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Friday, June 14, 2013

Gail Collins, "The Other Side of the Story": What About Sharyl Attkisson?

"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail."

- Edward Snowden

Query: Has James Clapper, US Director of National Intelligence, specifically rebutted Snowden's allegation?

Where is President Obama's rebuttal? Or did he only learn about this by reading the newspapers like the rest of us? In reality, the president is in deep hiding, waiting for the storm to blow over, and will be soon off to Africa - a trip which will cost US taxpayers up to $100 million (see: Unfortunately for Obama, the storm shows no sign of abating.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Other Side of the Story" (, Gail Collins decries "national willingness to give government a blank check on national security matters" and writes about a nearly decade-old story concerning the wrongful arrest of Brandon Mayfield for the 2004 commuter train bombing in Madrid. As observed by Collins:

"Spanish officials found a suspicious fingerprint on a plastic bag at the scene. The F.B.I. ran it through its files and decided, erroneously, that it matched Mayfield’s. Further investigation revealed that Mayfield had married an Egyptian immigrant and converted to Islam — information the authorities apparently found far more compelling than the fact that he had never been to Spain.

. . . .

Spain saved the day. The Spanish investigators were dubious from the beginning that the fingerprints at the bombing site were Mayfield’s; they had been hoping, perhaps, for a person who had set foot in Europe within the last decade. They found and arrested someone whose finger was a real match."

Indeed, this was a horror story.

But where is reference by Collins to the Washington Post headline story "CBS confirms reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer breached" ( As reported by WaPo:

"CBS News said Friday that it has confirmed a computer used by one of its Washington reporters, Sharyl Attkisson, was breached by an unknown intruder and that the hack appeared to be 'sophisticated.'

The intrusions were detected in December while Attkisson was reporting almost exclusively on the government’s response to the terrorist attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. The attack on Sept. 11, 2012, killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Attkisson has previously investigated the Justice Department’s gun-tracking operation known as 'Fast and Furious.'

In a statement Friday, CBS did not identify a culprit. It said Attkisson’s computer 'was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012.'

It added: 'Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and [removal] of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.'"

President Obama, would you care to comment on this matter? Are you willing to deny federal government involvement in the hacking of Attkisson's computer?

As Dana Milbank writes today in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "The left turns compliant on violating civil liberties" (

"Where have all the liberals gone?

President Obama, who as a Democratic senator accused the Bush administration of violating civil liberties in the name of security, now vigorously defends his own administration’s collection of Americans’ phone records and Internet activities.

. . . .

With some exceptions, progressive lawmakers and the liberal commentariat have been passive and acquiescent toward the secret spying programs, which would have infuriated the left had they been the work of a Republican administration."

It just keeps getting uglier with every passing day.

[This blog item certainly got "someone's" goat . . .]


  1. I don't know ... I have my own concerns ...
    The only intelligence officer I know is clearly a neo-Nazi. Neo-Nazi camps in Southern California (and everywhere else) are fully staffed with computer geeks.
    I read Jerusalem Post and yesterday I was irritated by the fact that one of commenters, a Polish immigrant who runs a neo-Nazi website in Polish works also in Washington, DC as a computer geek for a firm with strong American government and Arab countries connections.
    Julian Assange promotes stealing of all American military secrets. I can continue forever.

  2. Anonymous 1:46, nothing surprises me anymore.

    Anti-Semitism is perhaps the only common ground issue dominating in both the extremist-Right and Far-Left camps.

    Former British minister and MP, Patrick Mercer was recently caught on a hidden camera sharing his views about Jews to the BBC.

    Even though their political views are quite different, I could see him and Samantha 'invade-Israel' Power getting together over a tall glass Guinness, gleefully exchanging Jew jokes.

    1. Notwithstanding my abhorrence of Power's past call to station US troops in the West Bank to "protect" Palestinians, my understanding is that her husband is from a Jewish family.

  3. "my understanding is that her husband is from a Jewish family."
    "Sooooo?" she asked politely.
    Sorry, Jeff, this is an embarrassing comment.
    When I get over my irritation, I might expand.

    1. Patrick Mercer was recently caught saying of an Israeli soldier that she looked "like a bloody Jew." Unless truly annoyed with her husband, I cannot imagine Power speaking in this fashion.

      On the other hand, Power did, in a 2002 video, make an ugly reference to Jews as "a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import," when calling for US support for and protection of a Palestinian state. Indeed, this smacked of anti-Semitism.

      Has Power's thinking "matured" in the interim? I don't know her, and surely I am concerned by her 2002 utterances, but see also:

      As reported by The Jewish Daily Forward (, my friend Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the US, went on record as saying: "'Samantha Power and I have worked closely over the last four years on issues vital to Israel’s security,' Michael Oren told The New York Times on Friday. 'She thoroughly understands those issues and cares deeply about them.'

      Oren noted that envoys typically do not comment on nominees until they are confirmed, but he made an exception in the case of Power because of reports that Israel would be unsettled by her selection."

  4. Yes, Cass Sunstein was from a family of 'tremendous political and financial import'. He married Samantha Power in the Church of Mary Immaculate, Ring of Kerry, Ireland on July 4th 2008. President Barack Obama, who worked with both Power and Sunstein, was the 'shadchan'.

    Sunstein co-authored a paper entitled "Conspiracy Theories" - an interesting read especially in light of current events.

    The paper can be downloaded here:

  5. "He married Samantha Power in the Church of Mary Immaculate, Ring of Kerry, Ireland on July 4th 2008"
    Well, you've saved me time. So, the bastard converted to marry this "invade Israel" behemoth.
    Frankly, what can be more antisemitic (erasing us) than converting yet another "Jew" to the religion of "Kill the Jews?"
    I intended to work hard explaining why I don't like arguments like "Some of my best friends are Jewish" "As a Jew ...I'd love to see the Germans invade Israel," "My husband is Jewish" etc. From where I stand, her husband isn't Jewish. Like she, he is an antisemite.
    Send Oren to me, I'll explain in details.

  6. Let me explain ...
    My father's family perished for a simple reason - they were Jewish. Countless of my ancestors were harassed, tortured, humiliated, expelled, murdered, etc. for a simple reason - they were Jewish.
    Please excuse me but have no tolerance for overfed, overprivileged and overprimitive barbarians, like Cass Sunstein.
    There is more to life than money, status and success. Someone forgot to explain this to him. Maybe an non-Marilyn mother would do a better job.

  7. More about the power of Power.
    Her son is named Devlan.
    "Anglicized form of Irish Deaglán, which is of unknown meaning. Saint Declan was a 5th-century missionary to Ireland."
    I hate to repeat myself, but Sunstein IS a primitive.

  8. It would seem that local US police departments have no way of accessing all that NSA spy capability.
    Yes, sometimes Murdoch's NY Post reports actual news:
    "Hero EMT dispatcher helps pinpoint stroke victim in EIGHT-HOUR call"

    [I was stunned, and appreciative of the tenacity of all involved, at what it took to find a stroke victim's location in a few square blocks of the expensive part of Manhattan. If the NYT follows this story, I bet they focus on why an elderly woman was working as a maid]

    Since the commenters pivoted to Samantha Power, perhaps even she has been to Belfast, because this AP report on how the walls are STILL needed to separate the Protestants and the Catholics, a lesson that seems relevant to all of Israel's fences/walls (and, by the way, can someone from Israel give Schumer a call and tell him securing the USA borders IS possible, Schumer having been quoted that it would take decades)June 16, 2013 For Belfast, Keeping Peace Means a City of Walls
    By Shawn Pogatchnik

    I trust Michael Oren, would prefer someone at the UN besides Power, but she just might be the right choice for this moment in history.
    Maybe she will realize security walls are not 'racist', but effective security barriers unless build by the French (Maginot Line) :)


  9. "but she just might be the right choice for this moment in history"
    I doubt it. Wishful thinking. Or, frankly, irritating babbling. Ireland is leading in boycotts.
    Life interesting. I never thought that I could be grateful to ... Neo-Nazis. German Neo-Nazis to be precise, but I probably can be.
    Look at this:
    "An initiative by Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party last year in a state parliament to demarcate Israeli products came to light this month and closely resembles the recent Green Party bill that would label Israeli products from settlements" (from JP)
    All these charming, charming, charming "lovers of Palestinians" the Powers, the Greens, the neo-Nazis, the Islamists are together again just as in the past - many top Nazis were pretty green, Ireland collaborated, the Muftis and "brotherhood" were "friends, etc.