Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Playing catch-up
Wow, what a day! I had no time to post anything, so now I'm playing catch-up on some headlines.

I actually got this on my phone yesterday, but no surprise that Jeanine Pirro is dropping out of the NY Senate race. Why face the humiliation of a 30 point defeat when you can run far more credibly for attorney general... much better to lose to Mark Green or Andrew Cuomo...

The transit strike is over -- I know my peeps in New York are happy about that.

Lots of good stuff on the WaPo's Early Warning blog (by one of the best military analysts out there, William Arkin), so I'll just link you to it. Key stuff:

The Pentagon is violating the law with its domestic spy program, says Arkin:
The Department of Defense now says that analysts may not have followed the law and its own guidelines that require the purging of information collected on U.S. persons after 90 days. The law states that if no connection is made between named persons and foreign governments or transnational terrorist organizations or illegal activity, U.S. persons have a right to their privacy and information about them must be deleted.

Thanks to RL, I now know that the database of "suspicious incidents" in the United States first revealed by NBC Nightly News last Tuesday and subject of my blog last week is the Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN) database, an intelligence and law enforcement sharing system managed by the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).

What is clear about JPEN is that the military is not inadvertently keeping information on U.S. persons. It is violating the law. And what is more, it even wants to do it more. ...
And even more key re the NSA's domestic spying, and just who the target of that spying is:

Yesterday's New York Times editorial on National Security Agency spying in the United States refers to "your mail and your e-mail" and "your telephone conversations" being monitored.

The connotation of course is that the "you" is some New York Times reading Cappuccino drinking upper middle class Manhattan intellectual, that thousands if not tens of thousands of similar Americans are having their phones tapped and e-mails intercepted.

Come on. The government is not just repeating the targeting of political opponents a la J. Edgar Hoover or Richard Nixon. It is not picking out a Seymour Hersh or a Cindy Sheehan to find their links to foreign influences nor seeking to ruin their lives by developing incriminating evidence on them.

I know I sound like some Fox news watching, flag waiving, gun toting, Cappuccino hater defending the national security state.

The New York Times and the government may not want to say the obvious, that by and large, it is Muslims in America who are being monitored in the 9/11 Order. It is not the liberal or the literary in the back of the New York City taxicab that is the target. It is the driver.

If the government is going to find the next Mohamed Atta in our midst, it is going to do so, it thinks, through the intercepted phone call to uncle Mohamed in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. It is going to correlate the purchase, the airline ticket, the license plate at the Mosque.

What has happened since the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks is as pernicious and as damaging as any abuse or panic or misstep of the past: We must pledge allegiance to a certain post 9/11 Order, abandon the rule of law, compromise our values, turn against our neighbors, enlist in a clash of civilizations, all in the name of defeating the terrorists.

We are being asked to destroy our country in order to save it.
That's all well and good, but I for one don't trust this government not to also be wiretapping political opponents and anti-war groups. It's just too much in their M.O.

And apparently it's also in the M.O. of the NYC police (I guess there's still a little 'Giuliani Time' in them...

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posted by JReid @ 6:47 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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