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Christiane Amanpour and NSA
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 05, 2006

John Aravosis over at Americablog.com is all excited. He apparently feels that something Andrea Mitchell let slip in an interview with James Risen foretold of a great new story which will once-and-for-all nail Bush, or as he entitled his piece: "NBC confirms it's investigating whether Bush spied on CNN's Christiane Amanpour".

No. Really.

All this stems from the fact that Aravosis spotted the fact that NBC had changed the transcript on their site to delete a selected passage (btw, if that's so, then it's no longer a 'transcript' is it?).

Let's let Aravosis explain:
[Background: We reported earlier today that NBC's Andrea Mitchell, while interviewing New York Times' reporter James Risen (the man who broke the domestic spying scandal) asked Risen if there was any evidence to suggest Bush was spying on US journalists. When Risen said none that he knew of, Mitchell then pressed the issue again and asked if there was any evidence that Bush was spying on CNN's Christiane Amanpour. We reported on the fact that Mitchell seemed to know something, and shortly thereafter NBC deleted the section of the transcript dealing with Amanpour.]
Got it? Next comes TVNewser who cites the NBC explanation for doing the excision:
"Unfortunately this transcript was released prematurely. It was a topic on which we had not completed our reporting, and it was not broadcast on 'NBC Nightly News' nor on any other NBC News program. We removed that section of the transcript so that we may further continue our inquiry."
Now any fair reading of that says there is an ongoing inquiry into the specifics of the Amanpour reference by Mitchell.

Could Mitchell of just screwed up? As Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice says:
It would be totally out of character for a veteran journalist such as Mitchell to simply drop that specific scenario out of thin air. If so, she would likely be in for a career change.
I have to agree. You don't pick Amanpour's name out of thin air unless there's more to the story than meets the eye.

OK, so what does that mean?

Well it is here where Gandelman earns his stripes as the moderate voice":
So what's going on? There are actually several possible explanations:

* Mitchell could have some info from some source within the government that Amanpour was being secretly listened to. But network bigwigs need additional confirmation before they can run with it. Such confirmation might NOT be easy, by the way. They could have one "whistleblower" and decide they need a second or hold their breaths and run with a finished story based on the credibility of the first.

* The source could be Amanpour herself who has reason to suspect it or was herself told by a source from within the government — but no confirmation yet. Suspicions aren't enough.

* Amanpour suspects it but she has no inside information that this has actually happened.

* The source is someone outside of the government more in the form of an allegation that can't be fleshed out or something that source heard — but it isn't solid enough to put on the air yet, given the charge's gravity.

* Mitchell misspoke. (If so, and if press inquiries over The Case Of The Mysterious Transcript Deletion continue she might find herself re-assigned to cover the Amtrack beat).
As Gandleman says, the last one makes no sense. Mitchell is too much of a vet to misspeak like that. And I'd say that if points two and three are the source, the NBC inquiry won't go very far. But what if it is point one and it can be corroborated indpendently?

Gandleman then speculates:
If it turns out a reporter was being eavesdropped upon it's going to move this controversy onto another level. The press will want to find out more and there will be a particular scramble to find out if surveillance was used during election campaigns.

And would there be a massive condemnation by all players on the American political scene? In the end: most likely NOT. The administration would likely deny any NBC report OR say they had to do it for reasons they can't disclose. The President and Vice President will go on the offensive and a some influential talk show hosts would immediately adapt their explanation and justification.

You'd then see a certain number of folks going along with the administration — some because the administration has great credibility with them and others because with the 2006 mid-terms a lot is at stake politically.
The point lost here is, given the fact that certain reporters are known to have contacts on both sides of a conflict, it isn't at all a stretch to wonder if in fact that might not be the case with Amanpour. And if it is, and if an international phone call she made to a known or suspected terror suspect was picked up by NSA, would the administration actually deny it?

I'd guess probably not. In fact, it might actually help instead of hurt the administration if that happened to be the case, given a portion of the population's feelings about journalists in general.

So keep any eye on this little story as it develops. Gandelman said:
If the allegation emerges in the form of a confirmed report the firestorm we've seen before (and the polarization as the administration goes on the offensive to defend the latest twist in what would be another expansion in executive power and change in accepted executive branch behavior) will seem like a sedate meditation session.
Well maybe. I think it will depend, if true, to whom Christiane was talking.
 
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While normally I’d agree that Andrea Mitchell probably wouldn’t mis-speak (certainly not to such an extent), the whole business in the Plame-game business, where the same Andrea Mitchell apparently suggested that it was "open knowledge" what Valerie Plame’s job was, only to subsequently claim that she had, in fact, misspoken and only meant to say that it became open knowledge suggests that perhaps she misspeaks (or backpedals) more often than we realize?

(Tom Maguire at justoneminute.typepad.com has several entries on this.)

It also remains to be seen whether it is the reporter or the other end of the line that was being eavesdropped upon, doesn’t it?

Frex, if Amanpour is looking for an inside story on al-Qaeda (iirc, CNN did that a year or so ago), and if she had actual contacts w/ the organization, and if those contacts were already being monitored, is it eavesdropping on Amanpour?

If a wiretap of John Gotti’s phones picks up Gotti talking to Steve Kroft in prepping a "Sixty Minutes" piece on the "Teflon Don," is it Kroft who’s being eavesdropped upon?
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
While normally I’d agree that Andrea Mitchell probably wouldn’t mis-speak (certainly not to such an extent), the whole business in the Plame-game business, where the same Andrea Mitchell apparently suggested that it was "open knowledge" what Valerie Plame’s job was, only to subsequently claim that she had, in fact, misspoken and only meant to say that it became open knowledge suggests that perhaps she misspeaks (or backpedals) more often than we realize?

I’m saying that mostly based on the NBC explanation which later said they removed the excerpt so they could "further continue our inquiry."

That may all be a smokescreen, I don’t know, but at this point (and as I said, given a fair reading) I’m going to assume they mean whether Amanpour was being monitored.

If a wiretap of John Gotti’s phones picks up Gotti talking to Steve Kroft in prepping a "Sixty Minutes" piece on the "Teflon Don," is it Kroft who’s being eavesdropped upon?

That’s exactly the point I’m making and one that is conveniently being left out of most discussions of this particular story.

Or to say it another way, the left better be careful of what they wish for on this one.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well maybe. I think it will depend, if true, to whom Christiane was talking.
My guess is she at least talked with her husband. No big deal, right? Well, maybe.

Guess who her husband is? Jamie Rubin. Former Clinton official. No big deal there, right?

Except, guess what Jamie Rubin did after his work Bill? That’s right, you guessed it, he was foreign policy adviser to the Kerry campaign.

That’s right. Now why would the Bush administration care what a foreign policy adviser to the Kerry campaign had to say "in private" to his wife? Gosh, I dunno. Why did the burglars go into the Watergate?

I disagree with Gandelman on one point, though: this would hardly take things to a new level. Given the lap dogs to the Bush administration that the MSM has become, they probably would get on their collective kneepads and thank Bush.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
My guess is she at least talked with her husband. No big deal, right? Well, maybe.

I’m glad to see your read Aravosis’s breathless ramblings on this.
That’s right. Now why would the Bush administration care what a foreign policy adviser to the Kerry campaign had to say "in private" to his wife? Gosh, I dunno. Why did the burglars go into the Watergate?
I’m sure she did speak to her husband. If her husband or she was overseas and they talked about things that an NSA key-word filter might have picked up on, it’s certainly possible that the conversation might have been recorded. That doesn’t mean it was used, passed on or kept.

Believe it or not, that’s NSA’s job and charter. It’s called SIGINT or "Signals Intelligence". It’s what we pay them to do.

OTOH, if she was talking to an AQ member from the US, that too could have been monitored as it should be.

And that’s the point.

Right now we don’t know, but it certainly doesn’t stop you from assuming, does it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well, MK who cares if we listened in on Mr Rubin’s talks with his wife. Are you suggesting that the Kerry Campaign had a Foreign Policy and that Bush worried about it?

Or are you suggesting that Rove et. al. used technology to IMPLANT ideas in the Kerry Camp? "Oh honey, have John say he voted FOR it before he voted AGAINST it."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Maybe if DOJ is investigating the leaks they got wiretaps to listen in on reporters who may be privvy to the identity of the NSA leakers. After all National Security trumps a reporter’s right to privacy of a source (Plame case set the precedent of that with Judy Miller). The MSM skewered with their own sticks. You got to love it.
 
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
Right now we don’t know, but it certainly doesn’t stop you from assuming, does it?
Didn’t assume a thing. I said: I dunno.
Well, MK who cares if we listened in on Mr Rubin’s talks with his wife. Are you suggesting that the Kerry Campaign had a Foreign Policy and that Bush worried about it?
Nixon had less to worry about from McGovern than Bush had to worry about from Kerry. Didn’t stop Watergate from happening.

Nice try though.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Ummmm... guys?

Where has she been reporting from rather a lot over the last few years? Iraq, right? Afghanistan?

It’s not beyond the realm of the possible that she was calling there from the US, or the reverse while in Iraq. Might this be simply that by doing so, she fell into such filters as have already been established about what and who was being monitored... regardless who whe was calling, there?

(I’m agreeing with LO, here and saying further that it didn’t need to be an ’inside story’ bit to qualify....)





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Nixon had less to worry about from McGovern than Bush had to worry about from Kerry. Didn’t stop Watergate from happening.

Go extreme and generalize.

Like I said: projection.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Might this be simply that by doing so, she fell into such filters as have already been established about what and who was being monitored... regardless who whe was calling, there?

Uh, yeah, I think that’s what I just said in my comment to MK.
I’m sure she did speak to her husband. If her husband or she was overseas and they talked about things that an NSA key-word filter might have picked up on, it’s certainly possible that the conversation might have been recorded. That doesn’t mean it was used, passed on or kept.

Believe it or not, that’s NSA’s job and charter. It’s called SIGINT or "Signals Intelligence". It’s what we pay them to do.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Except, guess what Jamie Rubin did after his work Bill? That’s right, you guessed it, he was foreign policy adviser to the Kerry campaign.
So ... what you’re saying is CNN was actively employing family members of Kerry’s campaign staff. Hmmm, that’s in addition to Carville and Begala, who were also doing double duty.

Was there anyone at CNN who WASN’T on Kerry’s payroll?!?
 
Written By: SaveFarris
URL: http://
please.
 
Written By: stop spying on me
URL: http://
Maybe we need to haul in Andrea Mitchell and see what HER sources are...the media free ride needs to end.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I seem to remember Jamie Rubin saying once that he was moving to England to be with his wife, Christiane. Does anyone know whether she’s even a US citizen? If not, does that not change how the laws apply? Just wondering... far as I’m concerned W can listen to anything I have to say, and I never put anything in E-mail that I wouldn’t want the whole world to see, just on general principles.
 
Written By: BornRed
URL: http://
Uh, yeah, I think that’s what I just said in my comment to MK.
(nod) Yeah.... I’ve been tending toward Filtering out MK... sorry...

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
What the C-I-C did/is doing is wrong. I hope he will be impeached.
OO-Rah!
Sgt D
New Orleans,LA
 
Written By: Sgt D
URL: http://
As long as we’re espaliering every branch we can think of on this conspiracy tree, having it put about that the NSA might be spying on her communications is likely to have a discouraging effect on Ms. Amanpour’s sources, both current and potential.

What’s the Latin for ’who suffers?’
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
What’s the Latin for ’who suffers?’
Ummmm.... Castro?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Amanpour is British, and is most likely not covered by laws, but that does not alter the fundamental errors here. Amanpour, as a journalist in Afghanistan and Iraq, doubtlessly spoke with multiple members of Al Qaeda during here time at war, but is everyone really so naive as to think that these members would suddenly tell Amanpour of a secret plot to blow up a landmark AND that she would be so traitorous as to keep the information private?
To defend Bush IF this story is true is foolish. There is no possible reason to suspect that any operational details would be divulged to her in the course of an interview. Thus there would be no information worth tapping. I doubt that this story is true in fact, because i don’t think the NSA is dumb enough to waste resources on spying on journalists, no matter if they are American or British. I sincerely hope they aren’t.
As to the larger issue of taps for information on Al Qaeda, I think Al Qaeda was smart enough to know that any conversations they have are likely tapped. Thats why they are using code words in the first place. I think the verification that this program exists surprises no one in the hills of Tora Bora or in Syria — they’ve known forever. What strategy, exactly, must they change now? Change the secret password?
The only effective way to fight this war is through intelligence on the ground. Infiltrate the various cells and bring them down from within. Culling through every email written in America simply overwhelms the information our limited soldiers have to sift through. This program is a massive waste of money that does far less to protect us from attack than, say, protecting our borders/ports.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Amanpour is British, and is most likely not covered by laws, but that does not alter the fundamental errors here. Amanpour, as a journalist in Afghanistan and Iraq, doubtlessly spoke with multiple members of Al Qaeda during here time at war, but is everyone really so naive as to think that these members would suddenly tell Amanpour of a secret plot to blow up a landmark AND that she would be so traitorous as to keep the information private?

Irrelevant to the extreme. If she’s talking to AQ then there is nothing wrong with monitoring the phone calls of a known or suspected terrors suspect.

I think Al Qaeda was smart enough to know that any conversations they have are likely tapped.

Well they certainly haven’t been in the past and it has cost them some high ranking members.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Irrelevant to the extreme. If she’s talking to AQ then there is nothing wrong with monitoring the phone calls of a known or suspected terrors suspect.

I must beg to differ. The first amendment (sorry to bring up that hoary old chestnut) gives the press explicit protection from government intrusion. If she was told of a plot against the US she is legally bound to report it, a la a psychiatrist or priest, but the government cannot inhibit the press’ ability to report independently of government intrusion.

Well they certainly haven’t been in the past and it has cost them some high ranking members.

If the number of nefarious plots by AQ foiled by Bush since 9/11 is as high as he says it is there is no way they couldn’t determine something was up. We’ve heard audiotape on CNN of plots against Vegas, seen numerous fluctuations in the terror alert level (curiously none since the election and original discovery by the NYT of the NSA story though), and heard of plots like the Brooklyn Bridge foiled. Did AQ think we just got lucky on these? I tink we underestimate the level of intelligence AQ has at our peril. Of COURSE they’re aware their conversations are monitored. How could they not be by now.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
I must beg to differ. The first amendment (sorry to bring up that hoary old chestnut) gives the press explicit protection from government intrusion.

Tell that to Judith Miller ... or said another way, uh, no, it doesn’t.

If the number of nefarious plots by AQ foiled by Bush since 9/11 is as high as he says it is there is no way they couldn’t determine something was up

You need to do a little research and find out why AQ has given up satellite telephones.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Irrelevant to the extreme. If she’s talking to AQ then there is nothing wrong with monitoring the phone calls of a known or suspected terrors suspect.

I must beg to differ. The first amendment (sorry to bring up that hoary old chestnut) gives the press explicit protection from government intrusion. If she was told of a plot against the US she is legally bound to report it, a la a psychiatrist or priest, but the government cannot inhibit the press’ ability to report independently of government intrusion.

Well they certainly haven’t been in the past and it has cost them some high ranking members.

If the number of nefarious plots by AQ foiled by Bush since 9/11 is as high as he says it is there is no way they couldn’t determine something was up. We’ve heard audiotape on CNN of plots against Vegas, seen numerous fluctuations in the terror alert level (curiously none since the election and original discovery by the NYT of the NSA story though), and heard of plots like the Brooklyn Bridge foiled. Did AQ think we just got lucky on these? I tink we underestimate the level of intelligence AQ has at our peril. Of COURSE they’re aware their conversations are monitored. How could they not be by now.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
The Miller case illustrates my point perfectly. As she was aware of a criminal act (the outing of an undercover operative), she was bound to report it. As to your second point: if, in the last two weeks, AQ has suddenly seen the light and realized someone was listening, than the argument that the NSA whistleblower ruined the operation holds water. If they stopped using communications before that point, than it should be obvious they realized we had an intelligence agency before December of 2005. I am amazed how ignorant you seem to think AQ is. They are not stupid my friend. They are very very smart. The NSA story was news only to those who pay no attention to the real world. If you can honestly say that before two weeks ago you would never dream the government was monitoring phone calls with suspected terrorists, than you need to read more news. I suspect you already "knew" we were doing so — whether it was confirmed or not, it was self evident.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
The Miller case illustrates my point perfectly. As she was aware of a criminal act (the outing of an undercover operative), she was bound to report it. As to your second point: if, in the last two weeks, AQ has suddenly seen the light and realized someone was listening, than the argument that the NSA whistleblower ruined the operation holds water. If they stopped using communications before that point, than it should be obvious they realized we had an intelligence agency before December of 2005. I am amazed how ignorant you seem to think AQ is. They are not stupid my friend. They are very very smart. The NSA story was news only to those who pay no attention to the real world. If you can honestly say that before two weeks ago you would never dream the government was monitoring phone calls with suspected terrorists, than you need to read more news. I suspect you already "knew" we were doing so — whether it was confirmed or not, it was self evident.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
I apologize for the double posts. I only sent it once and have no idea why it keeps repeating everything I say.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
The Miller case illustrates my point perfectly. As she was aware of a criminal act (the outing of an undercover operative), she was bound to report it.

And you feel that corresponding with a known enemy of the United States is somehow a lesser offense?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
And you feel that corresponding with a known enemy of the United States is somehow a lesser offense?

Well, yes. As a matter of fact i don’t think its an offense for a journalist to interview someone at all. Simply corresponding with anyone is not an offense. Hate to break it to ya. Correspondence with Saddam, for instance, does not mean you are a Saddam sympathizer. The job of the press is to report both sides of an issue — no matter how farfetched the other side is. Whether you agree with a bunch of islamofascists justifications for why they do what they do or not, its vital that you knwo why they think they are right — or you would prefer a biased press i suppose?
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Well, yes. As a matter of fact i don’t think its an offense for a journalist to interview someone at all.

Well there you go. And I see nothing wrong with the NSA listening in to the conversations of known enemies either (since that’s their job), even if there’s a journalist on the other end.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well, yes. As a matter of fact i don’t think its an offense for a journalist to interview someone at all.

Well there you go. And I see nothing wrong with the NSA listening in to the conversations of known enemies either (since that’s their job), even if there’s a journalist on the other end.
The Bill of Rights implicitly gives journalists (and all of us) the right to free speech, etc that makes conversing with anybody at all perfectly legal. The Bill of Rights also prohibits the government from "listening in" without a warrant.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
The Bill of Rights also prohibits the government from "listening in" without a warrant.

Federal Law also prohibits "trading with the enemy" as well, doesn’t it?

That also doesn’t change the fact that the NSA is chartered with doing precisely that (i.e. gathering SIGINT on foreign enemies)for decades without a warrant.

There’s a lot more to it than a cut-and-dried "the Bill of Rights" says ...". What has to be determined is how the intercepts were done and whether they fall within the pervue of the NSA’s normal and previously accepted method of gathering foreign SIGINT. I don’t think that’s at all clear at this point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Isn’t the bigger issue that NBC edited the transcript?

A question was asked, and answered. No problem there.

NBC decides to ’disappear’ the question and the denial, because they hadn’t investigated the allegation.

So, Mitchell wasn’t investigating the allegation, and all live interviews are just canned, rehearsed speeches where the interviewee will never be asked a question he hasn’t prepared for?

This is going to be referred to as ’Journalism’ in a free society?
 
Written By: Mfawg
URL: http://
Isn’t the bigger issue that NBC edited the transcript?

I’m not sure it’s a bigger issue, but I did ask when a transcript quits being a transcript. To me it’s when it doesn’t accurately reflect what was actually said. I mean, isn’t "edited transcript" a bit of an oxymoron?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Yes, you did point that out.

And yes "Edited Transcript’ is an oxymoron.

If you’re going to release transcripts, release them. If you’re not, don’t.

Changing them after you release them unless they do not accurate reflect what was said isn’t any kind of ’Journalism’, it’s editing that belongs over in the entertainment division.

I’m not implying that there is some sort of ’Conspiracy To Bury The Story By The Evil Corporate Media’, although my own left leaning politics yearn to categorize it as such.

It’s more just a reflection of the sorry state of journalism as a whole, and television journalism in particular.

That’s why it’s the bigger issue.

Whether Amanpour was ’spied upon’ in violation of any statute or has had her Constitutional rights to unreasonable search and siezure is completely separate from that part of the story.
 
Written By: Mfawg
URL: http://
It’s more just a reflection of the sorry state of journalism as a whole, and television journalism in particular.

That’s why it’s the bigger issue.


OK, that’s a fair point. I wasn’t really looking at it in that large a frame since I’ve already concluded that about the media.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
While I am certainly no fan of telivised journalism, I honestly feel in this case NBC did as best as they could. The most likely reasons they have yet to expose this story seem to be:
1) The story can only be verified through one source, whether Amanpour herself or another whistleblower. As NBC cannot get independent confirmation, they cannot run the story. Compare that with the pathetic instajournalism on display in New Orleans or Tallmansville, where base rumor was reported as fact.

2) The surveillance taken was, in fact legal. If Amanpour is a British citizen with no American citrizenship (I know she’s London raised, but did she get US citizenship when she married Rubin? I have no idea), than I believe she is not entitled to first amendment protection in London when talking to an AQ operative in Iraq. Personally I don’t buy this as a reason. It may be true, but it’s no excuse.
I think the absolute worst way a government can "protect" its citizens is through a hamhanded Big Brother approach. It never works. Every government that tries it finds its targets simply adopting new methods to avoid it and its citizens flagrantly abusing the laws silencing them in defiance for their curtailed rights to speech.
I also think that journalism has a responsibility to acknowledge all sides of an issue. In the past decade our media has returned to the days of the early 20th century, when there was no objective reporting. Now our media caters to one side of a debate. The NYT abandons Middle America for the audience it really wants, Manhattan. Fox News simply ignores any reasonable debaters in favor of hysterical screechers. It terrifies me to think of the day that a media source on my airwaves is afraid to report something for fear their lines are tapped.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
While I am certainly no fan of telivised journalism, I honestly feel in this case NBC did as best as they could. The most likely reasons they have yet to expose this story seem to be:
1) The story can only be verified through one source, whether Amanpour herself or another whistleblower. As NBC cannot get independent confirmation, they cannot run the story. Compare that with the pathetic instajournalism on display in New Orleans or Tallmansville, where base rumor was reported as fact.

2) The surveillance taken was, in fact legal. If Amanpour is a British citizen with no American citrizenship (I know she’s London raised, but did she get US citizenship when she married Rubin? I have no idea), than I believe she is not entitled to first amendment protection in London when talking to an AQ operative in Iraq. Personally I don’t buy this as a reason. It may be true, but it’s no excuse.
I think the absolute worst way a government can "protect" its citizens is through a hamhanded Big Brother approach. It never works. Every government that tries it finds its targets simply adopting new methods to avoid it and its citizens flagrantly abusing the laws silencing them in defiance for their curtailed rights to speech.
I also think that journalism has a responsibility to acknowledge all sides of an issue. In the past decade our media has returned to the days of the early 20th century, when there was no objective reporting. Now our media caters to one side of a debate. The NYT abandons Middle America for the audience it really wants, Manhattan. Fox News simply ignores any reasonable debaters in favor of hysterical screechers. It terrifies me to think of the day that a media source on my airwaves is afraid to report something for fear their lines are tapped.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Editing the transcript because the News Departments at NBC and The Cartoon News Network are still investigating the story is absolutely no excuse.

The transcript is supposed to be a record of what was actually said, not a summary of what NBC ’wished’ Mitchell had said.

If the transcript itself was in error, i.e. a word was misspelled, or a quote was attributed to the wrong person in a round table type format, that’s one thing.

To disappear the question because Mitchell leaked a story they were working in secret isn’t ’editing’, it’s ’altering’.

It’s a shoddy practice, plain and simple.

It’s not about the ’Bias’ either, because as you so correctly point out ’Bias’ in the Media has been around since the beginning of the Republic, and while the medium has changed, the media itself really hasn’t .

’Bias’ claims drive me crazy anyway.

How can something you purchase and choose to consume be ’Biased’? It’s essentially the same argument that gun control advocates use, and just as wrong headed.

Gee whiz, America works.




 
Written By: Mfawg
URL: http://
Federal Law also prohibits "trading with the enemy" as well, doesn’t it?
No, Federal Law gives the President power during "wartime" — and it’s not entirely clear that we’re in statutorily defined "wartime" — the power to prohibit certain economic acts with a foreign country "or national thereof". I’m not aware of any Executive Directive prohibiting such. Are you?
That also doesn’t change the fact that the NSA is chartered with doing precisely that (i.e. gathering SIGINT on foreign enemies)for decades without a warrant.
True. However, I didn’t see any limitation in your comments to foreign journalists operating in foreign countries. The NSA does not have jurisdiction to conduct surveillance on US journalists. If Christiane Amanpour was overseas at the time of the (alleged) surveillance, then it’d be within the NSA’s jurisdiction. But your grant of NSA authority seemed to cover any surveillance, provided an "enemy" was on the other side.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’d think we need a little more information as to when and where Amanpour was ’surveilled’ before a determination could be made as to whether the surveillance was legal or not.

Of course, I’m also one of those darn liberals who think that a warrant would be needed if it happened on US soil. The Gubment has up to 15 days after the surveillance starts to get a warrant. Even then, the warrant is issued in ’Double Super Secret Court’, which is about as UNAMERICAN a concept as I can think of.

Call me a lib, but 2 weeks to gather evidence without a warrant is plenty.

It appears that the Administration wasn’t even willing to meet that rather minimal standard.

 
Written By: Mfawg
URL: http://

 
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