Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Open & Shut


From The News Media & The Law
A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations


"Thank God we have a press that at least tells us what the heck you guys are doing because you're obviously not telling us."

— Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at a Feb. 6 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the National Security Agency's surveillance authority.



"The First Amendment provides a guaranteed protection of free speech, but the press has an equally important responsibility to be accurate and deliberative, something that becomes increasingly challenged with the proliferation of information available in this new multi-media era."

— Paul J. Pronovost, editor of the Cape Cod Times, in a Jan. 29 column on a decision not to publish a story about or sell photos of an alleged illegitimate child of a prominent politician.



"You people ought to get a life. I mean, goodness, gracious, the questions you ask."

— Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Jan. 12 press briefing in response to a question about whether he had read Ambassador Paul Bremer's "My Year in Iraq."



"If you are not as open as you can be it's going to look like you're trying to hide things."

— Army Maj. Jeff Weir, deputy public affairs officer for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, in a Jan. 9 article from the Armed Forces Information Service.



"Illegal spying and torture need to be investigated, not whistle blowers and newspapers."

— Jan. 4 New York Times editorial.



"In this case — I've been a reporter for about 25 years — this was the purest case of whistle blowers coming forward, people who truly believed there was something wrong going on in the government and they were motivated, I believe, by the purest reasons."

— New York Times reporter James Risen, who along with Eric Lichtblau, broke the story on Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, on NBC's "Today Show" Jan. 3.



"You just don't testify. It's a matter of civil disobedience."

— Scott Armstrong, a National Security Archive founder, at a Dec. 9 program observing the 20th anniversary of the archive.



"Even an imperfect journalist deserves protection of [the] First Amendment."

— Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) in a Nov. 16 article in The Hill.



"I think freedom of expression is the safeguard of all other freedoms. I consider freedom of expression the most important freedom of all."

— Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a Feb. 10 Washington Post article about a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.



"I was not looking for a First Amendment showdown."

— Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in an Oct. 28 press conference after announcing the perjury indictment of White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.



Definitions:

telephone (n.) 1. An instrument in which sound is converted into electrical impulses for transmission by wire. 2. A "fairly well known device ... . By depressing numbered buttons on this device in the appropriate order, the user may speak with a person at a distant location." See U.S. v. Kaufman 2005 WL 2465804 (Kan. 2005). Usage, in addition to 2, above: "For reasons which are unexplained, Channel 12 and its lawyers chose not to utilize this device [Footnote 1] or otherwise attempt to communicate directly with the court." In the footnote, the court noted that "Channel 12 is represented by lawyers from two — count 'em two — large law firms, one in Kansas City and the other in Florida. For future reference, there are many fine lawyers and law firms in Wichita which are acquainted with the use of a telephone."

The Club in teh News


CQ HOMELAND SECURITY – INTELLIGENCE
March 3, 2006 – 8:44 p.m.
Negroponte Makes the Most of His Post as Minister Without Portfolio
By Jeff Stein, CQ Staff

On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library.

“He spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,” gripes a senior counterterrorism official, noting that the former ambassador has a security detail sitting outside all that time in chase cars. Others say they’ve seen the Director of National Intelligence at the University Club, a 100-year-old mansion-like redoubt of dark oak panels and high ceilings a few blocks from the White House, only “several” times a week.

Surely Negroponte needs a comfort zone, forced as he is to spends hours in the witness chair in front of congressional committees, fielding hot potatoes on subjects over which he has no control — the NSA’s warrantless surveillance, domestic spying by secret military intelligence units, paying newspapers in Iraq to run pro-U.S. stories.

Lacking control must be a new experience for Negroponte. In the 1980s he was ambassador to Honduras, base camp for U.S.-backed attacks on left-wing Nicaragua. More recently, he was the U.S. proconsul in Baghdad. Negroponte’s reputation as a very demanding boss, in fact, preceded him to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where aides fretted at the prospect of 15-hour days and memos thrown back in their faces by this disciple of Henry A. Kissinger.

But there seems to be a new, relaxed John Negroponte. And some close observers think they know why.

He’s figured out the job. Which is to say, he really doesn’t have much control over the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

So why not hang at the University Club?

Negroponte spokesman Carl Kroft takes serious issue with that portrayal.

“He’s the hardest working person in U.S. intelligence,” Kroft said. “He’s hard at work from the early hours of the morning to late every night. The job never ends.”

On the Hot Seat
“We appointed you to be the person to (run) all intelligence,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., lectured Negroponte at a Feb. 28 hearing of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. (CQ Transcripts: Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing, Feb. 28, 2006)

Feinstein asked Negroponte about “recent media reports [that] have spotlighted a number of activities that appear to be related to intelligence collection or covert action, but that well may be outside of the official intelligence community’s channels.

“For example,” Feinstein continued, “military databases of suspicious activity reports . . . by the (domestic military) counterintelligence field activity, or CIFA; and, secondly, a Pentagon program to secretly pay Iraqi newspapers to run pro-American articles.

“Were these activities subject to your approval and oversight?”

Negroponte’s answer was short-circuited by an unidentified voice, according to the CQ transcript, quite possibly his deputy, former Air Force general and NSA chief Michael Hayden.

“Ma’am, I don’t believe that either of those activities would fall into Mr. Negroponte’s area. They are Department of Defense programs, I believe.”

“Now, let me raise this problem then,” Feinstein continued.

“Now, I know how tough it is. But if you didn’t know and you didn’t give a go-ahead [to domestic military spying], it indicates to me that, for 85 percent of the budget, which is defense-related, that you’re not going to have the controls that you should have,” Feinstein said.

“You want to comment?”

Negroponte, who not long ago in Baghdad was dismissing senior military officers with the wave of his hand, had to be feeling an acute wave of heartburn.

The Director of National Intelligence was forced to concede that the U.S. intelligence activities Feinstein was asking him about had “not risen to the level of my office.” In any event, they came “under the direction of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence” — a pipsqueak, relatively speaking.

Negroponte said he “understood” that the Pentagon was doing an internal review of spying programs because of a congressional uproar.

“But will you get the results of that review?” Feinstein asked.

“Yes,” promised Negroponte, dismissed like a schoolboy, “I will get those results.”

How Many Divisions?
Washington’s conventional wisdom these days is that ODNI is a joke.

The main reason is that Negroponte’s group has little power over the Pentagon’s covert actions.

It’s not his fault. Congress set it up that way after Rumsfeld and company worked the rooms of the House and Senate office buildings.

The noted intelligence historian Lock K. Johnson worries that Negroponte could end up like the National Drug Czar, “with no real power” over U.S. spy agencies.

Or the Pope, whose political powers Josef Stalin dismissed with a laugh to worried aides: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?”

Kroft, Negroponte’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to a question that his boss “determines and presents to the President the full U.S. National Intelligence Program budget.”

As for Negroponte’s lunches at the University Club, he responded, “As a matter of policy we do not discuss the Director of National Intelligence’s schedule.”

Backchannel Chatter
Fire when ready: Clark Kent Ervin, the former DHS Inspector General, is not going to make many friends — or maybe he will — with sentences like these from his forthcoming book, Open Target, an advance copy of which just arrived on SpyTalk’s desk: “From the very beginning, the Information Analysis (IA) unit of the Department of Homeland Security proved to be a bad, bad joke.” Ervin describes both understaffing and empty desks at DHS’s intelligence wing. Eventually, “word got around the tight-knit and hyper-status-conscious intelligence community that taking a job (there) was not” — his emphasis — “a career-enhancing move,” writes Ervin, a Texas protege of the Bush family. Wonder what President Bush thinks of that (our emphasis).

Landing more gently on the SpyTalk bookshelf recently: Analytic Culture in the U.S. Intelligence Community: An Ethnographic Study, an inside look at the people who connect the dots, by anthropologist Dr. Rob Johnson. This is of more than passing interest because it is published by the CIA’s own Center for the Study of Intelligence.

Political Terrorism: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Peter Lang Books), by the Canadian intelligence expert Jeffrey Ian Ross, ruminates on the the origins of terrorism or, put more simply, he asks: What does Osama bin Laden want?

Source: CQ Homeland Security
© 2006 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reser

The Perfect Search



Google-style search is all right for some, but greater accuracy in the enterprise demands a mix of techniques including content tagging and taxonomy development and technologies such as entity, concept and sentiment extraction tools.
By Penny Crosman


If you want to find out what Brad and Angelina are up to, Google is a great search tool. Type in the celebrity names and poof, you get a list of the latest stories about the Brangelina baby-to-be. But if you need a technical or business-oriented search, Internet-style search technology doesn't cut it. Accurate enterprise search depends on intelligent use of state-of-the-art taxonomies, metatags, semantics, clustering and analytics that find concepts and meaning in your data and documents. . . .

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Publisher


From Blogger to Published Author, for $30 and Up
By SEAN CAPTAIN
BookSmart software from Blurb downloads and reformats the contents of a Web log into a book.

blurb.com