Monday, July 10, 2006

I hate the AP

* i've been playing a little game all day. I ran across this AP story in the Guardian. Here it is, in full:
Bush may have broken law over intelligence

Associated Press in Washington
Monday July 10, 2006
The Guardian


The White House kept intelligence activities secret from the lawmakers responsible for overseeing them until whistleblowers revealed the programmes, the house intelligence committee chairman said yesterday.

A Republican congressman, Pete Hoekstra, said he had been told about the secret programmes by whistleblowers and had asked the Bush administration about them, using codenames.

Not briefing members of the house and Senate intelligence committees is against the law, Mr Hoekstra said. The committees were briefed after he complained.
Hard- hitting stuff.

My little game today has been to 'refresh' news.google to see who else, if anyone, ran with this AP story.

Here's a screen grab of Google News.

Apologies if you can't read it properly (click for a larger version) - but it reads that '14 hours ago' CBS published a piece with the same quote, and the Guardian ran the piece '5 hours ago' (the Observer is basically the Guardian)

5 hours after the Guardian was published, and 14 hours after the CBS article was published - no other newspaper has carried this wire piece.

CBS now has a different piece at the same URL - first 2 paras:
"(AP) The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says the Bush administration may have broken the law by keeping secrets over intelligence matters from the panel in charge.

Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra says the briefings are required by law, and the failure to get one may have broken the law."
The eagle eyed among you will notice that CBS has changed their piece from : "is against the law" as per the version sent to Google News to "may have broken the law" which is the version they are currently running (at the same link)

OK - we know that AP updates their stories, and the Guardian piece doesn't specify the source, so we aren't really sure whether Hoekstra said that it "is against the law" - but the AP has pretty sophisticated systems which must operate in near-real-time. The Guardian is still carrying their version of the story, as of time of writing, so this story was in the system for at least 14 hours - and yet it was only picked up by two outlets. What is wrong with this picture?

via rawstory, here's one quote from Fox News Sunday which may have been the source of the 'confusion':
"But I wanted to reinforce to the president and to the executive branch and the intelligence community how important, and by law, the requirement that they keep the legislative branch informed of what they are doing."
You can see from the context that Hoekstra didn't say that it was illegal - he merely said that it would be illegal if the executive branch didn't tell congress, and that the executive branch didn't tell congress. got that?

In the meantime, the AP minions have (slowly) cleaned up their mistake spin - but they didn't really need to because very few news agencies dared run with the story anyway.

I hate the AP.

5 comments:

rimone said...

The Guardian is still carrying their version of the story, as of time of writing, so this story was in the system for at least 14 hours - and yet it was only picked up by two outlets. What is wrong with this picture?

lol, where to begin? those fucking Brits at the Guardian!

ps, i did a post yesterday mentioning Hoekstra and a few hours later, noticed one of the sources had changed the story; the post's still in my browser, unpublished (just sayin').

Don said...

Partial transcript also at TP:

Hoekstra: Some people within the intelligence community brought to my attention some programs...

IOW, it was illegal for BushCo not to brief Congress on these programs, whatever they are, thus illegal up until the Hoekster threw a hissy fit and the Committee was briefed. For however long the programs in question were running, Bush broke the law. Period.

Hoekstra: We’ve now been briefed on those programs.

Question 1: Have they actually been briefed on all running programs? Every time Bush gets caught, there's a briefing, and he claims Congress has been briefed... until the next time he gets caught, and there's another briefing, etc., so there's no reason to believe so now.

Question 2: When were they briefed? Just after May 18th, the date of the letter, or just in advance of the letter's going public on July 8th, or just in advance of the banking stories on June 23rd, or when? IOW, for how long was Bush again acting in violation of the law, just in regard to Hoekstra's problem programs?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on ABC, July 2nd, re: the Bank Monitoring program, again via TP:

STEPHANOPOULOS: The White House said they briefed the Congress on this matter and there is no law called into question. Do you believe that a law is called into question and that this program might have been illegal?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I’m on the Intelligence Committee. I can tell you when I was briefed and when the committee was briefed — and that was when it became apparent that the New York Times had the story and was going to run it. And that’s when and why they came to us and briefed us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you knew nothing about it before the New York Times was asking questions?

FEINSTEIN: That’s correct.


Question 3: So did this briefing cover all of Hoekstra's program issues with the banking program? If not, did it occur before or after the Hoekstra-prompted briefing? If not, it very clearly demonstrates a willful disregard for constitutional obligation, regardless of the order in which the briefings occurred, because they had to occur in a very short time span (2 to 6 weeks).

Question 4: Because of Hoekstra, we know there are other programs in the shadows (thanks a pantload, Petey). So what the hell else does the Bush administration have the intel community doing?

Don said...

Rimone: i did a post yesterday mentioning Hoekstra and a few hours later, noticed one of the sources had changed the story; the post's still in my browser, unpublished (just sayin').

*lol* I've been archiving pages for the last few months, and backing the archive up to separate disks. It's great for keeping a handy reference file, and for preserving the 'original flavour' of an article. It's just doesn't taste the same when the SCLM takes the zing out.

rimone said...

Don: It's just doesn't taste the same when the SCLM takes the zing out.

*sigh* tell me about it. :-( if i knew how to back anything up, i'd be saving everything but i don't; the most i can do is like save my drafts so they're in the wordpress system which i can access wherever.

lukery said...

i fuckin hate the ap.

they are more dangerous than murdoch