Friday, December 16, 2005

Just a Thought.....on "Timing"

Today, the extension of the Patriot Act was denied. Enough votes couldn't be mustered to overcome the opposition, which was not only Democrats, but some Republicans. This morning, the New York Times had a headline that said that the President had allowed Americans to be spied on after 9/11, without the legal requirement of court directed warrants. From the AP article linked above, I quote:
"The report surfaced in an untimely fashion as the administration and its GOP allies on Capitol Hill were fighting to save provisions of the expiring USA Patriot Act that they believe are key tools in the fight against terrorism."
Excuse me if I'm skeptical about the "untimely fashion" of the discovery/disclosure of this information. It does sort of remind me of a faked memo about not showing up for National Guard drills, just a few weeks before the November 2004 Presidentail election. In each case, one could logically argue that the timing of each of these releases was anything but untimely. My contention is they were planned to exactly affect current events.
"The Times said it delayed publication of the report for a year because the White House said it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. "
Once more, I'm skeptical. I'd love to know who they had contacted in the White House staff to float the question. I haven't heard much that would make me assume the press does this on a regular basis. In fact, more often that not, and in alomst every sensational case, it seems as tho the Administration is blind sided regualrly with "BREAKING NEWS!" of this gravity. Which begs the question: Despite what was siad, what would lead a rational person to believe the Times would suddenly seek the counsel of the White House? (this is a rhetorical question) Yep, it was just another story to be repproted and could have been done any other day, or...tomorrow for that matter, but then (my suspicious side is goning to come out now) it wouldn't have been in place to make a few senators question their vote, and particularly with insufficient time for the voting citizenry to grab their phone and make their voice heard. It was timed perfectly to defeat something, and to circumvent the messy, yet effective discourse and dialog we have come to use around such issues of great importance to our nation. Thanks a lot, NYT. Like I read in a sarcastic posting somewhere yesterday, the terrorist was commenting to a press guy: "Just be cause we are going to kill you last doesn't mean we can be friends." Yesterday, I quoted a speech from 1979 on international terrorism. Here's a "keeper" from it, and how, by following this guideline, this situation might have been handled differently:
Third, we must turn the publicity instruments against the terrorists, and we must expose Soviet and other state support of terrorist groups wherever we identify it.
Thank you, "Scoop" Jakcson for the guidance. I wish you had been in your seat in Washington today.

No comments: