Bill O’Reilly Asks Why

Media Matters: From O’Reilly’s interview with Donald Rumsfeld on the May 19 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

O’REILLY: Why do you think the left in this country is so anti-Iraq war? Why? Is it just the hatred of the president? Or is — do they see another pathway to fighting Al Qaeda?

RUMSFELD: This is not new. There has always been controversy.

O’REILLY: But why?

RUMSFELD: Wars are unpopular.

O’REILLY: Why?

RUMSFELD: They’re bloody, horrible things. They’re terrible things.

That’s why, Bill. Did you really need Donald Rumsfeld to explain that to you? It’s shit like this that makes me want to root for global warming.

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Stalking Points Memo – Threats From Mexico

Threats From Mexico

Mexico shocked Bill O’Reilly by making the outrageous request that it’s citizens not be subjected to rights abuses in the U. S. O’Reilly is now throwing his weight around with threats of boycotting Mexico. Are you getting hungry for some Freedom Tamales?

(Click the pic here to go to Stalking Points Memo page, then click the pic there to start the Flash movie)


Judy Miller Regrets 9/11 Story She Didn’t Write

In the summer of 2001, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was investigating the aftermath of the bombing the U.S.S. Cole. She had early information that Al Qaeda was involved and sought to find out more about the connection. In the course of the investigation, a source revealed to her that Al Qaeda operatives were planning something even bigger.

She didn’t write the story and the Times didn’t publish any mention of it.

After the attacks on 9/11, Miller knew what she had uncovered months earlier. In an interview with Alternet, she says that, after the second plane hit the Towers, she cried out, “It’s Al Qaeda!.”

Miller and the Times had their reasons for not publishing a story that they deemed incomplete. There were many details that Miller was unable to ascertain or confirm. But the story tells us much about where the intelligence community stood in the months preceeding 9/11.

Miller’s source, whom she describes as impeccable, told her of a conversation between two Al Qaeda operatives that was intercepted by, she assumed, the National Security Agency. The operatives were discussing the Cole bombing and that…

“they had been talking to one another, supposedly expressing disappointment that the United States had not chosen to retaliate more seriously against what had happened to the Cole. And one Al Qaida operative was overheard saying to the other, ‘Don’t worry; we’re planning something so big now that the U.S. will have to respond.'”

These recollections from Miller tell us three extraordinary things.

What we knew.
The U. S. intelligence community knew more about the impending threat of Al Qaeda than they are presently acknowledging. Miller describes a tense environment in Washington with nervous agents waiting for the next shoe to drop.

What Al Qaeda wants.
The stirring revelation that Al Qaeda was disappointed by our lack of response illustrates that what Al Qaeda has been interested in all along was provoking us into a larger conflict. Their hopes were dashed by the Clinton administration but were finally realized when Bush came to power. Bush, in effect, gave them what they wanted: respect, publicity, recruitment posters and coronation as the pre-eminent defender of Islam.

What the media does, and doesn’t tell us.
Despite some holes in the story, the information that Miller had from trusted sources was significant enough to publish. The public exposition of the facts that were available could have led to further investigations and sources that might have filled in the gaps.

It is an act of indescribable irresponsibility to have withheld this story. What was going through the minds of the editors at the Times? Did they think that an intercepted conversation between the perpetrators of the Cole bombing, wherein they revealed plans for an even bigger plot, was not newsworthy? And what exactly did the NSA do with the intelligence gleaned from these intercepts?

So many questions. So many lives lost. If only people would do their jobs. It really doesn’t amount to much more than that. But at least Miller is regretful.


These Stalking Points Are Killing Me

My Stalking Points Memos have achieved some measure of popularity. Unfortunately, that has increased my bandwidth usage to the point where I was knocked offline.

I have increased my bandwidth capacity temporarily to get back online, but it ain’t cheap. So I will be exploring alternatives including hosting the video elsewhere. If anyone has any suggestions or offers, please email me at the link at the bottom of the page.

Of course, you can always help to support News Corpse by purchasing products at Crass Commerce. I have note cards, magnets, magnet cards, coasters, and the notorious George W. Bush Voodoo Doll. I should have t-shirts and other apparrel within a couple of months. Feel free to browse the site but allow me to suggest to this audience, the Political gallery.

Thanks for your patience and your support.


The NSA Revokes The First Amendment

If you aren’t already disturbed enough by the warrantless wiretapping and data collection the National Security Agency is engaging in, then fasten your seatbelt – it’s getting worse.

ABC reporters Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, were informed by a source that it is, “time for you to get some new cell phones, quick.” This warning, given in person, revealed that the government was tracking phone numbers connected to the reporters. By cross-checking those numbers within the massive database they’ve compiled, it would be possible for the government to learn the identity of whistleblowers and other anonymous sources. This should open the eyes of those who have defended the NSA program because it was merely collecting data, not listening in.

News Corpse was founded on the premise that the media is dead. How much more evidence do we need? It is impossible to maintain a free press if reporters and their sources are unable to communicate because they fear the government is monitoring them. Just announcing that such a program exists will scare off most of those who have knowledge of misconduct or crimes committed by government officials. And as sources dry up, corruption will bloom.

While the media may be dead, this intrusive and repressive government is very much alive. What is it going to take for the American people to become sufficiently outraged to demand that their leaders honor the Constitution? Freedom of the press is supposedly guaranteed by the First Amendment, but this administration doesn’t care about that. Do the American people care?


Stalking Points Memo – Privacy

Privacy

The National Security Agency is collecting data on the phone calls of every American as part of their “Terrorist Surveillience Program”. Apparently, we are all suspects. But Bill O’Reilly doesn’t care.

(Click the pic here to go to Stalking Points Memo page, then click the pic there to start the Flash movie)

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MySpace – The Predator’s Feeding Ground

News Corpse readers know that I am not a fan of MySpace. But they will also know that I am even more opposed to government intrusion into civil liberty and free expression. Consequently, I find myself in the awkward position of defending MySpace from the congressional thought police.

The truth is that DOPA, the “Deleting Online Predators Act” (PDF), is an assault on much more than MySpace. This bill, offered by Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), purports to protect minors from sexual deviants patrolling the Internet by banning access to social networking sites on computers in schools, libraries and other federally funded property. Here’s how the bill defines “social networking”

“…a commercially operated Internet website that allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users and offers a mechanism of communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, e-mail, or instant messenger.”

That definition is so broad that it would also prohibit access to sites like Flickr, Wikipedia, DailyKos, and virtually every public blog on services like Blogger and Live Journal. Even Instant Messaging services would be at risk.

Fitzpatrick, the bill’s author, argues that the bill is necessary because,

“…this new technology has become a feeding ground for child predators that use these sites as just another way to do our children harm.”

Trying to blame social networking for the behavior of sexual deviants is short-sighted and distracts from efforts to implement effective legal reform. While the incidence of online child assaults has been sensationalized by the media, it’s actual occurrence is much less than that of the offline variety. Many more children have been assaulted by teachers, but I don’t hear calls for banning children from schools. The practical effect of this legislation, other than arbitrary censorship, is that children from low income families will be disproportionately excluded from access because they are less likely to have computers at home and are more dependent on public terminals.

But protecting children isn’t really what these folks are after. DOPA is the product of the House Suburban Caucus. Its founder, Mark Kirk (R-IL), recently commissioned a poll to identify issues that would appeal to suburban families and take attention away from the bigger issues facing the nation like Iraq, NSA wiretapping, gas prices, etc. The caucus now includes 18 Republican members. They are gaining some measure of influence and have recently met with Karl Rove and Denny Hastert.

In the end, this is just another cynical political scheme by Republican fear mongers to forestall the electoral beating they anticipate in November. The refrain is all too familiar now. If it isn’t terrorists on our doorstep, it’s perverts in our kids’ bedrooms. And their response always seems to be more chipping away at freedom.


Songs Of Unity – English Only!

The U.S. Senate yesterday approved S. Res. 458, a bill that:

…affirms that statements or songs that symbolize the unity of the Nation, including the National Anthem, the Oath of Allegiance sworn by new United States citizens, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, should be recited or sung in English, the common language of the United States.

Particularly troubling is the vague wording that applies this law to, “statements or songs” beyond those enumerated in the bill. How exactly is that determined? The only criteria is that the item, “symbolize the unity of the nation.” What other statements or songs would would this bill apply to?

  • America the Beautiful
  • My Country Tis of Thee
  • God Bless America
  • Born in the USA
  • This Land Is Your Land
  • Home on the Range
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Would we be in violation of this law if we translated the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or King’s “I Have a Dream” speech?

What moronically shallow thinking produced this idea that would inhibit our freedom to share our principles and patriotism with the majority of the people in the world that do not speak our language? It’s just another example of the Persistent Legislative State that seeks to impose its own form of mind control.

To all of this I say simply:

Amanece:­ ¿lo véis a la luz de la aurora
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer?
sus estrellas, sus franjas flotaban ayer,
en el fiero combate en señal de victoria.
Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertad,
por la noche decían: «¡Se va defendiendo!»
¡Oh, decid! ¿Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada,
sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada?
-“Nuestro Himno”


The Stalking Points Memo – Culture War

Culture War

Believe it or not, the left-wing media in America hates Bill O’Reilly. It’s the Secular Media vs. the Traditional Media (traditional?). Well, he’s not going to sit still for that anymore. He’s taking names. He’s making a list and checking it…..well, he’s making a list.

(Click the pic here to go to Stalking Points Memo page, then click the pic there to start the Flash movie)


No More White House Press Briefings

Jay Rosen at PressThink wins the “Best Idea Of The Year Award” for this little piece of brilliance in response to Josh Bolton, the White House Chief of Staff, who hinted that he may end the daily press briefings:

“End the briefings! I suppose it would never occur to Bolten that such a decision also belongs to the people being briefed. If Snow turns out to be McClellan with better hair, the press ought to quit the briefing room and give up on getting explanations from the White House. Beat Bolten to the punch, in other words.

By “quit” I mean pull your top talent. Send interns instead to occupy the seats without asking questions or filing reports. That means no correspondents at the two daily briefings, none on the President’s plane, none at his public appearances. (Except for foreign trips where other heads of state might speak.) Let the White House publicize itself.”

Just imagine it. Tony Snow steps behind the podium and gazes out to a room of youthful and unfamiliar faces. He stumbles uncomfortably with his opening statement and then opens the floor to questions…..

Silence…..

Maybe he will muddle through some topics the Communications office planned to highlight, but all he would see is a pack of kids hurriedly scribbling down what he’s saying. On first blush it may seem like everything the White House has ever dreamed of – a corps of stenographers. Except for two things:

  • It would be glaringly apparent that these briefings are (and were) meaningless.
  • The real reporters would (hopefully) be out doing real journalism.

We can only hope.