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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Judge Orders Investigation Into CBS Story

A federal judge, TS Ellis, III (this would be the same judge who handed down the ruling on August 11th regarding the AIPAC case) has ordered the Department of Justice to investigate how CBS obtained the information for its AIPAC story that aired two years ago:

(Hat-Tip: Captain Ed Morrissey

A federal judge has ordered a Justice Department probe into how CBS News obtained a story two years ago disclosing an FBI investigation into a pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Judge Thomas Ellis III issued the order last week in connection with the prosecution of two former Aipac employees, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. The two men are facing criminal charges of conspiracy to acquire and disclose classified information.

Judge Ellis instructed the Justice Department "to conduct an investigation into the identity of any government employee responsible for the August 2004 disclosure to CBS News of info. related to the investigation of defendants/whether the investigation relied on info. collected pursuant to" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to an entry placed on the docket of the Alexandria, Va.-based court yesterday. A more detailed opinion explaining the judge's ruling is under seal.
It is not clear whether Judge Ellis wants the alleged leak prosecuted, but disclosure of information from a foreign intelligence wiretap is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

On August 27, 2004, CBS reported that the FBI was about to arrest "a mole working at the highest levels of the Pentagon." The report by Lesley Stahl on the "CBS Evening News" said the FBI had used "wiretaps, undercover surveillance, and photography, to document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at Aipac, and on to the Israelis."

Ms. Stahl's report did not cite any sources by name or organization, but CBS made several references to the thinking of "federal agents" and "investigators."

According to court records, Messrs. Rosen and Weissman were confronted at their homes that same day and FBI agents carried out search warrants at Aipac's offices in Washington. The timing raises the possibility that CBS learned of the probe from someone outside the government. However, it is also possible that the FBI acted after discovering that the network was about to make the investigation public.

Long ago, the press had respect for the government. If it came across something that they discovered the government was working on the "fourth rail," as it has often been referred to, ususally worked WITH the government, while still protecting its sources. Much of that has changed. The Clinton White House was open to the press. Indeed, it seemed as though they had free reign, unless it came to scandal that broke out of the White house itself. When President Bush cae into the Oval Office, a lot of that changed. It, again, when back to the practice of actually earning a living for the dinosaur media, and it signalled a return to the practice that the press really need not be privy to every little detail that the white House was involved in.

So, the press started palying by their own rules. Using government leakers, the dinosaur media started releasing stories--vital information regarding our war on terrorism. It started with the Washington Posts double expose regarding the "secret" CIA Interrogation centers abroad, and the "secret" rendition flights taking suspects to those centers. In December of 2005, the New York Times upped the ante by releasing information concerning one of our most potent tools in the war--the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program. On June 23rd of this year, the New York Times, along with the LA Times, released vital information concerning SWIFT, and its close work with the United States government in tracking the financial transactions of terrorists abroad. The role of the press has ventured from being an able, willing, and welcome addition to our system of government to the institution it is now, which is dangerous, at best, to the interests of the nation.

The case that really put the nails in the media's coffin, as Captain Ed astutely points out, is the Plame case. For months, the dinosaur media bought Joe Wilson's lies, hook, line, and sinker, and considered themselves above the fray. However that changed when reporters were starting to be subpoenaed for their minor role in the release of Valerie Plame's identity. To the point where Matt Cooper narrowly avoided going to jail, in an effort to compel his testimony, and Judith Miller did go to jail for 85 days on contempt charges because she had refused to testify. Her fault, really, as her source, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, had released her from her obligation a year before she had refused to testify.

This was inevitable, however, and it is a shame that the dinosaur media did not take note of it earlier. They should have known that with stories like this one, and the four I mentioned previously, that there would undoubtedly be investigations into how they got their stories. With some stories, it goes beyond "good investigative journalism," and stands on the issue of treason narrowly. As I have often read, there are numerous pundits out there that proclaim these media institutions guilty of such crimes when they release this sort of information. Indeed, the swiftness of the FBI to sweep in and nail Rosen and Weissman seems to have come on the heels of the report, and shows that Justice was already investigating them. Out of fear that these two might have bolted, or gone into hiding, the feds had to move in ahead of schedule.

What is even more amusing is this little tidbit from deeper within the story that we, in the blogosphere, should get a kick out of:

Word of the new leak investigation met with distress from press advocates already weary from similar battles, including the jailing of a New York Times reporter in the CIA leak probe and an ongoing effort to force two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to name their sources for stories about steroid use in baseball.

"The flurry is definitely turning into a snowstorm," the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Lucy Dalglish, said. "This pattern is getting particularly annoying where people are covering legitimate news stories. The judge gets ticked off and orders his own investigation — that's kind of a new twist to this."

A new twist? Really? I did not know that the dinosaur media was exempt from prosecution when they blow covert programs, or federal investigations to make money. I mean, that is what the media is in business for, right? Ratings, subscriptions, and advertising dollars do pay the paychecks, right? Frankly what I am sick of is the press playing the victim here. They are more like the bully who goes around picking on the kids on a playground, and immediately go crying to a teacher when the seemingly weak child kicks their @$$ in a playground fight fair and square. If they are the victims, then I am Misty Hyman. (And the only thing in common between the two of us is that we are both swimmers.)

Regardless, the press cannot call itself a victim in this case. They brough this on themselves. By acting as they have acted, they have brought scrutiny into their lives. Ms. Dalglish can proclaim the dinosaur media the victims in all of this, but the victims still remain those whim the media has affected. Namely, the citizens of the United States who are vulnerable because of their rampany BDS which has earned them the ire of many citizens. The "victocrat" mentality of the press now is not amusing in the least. They sowed dissent with their stories. It was not about the "public's interest," as Bill Keller put it, nor was it about standing up for principles, as Judith Miller proclaims. It was, in the end, about making life miserable for a president they do not like and do not agree with.

In closing, I again note that this is the same judge who literally kicked the door open on the possibility of criminal prosecution for the press when it comes to stories like these. He was the one who tossed out the First Amendment argument attempted by Messrs. Rosen and Weissman. This left the dinosaur media scurrying for cover like roaches when the lights come on, and that is also why advocates like Ms. Dalglish have stepped out, and played the "victocrat" card; a hopeful endeavor to keep the judicial attack dogs off of the dinosaur media's heels. It will noit work. The press started this cavalcade, and now they can ride it all the way. They enjoyed the "good" when they were giving the White House a "dressing down." Now they can deal with the full reciprocity of that administration when it protects its duties and obligations to the citizens of the United States.



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