The Difference A Word Or Two Make…

WIRE TAP or SURVEILLANCE?  The following is taken from an AP story co-authored by David S. Cloud, Michael A. Memoli, and Brian Bennett.

The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), said yesterday that U.S. intelligence agencies inadvertently intercepted communications involving the Trump transition team late last year.  Nunes also went on to say that he was alarmed that “details about U.S. persons involved in the incoming administration with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reports.”

Of course, the top Dem on this same committee was irate that this information would’ve been released before it had been shared with the committee members.  There is, it seems, some kind of an unwritten rule that says both parties ought to be made aware before something like this is shared with us members of the public.  That would likely be so that the opposition could develop its defensive strategies before we all became aware and began to draw our own conclusions.  It should be noted that this is also among the list of those one-sided things that seem to apply to Republicans more often than to Democrats if it is applied to Democrats at all.

An interesting follow-on statement was made by the top Democrat on this Committee soon after this emerged.  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), as an aside it is interesting that the top two people on this committee are from California, is quoted as saying: “The chairman will either need to decide if he’s leading an investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or if he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House.  Because he cannot do both.”  I highlighted one word intentionally.  Once an allegation has been leveled by a Democrat, it is to be taken by all who follow that this is a statement of truth rather than a simple allegation which might or might not have merit.

The FBI Director, James Comey, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers testified before Congress yesterday to the effect they had “no information” to confirm Trump’s claims on Twitter that he had been wiretapped.  Unfortunately, given the forces at work all too often in Washington, D.C., it is essential that we recognize that terms such as “wiretap” might not be quite accurate while the term “surveillance” might be very accurate.  My suspicions obviously go in that direction given the misinformation intentionally fed to us up to this point.

There is a concurrent counterintelligence investigation ongoing by the FBI into whether Trump aides might’ve coordinated with Russian authorities which began last July and that is separate from the investigation which was just disclosed.  I wonder why that is lasting so far into the first term of President Trump?  Is it because there is just such an overwhelming amount of information to be digested, or could it simply be a useful tool which can be referred to every so often as a reminder that the press believes we have a corrupt person in the Oval office?  I vote for this being a ‘useful tool’.

Word parsing is an artform in the District of Columbia, and it is a real favorite for the press given that most of us consumers of “news” do not take time to dig into any story but simply accept that it must be true if it is being reported by someone from the vaunted ‘press’.  We need to become more critical consumers of “news”, it appears, if we are to be as well-informed as we used to think we were by a simple reading of an article or a quick listen to the local voice.

The formerly believable sources of ‘news’ are no longer to be believed outright without some kind of corroboration.  How sad it is to feel that needs to be said, but the evidence shows that news is not always what it seems to be; it must be further investigated before it can be believed in toto where in times gone by we were able to accept what we read and heard as gospel.  Without corroboration from trusted souces, we can be susceptible to factual misrepresentation, whether intentional or simply in error.

It is sad that we have come to view various purveyors of “news” as either liberal or conservative and that we tend to either accept what was said or written or discount what was said or written based on our understanding of the leanings of the source.  That is where we are today IF we have been sufficiently aware as to see these subtle things happening over time.  This is very much like the story of the frog that was tossed into a pot of room temperature water and then gradually boiled to death without putting up any resistance.

This change in ‘news’ has been very gradual.  It has been so gradual that, unless one has been a very dedicated consumer with solid political belief systems in place we could easily have been misled.  Then we become consumers of a kind of propaganda rather than consumers of real news.  There we have it: fake news vs. real news.  Maybe President Trump is on to something…

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And, as this is about to be published, Sen. Schumer (D-NY) announces that the Dems will filibuster Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.  I can somewhat understand since a Justice Gorsuch would be a strict Constitutionalist and that flies in the face of what the Dems have come to be.  What a sad commentary.

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