Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Immigration Man | Main | Now THAT'S A Title »

May 16, 2006

Comments

kim

It thought the 'backtracking' rather than 'tracking' remark was critical.
==============================

Semanticleo

Baffling indeed.

There is a lot of gas masquerading as oxygen
these days.

Standard program of disinformation?

kim

Do you mean poison BioWMD gas masquerading as hydrogen?
================================

Semanticleo

Surprised you note the difference

Appalled Moderate

Not that baffling, if you figure the sources for the story are from the phone companies rather than the government. Government would say: "Hey, company a company b company c are doing it, why won't you? And maybe, over drinks, complain about Qwest."

Of course, reporter probably contacted all the companies and got a series of no comments by blindsided pr people.

kim

Check out the latest translations and comment section on CQ, I believe.
=============================

kim

Yeah, AM, a lot of that stuff is pretty fuzzy. Who asked whom for what, why, and when. You know, the 'little stuff'. We're 'big picture' people. With no bias.
==============================

clarice

TS-thinks this latest leak was a sting, and I think she's right. There's nothing new in it and a tidbit of false information, a tidbit that can be traced if it was known only to a handful of people.

kim

Tsweet!
======

Syl

Bell South blew it.

The plan was for all terrorists to move to California where QWest is. Then the illegal immigrants would rise up and fight the terrorists.

America would be so grateful that for every terrorist buried, one illegal alien gets his citizenship. Kinda like angel wings, but here on earth.

clarice

*thwack* Syl. *thwack, thwack, thwack*

Cecil Turner

Now that is fouled up, even by my low standards.

cathyf

I'm beginning to wonder if these latest "leaks" are a different kind of sting. Not designed to catch leakers, but designed to destroyed the credibility of the press and get the raving frothing at the mouth Democrats to sink themselves as soft on terrorism.

You realize that the SEC requires the brokerage companies to do data mining on their customers' accounts looking for signs of violations of securities laws, right? Or that the IRS conducts massive data mining on taxpayers' financial data so that they can use the data to catch tax cheats. Including the "proctological audits" where each year a couple of thousand unlucky taxpayers are selected at random and must spent hundreds of hours producing data to the IRS, without any form of compensation. Not because the IRS suspects them, but for statistical purposes -- if anything, they want a random sample so it wouldn't be anyone that they suspect.

It's all an R/S/S plot you know. Get all those Dems out there screaming that privacy should only be for terrorists...

cathy :-)

Semanticleo

Could the intent be..................

The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations. “It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration,” said a senior federal official......?

So many leakers, so many reporters, so little
time.

Semanticleo

Can you smell the coffee?

clarice

cathy, people with high security clearances, I'm told, sign a release allowing the government to obtain their phone and bank records. I believe that the FBI narrowed the field of potential leakers, gathered their calls and compared them --finding out who was taking or receiving calls from reporters. The've always had that right. After that, if they chose to eavesdrop, I am certain they got warrants.

From ABC's note, I expect a number of people are meeting with the company lawyers, the last folks connected with the msm actually seeing an income uptick.

maryrose

Reporters are starting to look like junk yard dogs.

Appalled Moderate

I don't buy the sting theory. The reporter -- a telecommunications type who I don't even think is based in DC -- is not a likely person to receive a story like this or a tip like this.

My guess is that the reporter had been working on this story for a long time using sources at the larger telecommunications companies. BellSouth is comparatively small -- she probably did not have as good a source there. When the word came down that the NSA chief was going to be nominated for CIA chair, USA Today acclerated the story.

This makes far more sense than some kind of phony plant tale.

Sue

According to USA Today, they called Bell South and told them what they had and Bell South didn't pull them back from the story. That was their confirmation.

Fresh Air

Sue--

They've watched All the President's Men too many times!

Cecil Turner

My guess is that the reporter had been working on this story for a long time using sources at the larger telecommunications companies.

It's a theory. Seems to me it's at least as likely to be another National Security Whistleblowers Coalition effort. I'd note it's pretty close to Russell Tice's Reason interview. Concur that a "sting" isn't very likely, if only because of the legitimate info (which appears to be undisputed) that had to be leaked to make it work.

Semanticleo

CT;

Kinda' like the legitimate info Mapes/Rather
collected, then contaminated with the fraudulent memo/letter, and the miraculously
instantaneous find of same by bloggerville.
Curiouser and curiouser.

Gary Maxwell

Hey is Jason Leopold writing for USA Today? Cuz I see a certain resemblance in the writing. If it aint a sting, I bet a number of leaker still had to go and change their shorts anyway when they realized it could be.

Appalled Moderate

The USA Today story on the BellSouth release that prompted the NYT story is fascinating in depicting how reporters operate (and get things wrong). Here is USA Today factchecking:

USA TODAY first contacted BellSouth five weeks ago in reporting the story on the NSA's program. The night before the story was published, USA TODAY described the story in detail to BellSouth, and the company did not challenge the newspaper's account. The company did issue a statement, saying: "BellSouth does not provide any confidential customer information to the NSA or any governmental agency without proper legal authority."

When I call the operator here in Atlanta, I guess I am talking to BellSouth. I don't know whether I can reallly charactarize what that person says as representative of the company. The USA Today article says nothing about who they talked to at BellSouth, and why that person would know anything about the content of the story. That is slack. Guess TM needs to get his nose out of the NYT and concentrate on America's largest newspaper for a while.

Sue

Leo,

I laughed at that last night when those at Kos and Truthout were repeating that silliness and now here you are doing it. I laugh again.

Semanticleo

The USA Today article says nothing about who they talked to at BellSouth,

Part and parcel of the atmosphere.

Reporters will need to go to ever greater
lengths to protect sources from retributive
abusers of power scan the horizon for the
prey du jour.

Tom Maguire

Guess TM needs to get his nose out of the NYT and concentrate on America's largest newspaper for a while.

Good point, and by eerie coincidence, I had done that prior to reading this thread.

However, in equally eerie echoes of Robert Luskin, I had to take care of an ailing puppy first. (And I think that trumps Luskin's "sick cat" excuse).

Semanticleo

Sue-

rarely read KOS and never truthout(unless there's a link).

Ever hear of synchronicity?

Bruce Hayden

Last I knew, Qwest wasn't in CA. The company bought out the old U.S. West, based in Denver, with an inflated value based on grossly inflated values for its fiber optic inventory.

As noted, the company is based in Denver, and covers the Rocky Mountain west (excluding NV), and extends across the top of the map as far east as MN and IA. They do offer long distance for the rest of the country, but not local service.

Cecil Turner

However, in equally eerie echoes of Robert Luskin, I had to take care of an ailing puppy first. (And I think that trumps Luskin's "sick cat" excuse).

Okay, but why was the puppy ailing? Did he perhaps take a couple laps in a rotational device? (Are you eeeevil?)

topsecretk9

TS-thinks this latest leak was a sting,

Not exactly.

Like Cecil, I think the Vips Bubbas revived an old story

... in hopes that when their whistle-blowers comrades phone records were looked at legally via a subpoena (ABC story) they'd cry the Bush Admin. was spying on them (or something like it)

Sue

Leo,

LOL. Yeah, you just know it's true damn it.

PeterUK

Synchronised stupid?

Semanticleo

In the same vein, you KNOW it ain't.
signed, Shakespeare's fool to the sageSue.

Sue

Peter,

I was thinking synchronised desperate.

boris

So many clinging to the "magic typewriter" theory for so long (and still) will go down in history as the proof that BDS was a real phenonemon and a form of mass hysteria akin to the "emperors new clothes".

Sue

No. I know it ain't because it hasn't been proven. Just as Clinton wasn't guilty in Whitewater. And just as I don't believe Hillary murdered anyone. Fake but accurate is not really part of my vocabulary, ya' know?

Semanticleo

Don't you mean 'synchronised stoopid'"

PeterUK

Desperately Stupid.

Neo

I think Bell South is running the "plausible deniability" gambit, as their call records probably went to DOD or NSA/DOD just bought them through a broker.

You can obtain anybody's phone call records by sending a phone number in an e-mail with credit card number to charge and a few hours later, you got 'em (note whose records they suggest). If you think ABC is upset, the FBI has warned it's agents about cell phone use, since their call records can be bought by anyone (drug dealers, al Qaeda et al).

Semanticleo

Sue;

Just the facts, Ma'am.

Try heuristics. You might like it.

PeterUK

No not "stoopid",stupid,"stupid"!

Semanticleo

I think you mean 'desparately stoopid'

PeterUK

Yoiu are "stuck on stupid",stupid.

Sue

I do it everyday here. Just as you do Leo. But not when something is just plain guesswork with nothing to substantiate it but partisan hacks.

Gary Maxwell

Man we you can sound like KOS without ever reading it, you must have steeped long and thoroughly in the KoolAid. Is it any wonder Jim Jones found so many followers to his paranoid rantings? It was in Nancy Pelosi's backyard was it not?

topsecretk9

SeeThat familiar name (and he new the whereabout of those forgeries before the US did)

More On Journalists' Phone Records
05/16 11:12 AM - The Markup
Josh Gerstein has followed up on yesterday's ABC News report about law enforcement officials examining journalists' phone records in order to find government leakers:

A former counterterrorism chief at the CIA, Vincent Cannistraro, told The New York Sun yesterday that FBI sources have confirmed to him that reporters' calls are being tracked as part of the probe. "The FBI is monitoring calls of a number of news organizations as part of this leak investigation," Mr. Cannistraro, who has worked as a consultant for ABC, said "It is going on. It is widespread and it may entail more than those three media outlets." [...]

An FBI spokesman, Bill Carter, called the ABC report "misleading," but did not dispute that journalists' phone records have been obtained by his agency. "In any case where the records of a private person are sought, they may only be obtained through established legal process," he said.

It seems more and more that this has nothing to do with the NSA's phone data program, and is part of a routine investigation into the illegal disclosure of classified national security information. The FBI is entitled to subpoena phone records in the course of its investigation. Should journalists be exempt from that rule?

Semanticleo

topsec;

It depends upon your definition of;

credibility.........

PeterUK

"Should journalists be exempt from that rule?"

No!

Neo

Should journalists be exempt from that rule?
Apparently, Fitz and Miller went at this previously and the judge sided with Miller.

PeterUK

"t depends upon your definition of;

credibility........."

Don't go there Cement.

cathyf

clarice repeats what I, too, thought was true:

people with high security clearances, I'm told, sign a release allowing the government to obtain their phone and bank records.
So, imagine this... FBI gets phone bills of 1000 folks with security clearances, perfectly legal since that consent is a condition of employment. Bright young computer programmer writes database app to look up phone numbers at www.whitepages.com to get names, and then to look up names at the FEC site looking for occupations that are journalistic in nature.

...So where was a law violated? (Oh, yeah, I forgot. The FBI doesn't have an Internet connection. So I guess there was a law of physics violated. Maybe the FBI agents used an internet cafe or public library or their home account. Or hired a consultant with modern technology) When they say "reporters' phone records" do they mean the reporters' bills, or do they mean when a reporter is called by someone whose phone bill has been voluntarily released to the FBI?

cathy :-)

Appalled Moderate

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (no direct link, because who wants to put up with burdensome registration requirements) reports this story in far more detail. The "non-denial denial" someone talks about upthread is the result of crappy reporting on the part of USA Today and the NYT. In the AJC, the BellSouth spokesman is very specific:

We can find no instances where Mr. Ackerman has been asked to give any information to the NSA," Battcher said. "He has not signed off on it because he's never been asked."

In fact, Battcher said the company was not aware it had received any requests from the NSA. "To the best of our knowledge, we cannot find where we've ever gotten a request," he said.

So why did BellSouth escape the NSA request? Well, the AJC reports:

BellSouth's rebuttal adds another twist to a still-developing story. But it does not mean the overall gist of USA Today's account — that a huge database was collected — is incorrect.

Indeed, BellSouth is a different kind of carrier than AT&T, Verizon and Qwest in a crucial way: BellSouth does not own an international or nationwide long-distance network. When a caller in, say, Atlanta dials someone in Seattle, the call travels mostly over non-BellSouth lines. To obtain a record of such a call, the NSA would not need BellSouth. They could get it from the owner of the network, such as AT&T.

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/0516bizbellsouth.html

Neo

So Luskin was having a barbecue.

Jim E.

In his first televised press briefing, Tony SNow repeatedly said the administration would neither confirm nor deny the USA Today story. But when reporters kept asking questions, Snow strangely asked them to re-read the USA Today story to see that it merely talked about phone numbers, not "wiretapping," a word one reporter used in a question. It seems pretty clear, in a wink and nod sort of way, that the administration is acknowledging the truth of the USA Today story.

Tony Snow also pointed to the first overnight poll from last week that showed most Americans didn't care about the USA Today story, as if the media should let it rest. When the reporters immediately said that subsequent polls showed that, contrary to that first quickie poll, that a majority of Americans *were* concerned, Tony Snow said that polls didn't matter. Not a smooth outing for Mr. Snow. He'll likely get better with experience.

PeterUK

"It seems pretty clear, in a wink and nod sort of way, that the administration is acknowledging the truth of the USA Today story."

Don't ever get involved in a rape case JimE

cathyf
"The system for keeping unverifiable reports out of the news is totally broken down when you look at the online world," says Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University and a blogger himself at www.pressthink.org. Instead, he says, there is a "let's see if this holds up" philosophy that he thinks has merit in today's fast-paced news world, though he admits it isn't a practice that major news organizations could or should adopt.
That's from the WSJ link that Neo posted. It's bullshit. The online world handles credibility in pretty much the same way as print and TV journalism does. If you can figure out that the Weekly World News and The Star and The National Enquirer are basically bs, then you have all of the tools that you need to distinguish credible from noncredible online information. What the whining journalism professors illustrate every time they open their mouths is that they don't have the tools to make that determination for themselves. The only reason that they know that WWN, TS, TNE, etc. are trash is that somebody else decided and told them.

Pathetic.

cathy :-)

clarice

Brava, cathy!

PeterUK

The media consists of businesses trying to sell their product,there is no altruism,they do it for money.What sell is a story,all that matters is a story which helps sell the product,whether it be newspapers or advertising space.
If journalists want to don the garb of disinterested guardians of public interest,let them adopt a code of ethics and a body to ensure standards.
There is no difference between a journalist who lies to the public and a bank employee embezzling money,both have broken trust.

BlaBlaBla

"It seems pretty clear, in a wink and nod sort of way, that the administration is acknowledging the truth of the USA Today story."

So the government is creating a phone number database. Guess what, they also have your name, address, SSN, salary, they know which stocks you buy, sell, your captital gains, losses, mortgage interest payment, etc, - it's all tight there in your 1040 and you tell them every year.

Semanticleo

"Man we you can sound like KOS without ever reading it,"

And, maybe some folks have the psychic
ability to associate smoke with fire.

I know, I know, it is exceedingly Kool-Aidish
to make such assumptions, but someone around
here has to do it

Seixon

How about BellSouth sold the records to a company that had been contracted by the NSA? Eh? Eh?

Sue

Good guess, Seixon.

Gary Maxwell

Another cast doubt on whether Mr. Rove's attorney took his cat to the vet.

Hey the WSJ noted the same ridiculous post I did!

Sue

Someone suggested we depose the cat to find out for sure...

Gary Maxwell

And, maybe some folks have the psychic
ability to associate smoke with fire.

Well Jim Jones did claim to have special powers too.

Get help.

Gary Maxwell

Sue

I said they wanted to inventory the litter box, to see if the stool were loose. Everyone knows cats cant talk!

Sue

Yikes!!! I didn't know cats couldn't talk. Didn't you ever see Felix the Cat?

Semanticleo

mass hysteria akin to the "emperors new clothes".

You are accidentally correct, unfortunately
to the demise of your point.

BDS is projection politics which implies
that the child (in the allegory) who informs the emperor that he has been scammed, is the
victim of delusion. In reality all the poor
slobs who buy into the waking dream are the
true victims.

Thanks for the illustrative point, but it will be lost on the Emperor Spengo's minions.

cathyf

I've got 3 cats, and they all talk. I mostly ignore them, though, since everything they say is basically complaining...

cathy :-)

Sue

::grin::

Gary Maxwell

Tell Leo he thinks you have to be psychic to get cats to talk.

windansea

the miraculously
instantaneous find of same by bloggerville.

yes Cleo...it's totally miraculous that some dumb blogger decided to type up the memo with MS word and compare it to the forgery...Mapes and Rather should have done the same but their BDS prevented them

clarice

STING IT IS!! Larwyn reports that CNN showed denials from every phone company listed in the CNN article!!! Smiley's back!

clarice

***from every phone company listed in the USA article********

windansea

STING IT IS!! Larwyn reports that CNN showed denials from every phone company listed in the CNN article!!! Smiley's back!

heh...I bet some leakers and leakees are getting all puckered up over this....how perfect

pssst...we're datamining reporter phones!!!

cathyf

Hmmm... Do you think maybe the NSA just bought the listings from a broker? That'd be really rich. Really, really, REALLY rich if the NSA spokesperson comes out in a couple of days and says, "Well we used the broker that the DNC recommended. It must be ok, right?"

cathy :-)

topsecretk9

Cathyf
Double HEH HEH


in the "now that's a title" I will post what Jason Leopold says today

"when i said Rove was indicted, I meant in the general theoretical sense"

clarice

HEH!! Online I could only find a CNN article that Verizon denied it. Yesterday Bell South did. I forget who the 3d company in the article was. But you know larwyn is very credible.

Sue

"when i said Rove was indicted, I meant in the general theoretical sense"

What??????

Sue

Watch. There will be an investigation into who started the story in the WH that made several senators and representatives stand up and make fools of themselves. Republicans included. ::grin::

clarice

And counterespionage agent of this week is topsecret!!

Appalled Moderate

clarice:

Very good story on state of play is here. AT&T has not denied what was charged in the USA Today story yet. Verizon and BellSouth have (in rather strong language).

Sue

I wondered how long it would be before someone filed a lawsuit against the phone companies. The article AM links to says they are in the process.

clarice

Well, I bet they don't now!

maryrose

OT:
Ward Churchill accused by faculty committee of some very egregious activity; plagarism, lying about credentials and his publications...Heard it on Fox news.
Matthews is moderating a debate between Mitch Landrieu and Ray Nagin. Nagin is sooo over.

cathyf

I thought of another thing for the NSA spokesperson to say: "When we bought the phone records we put in the DNC's referrer code. They were supposed to get a bunch of credit in that Amway online buying club thingy. If they had some problem getting their credit we'd be happy to write a letter or make a phone call or something."

cathy :-)

Lurker

Well, well, well...here is what Arlen Specter had to come up with:

Specter strikes NSA deal>

What do you think?

Syl

Now I don't remember, but I think the denial is about phone records. Was the story about phone records? I mean, where the companies turn over databases or something.

Or isn't it more like the terrorist surveillance thingy where the numbers being called and the numbers called from are gathered at the switches.

If one of the numbers matches a known terrorist number, click to listen. Otherwise just store the numbers.

If later you discover the number of another terrorist you plug THAT into your new database of phone numbers to learn what numbers they've been dialing.

clarice

Brit had a report on the hearing today..The reporter said the Judge was "cool" on the notion of Wilson's testifying. Wekk, let's see the transcript..

Semanticleo

"There will be an investigation into who started the story in the WH that made several senators and representatives stand up and make fools of themselves"


I believe Ron Ziegler and the USC Mafia
referred to it as...RatF*****g.

Cheers

PeterUK

"There will be an investigation into who started the story in the WH that made several senators and representatives stand up and make fools of themselves"

As if they needed help.

RWMuckraker

VERIZON AND BELLSOUTH BOTH DENYING IT. READ ALL ABOUT IT AT MY BLOG IF YOU'D LIKE BY CLICKING MY URL.

Appalled Moderate

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Scott Leith (sorry about the registration) continues to do a far better job reporting this story than USA Today. The harm of the USA Today story to the telecom companies becomes evident as the tort brigade is now starting to file lawsuits.

A relevent quote regarding USA Today's reporting:

After BellSouth issued its rebuttals Tuesday, USA Today published a story saying BellSouth had been told about details of the story prior to publication.

"The company did not challenge the newspaper's account," USA Today reporter Leslie Cauley wrote. BellSouth also did not ask for a correction, the paper said.

Battcher, however, on Tuesday said the company is still evaluating whether to seek a correction. "It seems to me they should have the obligation to be correct," he said.

Battcher said BellSouth cautioned USA Today about reporting that the company was connected to the NSA program, which reportedly revolves around finding terrorist activity by sifting through call records. USA Today's report cited unnamed sources.

"We were on the record from the very beginning that we had not provided any information to the NSA," Battcher said. "My statement was not as strong as it is now, because it took us awhile to conduct our thorough review."

BellSouth hasn't decided whether to pursue legal action against the paper, Battcher said.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame