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Squirm, Baby, Squirm - With Bush at 29%, FOX Hosts Scramble to Defend NSA Domestic Spy Program

Reported by Marie Therese - May 12, 2006

This morning on FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Alisyn Camerota and FOX News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson were all over the map as they tried to defend the indefensible - the unprecedented, massive, possibly illegal monitoring of 200 million Americans' phone calls.

Steve Doocy started off by discussing the "data mining" (his words) being done by the NSA. Doocy's job was to lash out at the unpatriotic, traitorous (anonymous) "leaker", claiming that this nefarious person compromised our national security by releasing the information to USA Today, the newspaper that broke the story yesterday. "Clearly, some are saying, the reason this news came out now ... is because somebody wants to sandbag the General," Doocy said, referring to Air Force General Michael Hayden, President Bush's nominee to head up the CIA.

Attorney Peter Johnson replied, "In one of the latest polls the President's popularity rating is at 29%. Hayden is up for confirmation now to head up the CIA. And unfortunately - or fortunately for the people that are putting this out - this is the kind of story that could ignite kind of a consortium of liberals and conservatives to say to our government 'What's going on in terms of this? Every phone call that I make - is that being logged in? Why is it being logged in? I've done absolutely nothing.'"

Fellow host Alisyn Camerota jumped in with what she thought was a great supportive comment.

CAMEROTA: "But this is old news. Frankly, it's not new news. Even though it's just making headlines today and yesterday, the fact that there are these super-computers - one called the Echelon - that captures all of our telecommunications, that's - you know - frankly, our military analysts have been talking about this on the air for many, many months now. They've been saying that what happens is that certain key words - you can imagine what they are - "bomb", "blow up", "terrorist" - trigger it so, while a huge net is capturing all of our phone calls, they're - nobody's listening to them, or even examining them, or going further unless it has one of these key code words."

(The administration and its apologists have been making a big deal out of the fact that the NSA data mining program DOES NOT LISTEN to your actual phone conversations. My question is, if that is truly the case, how the hell do you "capture" WORDS if all you're doing is monitoring phone numbers? My cell phone number doesn't have any words in it. Are you telling me there is actually some idiot out there will the phone number 555-BOMB-USA? Or 555-GO-OSAMA? Gimme a break! What Camerota described is an invasive eavesdropping program that, by its nature, involves LISTENING to conversations - one hopes only after obtaining a FISA warrant. Given the rogue nature of the Bush administration, I wouldn't count on it!

What Camerota seems to have described here is a merging or blending of the Echelon program with the allegedly "legal" data mining operations carried out by NSA, all done without warrant, without oversight and without regard for the FCC regulations that REQUIRE all communications companies notify their customers if and when our personal information - including our phone numbers - are being given out!)

Lawyer Peter Johnson noted that "there have been programs over the years that have been pulled back, that have been pushed back as the result of public exposure."

Doocy then launched into the standard White House talking point, claiming that now that this program has been revealed, the terrorists know about it and will adjust their behavior accordingly, thus damaging national security. "But whoever revealed this information, ya' gotta wonder," he said, "is this like one of those people who have given up a big secret and now making it easier for the evildoers to do their bad stuff?"

(Newsflash! Based on what co-host Alisyn Camerota said in the earlier segment, the terrorists have known about Echelon for a long time.

After Clinton fired missiles at him, Bin Laden stopped using cell phones. These terrorist are low-tech and that's where our security is really weak. We need moles in the organizations - as we did with organized crime. All these super-high-tech programs are overkill. And here, for our conservative readers, is a link to an article posted on Military.com that claims NSA Sweep "Waste of Time" .... It is a fascinating debate by experts on the pros and cons of such surveillance tactics.

This administration has invaded our privacy unnecessarily and, not only that, they offered AT&T, Verizon and Bell South COMPENSATION for their collusion!!!

Verizon and AT&T are two of the companies that stand to make out like bandits if the Congress approves the new bill that will, literally, take take way free access to the internet.

I wonder just what form the "compensation" took? Were they paid outright? If so, how much did the government pay to get access to MY phone records? Or, is it possible that no money changed hands? Maybe the NSA offered these companies a quid pro quo? You let us snoop into the phone habits of 200 million Americans and - snicker! snicker! - we'll see that the Congress passes that "pay as you go" internet bill. Here's a nice Cuban cigar, a snifter of brandy and a pretty call girl - or boy - to seal the deal. Just business as usual in Washington, D. C.!)

But, I digress.

Back to FOX & Friends.

The F&F trio spent a big chunk of the rest of the show bashing immigrants and scrambling to cover for the NSA.

During one segment, Doocy and Johnson interviewed Democrat Bob Beckel and Republican Mike Gallagher, who went at each other. Beckel won, as far as I'm concerned, because he voiced what I believe is the opinion of most Americans, i.e., that the government has overstepped its boundaries, violated the fourth amendment and assumed - wrongly - that the average American would gladly give up his/her basic freedoms just to feel "safe" from a bunch of guys hiding in caves.

There was another segment on this topic during which E.D. Hill directly contradicted what Steve Doocy had said earlier.

E. D. HILL: "The New York Times is desperate, it appears, to make you think that it is brand new news and that you should be very, very frightened. It's interesting to look at their headline today. (reading from sheet of paper) 'Spy Agency Mined. Vast Data Trove, Officials Report.' Now, according to the President - these are the President's words - 'we're not mining'. (looks at Times sheet, reads) 'Spy Agency Mined'. (looks back to sheet with President words) "We're not mining!' Now, I don't know who you believe but I'm guessin' this is a little hyped up since they start with International, then they sort mix - they combine the two to muddy the waters - and then they get into domestic so by the time you finish with this you're not quite sure what the New York Times reporter is actually referring to."

Obviously Hill hadn't watched the first hour, in which Steve Doocy claimed the NSA was "data mining", Peter Johnson called it "tapping" and Alisyn Camerota deliberately injected the Echelon program into the discussion, thus "muddying the waters" for the FOX viewers.

Maybe between the first and second hours the FOX News control room got a quick call from former FOX New host Tony Snow telling them to watch what they said on air?

Brian Kilmeade then entered the fray by claiming that "the really scary thing is that it seems as though logic is bringing us to the fact that the CIA has turned on us, which is not a good thing."


Notice that Kilmeade never once considered the possibility that certain patriotic members of the CIA are trying to save the country from an ever more out-of-touch White House, ruled over by a weak man who has his finger on the button that could start World War III. Kilmeade, in fact, identified not with the American people, but with the small band of powerful men his livelihood is dependent up. A true Uriah Heep! A "good" American, doing what he's told to by those in power. Thank God, we still have some people in this country willing to face persecution and prosecution to prevent the abrogation of the Constitution!

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