Thursday, November 2

Bush's War on Fact (and NYT) Escalates to DefCon 3

As reported by Glenn Greenwald, the Bush Administration is threatening legal action against the NY Times for exposing Dick Cheney's lies about Iraq.

While speaking with Rush Limbaugh

They're off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we've now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They've had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they're doing remarkably well.

The NY Times on the other hand has release a classified Pentagon Report indicating that Iraq is Slipping Toward Chaos.

Guess who the Bush Administration wants to put in the penalty box?

But of course - according to Fox News - it's the New York Times.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is looking into how classified information indicating Iraq is moving closer to chaos wound up on the front page of Wednesday's New York Times, and is not ruling out an investigation that could lead to criminal charges.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for operations in Iraq, confirmed to FOX News that a chart published in The Times is a real reflection of the thinking of military intelligence on the situation in Iraq as of Oct. 18, adding that an effort is underway to find out who leaked the chart and if the breach of operational security constitutes a crime.

So Fox News has confirmed that the Chart reflects the Truth - and the Pentagon response is "Who leaked it?"

The shrill call for heads to roll has already begun to ricochet around the wingnut-o-sphere.

Michelle Malkin -

Meant to get to this earlier, but the newspaper of wreckage is at it again--publishing illegally leaked classified information about the war in yet another transparent effort to sway the election.

The article title: "Military Charts Movement of Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos."

After blabbing about the classified info revelaed in the article for 11 paragraphs, the Times notes:

A spokesman for the Central Command declined to comment on the index or other information in the slide. "We don't comment on secret material," the spokesman said.

The article then continues to blab about the illegally leaked info for another seven paragraphs.

Mario Loyola (National Review) has some questions:

I want to know whether there is any level of national secret the Times is not willing to betray for the political advantage of its pet causes.

There is nothing the blabbermouths won't blab if it hurts the Bush administration.

And I would like to know what else they may have doctored on the slide.

Hello, Justice Department?

And while we're at it, I would love to understand why the law doesn't prohibit the propagation of strategic national secrets in wartime -- which has always been understood as treason.

So let see, the New York Times prints the truth - and they know it's the truth - and as a result it's assumed they only did it because they're just a bunch of "Bush Haters", are accused of making shit up and of being traitors?

The question of why Dick Cheney has repeated lied to the American public doesn't even enter the equation. How about this one: Why was the chart in question - which has merely verified what has been obvious since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February - classified in the first place?

This isn't strategic or tactical data. It doesn't tell us anything about how U.S. or Iraqi Forces plan to respond - it simply gives an assessment of where things are, and where they is not Disneyland.

Sharing that information doesn't hurt the War on Terra &tm, it simply hurts the Bush Administration's ability to lie with impunity.

BushGov was pretty pissed about Banking Leak, the NSA Eavesdropping Leak, and the Secret Prisons leak, never mind that most of these actions on the part of the Administration violated both U.S. and International law. Oh... and they were all true.

But leaking classified information about Valerie Plame-Wilson and destroying our ability to detect and fight weapons proliferation in Iraq and Iran? No problem. How about Republican Senator Pat Robertson leaking classified info which hampered our efforts to capture Saddam Hussein? No biggie.

Glenn sums it up:

This is what the ideal world of the Bush follower looks like: If the Government is waging a war and things are going horribly, the Government has the right to lie to its citizens and claim that things are going remarkably well. If a newspaper is furnished with documents prepared by the military that shows that the Government is lying and that things are actually going very poorly, the newspaper should then be barred from informing their readers about that truth -- and ought to criminally prosecuted, perhaps even executed, if they do so.

It truly takes an authoritarian mind of the most irredeemable proportions to watch our political leaders have their lies exposed about a war and have as their first reaction the desire that those who exposed the lies be prosecuted and imprisoned. But it isn't just Bush followers here who are demanding that, but the Bush administration itself, through the military, that is threatening to do so.

This threat is quite real IMO, especially with Alberto Gonzales already on record as threating to prosecute journalists.

Over the weekend, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made a Draconian threat to prosecute journalists for writing about the National Security Agency's clandestine and illegal monitoring of U.S.-overseas telephone calls. That threat shows what an Orwellian farce the government's classified information system has become.

Gonzales is threatening to prosecute reporters under the 1917 Espionage Act. This anachronistic act was passed during World War I to make it illegal for unauthorized personnel to receive and transmit national defense information. The law is also currently being used to prosecute two lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for obtaining and transmitting classified information they received from a U.S. Defense Department employee. The lobbyists' lawyers have filed a motion in court arguing that the law is an unconstitutional breach of the First Amendment right to free speech.

Gonzales threats are bad enough, but if the Pentagon gets involved, all bets are off the table after the passage of the Military Commissions Act and the obliteration of Habeas Corpus for non-U.S. Citizens. Reporters could literally just - Disappear.

Think it couldn't happen? It already has to a Pulizer Prize Wining AP Photographer whose been in U.S. Custody for six months now without a hearing.

Military officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Hussein, 35, is a native of Fallujah who began work for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained on April 12 of this year.

Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide - 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom.

In Hussein's case, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him, Curley and other AP executives said.

This is not something that we can idly stand-by and let pass. This creeping totalitarianism is a real threat and most certainly will affect U.S. Citizens as we've already seen in cases such as Jose Padilla, Yasar Hamdi or the Liberty Seven. It has to be fought tooth and nail - stopped in it's tracks.

Hopefully November 7th will be a turning point. It must.


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