Tags: Playing | the | Judas | Game

Playing the Judas Game

Wednesday, 28 December 2005 12:00 AM

If you spot a mushroom cloud looming over a nearby city, thank the media – some of them have now done everything possible to make it happen.

If this were fiction, most people would shrug it off as improbable. How could members of the press openly betray their nation in such a horrendously important matter by blatantly undermining the government's responsibility to protect Americans against a nuclear attack launched within our borders?

Well, it's not fiction. It's the bitter truth and it lays bare for all to see the real nature of much of today's mainstream media. And it's not a pretty sight.

I'm beginning to suspect that if many of those among the mainstream press began publishing pictures of their editors in chief, it would be an image of either Benedict Arnold, or even more likely, Judas Iscariot.

In recent days we have seen two of the most egregious exercises in media betrayal of the United States of America emerge from the fetid swamps where liberal journalists lurk – in the first instance, from the pages of al-Qaida's chief propaganda organ in the United States – the New York Times – and in the second, from the publication Laura Ingraham derisively calls "MacPaper" – USA Today.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, while searchers in the ruins of the twin towers of the World Trade Center were still seeking to find the bodies of some of the 3,000 victims, the Bush administration undertook to monitor communications between al-Qaida operatives abroad and suspected al-Qaida sympathizers in the U.S.

This was a supersecret program, exposure of which would for all intents and purposes be rendered useless if brought to light. The New York Times, in obvious pursuit of the twin goals of discrediting President Bush as a means of giving the Democrats control of the Congress, and of causing the United States to lose the war in Iraq by a premature withdrawal of our troops, blabbed the story on its front page.

This set off a media and political firestorm over the utterly phony issue of privacy – the liberals' favorite battle flag when promoting such things as the right of mothers to murder their unborn babies and the right of some Americans to betray their country unimpeded by government vigilance.

And it all but gutted a vital weapon in America's national security arsenal. But that's perfectly justifiable, the Times and its army of liberal apologists tell us – it's all a matter of freedom of the press and the public's sacred right to know, which translates into the media's right to publish every damn thing they please no matter how damaging it might be to the security of the American people. That, after all, is allegedly how you sell newspapers or attract viewers to your network news broadcasts.

The Bush administration stands accused by the Times and the rest of the Marxist media and their Democrat champions on Capitol Hill of "eavesdropping" on American citizens – they never bother to mention that these "American citizens" are suspected enemy agents and some even non-citizens to boot – and of failing to obtain permission to monitor overseas-to-U.S. communications from a special court.

They scoff at administration claims that the threat to the U.S. was so deadly serious and imminent and the ritual of seeking and obtaining court approval both cumbersome and the outcome often uncertain, that they were forced to act as they did.

The crtitics ignore the very obvious facts that the U.S. is at war with an enemy that slaughtered 3,000 people on 9/11 and that wartime requires swift and decisive measures, and the astounding success of preventing any further 9/11s since 2001 – one sign that the program worked.

According to the Seattle Times, author James Bamford, an acknowledged authority on the supersecret National Security Agency (NSA), which intercepts telephone calls, e-mails, faxes and Internet communications, points out reasons why the president acted as he did, citing the fact that the special court had repeatedly intervened unfavorably in the administration's requests for wiretap permissions.

This, he said, explains why the president decided to bypass the court nearly four years ago to launch secret NSA monitoring of the communications of unknown numbers of Americans and foreigners inside the United States.

"They wanted to expand the number of people they were eavesdropping on, and they didn't think they could get the warrants they needed from the court to monitor those people," Bamford told the newspaper. Bamford, author of "Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency" and "The Puzzle Palace: Inside America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization," added that "The FISA court has shown its displeasure by tinkering with these applications by the Bush administration."

In other words, the matter was so urgent, and the outcome of any court decision so uncertain, that the president was forced to fulfill his obligation to protect the American people from another 9/11 or similar terrorist attack by launching the operation.

The Times' betrayal of the national security and the damage it did to our safety was bad enough, but the action of MacPaper was not only sheer and unadulterated treason, it also imperiled every single American by exposing them to the real potential of a homegrown potential nuclear attack – a potential that still exists today.

On December 22, 2005, USA Today had a Christmas present for al-Qaida: the exposure of one of the most vitally important anti-nuclear terror operations being conducted in the U.S. – the monitoring "of radiation levels at over 100 Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities."

And it was all done ... gasp ... without telling the subjects they were being watched by not having warrants issued that would have alerted them.

The fact is that the monitoring was not only perfectly legal – warrants were not required for monitoring radiation levels – but also desperately necessary in a world where there are such things as "suitcase" nukes that could be in the hands of terrorists working within our borders.

Wrote USA Today: "The question of search warrants is controversial, however. To ensure accurate readings, in up to 15 percent of the cases the monitoring needed to take place on private property, sources say, such as on mosque parking lots and private driveways. Government officials familiar with the program insist it is legal; warrants are unneeded for monitoring from public property, they say, as well as from publicly accessible driveways and parking lots. 'If a delivery man can access it, so can we,' says one."

MacPaper uses Georgetown University professor David Cole, a constitutional law expert, to justify its contention that the operation lacked legality. It cites Cole's claim that surveillance of public spaces such as mosques or public businesses might well be allowable without a court order but adds that's not true when it comes to private offices or homes: "They don't need a warrant to drive onto the property – the issue isn't where they are, but whether they're using a tactic to intrude on privacy. It seems to me that they are, and that they would need a warrant or probable cause," Cole told the newspaper.

The paper then allows Cole to compare the legality of an operation intended to safeguard Americans from homegrown nuclear terror to that of using thermal-imaging technology to search for marijuana-growing lamps in a home, a process the Supreme Court has ruled requires a warrant.

Looking for marijuana and nukes is comparable? C'mon, Let's get real. Pot does not produce mushroom clouds.

Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, told CBS News that the administration "is very concerned with a growing body of sensitive reporting that continues to show al-Qaida has a clear intention to obtain and ultimately use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons or high-energy explosives." He added that the government "monitors the air for imminent threats to health and safety," but acts only on specific information about a potential attack without targeting any individual or group.

"FBI agents do not intrude across any constitutionally protected areas without the proper legal authority," he told CBS News.

Although, boiled down, the substance of the two stories is essentially a tempest in a teapot – who really believes that the alleged "privacy rights" of people sworn to kill millions of Americans trump the obligation of the president to safeguard our citizenry? – the import is deadly serious. In both cases, these two newspapers went far beyond their very pronounced opposition to the war in Iraq and reached to embrace what can only be seen as acts of betrayal of their country and its people.

They have now gone more than a step too far. Along with the rest of the Marxist-driven mainstream media, they have for a long time been unable to understand or sympathize with the mindset of the great majority of Americans on just about every issue imaginable.

The disparity between what they believe and the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of Americans has now reached the breaking point. It's no longer a matter of disagreements over issues and creeds, or simply a case of their having lost any credibility whatsoever – it's now a case where they stand under the withering contempt of the people of the United States.

Americans should show that contempt by refusing to buy either paper, boycotting their advertisers and asking the editors of their local newspapers to stop using stories they generate.

And the United States Justice Department must go after the traitors who leaked the information to the newspapers hammer and tong. If a special prosecutor was needed to investigate the silly Valerie Plame matter, they need more than one to seek out the Judases in our midst.

President Bush, take off the gloves.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor & publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at

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If you spot a mushroom cloud looming over a nearby city, thank the media some of them have now done everything possible to make it happen. If this were fiction, most people would shrug it off as improbable. How could members of the press openly betray their nation in...
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Wednesday, 28 December 2005 12:00 AM
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