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ABC News Surprised Americans support NSA

Bush NSA Wiretaps ABC News

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#1 Ogami

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:48 PM

Big surprise for ABC News. After relentless negative coverage, where ABC and their friends create the news, Elizabeth Vargas and George Stephanopoulos were surprised to find their reporting hasn't had the effect they intended (Transcript courtesy MRC):

Quote

ABC's Elizabeth Vargas and George Stephanopoulos reported Friday night that lawmakers opposed to the NSA's program, which collects phone numbers dialed, were "surprised" that by two-to-one Americans consider the effort an "acceptable" anti-terrorism program. But given the media's hyperbolic negative reaction to the supposed "Big Brother" program, which spread into a second day on Friday, it's Vargas and Stephanopoulos -- along with the rest of the mainstream media -- who should be embarrassed by news judgment so out of touch with the public.

     "An ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly support the surveillance of phone records as a way to protect them against a potential terrorist strike," Vargas reported as she cued up George Stephanopoulos by relaying how "some lawmakers were taken by surprise by this widespread public support for the program." Stephanopoulos echoed: "That's right, Elizabeth. When I was speaking to opponents of the program today they were really surprised that more Americans didn't share their outrage." (Those "opponents" are presumably in politics, but I'm sure the same could be said for journalists.) Stephanopoulos further marveled at how "two-thirds of Americans wouldn't be bothered, even if the NSA was collecting their own phone records."

http://www.mrc.org/c...b20060515.asp#1

I'll bet on who Stephie talked to over this issue, his fellow reporters, no doubt. After all, he was talking to people opposed to Bush.

#2 G-man

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:31 PM

Hmmmm ...

Considering I know one family whose phone is tapped, all because they visited Egypt and consorted with Egyptologists (obviously these are Al Quaida agents dedicated to the overthrow of the US Government); I, personally, think the program is a big waste of money, manpower, and an unnecessary invasion of Americans privacy.

But, hey, it wouldn't be the first time Americans were tempted to trade their liberties for security.

/s/

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#3 MuseZack

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:58 PM

View PostG-man, on May 15 2006, 11:31 PM, said:

But, hey, it wouldn't be the first time Americans were tempted to trade their liberties for security.

/s/

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Indeed.  I was about to pull up a couple of more recent polls which show majorities of Americans to be against the NSA going through calling records of tens of millions of Americans without legal oversight, but you know what?  It doesn't matter.  An unlawful privacy intrusion is unlawful and wrong regardless of how many Americans support it or not.  At various points in our history, majorities of Americans have been in favor of all sorts of awful things.  It's one of the big reasons we have a system of laws in the first place, and appealing to polling data on such a fundamental issue of law and decency is giving in to the worst kind of mob mentality.  

I'd be against this program if it were being proposed by President Noam Chomsky and Attorney General Susan Sarandon and supported by 99 percent of the American public.
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#4 G1223

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:44 PM

So you perfer no safety and totally liberty? I am sure those folks involved on 9/11 might have a different answer. But hey we can only ask a handful.

Yes we had better stop trying to gather intellegence by tracking calls going out from the US.I guess it would be better to do it via the Madam Helga's tea leaves method.

I take it using tea leaves would be ok? Or do you have a actual way we can get intell that is not the going to take the at least 5 years to make a good arab speaking spy method?  

I mean we are working on trying to get a arab looking selection of spies but damm if it don't take time to find the right sort of folks. They need a college education speak the language with native inflections. A college degree has always been needed. An abilty to lie like a rug and and kill like a premire Vegas Comedy performance.

Since a small percentage of Americans even look of middle eastern decent let alone have talent for certain parts of the Arabic languages. It might take a while.

But I guess people dying is better than listen to phone calls that might save the would be victim's lives.

Edited by G1223, 15 May 2006 - 11:45 PM.

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#5 MuseZack

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:07 AM

G, I'd rather see a balance that lets the government gather intelligence on bad guys while keeping appropriate levels of oversight and checks and balances so that the power to do so isn't abused and twisted into spying on political enemies a la Nixon in the early 1970s.  

Oh, and you'd be surprised about training spies.  Non-Arabic speaking dumbass white boy John Walker Lindh got in the same room with Osama bin Laden.  Imagine if he's been working for us.  And in the early 1970s (during an earlier wave of hijackings), my non-college educated but Arabic-speaking mother paid the bills by flying on commercial airliners to eavesdrop on and translate conversations of other Arabic speakers for the armed air marshalls riding with her.  I don't know if they've reinstituted the program, but my mom and an air marshall would have been nice to have in the skies on 9/11...
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#6 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:12 AM

Want to put any money on Walker having a few background checks done before he got to the camp? And not too many white guys are going to be accepted in. A non arab is going to be checked five ways to sunday while a native looking guy with a good legend who speaks the language with nothing to make him stand out as a non native is going to be a actual asset rather than a bozo given a gun and told to shoot americans.

As to Walker I hope he is in prison and gets accidently dropped into general population.  As the state really FUBARed and did not get the guy executed.
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#7 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:17 AM

View PostG1223, on May 16 2006, 01:12 AM, said:

As to Walker I hope he is in prison and gets accidently dropped into general population.  As the state really FUBARed and did not get the guy executed.

Agreed. But as much as I despise Johnny Taliban, and as much as I hate to say it...the boy did get closer to Bin laden then anybody the military has...to date.

Do I care if the NSA collects my phone records? Somewhat. It's an invasion of privacy, but it's not that big of a deal to me. At least with the NSA I don't have to worry about them calling me at dinner time wanting to sell me something, unlike the telemarketers.
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#8 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:25 AM

When did the Sky Marshall's disappear?  I know Bush brought them back.
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#9 scherzo

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:58 AM

Quote

But, hey, it wouldn't be the first time Americans were tempted to trade their liberties for security
Not really the first time liberals have made sport of goofing on relatively minor precautionary measures to stop terror attacks either. I guess hearing the super-left whine is part of the price we'll have to pay for continued security. I know it's annoying, and the smug air of faux-authority in their every word kinda hard to take...but it's preferable to being victimized again I suppose. You have to take the good with the sad I suppose.

Of course, anyone greatly concerned about the NSA, must be downright apoplectic that an entity like the IRS even exists. If not...I'm afraid they just might be taking out of their a$$, with the "trading liberties" crapola.

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#10 Call Me Robin

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:40 AM

View Postscherzo, on May 16 2006, 05:58 AM, said:

Quote

But, hey, it wouldn't be the first time Americans were tempted to trade their liberties for security
Not really the first time liberals have made sport of goofing on relatively minor precautionary measures to stop terror attacks either. I guess hearing the super-left whine is part of the price we'll have to pay for continued security. I know it's annoying, and the smug air of faux-authority in their every word kinda hard to take...but it's preferable to being victimized again I suppose. You have to take the good with the sad I suppose.

Of course, anyone greatly concerned about the NSA, must be downright apoplectic that an entity like the IRS even exists. If not...I'm afraid they just might be taking out of their a$$, with the "trading liberties" crapola.

-scherzo

The IRS?  Huh? :Oo:  What does that have to do with the NSA?

Once again, right-wingers are pretending it's a left vs. right thing.  I imagine, however, that conservative libertarians are seething about this program.  In fact, it seems they are!  Check out this article as well.

Suppose it were President Clinton instituting such a program?  What would you say about it then?  Would you still support it?
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#11 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 07:55 AM

Wait you guys on the left get to trot out Clintion. And when we do it you roll your eyes or poo poo the example.  Got to love the double standards of the left.  Thanks for the debate.
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#12 Palisades

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:20 AM

http://msnbc.msn.com.../site/newsweek/
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#13 Kosh

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:52 AM

There was more on this on last nights news, between the presidents speach, and the talking aboout the speach. Looks like the NSA may have gone much further then just overseas calls, including tapping phones at major news papers, to see who was calling reporters. If true, the poo may hit the fan soon.
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#14 Lin731

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:18 AM

Quote

There was more on this on last nights news, between the presidents speach, and the talking aboout the speach. Looks like the NSA may have gone much further then just overseas calls, including tapping phones at major news papers, to see who was calling reporters. If true, the poo may hit the fan soon.

And THAT is the real issue and concern here. I've never in my lifetime seen government NOT abuse (for their own gain) any powers abdicted to them by the citizens. The lack of any oversight of these programs is a REAL issue. For me it's not a lib or conservative issue. My reaction would be negative to ANY President conducting a program like this without any real oversight or accountability. Without checks, balances and oversight these programs can and will (maybe already ARE) being abused.
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#15 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

Well the major papers is a different kettle of fish.  If they are monitering employees of the CIA NSA or even FBI who have high level security access it has it's place as those agents have signed agreements to prevent discloser of information they have.
If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
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If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

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#16 Lin731

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:46 AM

Quote

Well the major papers is a different kettle of fish. If they are monitering employees of the CIA NSA or even FBI who have high level security access it has it's place as those agents have signed agreements to prevent discloser of information they have.

But G, without a free press, the public would NOT know things that that should know as well. If not for DeepThroat, we'd not had a clue about the illegal activities of Nixon. Without a leak to the Press, we'd not have know about the abuses taking place at Abu Ghraib or millions of taxpayers dollars missing in Iraq. The press has it's purpose. They are another component of the checks and balances. To me it's hypocritical for the Administration to leak misleading info to the press to serve their OWN interests and then monitor their calls to prevent them from leaking TRUTHFUL information that calls them to task.
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#17 G-man

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:04 AM

View PostG1223, on May 16 2006, 02:21 PM, said:

Well the major papers is a different kettle of fish.  If they are monitering employees of the CIA NSA or even FBI who have high level security access it has it's place as those agents have signed agreements to prevent discloser of information they have.

This is more a case of preventing disclosure of information that would prove embarassing to the Administration, which is really what this Administration is genuinely concerned about.

/s/

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Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
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#18 Spectacles

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:38 AM

The polls are mixed, actually. From the link Solar Wind provided:

http://msnbc.msn.com.../site/newsweek/

Quote

According to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 53 percent of Americans think the NSA’s surveillance program “goes too far in invading people’s privacy,” while 41 percent see it  as a necessary tool to combat terrorism.

And a USA-Gallup poll shows similar results:

http://www.usatoday....htm?POE=NEWISVA

I think people are having a hard time sifting through this issue. I know I am. I'm all for doing what we can to prevent another terrorist attack--and anyone is free to look at records of my phone calls if that helps--but I'm also fond of an America that respects laws that protect civil liberties. So I'm torn. Looks like others are, too.

Also, as Lin pointed out, the Bush administration is beginning to acquire a well-deserved reputation for dishonestly, excessive secrecy, executive overreaching and a penchant for punishing its ever-growing list of political enemies. So my resistance to this data-mining is based in part to my visceral distrust of this administration.
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#19 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:43 AM

View PostLin731, on May 16 2006, 10:46 AM, said:

Quote

Well the major papers is a different kettle of fish. If they are monitering employees of the CIA NSA or even FBI who have high level security access it has it's place as those agents have signed agreements to prevent discloser of information they have.

But G, without a free press, the public would NOT know things that that should know as well. If not for DeepThroat, we'd not had a clue about the illegal activities of Nixon. Without a leak to the Press, we'd not have know about the abuses taking place at Abu Ghraib or millions of taxpayers dollars missing in Iraq. The press has it's purpose. They are another component of the checks and balances. To me it's hypocritical for the Administration to leak misleading info to the press to serve their OWN interests and then monitor their calls to prevent them from leaking TRUTHFUL information that calls them to task.

Deep throat was a guy who was a coward to not stand up and say in public what was going on. He was the number 2 man at the FBI he never said anything to congress or to the people. He wanted to embarass the administration rather than see justice done. He kept doing what the Nixion administration wanted done by the FBI rather than raise legal objections within the system.

Put another way he kept working at the death camp after telling people what was going on. He kept kill people and we are suppose to praise him for leaking.

The soldiers who sent back the pictures were under no form of non disclosure agreement. But CIA and other intellegence service personel are.
If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
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If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

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#20 G1223

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:49 AM

View PostG-man, on May 16 2006, 11:04 AM, said:

View PostG1223, on May 16 2006, 02:21 PM, said:

Well the major papers is a different kettle of fish.  If they are monitering employees of the CIA NSA or even FBI who have high level security access it has it's place as those agents have signed agreements to prevent discloser of information they have.

This is more a case of preventing disclosure of information that would prove embarassing to the Administration, which is really what this Administration is genuinely concerned about.

/s/

Gloriosus
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So it's ok to leak at least confidental information if it embarasses an adminstration? And if the leaking causes the deaths of agents under cover but still embarasses the administration? Is that OK?
If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
And if you want to save these shores. For Pity sake Don't Trust them.
paraphrased from H. "Breaker" Morant

TANSTAAFL
If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

My playing well with other's skill has been vastly overrated

Member of the Order of the Knigths of the Woeful Countance.



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