Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not With A Bang, But A Leaker


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Dec 15, 1791

So, yesterday, I was a lucky man.

Lucky enough to have a big chunk of free time in the cigar tube.

Enough time, in fact, to read the beetle-fiber versions of both the Globe and the NY Times front-to-back, all the way through.

Which was fun, but weird, because I was flying home from the place that almost all Canuckistanis love, but somehow fear to tread........

.........The North

And while I could get Friday's Times before take-off, the only Globe I could get was Thursday's.

Which had something to do with the differing distances between Anchorage, Alaska and Toronto, Ontario, apparently.

Anyway, that meant that I got all the old alleged 'News that Fits the Good Lord to be Tied' from Chicago by way of Toronto and all the new 'News' on the alleged recent attempts by some in the Bush Administration to shut the Guantanamo Bay prison from Washington by way of New York via Alaska.

Turned out though, that when I carefully read Shanker and Sanger's front page above-the-fold Wash/NY/Alaska piece, it quickly became apparent that there was absolutely no 'News' there whatsoever.

In fact, I think it would be more correct to call it 'Anti-News' designed to thwart the ability of the people to seek redress of any and/all grievances.

Including high crimes and misdemeanors.


Because, in my opinion, the Shanker and Sanger Wash/NY/Alaska story was little more than a push-piece, from top to bottom.

And a close examination of the top end of the thing is all that is needed to explain how I came to form this opinion.

Specifically, in the story's first four paragraphs, in which the authors' strongly suggest that Robert Gates and Condoleezza Rice have been trying to convince other members of the Bush (mal)Administration to shut their Cuban concentration camp, there was not one single, on-the-record, named source.

Not one.

First paragraph:
In his first weeks as defense secretary, Robert M. Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guantánamo would be viewed as illegitimate, according to senior administration officials.

Second paragraph:
Mr. Gates’s appeal was an effort to turn Mr. Bush’s publicly stated desire to close Guantánamo into a specific plan for action, the officials said.

Third paragraph:
Mr. Gates’s arguments were rejected after Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and some other government lawyers expressed strong objections to moving detainees to the United States, a stance that was backed by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, administration officials said.

Fourth paragraph:
As Mr. Gates was making his case, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined him in urging that the detention facility be shut down, administration officials said.

Thus, it is not until the fifth freaking paragraph that this high profile attempt at public perception paradigm shifting actually names a source that the authors' quote directly.

And that source only makes a confirmatory statement about the status quo*.

“The policy remains unchanged,” said Gordon D. Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Now, leaving aside the possiblity that this may indicate that a bold new move has just been made on Mr. Rove's unpatriotic game board, consider, for the moment, what this 'type' of story actually indicates re: how low America's so-called 'paper of record' has sunk.

Because, if they(ie. Mr. Keller and Ms. Abramson et al.) have learned absolutely nothing about how wrong they can be when they rely almost exclusively on the unattributed information of high level maladministration sources (see: Miller, Judith and all that came after), well, how can we possibly learn anything from them?

I mean, is it any wonder that, based on the evidence, we who are paying attention are now, more than ever, looking to the fever swamps to get the 'real' story.

Even if it is, sometimes, purely imaginary.

The story, I mean.

In a hermetically sealed bunker restroom, 10,000 feet below a cliff-face located 374.76 km north of Butte Montana in the newly annexed Albertalands, Big Time is standing in front of a gleaming urinal, fly wide open, waiting.....always waiting.

Enter the off-the-books, ultra-secret, internets-savvy, super-sweeper from the local NSA office, who stands beside his supreme Commander and - opens up..........


*Please note, online this was actually the sixth paragraph. In the print edition, however, it was the tail end of the fifth. Which, of course, should not be viewed as an amendment (at least not in the constitutional sense).


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