Saturday, January 07, 2006

NYT: "Basis For Spying In U.S. Is Doubted" (Eric Lichtblau & Scott Shane)

One reason the adminstration has cited for not seeking to change the intelligence law and obtain specific approvals for eavesdropping was that it might "tip off" terrorists to the program. The Congressional research service found that unconvincing.
"No legal precedent appears to have been presented," the study said, "that would support the president's authority to bypass the statutory route when legislation is required" simply because of secrecy.

The above is from Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane's "Basis For Syping In U.S. Is Doubted" in this morning's New York Times. The study was done by "the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan research arm of Congress." Let's note again that the study found no justification for the claim that seeking approval for the spying would "'tip off' terrorists." The article also states:

Congress "does not appear to have authorized or aqcuiesced in such surveillance," the report said, adding that the administration reading of some provisions of federal wiretap law could render them "meaingless."

Hopefully, this is an article that members noted as a spotlight entry from the paper this morning. I have no idea. When I attempted early this morning to go into the e-mail accounts (private and public), I had no luck. The person I'm dictating this to has had no luck either. Kat's doing the entry on The Laura Flanders Show today and that will go up later. Ruth's entry will go up later as well. (She's going to send it to my friend's e-mail account since we can't get into the ones for this site.) We'll also have an entry from Maria. But due to problems accessing the e-mails, two of those will be late. (And I'm guessing Kat will post late as well.)

Rebecca, Mike and Elaine posted entries at their sites late last night. Everyone participated in a roundtable for Monday's special edition of the gina & krista round-robin and Rebecca's entry has an updated schedule for the roundtables being run by Gina and Krista for next week's special round-robins. Also, heads up to a new site by a member. Who? Not saying right now. Time permitting this weekend, I'll be talking a member through how to set up at Blogger.
If not, it will go up on or by the 16th of January. I'm out of pocket today (which is why entries are dictated) and there's The Third Estate Sunday Review as well. So time isn't overflowing. I don't see having time to assist today, but if I do, we'll note the new site tomorrow. (I know there won't be time for even a head's up.)

But let me remind everyone that if you're a member of the community who wants to start your own site and need help, I will do my best to make time for that. (More voices, not less.) That said, until the hearings end, I'm not going to have a great deal of time so other than the person who has already asked, I won't be able to make time currently. (And Wally, it's not who you will think it is when you hear "new site." Put in because Wally's talking to a member who is considering starting a site and I don't have time to call him this morning and tell him that this isn't who it is.) The new site that will be going on will be done by a member who has expressed that they aren't interested in being part of the writing process for The Third Estate Sunday Review which is good because that's being closed off. Dona thinks anymore participants will only mean longer "overnights" for each edition. I'm jumping the gun by announcing that here (with Dona's permission) because we're speaking of member's starting sites. (The announcement will be in tomorrow's edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review. And I believe Cedric's already noted that possibility at his site.) The writing is collaborative and that's great because it allows for more viewpoints. But it also takes a great deal of time. This has been discussed during each edition for several weeks now and Dona handed down the decision last night in the roundtable. Members with new sites can contribute anything they write themselves and their sites will be noted (hopefully with an interview or article, due to Seth's schedule, though he's been highlighted there, there's be no interview with him or profile of him). The book discussion was created to be a quick feature (hence "Five Books, Five Minutes") but Dona feels its the perfect example of how each inclusion adds to the length of any feature they write due to the fact that it is collaborative writing. (One member of The Third Estate Sunday Review, as long as I'm jumping the gun, may have a solo piece tomorrow. I hope that comes to be because from what I've read of it, it's strong and I think additional people weighing in -- which includes me -- would only weaken it.)

When the member told me about wanting to start a new site, my first question, since it hadn't been announced, was whether or not they were interested in participating in The Third Estate Sunday Review writing process? I'm sure Dona would have made an exception had the person answered "yes" since there's been no announcement. So, with Dona's permission, I'm jumping the gun on the announcement. The fact that participants were wiped out (myself included) from the work put in on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve weighed into that decision. Dona wanted it noted that this reflected only on time issues and that, were time more plentiful, they'd love to include every member in the process (regardless of whether or not they had their own site). Dona also asked that it be noted that if someone is wanting to participate, she'll try to work something out. Someone might want a break or the edition (like the Christmas Eve one) might be one with less participants.

This isn't a rejection of collaborative writing (which they support). Mike, Cedric, Rebecca, Dona, Elaine, Ty, Jess, Jim, Ava, Betty, Wally, Kat and myself already participate on each edition. That's thirteen (check my math, always) and the decision's been made that anymore than that will only lead to more time being spent on each article.

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