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Illegal warrantless wiretapping and the cowed media - connected?

Reported by Chrish - February 8, 2006

The silence of the so-called liberal media on issues of national importance and urgency in the last six years, most notably the non-investigation into the Florida 2000 election process, the non-investigation into 9/11, the lack of skepticism pre-Iraq invasion, the lack of attention to the Downing Street memoes, continuing election irregularities in Ohio 2004, Bush's hump, Bush's incomplete National Guard service, etc, etc, have led me to wonder if there isn't some collaboration between the mass media and the administration, or more sinster threats of blackmail. It turns out I am not alone in my speculation, and someone with far more access than myself is connecting the same dots. Couple the media subservience with revelations of illegal warrantless domestic wiretapping and follow along:

Paul Craig Roberts credentials include Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. From My Epiphany : (which I encourage you to read in its entirety)

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The "liberal press" has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore's speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration.

The TV networks mimic Fox News' faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.

The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don't want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

Before cries of "conspiracy theorist" fill the comments, know that the willingness of the radical right to employ such tactics was exhibited just recently when Bill O'Reilly threatened to reveal personal details about New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller and opinion columnist Frank Rich. FOX News, in its unique position of being part of the mainstream media yet also being part of the Bush administration, is a harbinger of things already here.

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