Tuesday, December 20, 2005

MSM, spies for Al Qaeda

During WWII the Brits, with the help of the Polish Cipher Bureau, managed to piece together working models of the German Enigma machine which led to the breaking of the Nazis highest codes. Intelligence from this was code named “ULTRA”. Later the Americans would break the Japanese highest diplomatic code Purple that also relied on the Enigma machine, that intelligence was code named “MAGIC”. The British intelligence from ULTRA was decisive in winning the Battle of Britain, which led Hitler to abandon Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of England. The MAGIC intercepts led to our winning at Midway, the turning point in the Pacific war. Both were also used to monitor spying activity in the UK and US.

The value of this intelligence was so high that it was the most closely guarded secret of the war. Only nine people in the US were privy to MAGIC. In order to protect ULTRA Churchill condemned hundreds of people in Coventry to their deaths rather than warn them the Germans were going to bomb. Some contend FDR ordered the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans rather than focus on the espionage rings MAGIC identified in order to keep the knowledge from Japan that we had broken their code.

One has to wonder that if the Washington Post or New York Times had gotten hold of this electronic surveillance without a court order would they have gone public to the detriment of the war effort? Of course not, those were different times when one could be both a patriot and a journalist. The American left still believed that the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were the enemy and there was no moral relativism that likened FDR or Churchill to Hitler or Tojo. Sadly that is no longer the case, our secrets can be splashed all over the nation’s newspapers to the delight of our enemies. Be assured that Al Qaeda communications into and out of the US has been sharply curtailed. Now that they know we are listening without warrants, with out the long delays necessary to get FISA permission they are rethinking their policies and procedures to take into account the valuable intelligence given them by the New York Times.

Americans are being illegally spied on by Bush, the left cries. Keep in mind the only surveillance occurring was on phone numbers obtained from data located in captured Al Qaeda computers. Zacarias Moussaoui had such numbers but the FBI bureaucracy involved in applying for a FISA warrant did not allow us to connect the dots and prevent 9/11. Keep in mind that a legion of White House lawyers think this is legal. Keep in mind that the Clinton White House felt the same way. Keep in mind that this story was released at the same time as one of the most historic events to take place in the Middle East was occurring. Keep in mind that congress was continually briefed on this. With all this in mind I can sure as hell question the patriotism of these journalist who seem to mind not at all who may die as a result of their never ending hatred of George Bush.


kevin said...

Aren't you being a bit dramatic? The story just revealed the fact that the US is spying on suspected al Qaeda members. Do you really think this surprises al Qaeda? The story didn't reveal methods or tactics. It just disclosed the fact that the spying was happening on US soil against US citizens with court oversight.

I also love the fact that you decry moral relativism but then choose to support hypocrites that use such relativism to justify demonizing the Times while glossing over the outing of a covert CIA operative in an effort to discredit a war critic that turned out to be right.

What I wish everyone would stop doing is making every single issue black and white. When everyone realizes that the world is nuanced then we might be able to wage a competent war against terrorists while still protecting civil liberties. I for one do not trust the government or the military. This inherent distrust is one reason we have 3 branches of government and a system to check the power of each branch. Which is why this story is so important. The court was in place and procedures were defined for emergency cases. If you don't like the law, change it, don't ignore and subvert it.

Now you can argue in a time of war the commander in chief has greater authority, and use another WWII analogy to make your point. But if you can get past the melodrama you will see that this war and WWII are completely different. I agree that desperate times call for desperate measures, but this war on terror will last much longer than WWII. I'd like to tell both sides to quit their childish bickering. To the Times, quit trying to ruin Bush. He's the president and deserves some respect. To Danny, quit trying to make Bush into a modern day Churchill. His wit just isn't sharp enough.

See you on Christmas. Happy Holidays!


Rancher said...

Yea, a dissenting comment! I wish you would do that more often, it’s lonely here at the Llano. I think you underestimate the danger here. Radical Islamists will nuke us or hit us with some other WMD sometime in the future, it’s only a matter of when. Before Katrina I wasn’t sure we could loose a major American city and remain a United States as we know it. Never the less I don’t want to find out in my lifetime. The Jihad will continue and this war will outlive me even with major changes to the tyrannies of the Middle East. I think you also underestimate the sophistication of the enemy. They know our laws and know how to play elements in our society such as the ACLU. Look at organizations such as CAIR. I believe that they felt their communications were somewhat protected domestically, at least for a short period of time after an agent had been compromised. Now they know better and whatever intelligence we were getting out of this will dry up. Remember US intelligence had been in contact with Bin Laden by way of his cell phone, but the Washington Times had leaked this information and that was the end of that. While such disclosures don’t rise to the level of outing MAGIC or ULTRA they certainly cause more harm than outing a CIA agent that the entire beltway knew was a CIA agent. See you soon, Rancher

Harry said...

Kevin, some issues are black and white. We are in a war. Either we win or we lose. There will be no tie. In order to win we, and the president, and the military have to use all of the tools at our disposal.

As for losing our civil rights in the name of national security, I heard the same hystrionics coming from the right during the Clinton years. There was even a theory floating around that Big Bill C. would use Y2K as an excuse for rounding up "subversives" and declare himself Grand Exalted Ruler or some such thing.

It looks to me like many in the MSM and other sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome would gladly sell out their country in order to bring down Bush. It's the old "cutting off your nose to spite your face" idea.

Oops, I almost forgot to ask. Rancher, is this a private debate or can others play too? I would hate to commit a blogging-faux-pas.

Matt Drudge, Jr. said...

Bravo! Well said.

Merry Christmas!

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Anonymous said...

Harry, while I do agree we need to win the war in Iraq I also think that you fail to see the real struggle, which in the long run will not be won when we finish democratizing Iraq. Right now hundreds of thousands of young Muslims in Africa and Asia are being taught to hate America. If we want to win out against terrorism we need to realize that perceptions do matter.

Since people love to use analogies with the Cold War I'd point to the fact that we didn't just win the Cold War by outspending the Soviet Bloc. A generation of Russians also grew up wanting to buy Beatles records, wear Levi's Jeans, and hear the Pope speak. They grew up with fewer reasons to hate America and more reasons to love the freedoms Americans enjoy.

The Cold War and the current war on terrorism are different struggles, though, and we need to be smart about what we do and how we go about doing it. I agree we should use all of the tools at our disposal. But spying on Americans without a court order and abandoning the rule of law set up to protect those freedoms espoused in the Bill of Rights is not the way to encourage young Muslims to let go of their hatred. If you want to debate whether privacy is a right inherent in the constitution then let's debate that. Nevertheless, at least concede that this is a much larger struggle where perceptions do matter and things are not black and white. I support the Administrations' efforts to spy on the enemy. I just want them to do it within our system of law, with the appropriate checks and balances in place. I would have said the same thing when Clinton was in office. I don't hate the Bush administration. I just don't think they are clever enough to win and I hope the President would be open to hiring new advisors with better ideas about how to wage the war on terror.


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