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U.S. Government steps up its efforts to track down journalist sources.

A former government official was recently presented with presented with extensive phone records of his interactions with James Risen, a reporter for the New York Times and author of the book, “State of War.”

The investigation concerns a series of leaks, reported by Risen in State of War and with associate Eric Lichtblau in the Times, which lead to the discovery of an “extensive, off-the-books domestic spying program” later confirmed by the Bush Administration. Justice Department officials confirmed that prosecutors subpoenaed Risen’s phone records in an effort to ferret out his sources, and sources close to the investigation indicated that at least one former government official has already been questioned.

The Times’ source, a grand jury witness speaking on anonymity, said he was not clear whose records the DoJ is accessing, noting that it’s possible that investigators could target Risen’s phone records, or the records of the officials he may have spoken with. The Times also reports that it has, thus far, not received any subpoenas, though it notes that it’s possible the government could subpoena its phone company without the giving the Times anynotice.

Justice Department officials served Risen a subpoena earlier this year January, demanding the sources for a specific chapter in State of War that details a CIA plan to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program.

Joel Kurtzberg, the New York attorney representing Risen on behalf of his employer and publisher, declined to comment.

Risen’s reporting set a climate that helped propel evidence of an AT&T/NSA wiretapping alliance into the limelight, galvanizing the civil rights groups to action and setting telcos and the Bush Administration aflame. The government is currently moving to crush the resulting lawsuits by invoking the State Secrets privilege, which have the potential of quickly ending the battle.

His articles – which won him a shared Pulitzer Prize in 2006 – are just the latest target of a government seemingly intent on punishing reporters that fail to cooperate. Times reporter Judith Miller spent nearly three months in jail after refusing to divulge her sources in a leak that identified a C.I.A. operative, and California freelance reporter Josh Wolf spent over half a year in jail after he refused to testify before a grand jury and hand over videotapes of an anarchist rally in San Francisco that turned violent. In Wolf’s case, a three-judge panel in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that his behavior was in defiance of the “long-established obligation of a reporter to comply with grand jury subpoenas.”

Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press executive director Lucy A. Daiglish warned reporters of the Bush Administration’s “really egregious” efforts at intimidation, telling press members to spur technology and “do your reporting the old fashioned way – meet your sources on a park bench.”

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Wait a minute...
By Gondorff on 4/16/2008 11:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't claim to know a whole lot about this issue, but it seems like the previous posters are ignoring an elephant in the room.

Namely, the gov't is trying to track down leaks in secret information. Now, I know everyone loves to be let in on a secret, and no one likes to think the US has something to hide, but these sorts of things aren't secret for no reason. It's not to keep US citizens in the dark, it's to allow whatever plans exist to be successful.
It seems to me that people are becoming dangerously ok with the fact that our inside people in the government are just spouting secret information to journalists. I'm not entirely sure, but it sounds like this sort of stuff would have been called treason if this were happening back in the day.

Basically... is it so worrying that the gov't is trying to track down the source of leaks? If these people are willing to leak this stuff to journalists, what other stuff might they be willing to leak to the highest bidder?

RE: Wait a minute...
By headbox on 4/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wait a minute...
By Adonlude on 4/16/2008 12:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, its amazing what large groups of people can be convinced to believe. Look at the second ammendment and the current Heller Supreme Court case. All the anti-gun people are trying to convince everyone that "the people", as written in the 2A, refers to a collective militia and not the individual citizen. The only problem is that "the people" is used all over the bill of rights in a very individual sense. If the anti-gunners succeed at defining "the people" on a collective level then we better get ready to give up most of the Bill of Rights on the individual level.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Grast on 4/16/2008 1:12:51 PM , Rating: 5

The domestic spying program has NOT been ruled unconstitutional YET. Until that time, it is untruthful to state as such. It is also up for debate as to whether the program is a successful attempt by the government to find TRAITOR's supporting the desirers of terrorist wish to harm Americans.

I believe that is total within the preview of the CIA, FBI, and NSA to find American's which are conspiring with people wishing to harm other Americans. That activity is called TREASON and should be labeled as such. If you support, collude, send money, provide information, and/or assist a terrorist organization/person with activities that can lead to the death or harm of an American citizen or American military, you are a TRAITOR and should be prosecuted as such.

I have written before on this topic. In summary, I full support the right of any American to have reasonable privacy, protection from unreasonable search and seizures, and the freedom of speech.

The government was using domestic program to investigate individuals which were contacting, sending money, and/or interacting with KNOWN terrorist. These (using your words) spying techniques were done without the normal warrant procedures. As such if an American had been found colluding with a terrorist organization, the evidence found could not be used in a court of law for criminal procedures but still identify an American which is trying to hurt their fellow countryman. That information could and I believe has prevented past terrorist acts on US soil.

The program also identifies individuals with questionable activities. These people can them be investigated within the preview of the law and prosecuted if a law has been broken.

I personally want the government (FBI, CIA, NSA) to be looking for Americans which are cooperating with the enemy. These people should be investigated and if guilty punished to the full extent of the law.

Just my rant.

RE: Wait a minute...
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 1
Well said!

RE: Wait a minute...
By KristopherKubicki on 4/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wait a minute...
By Grast on 4/16/2008 6:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, Watergate was about election fraud and a president spying on the demecratic party for the purpose of gaining a heads up on the up and coming election.

The domestic spying program intacted after 911 had a very specific purpose. The purpose was to discover the nature of communications to the U.S. from known terrorist organisation. Basically, they listen to conversations of terrorist calling other terrorist in the U.S. If the other person on the line in the U.S. (A TRAITOR) turned out to be a U.S. citizen, that makes them a TRAITOR. However even if that conversation covered a terrorist plot and the U.S. citizen was found accutally performing the terrorist act, the evedence gathered via the wire taps would have inadmissable in a court of law.

My point is that rules of evidence admission in our judicial systems protects any U.S. citizen which would have been caught in the spy program.

The project would however protect U.S. citizen by giving the FBI, CIA, and NSA the information needed to prevent further terroist attacks.

The bottom line is the program did not restrict any citizens right to free speech. It also did not deny any U.S. citizen the protections of a fair and speedy trial. The program did not infringe on a citizens right to be free.

This program DID allow the FBI, CIA, and NSA to know who was contacting, supporting, and colluding with known terrorist organization. Once we know who is colluding, it is a lot easier to ensure that these people are deported from the country or in the case of a U.S. citizen identify if the activity warrants further investigation.

The U.S. government has been spying on its own citizens since its creation. The big difference between the U.S. and other government is that any information gathered outside the rules of law can not be used against that individual for the procecution of breaking the law.


RE: Wait a minute...
By Viditor on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wait a minute...
By snownpaint on 4/16/2008 4:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Well said..
Do these reporters have a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement, like a lawyer or a doctor? If not, then in the interest of protection, I feel, the reporter should be doing what they can to bring down a terrorist threat. In return for the info to the authorities, I'm sure a new story about terrorists getting smacked down with help from a station's reporter would be scoop enough.

RE: Wait a minute...
By nofranchise on 4/17/2008 4:15:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure a new story about terrorists getting smacked down with help from a station's reporter would be scoop enough.

If there actually were any terrorists inside the US who were in any way accessible to a reporter don't you think -

A) That reporters would have done that story? Or do you actually believe, that reporters would actively avoid writing critical stories ABOUT terrorists and their supporters? (If so, seek help at the nearest psychiatric ER).

B) That government agencies would have gotten wind of it already?

RE: Wait a minute...
By odessit740 on 4/16/2008 8:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
If necessary, I think a viable option would be to have a judge on-call, working a special shift in the CIA/FBI who would authorize the wiretaps, but he would be responsible for what is authorized. Someone needs to be responsible for the wiretaps! D.C. judges should alternate the on-call position or something, like once a week. That would be reasonable spending of tax-payer money.

RE: Wait a minute...
By eye smite on 4/16/2008 1:40:07 PM , Rating: 1
Here, here brother. Committers of treason need to be thrown under the jailhouse, no questions asked.

RE: Wait a minute...
By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 10:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
The wiretapping program was and is NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Read the law that set this program up. The wiretapping is for international calls ONLY. The calls were not domestic. The calls were INTERNATIONAL and either:

a) incoming to the US from a number that is linked to a known terrorist suspect/group calling a US number. This is not a domestic call. It is an international call.


b) outgoing call from a US number to a number in another country (take your pick) that is linked to a known terrorist suspect/group. This is not a domestic call. It is an international call.


c) the call is between two countries with at least one of the numbers being linked to a known terrorist suspect/group, and the call happens to link between satellites with the switching occurring in the US. This is not a domestic call. It is an international call.

The law provides that with ANY/ALL of the three situations above, as well as any other possible scenarios where an international call is coming/going/through the US, that the NSA may tap the call. The NSA then has a set amount of time, I believe around 3 days, to obtain a court issued warrant to continue tapping the line.

A true DOMESTIC call occurs when someone is Cleveland calls someone in Philly. Both ends of the call are US numbers. That is a domestic call. These are not being tapped.

Personally, I WANT TO KNOW if a US citizen/immigrant is calling or being called by a number that is linked to a known terrorist suspect or terrorist group. I also want to know if there is a call between terrorist numbers from Germany and Indonesia, that so happens to travel through switching stations and satellites in the US. If you are going to bitch about something being unconstitutional, you need to back yourself up with facts, as well as knowledge and understanding of the Constitution.

You liberals are the first to always cry out about the so called "right to privacy." First of all, there is NO RIGHT TO PRIVACY ANYWHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION. Look it up. You will not find it. There is a protection against unlawful search and seizure, but that is not a right to privacy. All that is needed for lawful search and seizure is probable cause and/or a warrant, and a warrant is fairly easy to obtain from the courts when needed. The "right to privacy" was first mentioned in a Supreme Court case around the 1960-1970s. It isn't even a clear cut "right", like the right to free speech, or freedom of religion. The Court likened it to a bundle of sticks, with each stick representing a clear cut "right" from the Bill of Rights, such as the rights to free speech, religion, against self-incrimination, no quartering of troops, unlawful search and seizure, that, when combined, appeared to encompass a general "right to privacy." It was a 5-4 decision that parsed the language in the Constitution, and, fortunately, in the past 15 years or so, the Supreme Court has clearly refrained from mentioning "right to privacy" in many decisions that could possibly involve it, especially when it comes to abortion (just to name one area).

Also, the 2nd Amendment is there both to protect our right to go duck hunting, and to protect from the tyranny of a government with unchecked powers, as well as other governments. Look at the history and reasoning behind the amendment. At the time of the Revolution, the state militias were made up, like today, of state citizens. But back then, there was no central US military, so these militias were armed by the very citizens that comprised the militias. Militiamen would bring all of their OWN rifles and muskets to the militia, for both their own use and for the use of those that did not own guns. Without these men owning these rifles, we would not exist as the great US of A. The founding fathers did not know how long their creation would last, and they feared reprise by the British, and those Americans who sided with the British. Therefore, they created an avenue where the American citizens themselves could be prepared for both the new US government becoming too powerful, as well as attacks from other governments. Our modern day US military is a far cry from what the founding fathers envisioned. The military, as our founding fathers intended, was for the states to provide the military and merely be called up and organized by a central commander (the reason the Prez is called the Commander-in-Chief). Back then, it would have been 13 state militias with a loose central command. Today, that should technically be the same, except with 50 militias. Granted, it may or may not be as efficient as what we have. What we have today is a shadow of this. True, the states have militias, but they are all centrally controlled and organized by the federal government.

If enough liberals really feel so strongly as to take our RIGHT to bear arms away, or any of the other rights expressly provided for in the Bill of Rights, then there is a clear, constitutional avenue for doing so. PASS AN AMENDMENT. But, you all know that it will NEVER be ratified by 3/4 of both legislative branches, as well as 3/4 of all of the states. Instead, you turn to activist judges that parse the language, twisting and turning it, in order to obtain the result they want, whether the case involves abortion, or gun rights, or wiretapping, or property, or religion, just to name a few, all while knowing that to overturn it could mean that stare decisis is not followed, and most judges do not have the balls to do that when needed, even on the Supreme Court.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Viditor on 4/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wait a minute...
By hcahwk19 on 4/17/2008 9:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, you are parsing language, this time from a case that has a lot of negative history (though not fully overturned), and using it to try and make the whole point. The Katz case was about truly domestic calls, from one US number to another US within the US. The current issue is NOT about DOMESTIC tapping. The calls tapped by the NSA here were INTERNATIONAL calls. The Katz case also clearly sets out three exceptions to the holding in the case, one of which is from Warden, Md. Penitentiary v. Hayden , which states that "the 4th amendment does not require police officers to delay in the course of investigation if to do so would gravely endanger their lives or the lives of others. Speed was essential here." 387 U.S. 294, 298-99 (1967). That is the basis behind the NSA wiretapping program.

You are crazy if you think that the NSA program does not protect us from grave dangers. You would probably be one of the first to cry like those after 9/11, "What did you know and when did you know it?" or "Why did you not do something to find this information out and save us from attack?" YOU CANNOT HAVE THIS ISSUE BOTH WAYS. In case you have been living in a cave for the last 15 years, you know there are Islamofascist terrorist in this world, both in the US and other countries, that will stop at absolutely nothing to blow themselves up in order to kill even innocent civilians (9/11 is one of many prime examples in just the past 15 years). What happens if the NSA does not do this and we are attacked?

On top of that, the law is such that if the police want to tap your phone for the monitoring of domestic calls, they can do it. They just have 24 hours in which to get a warrant. If they don't, then it cannot be used in court against YOU.

This NSA wiretapping program was passed by Congress, just as FISA was, and it amended the FISA rules specifically for the situations at issue now. As with many other surveillance laws, this one is VERY narrowly tailored to specific situations, and thankfully, will most likely pass constitutional muster, especially with the present composition of the Supreme Court.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Viditor on 4/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wait a minute...
By MrWonka on 4/22/2008 8:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
You really need to stop mumbling; cause’ I can’t understand a word you’re saying.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Darnell021 on 4/16/2008 12:27:31 PM , Rating: 3
I suppose you could make that conclusion, but perhaps these inside sources decided the spying programs were morally wrong and the most effective way to get that out to the public would be to talk to a reporter..

RE: Wait a minute...
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 2:19:30 PM , Rating: 1
So they also decided that it was in the public's best interest to tell a journalist about secret plans to infiltrate Iran's nuclear program so we know if they're developing nuclear weapons and/or selling them to terrorists? Yes that sounds like it would be horrible for the American people. Yes I can understand someone whistleblowing on a program that actually potentially affects American's, but not on program's that do not and only serve to keep America, and the rest of the world, safe.

Sorry but he's right. The government needs to know who is releasing secrets. Especially when they compromise national security and could cost lives(those of CIA operatives). If these people are willing to sell journalists secrets, they'll also sell the Chinese, Iran, or others secrets.

RE: Wait a minute...
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 2:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I should say I don't understand whistleblowing on said program. But I can understand the desire to. If you don't agree with something, you might be compelled to bring it to others attention. But that still doesn't give you the right to break the law.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Darkskypoet on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wait a minute...
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 8:04:36 PM , Rating: 3
They don't even have to sell them. All that has to happen is a rogue employee has to sneak some nuclear material out and give it to a terrorist organization. It's already been shown that groups like Hamas are receiving funding from Iran. Is it inconceivable to think that they might be able to get their hands on nuclear material from Iran? I think not.

Nukes are only a deterrent when neither side actually wants to fight and die. And I think terrorist groups have clearly shown they don't care about killing innocents or themselves.

RE: Wait a minute...
By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 10:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
They don't have to sell them to terrorists because Iran is a terrorist nation that harbors, trains and funds various Islamofascist terrorist groups. The Iranian government gives millions in money and weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, you name it. No selling required; just giving.

RE: Wait a minute...
By croc on 4/17/2008 12:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
"And in other news today, President Bush has proscribed the Democratic party to terrorist status by a presidential finding. All congressional records with any Democratic comments shall be declared classified documents, and the Democratic Terrorist Party's fundraising efforts will be tracked down and confiscated"

RE: Wait a minute...
By aeroengineer1 on 4/16/2008 2:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
It is funny, for a long time journalists had the upper hand citing laws that at the time were considered obscure to obtain secret information and publish it. Had these people been foreign nationals, they would have been tried as spies. If they(journalists) want to play this game they need to be aware that there are consequences. I think that it is only fair that the government is allowed to investigate the sources of the journalists so that the can be disciplined in the proper way for violating their terms of employment and sometimes oaths. Please remember people just because you do not agree with something does it give you the right to break the law to try and get attention for a law that you personally think is in violation of the constitution. There are other legal means for doing this, though they are much more costly.

By MrJim on 4/16/2008 1:19:10 PM , Rating: 1
In Sweden this is illegal, to locate a source from a journalist. Isnt it so in the US? Seems fucked up indeed.

RE: Strange?
By Master Kenobi on 4/16/2008 3:04:32 PM , Rating: 4
The "reporters sources are confidential" is bullshit. Protecting someone who has committed treason (by leaking classified information) is pretty screwed up. But these journalists believe they can get away with it. Time for that to end.

RE: Strange?
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 3:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The press has taken its "freedoms" too far. Reporters, like the rest of us, should be accountable for their actions.

RE: Strange?
By KristopherKubicki on 4/16/2008 4:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
Protecting someone who has committed treason (by leaking classified information) is pretty screwed up.

Reporters too often sit on their high horses, citing they cannot ethically divulge sources. As you claim, there's no legal basis for this.

But what is treason versus whisteblowing. Laws get changed and reversed based on public opinion. Here's a novel idea: if you're going to run a covert and secret spy program, hire people who don't feel compelled to leak it to journalists. Maybe then they won't feel ethically obliged to leak it to the media then. (oh, and I find it really hard to believe that the world's most capable intelligence service can't figure out who leaked this info without twisting this jounalist's arm.)

If I was this guy though, I wouldn't even bother trying to fight it. What's 6 months in white collar jail for contempt going to do other than give him some time to work on his book?

RE: Strange?
By Darkskypoet on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Strange?
By Master Kenobi on 4/16/2008 8:17:27 PM , Rating: 3
Wasn't the leaking of the CIA Agents Identity, one MS. Plume; then Treason? Why is that person not dead? Death penalty for treason during war you know.

There was never a conviction because leaking the identify of a covert CIA operative was never awarded. They nailed a few people for perjury but nobody was ever convicted for the CIA leak simply because the person was outside of the 5 or so year window at which time it's no longer illegal to give that out. It was nothing more than a media circus that was blown so far out of proportion it became a running joke (and still is to this very day).

The notion of the Freedom of the Press, is that the People needed yet another Check and Balance to the State. So I ask again, treason against whom?

Freedom of the press is abused. Back in wars past you did not see the press openly criticizing the government during war times, it was generally reporting on the road to victory for our boys over seas (See WW1/2). Now it's nothing more than an intelligence method for our enemies. The "Press" gives out far too much confidential information to enemies of the U.S. without a second thought. I'm amazed by the lack of support for their own country.

The People were supposed to form the important part of the state, not the government, or massive bureaucracies, or security agencies. If this can be reasonably construed as damaging to the people, then it is completely under the purview of the 'free press' to report it.

I fail to see how a wiretapping program on calls that are coming in from overseas and from calls here that go overseas is damaging to the people. Perhaps damaging to people who are doing shit and might get caught. Damaging to Billy calling his girlfriend in Europe? Nope.

If an individual within one or many of these agencies came forward because of issues (moral or otherwise) with certain acts. The press then has a duty to report it. The source stays protected so that we will know of these things.

Many times these clowns are looking to stick it to their boss(es) because they got shafted at work. Most of them have spotty track records and a problem with authority. Very rarely do you see a good employee blowing any whistles, usually the malcontents who are looking to stick it to the man. Then there's the fact that these reporters can bribe, encourage, and use any number of questionable information gathering methods.

I will leave the other sections alone since they just state ideology.

RE: Strange?
By Viditor on 4/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Strange?
By nofranchise on 4/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Strange?
By ebakke on 4/17/2008 11:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
What in his response do you find objectionable? In reading all of the posts, it seems that the general take is: Journalists should write about violations of law and liberty if they find them. Those trusted with classified information, should be legally held responsible for sharing that with others.

RE: Strange?
By Frallan on 4/17/2008 4:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
If I had a -1 you would get it.

Deep loss of respect!

By JasonMick on 4/16/2008 9:51:16 AM , Rating: 4
I grow tired of asking this. So it'll be the last time. Where
is the Rebel base?

By amanojaku on 4/16/2008 9:57:55 AM , Rating: 3
It's hidden in Leia's bikini. Time for a cavity search...

By jnn4v on 4/16/2008 3:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
My dentist did one of those...

By Durrr on 4/16/2008 6:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
all your base, are belong to me?

By Frallan on 4/17/2008 4:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
On the icy planet of Sweden we are fighting a desperate war you would be welcome m8.


Reminds me of a quote I once heard.
By karielash on 4/16/2008 12:28:06 PM , Rating: 4
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

RE: Reminds me of a quote I once heard.
By here we go again on 4/16/2008 1:14:37 PM , Rating: 1
You do know he was a socialist...? And a bit crazy on top of all that.

By Ryanman on 4/16/2008 3:05:07 PM , Rating: 1
better than him being a statist covered in the sheeps clothing of conservatism like Bush.

By Viditor on 4/17/2008 3:17:56 AM , Rating: 2
You do know he was a socialist...? And a bit crazy on top of all that

If you mean Franklin, it wasn't his quote...though many people attribute it to him.

By Durrr on 4/16/2008 6:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
so repeal all gun laws, those buy temporary safety, and give up essential liberties.

White Hats vs. Black Hats
By teckytech9 on 4/17/2008 12:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
If reporters report the injustices and wrongdoings of the government, corporations and private companies then hats off to them. I agree that classified information (detailed battle plans) that aid our enemies should not be leaked.

I read an article about ten years ago that Americans in general, have the most extensive electronic dossier files kept by their government than any other nation.

What is most disturbing is that the world has changed, and in order to combat the new enemy or perhaps make peaceful dialog with them, we somehow have to think like them. Hence, the black hats and their black ops programs vs. the white hats - e.g., tin foil.

Doing it wrong?
By prenox on 4/17/2008 1:49:21 AM , Rating: 2
Why would they use phones that are in their names? Buying a pre-paid phone with cash would probably be the best way to keep others from tracing calls back to their sources.

By JasonMick on 4/16/2008 11:05:13 AM , Rating: 5
I find your lack of faith disturbing.

By Gumby16 on 4/16/2008 11:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
Not lack of faith...just a healthy skepticism. I passed skepticism long ago and have entered the ranks of the totally faithless. When I have to hear about how these guys are protecting my rights but are spying on my personal business with no warrants or evidence of wrong-doing, and are actively pursuing media sources that want to get the story out, I officially hold out no hope for our "leadership".

By Topweasel on 4/16/2008 11:44:54 AM , Rating: 3
Wow I can understand some quotes going by peoples heads but A Star Wars quote on a tech new site. Amazing.

By Viditor on 4/16/2008 10:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
These are not the posts you're looking for...

By yacoub on 4/17/2008 10:26:49 AM , Rating: 2
uh, i think we all got the source of the quote, but he did make the quote and the quote uses the word "faith" and he responded by saying he feels it's more "skepticism" than "faith". there's nothing about his reply that shows he didn't recognize where the quote came from.

By Polynikes on 4/16/2008 12:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
*Whistles Dixie*

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 2:22:03 PM , Rating: 5
Freedom of speech and illegally distributing/obtaining classified information are two completely different things.

By DigitalFreak on 4/16/2008 2:55:39 PM , Rating: 3
Bush readily admitted that he would rather be a dictator, simply because then he could direct the country as he sees fit.

Link please

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 3:34:21 PM , Rating: 1
Well that just proves everything I guess.


By onwisconsin on 4/16/2008 4:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
You mean I can't say something contradictory to the establishment? I thought I lived in the United States, not Soviet Russia (under Stalin), Iraq, Nazi Germany...or any totalitarian-like government.

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 3:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
About the only thing correct in that picture is that yes, the majority of American's are Christians. Apparently thats a bad thing now though. I say this as someone who is not one.

By Viditor on 4/16/2008 10:21:55 PM , Rating: 1
the majority of American's are Christians

Link please...

By KristopherKubicki on 4/16/2008 4:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
Bush readily admitted that he would rather be a dictator, simply because then he could direct the country as he sees fit.

Well, so would I.

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 7:57:00 PM , Rating: 4
For all the ones mentioning a dictatorship, I applaud you for taking a joke and turning it into a comment he said as if he were seriously considering a dictatorship.

By Durrr on 4/16/2008 6:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
<sarcasm>Well, since I am stationed aboard a fleet ballistic missile submarine and work on reactor systems on a daily basis, I'm going to obtain classified propulsion plant documents, and then start leaking them to every Tom Dick and Harry out there. Oh, you want a copy of every ship's schedule, deployment area. Gimme a few days. Oh, you want target packages!? SURE, HERE YA GO.</sarcasm>

There are GREAT LIMITS on what should be revealed, some stuff just shouldn't be public knowledge. The methodology under which we obtain information should be guarded at the highest level, however, people's greed and ambition to screw the next guy to get the next big story is overwhelming in today's cultural climate.

By rsmech on 4/16/2008 11:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Bush readily admitted that he would rather be a dictator

What's better a dictator or a communist?

If Bush is the Dictator, wouldn't Hillary or Obama be the Communist? I Haven't quit figured McCain yet, I think he's a little of both.

By nofranchise on 4/17/2008 3:39:04 AM , Rating: 1
What's better a dictator or a communist?

You sir, are confused.

A true Marxian communist would go out of his way, to maintain a totally equal society. He would try to distribute wealth equally. Which might be disagreeable to some - but hardly unlivable.

A dictator would crush any opposition and criticism to stay in power - such is the nature of the despot. He rules absolute, all others are his slaves.

Well - you obviously believe communism is Bolshevisms, or you are a masochist who likes to live as a slave. Unless of course you're just out to spread fear?

True communism has no merit in the real world unfortunately, for mankind is ever egocentric. That is how the world works.

But to incline that you would prefer to be a slave in a capitalist society, just so you wouldn't have to share, astounds me.

I sincerely hope you are joking - and if you are - brush up on your sarcasm skills.

By rsmech on 4/16/2008 11:29:23 PM , Rating: 3
Justice Department officials served Risen a subpoena earlier this year January, demanding the sources for a specific chapter in State of War that details a CIA plan to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program.

Where do you draw the line. I see the story about the wire taps as checks & balance, keep them clean. But how do you compare this leak? I see a stark contrast. With wire taps I want to make sure they are not infringing on US citizens. I could care less if it's non-resident suspected terrorist within the country they are listening too. With the CIA leaks pertaining to Iran I see it as selling out your country not for money but for something as cheap as an award to boost you personal pride over love of country or neighbor. One of the true functions of Gov't is to protect the people, the CIA-Iran leak is part of that. So I ask again is there a line that a journalist shouldn't cross?

By Buspar on 4/16/2008 5:20:47 PM , Rating: 3
Freedom of speech and illegally distributing/obtaining classified information are two completely different things.

Not so. In the case of the Pentagon Papers (a set of classified documents stolen from the Pentagon and published by the New York Times), the Supreme Court ruled that the public right to know was an extension of the First Amendment and that it trumped state secret provisions. In other words, the New York Times, nor any other media service, can be penalized for publishing classified material.

However, the court did rule that the person who stole/released the info could be prosecuted, since he'd broken the law. The justices held that such punishment corresponded to taking responsibility for exercising one's rights.

By Frallan on 4/17/2008 4:22:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm In the united States of Soviet Information own you.

By pxavierperez on 4/16/2008 8:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
This issue does not really concern freedom of speech. It's about an oath .

A real and experienced journalist would not reveal the identity of his source once he has given his word not to. It's very much close to a lawyer and client confidentiality agreement . Any professional journalists who had worked for established media like the Times understand this.

A respectable journalist will and must protect his source at no matter the costs.

A pity that with the increased popularity of the internet that journalism have somewhat degraded. Now any one can create a website or a blog and call themselves journalists.

By Ringold on 4/16/2008 11:51:50 PM , Rating: 3
Respectable journalist? There was a time when that was quite an oxymoron, and due to the efforts of 'respectable journalists' at places like the New York Times, those days are rapidly on their way back in. To what lengths they go to protect their sources has little to do with that shift.

Journalists should be more worried about their integrity with respect to not allowing their own political bias find its way in to their work and fighting back against bias originating with editors and management, and less worried about if they reveal some idiot leaking state secrets.

By nofranchise on 4/17/2008 3:49:51 AM , Rating: 1
Any professional journalists who had worked for established media like the Times understand this.

Any professional journalist who has worked anywhere with sensitive information and anonymous sources should understand this.

I work as a professional journalist, and believe me - as I am sure you are aware - not all professional journalists understand it.

It is our duty to speak up if wrongs are committed. No one is above the law - not even the lawmakers - and their wrongdoings should be brought to light, even if it means breaking a law in the process. That is the idea of the journalist watchdog.

Societies where journalists are exempt from the privilege of protecting sources, are totalitarian states. But of course Guantanamo made sure we already knew what the US has become.

If you gag the watchdog, you've certainly killed freedom of speech.

By ebakke on 4/17/2008 11:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
Freedom of speech doesn't include government classified information that you agreed to keep to yourself. If you can't keep your hole shut, you don't deserve the security clearance.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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