Time for Ground Troops?; Only Lee Wiretap Rejected; Geraldo Thanked Flynt
1) ABC and CNN on Tuesday
showcased arguments for ground troops. ABC's John Martin: "The most
effective option, say military planners, may be the most difficult: send
in ground forces."
2) Three networks picked up
the NRDC's hit on bottled water. Peter Jennings called NRDC "a
serious environmental monitoring group."
3) FNC's Carl Cameron
disclosed that a Senate Intelligence Committee report due in late April
will provide "the most direct link yet between alleged Democratic
campaign finance corruption and China's military advancement."
4) The Justice Department
approved 2,686 of 2,687 wiretap requests. The one and only request
rejected: The FBI's wish to wiretap Wen Ho Lee. So revealed Investor's
5) After Larry Flynt went on
his show, Geraldo wrote to him: "You were absolutely terrific in your
appearance on my show!.... The hypocrites are waiting, shaking in their
>>> Thank you.
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With the Pentagon acknowledging on Tuesday that NATO's airstrikes are
not having the impact hoped for, Tuesday night, March 30, ABC and CNN
featured stories forwarding the arguments for deploying ground troops.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight: For the A Closer Look segment John Martin ran through the
options for hitting the Serb soldiers in Kosovo, including getting closer
to them by using the A-10 Warthog and AH64 Apache attack helicopter, but
both must fly low and are therefore vulnerable to being shot down. Martin
then observed: "In time, the most effective option, say military
planners, may be the most difficult: send in ground forces." Michael
O'Hanlon of Columbia University made the case that the 10,000 NATO
troops already in Macedonia, plus some special forces and a couple
thousand Marines could do the trick to provide safe havens for refugees.
But, Martin noted, others say it will require
tens of thousands of troops to hold the ground. Martin added: "But
whatever the mission, if something is not done soon says a former national
security official, it will be too late." Ivo Daalder of the Brookings
Institution asserted: "I think the administration is coming very
close to recognizing that it is about to lose a war and that is
Martin then concluded: "If so that means the
White House must now find a way to get the American people to accept
something it continues to rule out: sending in ground troops."
-- CNN's The
World Today: Gene Randall focused on how some retired U.S. military
officers say ground troops will be necessary to win as airpower isn't
enough. Randall concluded: "What is fueling the case for ground
troops, that so far there are few signs the airstrikes alone have either
convinced Slobogan Milosevic to make peace or to noticeably improve the
lot of the Kosovar Albanians."
No liberals here. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a liberal
environmental advocacy group which pushed the bogus Alar on apples scare
promoted by 60 Minutes, released a report Tuesday about how they
supposedly discovered excessive bacteria and chemicals in one-third of the
bottled water they tested.
ABC's World News
Tonight, the CBS Evening News and FNC's Fox Report all jumped on it,
airing full stories. None labeled the NRDC as liberal, but while CBS and
FNC just called the NRDC an environmental group, ABC's Peter Jennings
decided to stress their credibility and lack of political agenda:
"A serious environmental monitoring group
has released a report about bottled water today that certainly flies in
the face of the advertising..."
China not forgotten by FNC. Before the war began the broadcast networks,
especially ABC and NBC, displayed little interest in pursuing the China
story and now with the war they have an excuse for why they are not
touching on it. Tuesday night all the networks made time for several
non-war stories, but only FNC used some of that time to update viewers on
the latest on the probes by House and Senate committees, including how a
Senate committee is digging out evidence about the impact of campaign
contributions to how China gained U.S. technology.
In a piece run on
both FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume at 6pm ET/9pm PT and the 7pm ET
Fox Report, Carl Cameron began: "Government sources tell Fox News
that since 1996 the Department of Energy has conducted as many as 21
investigations into potential security breaches and Chinese espionage at
U.S. nuclear weapons labs."
After noting that
the Chinese ambassador denies China did any spying and that the FBI has
warned the cases may not be strong enough to prosecute, Cameron previewed
the Cox report expected to be released soon: "The focus is Clinton
administration approved transfers of so-called dual use technology to
China, like satellite and rocket know-how that can be applied to missile
Cameron jumped to
the long-ignored Senate probe, informing FNC viewers:
"Fox News has also learned that a Senate
investigation, headed up by Richard Shelby, is zeroing in on bribery and
illegal campaign contributions. Indicted former Democratic fundraiser
Johnny Chung claims he bribed former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary to
meet with Chinese officials. Attorney General Janet Reno rejected calls
for an independent counsel to investigate. Also in the Shelby report: the
late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown for allegedly selling trade trips to
China in exchange for political contributions. Bernie Schwartz, the
biggest Democratic party donor in '96, cut a billion dollar deal on one
trip so his company, Loral Space, could launch satellites on Chinese
rockets. Loral got special presidential approval for it but is now under
investigation for giving Beijing U.S. missile secrets."
intriguingly concluded: "The Senate Intelligence Committee report is
due late April. Sources say it will be the most direct link yet between
alleged Democratic campaign finance corruption and China's military
But enough to
generate some broadcast network interest in pursuing this angle?
Wen Ho Lee, the only one. He represents the totality of the 0.04 percent
of the time the Justice Department worried about having enough
justification to authorize a wiretap.
An editorial in
the March 30 Investor's Business Daily disclosed this fascinating tidbit
of information: "From 1993 to 1997, federal officials requested 2,686
wiretaps. For all its concern for probable cause and legal standards, the
Justice Department turned down one request in those four years -- Lee's in
the FBI's request to wiretap We Ho Lee was the only request Janet
Reno's Justice Department rejected in the administration's first
years. They approved 99.96 percent of such requests.
Here are some
excerpts from the editorial, titled "Abetting Espionage."
It's almost too fantastic to believe. But
evidence has surfaced that the administration may have turned a blind eye
toward Red Chinese espionage -- if not actually abetted it....
"Some journalists -- in particular
Jeff Gerth and James Risen of The New York Times -- have made some very
disturbing discoveries. Not only did the Clinton administration take its
sweet time in investigating the alleged theft after learning of it,
there's reason to believe that the Justice Department failed to follow its
usual procedures in overseeing the FBI probe of the matter....
After trying to shift blame for the theft
to previous administrations (the first instances did take place in the
mid-1980s), the Clinton administration went into damage control. It
claimed loudly and longly that it aggressively tried to get to the bottom
of the matter. And, of course, the White House has pledged to investigate.
But media spin notwithstanding, the
administration has failed to guard the nation's secrets. Indeed, it took
steps to put these secrets more at risk. And it blocked the FBI from fully
probing the security breach.
Central to the story is Wen Ho Lee, a
Taiwan- born American. He worked for the Los Alamos National Lab, which
develops nuclear weapons.
Soon after the theft was discovered, Lee
became the prime suspect. Yet he was not only allowed to keep his job,
reports the Times, he got promoted to a more sensitive post. He was also
permitted to hire a Red Chinese national as an assistant. Authorities
can't find him.
These infractions would be bad enough. But
the Justice Department's actions regarding the FBI's probe of Lee border
on the criminal.
As part of the probe, the bureau requested
a wiretap on Lee. Justice denied it, arguing it did not have sufficient
grounds to take to a federal court to get the tap approved.
But a look at the Justice Department's
record on wiretaps calls that argument into serious question.
From 1993 to 1997, federal officials
requested 2,686 wiretaps. For all its concern for probable cause and legal
standards, the Justice Department turned down one request in those four
years -- Lee's in 1996.
The Clinton administration's defense that
it had few grounds to wiretap Lee might carry weight if most of the
wiretaps Justice OK'd resulted in incriminating evidence. That would
suggest Justice was setting and meeting high standards for wiretaps.
But again the record suggests Justice is
talking through its hat. In 1997, 21.4% of federal wiretaps produced
incriminating information. Indeed, through the first four years of
Clinton's term, only one in five wiretaps revealed shady actions.
Yet in the case of Lee and alleged Chinese
espionage, the department seems to think that it needed cold proof of
illegal activity before approving a wiretap....
Several conclusions can be drawn from this
case, each one more and more incredible.
One is that key officials in the Clinton
administration are incredibly naive. Another is that they are criminally
incompetent. Both answers are plausible, given this administration.
But it's not too big a leap to ask if some
officials were more than naive or incompetent. Were they intentionally
ignorant? Did the push for campaign cash in 1996 -- some of it coming from
Chinese sources -- take precedence over national security?
An even more disturbing speculation is that
someone in the administration was actively working for the Red Chinese.
Sure, it sounds like a Tom Clancy novel.
But why did Justice deny the wiretap request? Why did the Energy
Department promote Lee to a spot where he could learn more secrets? How
did a Chinese national get hired for such a sensitive job?
The administration has its hands full now
with Kosovo. But it must not be allowed to duck these questions on Red
You can access
much of IBD online at http://www.investors.com
Their password access system has been down, so click on the register
button and for free you'll get a username and password that will allow
you to access many more articles from that day's paper.
See the March
26 CyberAlert to read about how the networks ignored the New York
Times story referenced by Investor's Business Daily about how Wen Ho Lee
got a more sensitive job after he was under suspicion and how the FBI
cannot now locate an assistant he had hired.
Geraldo just loved Larry. MRC news analyst Mark Drake picked up the less
than illuminating Flynt Report, the special magazine Larry Flynt published
to publicize his supposed discoveries about the sex lives of Republicans.
He found little, if anything, not already known, but a four-page spread on
Flynt's media appearances included a picture of a handwritten note
Geraldo Rivera sent to Flynt after Flynt appeared on his show.
In the note dated
"1/15/99" Rivera oozed:
"You were absolutely terrific in your
appearance on my show! The ratings went through the roof. Now get better
fast and come back on. The hypocrites are waiting, shaking in their
To refresh your
memory about that high-brow edition of CNBC's Rivera Live, you can read
the January 12 CyberAlert item, summarized thus in the table of contents:
"Larry Flynt got a national showcase for his latest hit: CNBC's
Rivera Live. But he went beyond sex to an intimate detail. Yet Rivera
claimed Republicans 'brought this upon themselves' and made 'all of
us part of this sleazy process.' Another guest lumped Bob Barr with
Hitler and Stalin." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990112.html#1
On Thursday: Our annual April 1 edition of
Notable Quotables. --
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