A Tale of Two Cities; A Tale of Two Men

Posted: Feb 08, 2006 9:44 AM

In Washington, DC, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the terrorist surveillance program.

At the same time, in Atlanta, Georgia, the funeral of Coretta Scott King was being held.

  • From the Washington Post’s coverage of the funeral service for Coretta Scott King:

      [Former President Jimmy] Carter delivered some of the most pointed comments, noting that Martin Luther King Jr. had been "the target of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance" in his day.

  • From the Atlantic Monthly:

      On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ... authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

      [To be fair, the Atlantic Monthly says this was “one of the most ignominious acts in modern American history.”]

  • From the Christian Science Monitor:

      In a move likely to increase tensions between the West and Iran, Iranian officials Monday sent a letter to the United Nations saying it wanted the organization to "remove by mid-month any seals and surveillance systems on their uranium enrichment plant, parts of which were still being monitored by international inspectors."

  • From CBSNews.com:

      On Nov. 4, 1979, thousands of students … overran the U.S. embassy [in Terahan] and took about 90 people captive.

      On April 24, Operation Eagle Claw, a top-secret mission to free the hostages, ended in disaster.

      A frustrated President Carter severed diplomatic relations with Iran and imposed a complete economic embargo with Iran in April 1980.

  • From Aljazeera.net:

      A British Muslim preacher has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty of 11 terrorism charges, including soliciting murder and threatening behaviour.

      He was charged with 15 counts, including nine of soliciting the murder of others, "namely a person or persons who did not believe in the Islamic faith". Three of the charges added: "in particular Jewish people".

  • From Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) “blog” on the Senate Judiciary Hearings on Terrorist Surveillance:

      One of the things I tried to do in my second round of questions yesterday was to point out how incomplete and misleading the President's comments on the NSA program in the State of the Union address were.

  • From the President’s State of the Union Address:

      We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late.

      So to prevent another attack -- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America.

  • From Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) questioning at the Surveillance hearings:

      This administration is effectively saying, and the attorney general has said it today, it doesn't have to follow the law.

  • From Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ testimony:

      The terrorist surveillance program is necessary, it is lawful, and it respects the civil liberties that we all share.

  • From the New York Times coverage of the funeral service for Coretta Scott King:

      The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. King [said pointedly]: "She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war," he said. "She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar.”

  • From the pool report by Joe Curl of the Washington Times:

      Afterward, Lowery moved down the row of Presidents. Bush 43 shook his hand, and even pulled him in for a hug with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye’

  • Go back to the top and re-read the first bullet point. That tells you everything you need to know about Jimmy Carter.

  • Then re-read the pool report. That tells you everything you need to know about George W. Bush.

  • On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: There are too many citations to list even on the SDR, so you’ll have to settle for the full pool report, an interesting Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.