Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NYT: A war hawk finds out it's not easy being sleazy (Kate Zezima)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered the commencement address on Monday at Boston College to an audience that included dozens of students and professors who stood, turned their backs and held up signs to protest the war in Iraq.
A small plane flew overhead twice, pulling a sign that said, in red letters, "Your War Brings Dishonor." Outside Alumni Stadium, where 3,234 students received diplomas, protesters marched up Beacon Street holding signs reading "No Blood For Oil" and "We're Patriotic Too."

The above is from Kate Zezima's "Rice's Appearance Draws Protests in Boston" in this morning's New York Times. It's not as easy for the war hawks to get the love they're used to, the blind worship. And it's not going to get any easier. As America has turned agains the war, they should expect more of the same when they try to venture out of controlled events and face the public (and the public's wrath over the illegal war they lies a nation into). (Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts from last June.)

Yesterday, a number of e-mails began coming in on a topic and most of them cited Democratic Underground's "Wired News Violates Court Order, leaks FULL AT&T NSA spying documents!:"

Former AT&T technician Mark Klein is the key witness in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's class-action lawsuit against the telecommunications company, which alleges that AT&T cooperated in an illegal National Security Agency domestic surveillance program
Here we present Klein's statement in its entirety, with inline links to all of the document excerpts where he cited them. You can also download the complete file here (pdf). The full AT&T documents are filed under seal in federal court in San Francisco.
all links to ALL documents here:
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70944-0.html http://blog.wired.com/27BStroke6/att_klein_wired.pdf

It was too late (and I was too tired) to note it last night. Besides, it would be interesting to see how the Times decided to play that. Especially considering their own experience with the Pentagon Papers back in the 70s and how they were aided by the Washington Post. So how does the paper of record play this story today?

On the press, in today's paper, Adam Liptak writes something (Charles Lane, on the same story for the Washington Post here), he's not really sure what because there's no information he can share. But Liptak's writing about Wen Ho Lee. The Times has nothing on Wired's exclusive.

The Washington Post does cover it. From Arshad Mohammed's "Web Site Says Papers May Be From Lawsuit Filed Against AT& T: Case Alleges Role in Government Monitoring:"

A technology news Web site yesterday published documents that it said appear to have been filed under seal in a lawsuit accusing AT&T Inc. of taking part in a secret government program to track Americans' phone and Internet communications.
The site, Wired.com, said the documents included a statement by former AT&T technician Mark Klein claiming that the telecommunications company built a "secret room" at one of its buildings in San Francisco that he believes housed equipment that allowed the federal government to monitor Internet traffic flowing on its network.

But apparently the Times had other things to do including apparently peering into the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Everything changed on 9/11 . . . except nothing did.

The paper shows a little more interest in another privacy issue story. From David Stout and Tom Zeller Jr.'s "Vast Data Cache About Veterans Has Been Stolen:"

Personal electronic information on up to 26.5 million military veterans, including their Social Security numbers and birth dates, was stolen from the residence of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who had taken the data home without authorization, the agency said Monday.
The department said that there was no evidence any of the information had been used illegally and that whoever stole it, in a burglary of the employee's home this month, might be unaware of its nature or how to use it. The stolen data do not include any health records or financial information, the agency said.

And we'll use conspiracy theorists Tom Zeller Jr. as a jumping off point to note Brenda's highlight, Danny Schechter's "Why is the Media Downplaying Our Voting Scandal?" (MediaChannel.org):

Explain this to me: Why do so few of our TV "journalists" and political reporters seem interested
in all the questions that have been raised about the integrity of our voting system? Voting is at the heart of our democracy. Billions of dollars are spent on political campaigns, and tens of millions are spent on covering them. All the networks have election units complete with pollsters, analysts and experts up the kazoo. All of them sound authoritative and spice their commentary with personal war stories and a parade of insider anecdotes.
Just tune in to the news any election night and you have to marvel at all the space age technology, fancy graphics and computer assisted projections. The anchors seem to know as much about the history of voting percentages in each Congressional district as fanatical baseball fans recall earned run averages or the speed of each pitch.
Just like there are at least 10 military men and women backing up each soldier in the field, there are dozens of political aides, advisors, interns and hangers on "supporting"... our elected politicians, or is it poli-trikians? Handicapping elections is one of their specialties and they know most of the races and players by heart.

Zeller, of course, looked at the problems in Ohio (immediately after the 2004 election) and saw no problems -- just a bunch of looney conspiracies. Well, it's called projection and Zeller suffers from it.

And closing out this entry on reality, privacy and security (Condi thought she was so belieavble that she'd have the security of America's goodwill to silence long overdue criticism), Zach notes Robert Parry's "Liberty Over Safety" (Consortium News):

Instead of swapping safety for liberty, this generation -- traumatized by the 9/11 attacks and under the leadership of George W. Bush -- has chosen to trade liberties for safety.
Instead of Patrick Henry's stirring Revolutionary War cry of "give me liberty or give me death," this era has Sen. Pat Roberts's instant-classic expression of self over nation. "You have no civil liberties if you are dead," the Kansas Republican explained on May 18 before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chairs.
Roberts's dictum echoed through the mainstream media where it was embraced as a pithy expression of homespun common sense. But the commentators missed how Roberts's preference for life over liberty was the antithesis of Henry's option of liberty or death.
Roberts's statement also represented a betrayal of two centuries of bravery by American patriots who gave their own lives so others could be free.
After all, it would follow logically that if "you have no civil liberties if you are dead," then all those Americans who died for liberty were basically fools. Roberts's adage reflects a self-centeredness, which would shame the millions of Americans who came before, putting principle and the interests of "posterity" ahead of themselves.
If Roberts is right, the Minutemen who died at Lexington Green and at Bunker Hill had no liberty; the African-Americans who enlisted in the Union Army and died in Civil War battles had no liberty; the GIs who died on the Normandy beaches or Marines who died at Iwo Jima had no liberty; Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes who gave their lives had no liberty.
If Sen. Roberts is right, they had no liberties because they died in the fight for liberty. In Roberts's view -- which apparently is the dominant opinion of the Bush administration and many of its supporters -- personal safety for the individual tops the principles of freedom for the nation.

Today's scheduled topic for Democracy Now! is an extensive interview with Arundhati Roy so be sure to listen, watch or read (transcripts).

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