Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AP, ATT, CIA, DOJ, WTF? "Scandal" Pt. 2

Previously, on "The Premature Curmudgeon..."

The Benghazi Scandal!

The IRS Scandal!

And The AP Scandal!

The Blog discussed the Clinton era style faux outrage from the right-wing politicians, pundits and propagandists and their gullible followers.

And now...

Tonight, the Benghazi "scandal" seems to be unravelling as The White House releases hundreds of emails regarding the attack, for all who care to make the effort to read them.

Context is everything. And "out of context" is the right-wing's M.O.

The IRS "scandal" continues to fester as the President continues to call it an "outrage," and heads roll at the IRS.

The PC wishes someone would show last night's post to the POTUS.

Or, at least, show him the numerous other pieces written by many who know more about such things than The Blog does.

(The Blog does not just pull opinions out of his ass. He does his research.)

At the risk of repeating myself...

The only outrage here is that politically motivated organizations (on the Right and the Left, but, mostly the Right,) were given tax exempt status supposedly reserved for organizations that exist to "promote the public good and social welfare."

And now, we come to "Scandal #3."

The AP phone records "scandal."

A bit of background...

About a year ago, The Associated Press broke a story about the foiling of a new plot to put explosive devices on planes in the U.S.

And what a story it was!

The story of, not just a foiled terrorist plot, but of the delivery of important new intelligence into the hands of the CIA.

Mark The PC's words.

This story will be made into a movie.

Probably produced and directed by and starring Ben Affleck or George Clooney.

The problem is that the information shared by the AP was highly confidential and not for public consumption, at this time.

The story would have been told, probably sooner than later. Because no administration, Republican or Democrat, sits on a story like this for very long.

Because this is some seriously awesome shit!

But because it was told without authorization, and had to have been leaked by someone with a very high security clearance, the government, understandably, would like to know the source of the leak.

Now, everyone from the farthest Right Tea-Publicans to the ACLU and the AP themselves, have their panties in a bunch because the Department of Justice has endeavored to learn the identity of the AP's source.

Journalists have long protected source anonymity under the First Ammendment. And, for good reason. Which also explains the ACLU's involvement.

And, of course, the Right is just happy to jump on any excuse to portray the current administration as the "over-reaching, Marxist, Nazi, Big Brother, Emperor Obama dictatorship."

But, here are the facts...

The leak was a high level breach of national security, involving the details of a successful anti-terrorist plot.

In spite of the many headlines, reports and commentaries that you may have seen, the AP's phone records were not "stolen." Nor were they taken from the AP. Said records were not of conversations, but merely phone logs. There were no incidents of wiretapping, warrant-less or otherwise.

The logs were subpoenaed and legally signed off on by a federal judge, from the AP's service provider, ATT.

Was the subpoena "secret?"

No shit Sherlock!

We are talking about national security, here.

Have you ever watched a cop show on television? Any cop show?

Of course you have. Everyone watches cop shows.

Cop shows reassure Liberals that government works and reinforces the Conservative world view that people suck.

Wait. Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

The cops on cop shows subpoena phone logs all the time.

It's S.O.P.

Find that one phone number that suspect or victim "X" called, or received calls from, a whole ass load of times.

Of course, the one lesson that the DOJ should have learned from cop shows is this...

Unless the perp or perps are complete idiots, (and it seems unlikely that anyone who has attained top security clearance in the U.S. government would be a complete idiot,) they are using untraceable "burner" phones, whose numbers will lead to a dead end.

Bottom line...

Nothing here was done illegally.

It was all pretty routine in any investigation.

Scandal #3 is no scandal at all.

So, get the fuck over it, already.

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