Sunday, December 18, 2005

What A Little Instant Response Can Do

Here is what President Bush said yesterday about "NSAgate":

In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.

This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.

As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late.

The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.

The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.

The NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general counsel and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it. Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization.

This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties. And that is exactly what I will continue to do, so long as I'm the President of the United States. [emphases added]

Distilled to its essence, the President declared that somebody in the intelligence bureaucracy, in cahoots with James Risen of the New York Times, commited an act of treason against the United States of America in order to politically destroy the elected government of the United States, and he's damned well not going to stand for it. He also made it clear both that what he authorized is perfectly and entirely legal and constitutional, and that any Democrats on the Hill who think they're going to make another scandal out of this are going to be kneecapped by publicization of the ample and numerous briefings they were given by the White House.

And the confessions of same have already begun. House Minority Leader "Crazy Nancy" Pelosi admitted her knowledge of the NSA program last night. Chris Wallace dragged it out of Senate Minority Leader "Dirty Harry" Reid on Fox News Sunday this morning. Both so-called "leaders" lamely tried to claim, without any corroborating evidence, that they "raised concerns" about it when first informed by the Administration, and that it didn't matter that they were briefed because it's still an "outrageous abuse of civil rights" and all Bush's fault. Which is beyond silly because either or both of them could, directly or indirectly, have sabotaged the eavesdropping operation by the same means Risen's source used - a leak. So either they are piss-poor leakers {rimshot} or neither was as "concerned" as they're trying to belatedly make out now.

For some reason former Florida Dem Senator Bob Graham poited up like a pimple on prom night today and deployed the evidently one-size-fits-all "Bush misled us" lie by purporting that Dick Cheney only told them at the first briefing about a "change in technology," which differs markedly from Crazy Nancy's account.

What the "humina-humina-humina" incoherence of the mess that is the Donk response to this "development" tells me is that, as I wrote yesterday, for once Dubya didn't let moss grow beneath his feet. He didn't turn the other cheek. He didn't hunker down in the metaphorical White House PR bunker and "ride out the storm" while the DisLoyal Opposition was given still more weeks and months to give him the pinata treatment, erode his poll numbers, sap his political strength, and demoralize congressional Republicans and the GOP base. Maybe it was the filibuster of the Patriot Act renewal (with four GOP defections) that finally awakened him from his perplexing passivity and galvanized his resolve to treat this latest, most egregious bureaucratic betrayal yet as the last straw, but his speech yesterday was a blistering gauntlet thrown down to the other side that he's mad as hell and he's not gonna take it anymore. You could almost see him adding a Clint Eastwood squint and tossing in, "Feelin' lucky, punks?"

It's the first true indication I've seen that the White House's much balleyhooed "push-back" campaign is something to be taken seriously. Another is that the rest of the party is jumping into the fray.

Former New York City Mayor and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani got the New York Times to publish his op-ed blasting the Patriot Act filibuster. Senator John Cornyn, a man not given to rhetorical overkill, came about as close to accusing the"Gray Lady" and left-wingers in the intelligence community and among his minority party counterparts of a conspiracy to sabotage U.S. national security as it is possible to get without actually uttering the "T" world:

"At least two senators that I heard with my own ears cited this as a reason why they decided to vote to not allow a bipartisan majority to reauthorize the Patriot Act," said Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas. "Well, as it turns out the author of this article turned in a book three months ago and the paper, the New York Times, failed to reveal that the urgent story was tied to a book release and its sale by its author."...

"I think it's a crying shame ... that we find that America's safety is endangered by the potential expiration of the Patriot Act in part because a newspaper has seen fit to release on the night before the vote on the floor on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act as part of a marketing campaign for selling a book," Cornyn said.

Even Supreme Chancellor John McCain, aka Darth Queeg, a man who is part of this problem with his hideously disastrous "anti-torture" legislation," recognized the suddenly gale-force prevailing political winds and sided with the White House on this one.

The aforementioned prevailing political winds can, I think, be summarized in this email of a Freeper resolution I received tonight from HS correspondent, and if I can so persuade him, eventual contributor, George Meredith:

It's time to name treason for what it is, and to call traitors to account.

Will the Bush Administration and a Republican Congress do anything about this? (see Free Republic)

Don't think a public hanging is required. Demanding an investigation and spreading the word is all that will be needed. A public lynching (metamorphically speaking of course) of the perps and any politicians who lack the public courage to support the investigation will be in order.

Are we going to let them get away with this? (Them being the elite media and our beloved DC Pols)

PUBLIC DENUNCIATION: James Risen, N.Y. Times have allegedly received and released classified info (vanity)

Vanity 12-17-05
Posted on 12/17/2005 6:28:15 PM PST by STARWISE


Let the world go out to the masses of the American public that James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration," set to be released in the next couple of weeks, is apparently the recipient of certain highly sensitive and classified intelligence information, leaked to him by unnamed
and at this time unknown U.S. government or former U.S. government employees or contractors. And, further, that he and his employer, the New York Times, in the interests of discrediting and impugning President George W. Bush, ginning up interest and sales for the book, and subverting the renewal of the Patriot Act, has put the safety of the United States of America and her citizens in great peril, by knowingly and illegally releasing highly sensitive and classified intelligence information, thereby aiding and abetting our enemies in a time of war.

This outrageous act of possible sedition on the part of James Risen and the New York Times demands no less than an immediate investigation on the part of the CIA, FBI, and Department of Justice, prompt accountability and severe punishment to the guilty criminal offenders, and an immediate outreach to known bookstores (Amazon, Booksamillion, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and other retail and online purchasing sites, etc., demanding that they refuse to sell the book of someone who's possibly guilty of treason in a time of the Global War On Terror.

Some may still believe that the "T" word is overwrought, though I'm no longer one of them. But what is inarguable is that most Democrats, if they aren't overt seditionists, are certifiabily insane. Or, as Brother Meringoff put it this morning:

Liberal Democrats [believe in magic]. They believe that our economy can roar along producing prosperity and millions of new jobs no matter how over-regulated and over-taxed its participants are. They believe that if we properly salute all the gods of political correctness, our enemies will finally recognize our fundamental goodness and lay down their arms. Until that day, they believe we can discover our enemies' plans without properly funding our intelligence agencies and without allowing them to engage in serious spying. Al Qaeda may use our public libraries to figure out how to make their attacks more lethal. It may communicate with their agents in the U.S. through cell phones. But we must not aggressively spy on these activities. We are expected to thwart al Qaeda through magic.

And if a Republican president does not follow the dictates of the Land of Make-Believe, he must be annihilated as a heretic at any cost. But of course there won't really be any cost because he's just making it all up about terrorists and war. We can and should and must leak any info we want and any info we can because it's all lies of a criminal neoNazi cabal that is trying to smear the poor misunderstood Muslims from whom he and his oil baron buddies want to keep stealing oil for their own enrichment. And what about 9/11? Oh, the Bushies staged that - all neoNazis are mass murderers, after all.

That's my attempt at mimicking the neoBolshevik fever swamps. But they really believe this lunatic doggerell. And elected Democrats are saner only to the extent politically necessary.

"Political" being the key. At heart they believe that politics is a game, and that everything is political. Therefore there are no rules, no tactic is out of bounds, and anything goes. There is nothing bigger or more noble than power and their obsessive pursuit of it, and everything - including national security and American lives - is subordinate to the Democrat Party ruling America.

Once that baseline is understood, the wanton leaking of one critical national security secret after another is no longer shocking, but inevitable so long as the man they consider to be both a heretic and a usurper continues to occupy the presidency. And while they don't think there will be any consequences from said leaks, if there are, if disclosing classified information in concert with crippling the government's counter-terrorism capabilities does lead to another catastrophic attack or attacks on the U.S. mainland, that's a price that they're willing, in the most classic liberal tradition, to pay - with other people's blood.

The truth is, of course, that politics isn't ubiquituous. There are more important things than political power. And our country is at war with irrational, fanatical enemies determined to destroy us, to literally slaughter us by the millions, and willing to do whatever it takes carry out what they believe with absolute zealotous certitide is the murderous will of their satanic god.

It isn't a game. It's for real. It's for keeps.

Our enemies also believe, with equal certitude, that their victory is inevitable because we are weak, corrupt, and decadent. After the events of the past several days, that belief seems inarguable as well - about one side of the aisle, anyway. And at long last George Bush is not hesitating to say so, and with passionate gusto.

Now you know why elected Dems are chanting "humina-humina-humina" and tacking back toward sanity, and that their chances in 2006 have taken another self-inflicted blow.

UPDATE 12/19: John McIntyre at RCP says, "What he said..."