LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Roberts: Media undermines War on Terror


Sen. Pat Roberts weighed in Tuesday on the controversy about whether the New York Times went too far by revealing the existence of a program that tracks terrorist finances.[The New York Times][1] itself reports: Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, asked the director of national intelligence on Tuesday to assess any damage to American counterterrorism efforts caused by the disclosure of secret programs to monitor telephone calls and financial transactions.Mr. Roberts, Republican of Kansas, singled out The New York Times for an article last week that reported that the government was tracking money transfers handled by a banking consortium based in Belgium. The targeting of the financial data, which includes some Americans' transactions, was also reported Thursday by The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.In his letter to John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence, Mr. Roberts wrote that "we have been unable to persuade the media to act responsibly and to protect the means by which we protect this nation."__He asked for a formal evaluation of damage to intelligence collection resulting from the revelation of the secret financial monitoring as well as The Times's disclosure in December of the National Security Agency's monitoring of phone calls and e-mail messages of Americans suspected of having links to Al Qaeda.[The LA Times][2] adds: _"Numerous recent unauthorized disclosures of sensitive intelligence programs have directly threatened important efforts in the war against terrorism," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) wrote in a letter to National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte._Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(New York Times) Push for new tactics as war on malaria falters:][3] It is no secret that mosquitoes carry the parasite that causes malaria. More mystifying is why 800,000 young African children a year still die of malaria - more than from any other disease - when there are medicines that cure for 55 cents a dose, mosquito nets that shield a child for $1 a year, and indoor insecticide spraying that costs about $10 annually for a household. ... Social conservatives and liberals have been building alliances across ideological lines on malaria, a killer of little children. Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, said he had found common ground with the economist Jeffrey Sachs, who has long maintained that practical solutions carried out by Africans can prevent millions of deaths from malaria. "You have the left and right coming together," the senator said.Pat Roberts links[(CattleNetwork.com) Roberts To China: Reopen Markets To U.S. Beef:][4] U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to honor a commitment to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef by the end of June. The senators said in the letter, "We are concerned with the continued embargo on American beef. Resuming beef trade between our countries is a top priority." In April, the Chinese agreed to work toward the resumption of beef trade with the United States at the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. In May, delegations from both China and the United States met and finalized a memorandum of cooperation with a basis on food safety. The Chinese agreed to finalize negotiations on a protocol to reopen their market by June 30th.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][5] [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/28/world/europe/28secure.html?th&emc=th [2]: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-swift28jun28,1,2954070.story?coll=la-news-politics-national&track=crosspromo [3]: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/28/africa/web.0628malaria.php [4]: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=47954 [5]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


Steve Mechels 11 years, 11 months ago

What a bunch of B.S.; the U.S. has always monitored the acounts of terrorists and dictators. That is how they can freeze assets so quickly. The real issue here is what else are they monitoring? The NYTimes and others simply let us know that all of us could be monitored at any time. That is what Bush and others are upset about.

Jamesaust 11 years, 11 months ago

I caught Roberts on CNN. He was hysterical (and I don't mean funny).

cutny 11 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Way to go Brownback. Malaria is the top concern of the citizens of the U.S. right now. That and the other pressing concern of flag-burning. Do your job joker. Roberts...geez, he's almost as equally embarrassing.

WilburM 11 years, 11 months ago

Horse hockey. Sen. Roberts has completely ignored his job of overseeing the administration, and has failed to represent the Congress, to say nothing of his constituents. The Bush Administration has been engaged in the largest, most systematic grab of executive power in history. All explained by the "war on terrorism" -- which has no end, and no adequate definition. So everything is fair game for the commander in chief. The Framers created a separation of powers for a reason (actually, lots of them), and Roberts just does not get it at all. He should be ashamed, but he has no shame.

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

I think that it goes beyond 'shame', but is more closely classified as treason.

lhs2002 11 years, 11 months ago

Here's the problem with blaming the media for this. The media has been reporting on these programs because they are ILLEGAL programs. The sources close to the administration, etc..., that have leaked this information have leaked it because they know it's ILLEGAL and want that to be known. If the government would conduct these programs legally, abide by FISA laws, etc..., then these stories wouldn't be leaked to the media. To put it simply, if the administration would obey the laws, then there wouldn't be any skeletons in the closet to be aired.

GOPConservative 11 years, 11 months ago

"we have been unable to persuade the media to act responsibly and to protect the means by which we protect this nation."

Protect this nation??? Roberts has done virtually nothing to protect this nation. His concerns are only about poor Mexicans who come North to make money for their families. Nevermind, the four-thousand-mile Canadian border where terrorists are free to slip across at will.

Roberts and Brownback and our local Congressman, Jim Ryun, have done virtually nothing to protect our ports, chemical plants and nuclear facilities. Right now, more than 90% of the containers coming into our ports are not inspected.

Further, they supported the "strategy" of stopping the hunt for bin Ladin and his terrorist network in Afghanistan in favor of killing 2,500 Americans and 30,000 innocent Iraqis in a war that has nothing to do with terrorism. Instead, they have created ten times more terrorists than existed before the invasion of Iraq.

Now, Roberts is complaining about leaks regarding his secret programs to strip Americans of their Constitutional Rights and spy on us without the long-established tradition and Constitutional requirments of court oversight.

Since Roberts, Brownback and Ryun have borrowed a trillion dollars from the Communist Chinese to pay for their fiscal liberalism, maybe they should move to China and be politicians there under a system that is more in tune with their philosophical inclinations.

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

If you go to http://www.spp.gov you will see that the agenda is to build I-35 highway into a mega highway from Mexico to Canada. This will allow Chineese goods to enter through the Mexican ship yards, instead of through union ship yards in California. They want to put the Mexican Counselate in Kansas City for a K-tag type of check using RFID. They will ship our scrap steel to china for the return trip. The future is no borders, but massive ID tracking for everyone. Total control while destroying and dismantling our country and it's borders for global government.

gphawk89 11 years, 11 months ago

Remember a time in the not-too-distant past when what the media has done would be considered TREASON? And how treason (at least in the UK) called for a mandatory DEATH SENTENCE? Aahhh, the good ol' days...

Jamesaust 11 years, 11 months ago

Liberty - The only agenda I see is coordination with our two largest trading partners - a/k/a, the only two neighbors the U.S. has.

I realize in certain talkradio circles this is another 'black helicopter' iniative. But its about as "global government" as coordinating the location where two roads meet at the border. When Interstate 25 flows through El Paso and crosses into Cd. Juarez, becoming Mexican federal highway 45, has the U.S. surrendered its sovereignty be agreeing to coordinate the linkage?

Jamesaust 11 years, 11 months ago

gphawk -

What exactly do you believe "the media has done"? Please be precise.

gphawk89 11 years, 11 months ago

Jamesaust: "What exactly do you believe "the media has done"? Please be precise."

To quote sections of the above article:

"...The New York Times for an article last week that reported that the government was tracking money transfers handled by a banking consortium based in Belgium..."

"...The targeting of the financial data, which includes some Americans' transactions, was also reported Thursday by The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal...."

"...The Times's disclosure in December of the National Security Agency's monitoring of phone calls and e-mail messages of Americans suspected of having links to Al Qaeda..."

That's what the media has done, if I'm to believe this article (and many others over the past few days). And those are not things that the US government wants to become widely known.

gphawk89 11 years, 11 months ago

And now you're going to ask "How do those things constitute treason?"

A definition of "treason": "Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by... consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies."

What the media has done aids the US government's enemies. The media knows this, knows that it could possibly make our government's efforts against terrorism take a turn for the worse, and knows that this turn for the worse will hurt the popularity of the current administration.

Jamesaust 11 years, 11 months ago

gphawk --

"government was tracking money transfers" -- we already knew this, including every last detail in recent reports from numerous publically available reports, speeches, comments, etc., including rather loud trumpeting of the effort by W. himself. I haven't read the NYT article but I understand it is identical to the others and there wasn't one detail that I was not already aware of (and I don't believe that I'm the elusive political/military/intelligence expert in Lawrence, Kansas).

"targeting of the financial data" -- ditto. You mean that our government does NOT track domestic financial data? The only thing interesting about this story is the lack of story. I assumed that on days when there was no news the media covered Brittney Spears.

"disclosure in December of the National Security Agency'" -- the illegal NSA program? the one those pledged to protect and defend the Constitution refuse to exercise legally?

"those are not things that the US government wants to become widely known." Well, yeah, government would prefer that it never was accountable to anyone. That's true about any government. Our entire Republic is founded upon that observation. "National security" is not a defense to keep incompetent governments from receiving failing grades.

So ... I can only conclude that the media has done .... precisely what the Founding Fathers expressly carved out constitutional protection for it to do. And this Administration, like every Administration, when exposed to critical inquiry squeals - at least against "liberal" NY Times (expect only perfunctory criticism of the "to the right of Attila the Hun" Wall Street Journal - and no mention at all of Fox News).

"aids the enemy" - please specify what action the enemy will or will not take today that they would or would not have taken a week ago. (Hint: nothing. Because nothing in our world has changed in the last week except Karl Rove has yanked your chain and you've barked.) Treason? You read too much Ann Coulter.

And this Administration, uniquely, has called out the goon-squad to manufacture outrage - primarily to pressure the media to stop embarrassing this Administration. And done so now, because this financial tracking doesn't appear to be illegal so they can play offense instead of defense. I half expect Dick Cheney to start giving the fascist salute like Il Duce. God knows, we've seen stranger things from this circus of screwups.

gphawk89 11 years, 11 months ago

Wow, Jameasust, I guess you have it all figured out. Except for one thing - I've never read Ann Coulter. My (apparently incorrect) opinions are all my own.

GOPConservative 11 years, 11 months ago


gphawk believes the media committed treason in exercising it's Constitutional responsibility to inform the people that they were being spied on by their government without any court oversight.

You must realize, Jamesaust, that this is a time of war. The Constitutional has been suspended. The "war on terror" is war with no end because terrorism has always been with us and always will be. The Constitution is therefore suspended from now until forever.

Freedom of press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of and from religion are all being phased out. Examining our private information no longer requires the checks and balances of court oversight.

Of course, speaking of treason. When the Big Brother Bush Politburo commits outright treason, as was the case with Cheney-Rove-Libby and their outing a CIA network, that is a different story.

Talk about putting the American People at risk. That CIA Network had to be shut down. It had been tracking WMD to prevent a terrorist nuclear attack.

As a result of Cheney-Rove-Libby, a major American City may be vaporized because an important network in the CIA was lost. Even worse, it appears that no one will be prosecuted for the crime.

Two of the criminals have already been let off by the Bush Administration's Justice Department. That's despite the fact that Rove admitted passing on the story, and Cheney outed Plame in the margins of the Novak article, which he gave to Libby.

Instead of going on fishing expeditions through databases of our private and personal information, Big Brother Bush should use some of those 130,000 soldiers now in Iraq to guard our borders and ports, especially the Canadian border.

He ought to hold troops in reserve to be ready for the disasters that will arise out of the BBBP's misguided environmental policies, its failure to secure our borders and ports from terrorists and its outing of a CIA network.

Further, those American Soldiers that they took out of the area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, so that bin Laden could get away, need to be redeployed and get back to finding the real terrorists, who actually had a hand in 9-11.

It's amazing how screwed up some people have become from all the lies and cover-ups. They call patriotic members of the press "traitors" for doing their job, but apparently condone outright treason by members of the BBB Politburo, when they childishly punished someone's wife by destroying her CIA network because her husband had told the truth about the Politboro's yellowcake fabrication.

Some people have become mindless sheep! They refuse to look at the known facts. They do not understand the checks and balances outlined in the Constitution. They are in complete denial about the failed policies of this administration. They would have no problem with the BBB Politburo inserting computer chips in their brains and putting a 666 on their foreheads.

ryanjasondesch 11 years, 11 months ago

Common Sense Briefing: Sending the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to the Wakarusa Festival Undermines War on Terror.

Jamesaust 11 years, 11 months ago

Well, here we are at the close of the day. I asked what I thought was a simple question - basically, what has got the whole 'can't shoot straight' gang in such high dudgeon over the NYT's recent (boring) news item.

Apparently, no one knows. I guess offense IS the best defense. Or, in other words, not even national security is too important not to partisanize. Not if it boosts the "base" and draws attention away from the fact that another year has passed without meaningful improvements in security. (Want to know how screwed up an emergency in DC would be? Look at the chaos when its rains too much.)

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