freedom is also at risk with a free press that is dishonest or eager to find and reveal secrets even to the point of enticing those with them to reveal them. Freedom of the press does not give reporters a blank check to determine what is or is not a national secret. If something is to be a national secret then even the press should be held accountable to it. They, just like all of us, are free to openly challenge the political positions of our leaders and the actions of our government but none of us should be free to reveal national secrets just because we decide for ourselves that they are not. Let's not loose sight of the fact that the free press is motivated by profits not necessarily the best interests of the nation. It is a business that sells information. It is, ideally, a balance to the powers of government but it must also be kept in check. I do not advocate government censorship - review and approval of news reports - but I do advocate accountability for what is published. While in the service of my country, I, like many others, could have been prosecuted for revealing any secrets - not even top level national secrets but things like communication codes, technology, operational plans, investigations, etc. - that were entrusted to me for the performance of my duties. The same accountability should apply to our free press, our elected representatives, or anyone else not authorized to change the classification of the information. The classification of information can be challenged and there is a legal process for doing that. We - all of us - need to follow the law. Without such protection nothing can be kept secret. I ask again, is there anyone left who can keep a secret?
     

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