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Spoon Feeding Our Rights Away

Media Matters reported today that The Special Report With Brit Hume distorted remarks made by Sen. Carl Levin to make it appear as though Levin was accusing the Bush administration of orchestrating leaks about it's own surveillance program. Sen. Levin made the remarks during the confirmation hearing of Gen. Michael Hayden yesterday. I was reading through the transcript that Media Matters had and this bit from Levin caught my attention:
Disclosing parts of the program that might be the most palatable and acceptable to the American people while maintaining secrecy -- until they're leaked -- about parts that may be troubling to the public is not acceptable.

The reason this jumped out at me was because of a post I read the other day over at The Reaction. The poster, Creature, was curious to know if the Bush administration is in fact planting stories in the media in order to shape public opinion about domestic spying. He brought up Russell Tice, a former NSA staffer who was going to "shock" us with revelations of yet more domestic spying (hinting at the possible use of spy satellites). Creature then noted an AP story discussing the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, an agency tasked with (drum roll please) spy satellites and imagery analysis! He goes on to speculate that this story was planted in order to soften the blow of Tice's "shocking" testimony.

Something that I think lends credence to this is the fact that I have yet to hear anything about Tice's testimony (or if he even gave it for that matter). Was this AP story designed to preempt Tice? Is the Bush administration piecemealing out the less controversial aspects of their domestic surveillance programs in order to spoon-feed us into accepting the more legally dubious bits? Stories like this seem to make that a possibility.

Perhaps it's time we start asking what's on the end of the spoon.

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