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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Did the Bush Administration use wiretaps to spy on the Kerry campaign?
Posted by Jill | 6:38 AM

If so, we're headed into Nixon territory.

John Aravosis has been covering this story, and today Attytood distills the available information.

In an NBC News interview with New York Times reporter and author James Risen, Andrea Mitchell, otherwise known as "Ewwww, you mean she fucks Alan Greenspan?", and who is a known Bush Administration shill, asked him, "You don't have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?" After John reported on this story the it started circulating through Blogtopia, NBC removed the offending question from its "official" transcript.

Why on earth would Andrea Mitchell ask this question if she didn't know something, and why on earth would the Bush Administration use its newfound dictatorial powers to do whatever the fuck they want spy on Christiane Amanpour, of all people? Yes, she is of Iranian descent, and it would certainly be in character for the Bush Administration to spy on anyone with an Arabic name. They probably already are. Or it could be that her hard-hitting investigative techniques might have put her in contact with Al Qaeda.

The least cynical answer would be because her recent reporting would have brought her into direct contact with members of al Qaeda. In August 2002, not long after Bush began to authorize the warrantless spying program, Amanpour worked with CNN's Nic Robertson on a special that was billed as an inside view of al-Qaeda.

Actually, it was Robertson who did the heavy lifting on this one, smuggling 64 purported al-Qaeda videotapes -- showing terrorist training exercises and the like -- out of Afghanistan. But Amanpour played a role, according to this Aug. 19, 2002, article in Electronic Media.

There are some taped demonstrations of bomb making, for which written instructions had been found by CNN's Christiane Amanpour after President Bush's war on terrorism opened Afghanistan to the international press. There are lessons in firing small arms, rappelling down what looks like a cliff and assassinating someone.

Even so...a high-profile journalist like Amanpour is likely to come across information like this if she's doing her job. And videotapes like the ones found by Amanpour and Robertson could be construed to HELP, not hurt the war effort. At any rate, a free press is as vital to our functioning democracy as is our right to privacy.

Oh yeah. Right. I forgot. We don't have a right to privacy now that George W. Bush has essentially disbanded Congress and declared that it is not required to adhere to the rule of law.

But Attytood points out another reason why Amanpour might have been targeted:

Then there is the issue of Amanpour's husband, Jamie Rubin, former official in the Clinton administration State Department. You may have forgotten (we did, frankly), but Rubin re-emerged in 2004 -- as a foreign policy advisor to John Kerry. Do husbands and wives use the same telephones and computers? Is the Pope German?

Now, isn't that convenient? It's a veritable quadrifecta of Bush Gestapo techniques. You get to wiretap a high-profile reporter for an American news network that for all its move to the right, you still regard as a leftist media outlet. She's of Arabic descent, she's a known critic of the media's collective act of fellatio on George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks -- AND her husband is an adviser to your campaign opponent in the bargain. Who could resist such sweet temptation?
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