Missing from this rather silly Newsweek article on the domestic spying phone number database are more than a few things that should already be clear to even the thickest of reporters.
- The program was started before the 9/11 attacks. To continue to say that the program was a response to the attacks is specious.
- The article states "Given a hard choice between security and privacy, most Americans would probably choose to sacrifice some of the latter to get more of the former. " That's a pretty damn big assumption that goes against everything this country was founded on.
- "There can be no doubt that Bush correctly read the public mood in the days and weeks following the 2001 attacks. " He ought to have been reading the constitution instead.
- "And had the president sent a bill up to Capitol Hill giving the NSA broad powers to wiretap and eavesdrop inside the United States, in all likelihood, the lawmakers would have shouted it through." Holy hell in a handbasket. Do the words Total Information Awareness mean anything? Congress SPIKED the damn program when it was called something else. The administration just moved it under the auspices of the NSA.
- "True, the administration's spymasters confidentially briefed congressional leaders on the new eavesdropping program." Until the administration provides a full list of just WHICH congressional leaders were briefed an when they ought not to get away with this claim. An alert reporter would catch that.
- Most legal experts seemed to agree that the government could collect a huge database of phone records without violating the Constitution's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures." What he hell? They talked to "most" legal experts for this article? They probably interviewed three "experts" from the Heritage Foundation and only one had misgivings. I also wonder if they asked them about the second half of the amendment that specifically mentions warrants.
There's a lot more there but it's making my head hurt. I still remain stunned at the willful ignorance of the issues so many reporters work under. There is no possible way that those that are supposed to wallow in this information day in and day out so that then can distill into simpler form for consumption by the mass public can be so friggin' clueless about so many basic issues. These guys (supposedly) have a college education yet they display absolutely ZERO capacity for critical thought.