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NYT Admits It Was Wrong To Leak Terror Surveillance Program

Posted by iusbvision on November 6, 2006

When the New York Times published articles about top-secret terror surveillance programs they were greatly criticized by those who wanted us to win the war on terror. Hyper-partisans praised the Times for leaking what they called an illegal program. They also made claims that in order to monitor terror suspect’s overseas conversations and transactions that the President needed warrants from civilian courts. This was in spite of the fact that the US Supreme Court (Katz 1967 and restricting it to foreign threats in US v. District Court in 1972) and the FISA Court of Appeals (2002) have both ruled that the President has the authority to gather foreign intelligence information without a warrant.

The simple truth is that the surveillance either affected non “U.S. persons” or international transactions or conversations. Those who said that this was an “illegal domestic surveillance program” were spinning. If Johnny bin-Laden is calling you from Pakistan, or if you are calling him in Pakistan, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Hence this brings us to the October 22 New York Times admission of wrong-doing in leaking one of these secret surveillance programs. This particular mea culpa involves the intentional leaking of the SWIFT program that monitored the financial transactions of terror suspects overseas. This was a program that President Bush, some Democratic members of Congress, and Lee Hamilton, the co-chair of the 9/11 Commission asked the Times not to publish.

Here is a part of what the Times had to say in that article:

Since the job of public editor requires me to probe and question the published work and wisdom of Times journalists, there’s a special responsibility for me to acknowledge my own flawed assessments.

My July 2 column strongly supported The Times’s decision to publish its June 23 article on a once-secret banking-data surveillance program. After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base. There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.

Those two factors are really what bring me to this corrective commentary: the apparent legality of the program in the United States, and the absence of any evidence that anyone’s private data had actually been misused.

I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws.

I am amazed that the Times had the courage to admit this (even though it was buried) and I hope that it is a sign that the newspaper will start to act more responsibly. It seems that all the rhetoric from the hyper-partisans about how Bush was trashing the Constitution with these programs was just that – rhetoric.

What amazes me the most from the Times was this final admission as to why they chose to leak a top-secret program that had helped us stop terrorists:

What kept me from seeing these matters more clearly earlier in what admittedly was a close call? I fear I allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger my instinctive affinity for the underdog and enduring faith in a free press…

In plain old Indiana talk this adds up to revenge. How dare that evil Bush Administration critique the New York Times; who do they think they are anyway? Well the Times sure showed us didn’t they?

Chuck Norton
News Analyst

121 Responses to “NYT Admits It Was Wrong To Leak Terror Surveillance Program”

  1. Chuck Norton said

    This entry has been posted for 10 days…… I guess the facts here are too much for the usual partisans to handle.

    Click your heels together three times and say…

    There is no liberal media
    There is no liberal media
    There is no liberal media…

    But as always, if anyone wants to have an honest and fact filled discussion about this I will be nice (very nice even), but if you start with the partisan hate speech and no facts, you just might end up the recipient of a wee bit of rhetorical sting.

  2. Erkki KochKetola said

    Chuck, the article you mention has absolutely nothing to do with the warrantless eavesdropping program. It’s monitoring foreign banks, which is a completely different matter. New York Times

    Note the use of the words “banking-data surveillance.” This is not the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program.

  3. Andrew said

    You’re a charlatan, Chuck.

    First: the editorial you mention (which, curiously, you neglect to link to), was written by Byron Calame. According to his space on the NYT’s website (which you can find here: http://www.nytimes.com/top/opinion/thepubliceditor/index.html) “Byron Calame is the readers’ representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly on the Sunday Op-Ed pages.”

    Second: as Erkki points out, the editorial is about BANK surveillance. This has nothing to do with “Johnny bin-Laden” phoning from Pakistan, as you’d have us believe.

    Third: The real editor of the NYT, Bill Keller, thinks he made the right call in publishing the article on the Bank Surveillance: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=75#more-75

    I quote from Mr. Calame’s blog: “When I wrote in my Oct. 22 column that I had been wrong in my commentary supporting the publication of an article about the Swift banking-data surveillance program, I hadn’t asked anyone at The Times for comment. The publisher observed in a telephone conversation a few days later that I had been unfair in not giving the paper a chance to comment. But he didn’t request any corrective action, and I didn’t offer any.”

    So according the to the man who wrote the editorial you trumpet as evidence that the Times regrets publishing ‘terror surveillance’ data, the Times (in fact) doesn’t regret it. You are either willfully misrepresenting the facts, or you are completely incompetent. Either way, there’s no place for you as a columnist on any paper that wants to be taken seriously.

  4. Andrew said

    So Chuck. That was me entering your ‘realm of facts and ideas’ and smacking your ideas with some facts. Are you certain you want me to do this every time you write a column?

    I mean, that’d pretty much destroy any vestige of credibility you’ve got left.

  5. Andrew said

    That comment isn’t going to make any sense until a moderator approves my previous post. I’m not sure why it requires moderation.

  6. Sam said

    I think Craig may have recently explained that for some reason, posts with more than two links are automatically held up. Did you include links?

  7. Andrew said

    Only two (that clears up my confusion, thanks Sam!). I’m not complaining; I’ve seen blogs without moderation, and they’ve essentially become ad sites for porn.

  8. Sam said

    “This entry has been posted for 10 days…… I guess the facts here are too much for the usual partisans to handle.”

    It was simply a yawner, for me anyway.

    These pro-Republican, fiscally conservative viewpoints of yours get old. The one-trick pony perspectives become gratingly predictable.

    You do seem to enjoy stirring up controversy, that’s for sure :)

    Anyway it looks like Erkki and Andrew have now responded, after further goading on your part. You are probably buried in the library at the moment, preparing a shock-and-awe rebuttal.

    :)

  9. Sam said

    Chuck,

    Actually I did have a question for you and I don’t mean it facetiously. Are there, in fact, any issues facing the U.S. that you do not fall to the right of center on? Perhaps there are – I’ve seen only recent examples of your writing. I’m genuinely curious.

    I understand you are likely to disagreee, but viewpoints such as the theme of this thread, the rich paying more taxes and its connection to an improved economy under Bush, ten missed opportunities for the Clincon administration to capture or kill Bin Laden, etc. are all headlines straight out of an outlet like the O’Reilly Factor which, essentially, everyone in the country views as being right-leaning if not full-blown “hyper-partisan”. The only people who don’t see this reality are those representing the utraconservative sector of our society.

    I’ve always found it exceptionally strange that you seem to consider all of your own views to be 100% objective and non-partisan, and then accuse anyone who disagrees, even a priori (such as in this thread – your second post) as being “partisan” or “hyper-partisan” if that is what they choose to do, i.e. disagree with you.

    Anyway, again I’d like to know if you have any views – social, moral, economic, religious, military, immigration, or whatever that you would consider to be relatively liberal politically. Or is it really true that you, for one, analyze the facts themselves without taking sides – just reporting the facts, without interpet them on behalf of one side or the other – and that literally anyone who disagrees with you, by definition (since you are the one reporting raw facts), is a political partisan?

    Rock on,

    Sam

  10. Chuck Norton said

    Erkki,

    Try rereading the article…..

    Quote –

    When the New York Times published articles about top-secret terror surveillance programs they were greatly criticized by those who wanted us to win the war on terror.

    …..

    Hence this brings us to the October 22 New York Times admission of wrong-doing in leaking one of these secret surveillance programs.

    Unquote –

    It is obvious that I am talking about ALL of the articles that the NYT published about terror surveillence programs. Notice I did not say Top Secret Surveillence Program…. but rather Programs ……Ok Erkki let me help you out here, the s on the end of the word program indicates that the word is plural, so I am talking about, as I clearly stated, the programs that the NYT leaked using the same reasoning so I commented on both of them, and by the way, I have the article the NYT published calling for a terror surveillence program to be created that is similar to what the NSA uses now.

  11. Sam said

    Chuck,

    You might be inclined to generalize “one of those secret surveillance programs”, per your quote from NYT, to “ALL of the NYT articles that the NYT published”, also per your quote (albeit your own peerspective).

    “Using the same reasoning”, again per your quote (but now just your opinion), doesn’t cut it.

    Erkki’s rebuttal stands.

    You have no ground upon which to stand.

    On top of that, you are citing a single NYT opinion.

  12. Andrew said

    Why is it taking seven hours to moderate my comment?

  13. Chuck Norton said

    Sam,

    You have asked a thoughtful question, so I will give you a thoughtful answer.

    First, as you have already determined, I am the lightening rod color commentator for the Vision. So I try to pick topics that are not only timely for some reason, but do catch peoples eye.

    Second, I in no way try to present all sides of a story, I have 500-800 words to use most of the time, and lets be realistic, that is not nearly enough space to get every ones view in it. So in that regard the NYT and I are alike.

    Third, therefore what I try and do is to find the most under reported or misreported or unreported facts that you wont see in the NYT for example, and present them to you so that with both sides you can be better informed.

    Let’s take the example that you mentioned such as the Clinton 10 waved off opportunities to get bin-Laden story. How many people knew about that? I mean the evidence is freaking solid as a rock that it happened and I have MUCH more evidence that I could not get into the article due to space limits. While it is true that Clinton made some attempt to get bin-Laden once or twice that has been VERY widely reported, the evidence shows that Clinton blew bin-Laden off till he had no other choice politically. But that’s the point, everyone knows about the two cracks that Clinton took at bin-Laden, so by leaving it out am I misleading anyone? Of course not because everyone who pays attention or Googles it will find out in seconds. Now if there are other lesser known facts I will include them, but widely public knowledge I am not going to report on because that’s boring and I have limited space.

    Fourth, points and facts and analysis that don’t march lock step with the progressive secular left are needed on a college campus because most campi are a leftists mecca, granted IUSB is more centered than most big schools.

    Also, I disagree that this article is left or right, Presidential war powers allow the president to engage in warrant-less searches for purposes of foreign intelligence. FDR, Truman, Carter and Clinton used this power, so does that mean they automatically became ideological conservatives when they used them?

    For Example – Remember that Aldrich Aimes guy who was the FBI agent who was spying for the Russians (he is the guy who blew Valerie Plames cover in 1994 and got her taken from the field and put behind a desk)? Well Clinton had the feds search this guys house, computer and everything his life touched without a warrant because he was a foreign intelligence threat. It was the right thing to do. No one criticized Clinton for doing this because many other Presidents have used this same power. But when the NYT who admits its hostility to the Bush administration gets a chance to demagogue and mislead people on the legality of such a power for the purpose of political gain by playing on peoples ignorance of presidential war powers, its just plain wrong, right and left don’t enter into it.

    Now as to your question about if I have any views that you would consider left of center or some sort. Since I don’t know what all your views are, I don’t know what all you would consider to be left/right. Also you said liberal politically, well as a matter of pure political science definition, I am pretty classic liberal in allot of ways, if you are asking what leftist views I have, well again that would depend on what you consider left.

    Hmm lets put it this way, I think that social security should be a growth program the prefunds our retirement. Congress has a program like that for themselves called the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, in short it performs VERY nicely and I think it sucks that average people like us cant be a party of it. If its good enough for a Senator isn’t it good enough for us?

    I am not opposed to government welfare programs, but I do think that they are administered idiotically. Welfare should be a hand up and it should not cut you off or cut off your kids medicare as soon as you make $9 an hour. Welfare should help you to get on your feet and truly independent, not dependent. Now is that right or left? Again it depends on who you ask.

    I am also pro labor, but not in the typical union mentality way. Unions need to learn that as long as they have the view that its “us vs them” that view will bring both sides down or send the employer out of the country. Unions need to be partners with companies and offer them the best and most productive people and deal with the slackers instead of covering for them.

    John Kerry had a section in his published economic plan that I really liked. He wanted to lower the corporate income tax by 5%. Why did he want to do that? Well if a company is taxed do they dip into the profits and pay it?….. of course not they raise the price. The consumer, you and I, pay all of these taxes in the form of higher prices. So let me ask you the same thing that John Kerry asked, how can a company in America , that pays a 30% tax, compete in price with a company in China that has no corporate income tax and where parts of the industry there are subsidized by the government? The answer is obvious. The corporate income tax needs to be lowered to help attract more business back to the USA and make it easier for companies to stay here and produce. …. But try and do it and its demagogued as a tax give away to the rich….. while our jobs go overseas…

    I dont know if these were the kind of answers that you were looking for, but at least its something.

  14. Chuck Norton said

    Sam you have missed my point, the point of the article is to show that the NYT reasoning for publishing all of those articles and leaking both of the programs was bogus. The NYT said that it wanted such a program like the NSA one I mentioned and than they reversed themselves when they could take a shot at the administration, that is the enire point of the article.

    I will see if I can dig up that NYT story I mentioned…. back in a few.

  15. Chuck Norton said

    The warrantless program that uses computers to spot key words and such in phone calls, its called Echelon, it was used to stop the Brooklyn Bridge bomb plot….. Notice the date during Clintons administration….. yet where is the NYT outrage?

    I am still hunting for the NYT article I mentioned, back in a few….

    [http://cryptome.org/echelon-news.htm]

    [http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/6696/1.html]

    Telepolis, March 29, 2000

    European Parliament: Inquiry on Echelon
    Jelle van Buuren 29.03.2000

    The Green Group in the Parliament found sufficient support to demand a parliamentary inquiry on Echelon

    The Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament presented today a list of 172 signatures of Members of European Parliament of all political groups, supporting the establishment of a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Echelon.

    This means there are enough signatures for an official demand on an inquiry on Echelon, an espionage system operated by the US, the UK and other countries. The existence of Echelon was revealed in the STOA-Reports. According to parliamentary rules, a quarter of the total number of members of parliament (which equals 157 members) is required for a demand on an inquiry.

    The list of signatories is now sent to the president of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontaine. According to the rules, it’s now up to the Parliaments Conference of Presidents (an organ consisting of the presidents of all political groups) to make a recommendation for an inquiry, which will then be voted upon in the plenary. Therefore, it is not sure the inquiry will be actually held. A majority of the Parliament has to vote for it.

    “Echelon poses a serious threat to democracy, citizens rights and business interests,” said Paul Lannoye, co-President of the Green/EFA Group at a press conference in Brussel. “The Greens want to know if the EU Commission and the Council have done enough to protect EU citizens from being spied on in their professional and private lives.”

    According to Heidi Hautala (Greens), there is enough evidence that Echelon exists and works: “Two tears ago, Commissionair Bangemann simply denied the existence of Echelon, and his successor Frits Bokkestein is continuing to do so. The EU Commission has to wake up to reality. We call upon the EU Commission and Council to show more transparancy in this question and so help to shed light on the legal grey zone in which telecommunication interception is practised.”

    Tomorrow, The EU Commission and Council will be making statements on Echelon.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Associated Press, March 29, 2000

    EU To Widen Echelon Spy Probe
    Filed at 4:16 p.m. EST

    BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Many Europeans fear Big Brother has been watching them for decades. Now, they are starting to find out whether a vast U.S.-led espionage network has been snooping into their lives.

    The European Parliament opens a probe Thursday into allegations of economic espionage by the U.S.-led Echelon network, accused of snooping on European business communications in a controversial report last month.

    The report sent shivers up the spines of many Europeans, especially in Brussels, where key economic and political decisions are made at European Union headquarters.

    It painted the picture of an elaborate spy network, masterminded in Washington, eavesdropping on phone calls, faxes and e-mails in the pursuit of commercial gain.

    Echelon, a vast global network of electronic monitoring stations, was created in the 1970s as part of an intelligence-gathering agreement between the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to monitor the activities of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.

    After the demise of the Soviet threat, Echelon’s extensive surveillance operation did not evaporate but actually increased its monitoring capabilities worldwide, the report said.

    It said new threats to national security like terrorism and organized crime continued to drive the thirst for information. But political, commercial and diplomatic intelligence were also intercepted, frequently via new communication technologies like the Internet and mobile phones.

    “We have to ask ourselves what the security threats are,” said Robert Evans, vice chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Citizen’s Freedoms and Rights. “We are not in an era of massive secrecy any more,” since the Cold War is over.

    The U.S. National Security Agency, which is believed to head Echelon, said last month in a letter to the U.S. Congress that it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of specific operations.”

    “However we can tell you that NSA operates in strict accordance with U.S. laws and regulations,” it said.

    In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro on Tuesday, former CIA director James Woolsey admitted the United States secretly collects information on European companies, but denied giving it to their U.S. competitors.

    Woolsey said the operations were limited to companies that violate United Nations sanctions or use bribery or other unethical practices to gain more business.

    However, even in the United States, some are not convinced. “More needs to be done to establish the scope and impact of unlawful monitoring,” said Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.

    Yaman Akdeniz of the British Cyber-Rights and Cyber-Liberties group likened the Echelon spy network to “something out of George Orwell’s ‘1984.”’

    “This is happening in our democratic societies. The genie is now out of the bottle,” he said, warning that “we cannot rely on governments anymore for protection.”

    “If you want to do business you must take security seriously,” especially in the high-tech communications sector, Akdeniz said.

    Heidi Hautala, a leader of the Green Party, which has spearheaded the investigation, urged European businesses to “rapidly develop their own technology and encryption systems to defend themselves against the attacks which are conducted in the name of the universal security interests of the United States.”

    “The big challenge is to get governments to talk on this … it is all veiled in secrecy,” Hautala said.

  16. Chuck Norton said

    An evidence article I posted went to moderation, look for it soon, back in a sec with more.

  17. Chuck Norton said

    Notice the date – notice the editorial comment I marked below – Bob Barr is one of those republicans who is hyper paranoid about the intelligence community, so it is no surprise that he took the view that he did here.

    May 27, 1999

    [www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/05/cyber/articles/27network.html]
    Lawmakers Raise Questions About International Spy Network
    By NIALL McKAY

    An international surveillance network established by the National Security Agency and British intelligence services has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, as lawmakers in the United States question whether the network, known as Echelon, could be used to monitor American citizens.
    Last week, the House Committee on Intelligence requested that the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency provide a detailed report to Congress explaining what legal standards they use to monitor the conversations, transmissions and activities of American citizens.

    The request is part of an amendment to the annual intelligence budget bill, the Intelligence Reauthorization Act. It was proposed by Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican and was supported by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Porter Goss, a Florida Republican. The amendment was passed by the House on May 13 and will now go before the Senate.

    Barr, a former CIA analyst, is part of a growing contingent in the United States, Europe and Australia alarmed by the existence of Echelon, a computer system that monitors millions of e-mail, fax, telex and phone messages sent over satellite-based communications systems as well as terrestrial-based data communications. The system was established under what is known as the “UKUSA Agreement” after World War II and includes the security agencies of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    Although Echelon was originally set up as an international spy network, lawmakers are concerned that it could be used to eavesdrop on American citizens.

    “I am concerned there are not sufficient legal mechanisms in place to protect our private information from unauthorized government eavesdropping through such mechanisms as Project Echelon,” Barr said in an interview on Tuesday.

    The finished report will outline the legal bases and other criteria used by United States intelligence agencies when assessing potential wiretap targets. It will be submitted to the House and made available to the public.

    “If the agencies feel unable to provide a full account to the public, then a second classified report will be provided to the House Committee on Intelligence,” Barr said. “This is to stop the agencies hiding behind a cloak of secrecy.”

    Judith Emmel, chief of public affairs for the NSA, declined to comment about the UKUSA Agreement but said the agency was committed to responding to all information requests covered by Barr’s amendment. “The NSA’s Office of General Counsel works hard to ensure that all Agency activities are conducted in accordance with the highest constitutional, legal and ethical standards,” she said.

    Until last Sunday, no government or intelligence agency from the member states had openly admitted to the existence of the UKUSA Agreement or Echelon. However, on a television program broadcast on Sunday in Australia, the director of Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate acknowledged the existence of the agreement. The official, Martin Brady, declined to be interviewed for the “Sunday Program,” but provided a statement for its special on Echelon. “DSD does cooperate with counterpart signals intelligence organizations overseas under the UKUSA relationship,” the statement said.

    Meanwhile, European Parliament officials have also expressed concern about the use of Echelon to gather economic intelligence for participating nations. Last October, the spying system came to the attention of the Parliament during a debate on Europe’s intelligence relationship with the United States. At that time, the Parliament decided it needed more information about Echelon and asked its Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel to commission a report.

    The report, entitled “Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information”, was published on May 10 and provides a detailed account of Echelon and other intelligence monitoring systems.

    According to the report, Echelon is just one of the many code names for the monitoring system, which consists of satellite interception stations in participating countries. The stations collectively monitor millions of voice and data messages each day. These messages are then scanned and checked against certain key criteria held in a computer system called the “Dictionary.” In the case of voice communications, the criteria could include a suspected criminal’s telephone number; with respect to data communications, the messages might be scanned for certain keywords, like “bomb” or “drugs.” The report also alleges that Echelon is capable of monitoring terrestrial Internet traffic through interception nodes placed on deep-sea communications cables.

    —LOOK HERE—-While few dispute the necessity of a system like Echelon to apprehend foreign spies, drug traffickers and terrorists, many are concerned that the system could be abused to collect economic and political information. —LOOK HERE

    “The recent revelations about China’s spying activities in the U.S. demonstrates that there is a clear need for electronic monitoring capabilities,” said Patrick Poole, a lecturer in government and economics at Bannock Burn College in Franklin, Tenn., who compiled a report on Echelon for the Free Congress Foundation. “But those capabilities can be abused for political or economic purposes so we need to ensure that there is some sort of legislative control over these systems.”

    On the “Sunday Program” special on Echelon, Mike Frost, a former employee of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, said that Britain’s intelligence agency requested that the CSE monitor the communications of British government officials in the late 1980s. Under British law, the intelligence agency is prohibited from monitoring its own government. Frost also said that since the cold war is over, the “the focus now is towards economic intelligence.”

    Still, Echelon has been shrouded in such secrecy that its very existence has been difficult to prove. Barr’s amendment aims to change that.

    “If this report reveals that information about American citizens is being collected without legal authorization, the intelligence community will have some serious explaining to do,” Barr said.

  18. Chuck Norton said

    So much for the above being “Bush’s Program” ……

  19. Erkki KochKetola said

    Chuck:

    Re your comment that “space restrictions” prevented you from presenting your evidence, no such restriction exists here. Let’s see your evidence.

    Hic Rhodus, hic saltus!

  20. Erkki KochKetola said

    Sorry, should be clearer: Your evidence that Clinton “waved off 10 chances” to get bin Laden (clever metaphorical use of military terminology).

  21. Chuck Norton said

    Ummm Erkki….. try reading the page man, I am posting extra evidence now……

  22. Chuck Norton said

    Erkki, if you meant more evidence that Clinton passed on 10 chances to get Osama, … umm well you havent been able to land a glove on the evidence that was in my article and that I already have posted in that thread…..

    Also if you go look, I posted a link to an audio clip of Clinton talking about one of the times he was offered bin-Laden.

    Erkki, remember how you said that you werent aware of even one scholarly study that said there was lefty media bias….. so I posted links to , what was it 10 studies or so…. I got a heck of a laugh from that one.

  23. Chuck Norton said

    [www.nytimes.com/2005/11/29/national/nationalspecial3/29terror.html?ex=1290920400&en=27845432a25e74fe&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss]

    Here is the NYT Critisizing for NOT having a program like the SWIFT Finance Tracking Program…….lol thats funny.

    November 29, 2005
    U.S. Lacks Plan to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says
    By ERIC LICHTBLAU
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 – The government’s efforts to help foreign nations cut off the supply of money to terrorists, a critical goal for the Bush administration, have been stymied by infighting among American agencies, leadership problems and insufficient financing, a new Congressional report says.

    More than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, “the U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy” to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

    The findings expand on earlier concerns raised by that agency and others in the past few years about the government’s ability to cut off money to terrorists. The report is to be released Wednesday, and an advance copy was provided to The New York Times.

    The findings produced sharp dissent from American government officials, who said Congressional auditors overstated the bureaucratic problems in curbing terrorist financing overseas and the level of dissension between agencies. They described the intergovernmental effort to cut off the flow of terrorist money as one of the hallmarks of the Bush administration’s campaign to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “No interagency process is without flaws,” the State Department said in its official response. But it said “there is much evidence” that the working group set up by the administration to combat terrorist financing “is one of the most successful examples of interagency cooperation.”

    The government has identified 26 “priority” countries that it considered particularly vulnerable to exploitation by terrorist financiers, who may take advantage of lax financial controls and loosely regulated or nonexistent laws to launder money in support of terrorist attacks, officials said.

    But officials at the State and Treasury Departments cannot even agree on who is supposed to be in charge of the effort to shore up defenses in vulnerable countries, the accountability office report concluded.

    In at least one case, the State Department refused to allow a Treasury official to enter an unidentified foreign country last year to help with strategies to fight terrorist financing because of turf battles, investigators found. Because the country had recently been upgraded to a priority, State Department officials wanted to do their own assessment first before allowing the Treasury Department to conduct its work, causing a delay of several months.

    Investigators found clear tensions between officials at State, Treasury, Justice and other departments.

    One unidentified Treasury official quoted anonymously in the report said that the intergovernmental process for deterring terrorist financing abroad is “broken” and that the State Department “creates obstacles rather than coordinates effort.” A State Department official countered that the real problem lies in the Treasury Department’s reluctance to accept the State Department’s leadership in the process.

    In another problem area, private contractors used by the Treasury Department and other agencies have been allowed to draft proposed laws in foreign countries for curbing terrorist financing, even though Justice Department officials voiced strong concerns that contractors should not be allowed to play such an active role in the legislative process.

    The contractors’ work at times produced legislative proposals that had “substantial deficiencies,” the report said.

    The administration has made cutting off money to terrorists one of the main prongs in its attack against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. It has seized tens of millions of dollars in American accounts and assets linked to terrorist groups, prodded other countries to do the same, and is now developing a program to gain access to and track potentially hundreds of millions of international bank transfers into the United States.

    But experts in the field say the results have been spotty, with few clear dents in Al Qaeda’s ability to move money and finance terrorist attacks. The Congressional report- a follow-up to a 2003 report that offered a similarly bleak assessment – buttresses those concerns.

    Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who leads the Senate Finance Committee and was one of the lawmakers who requested the study, said he was disappointed to learn that in an area as critical as countering terrorist financing, “they haven’t gotten very far yet.”

    In an interview, Mr. Grassley said: “It’s as simple as learning to stop the infighting and turf protection and get on with the job. What’s happening is just inexplicable in light of the war on terrorism.”

    The State Department said in the report that it has begun technical assistance and training to 20 of the 26 priority countries. The list is classified, and the countries were not disclosed. Officials say that letting terrorists know which countries are considered vulnerable would prompt them to move more money there and that publicizing such assessments would discourage cooperation from the countries on the list.

    As part of their review, Congressional investigators conducted field work in Pakistan, Indonesia and Paraguay to assess American efforts to deter terrorist financing. But officials would not say whether those countries were on the government’s classified list of 26 “vulnerable” nations.

    Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been the focus of intense scrutiny and diplomatic efforts since Sept. 11 because of concerns that charities, state-sponsored organizations and informal money-exchange systems known as hawalas are routinely used to funnel large amounts of money to Al Qaeda.

  24. Erkki KochKetola said

    Chuck:

    You’re absolutely correct that I haven’t said anything about your article on Clinton, which is why that very silence is irrelevant. You said you had more evidence that you couldn’t present in the column because of space limitations. I observed that no such restriction here and, since you clearly want us to believe that Clinton deliberately failed to go after bin Laden, you would be more convincing and sound less like a braggart if you produced this evidence you claim to have. This isn’t a poker game, you don’t need to play your cards close to your chest.

  25. Charles Norton said

    Erkki,

    You could not even lay a glove on the evidence I presented in my article and the extra evidence I presented in this blog. Actually, it is a poker game of sorts, one part of it being that I spend a great many hours doing research and entering evidence in my archive while those of you who just try to come here and lie and smear myself and others into silence have routinely proven that you don’t do the homework required and have no idea what you are talking about. So I let you post your rants, lies and foolishness and than I come out with verifiable evidence and blast it to smithereens.

    You want me to post everything first so that you can carefully smear while navigating away from the evidence, away from the truth. Nice try.

    Here is a novel idea Erkki, try doing some work and knowing what you are talking about before you post.

    Also, I dont expect you to believe that Clinton passed up 10 chances to get Osama, I have no illusions that you would accept any verifiable evidence that doesnt fit into your manufactured world view. I dont do what I do to convince hyper-partisans such as you, so dont flatter yourself. The fact that Clinton did indeed pass on those chances to get Osama isnt an opinion, it is a fact that is demonstrated by the evidence I presented. That evidence has not even been seriously challenged and all have been shown incapable of seriously challenging it.

    Have a great day

  26. Jarrod Brigham said

    About the posts in moderation. We have experienced some problems with WordPress moderating posts with websites in them. We try to clear them as fast as we can, but not always. If you leave a website, put it in brackets or leave a space after www. and that will hopefully solve the problem. If you need more assistance, Craig should be able to answer your questions.

  27. Andrew said

    Thanks Jarrod. Should I repost the comment with these modifications?

  28. Andrew said

    It’s been over a day since I originally posted this, and you still haven’t been bothered to approve it, so I’m going to post it again.

    I’m not impressed by your moderation system, frankly.

    You’re a charlatan, Chuck.

    First: the editorial you mention (which, curiously, you neglect to link to), was written by Byron Calame. According to his space on the NYT’s website (which you can find here: nytimes.com/top/opinion/thepubliceditor/index.html) “Byron Calame is the readers’ representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly on the Sunday Op-Ed pages.”

    Second: as Erkki points out, the editorial is about BANK surveillance. This has nothing to do with “Johnny bin-Laden” phoning from Pakistan, as you’d have us believe.

    Third: The real editor of the NYT, Bill Keller, thinks he made the right call in publishing the article on the Bank Surveillance: publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=75#more-75

    I quote from Mr. Calame’s blog: “When I wrote in my Oct. 22 column that I had been wrong in my commentary supporting the publication of an article about the Swift banking-data surveillance program, I hadn’t asked anyone at The Times for comment. The publisher observed in a telephone conversation a few days later that I had been unfair in not giving the paper a chance to comment. But he didn’t request any corrective action, and I didn’t offer any.”

    So according the to the man who wrote the editorial you trumpet as evidence that the Times regrets publishing ‘terror surveillance’ data, the Times (in fact) doesn’t regret it. You are either willfully misrepresenting the facts, or you are completely incompetent. Either way, there’s no place for you as a columnist on any paper that wants to be taken seriously.

  29. Erkki KochKetola said

    Chuck:

    What new evidence, exactly? You’ve yet to actually post anything.

  30. Craig Chamberlin said

    Sorry guys,

    Really dropped the ball on the moderation bin, try to keep the external links below 2 (apparantly it does it on 2 exactly also) or you can just put brackets on the outside of your links like so: [http://www.iusb.edu].

    Thanks! Sorry again. :(

  31. Concerned said

    As Andrew and Erkki have pointed out, Chuck Norton demonstrates gross ignorance of the actual context in which Calame’s article was printed:

    1) Calame is the Public Editor for the NYT; he does not represent the editorial opinion of the paper.
    2) His article was not “buried”; it was printed in the same fashion as all of his writing.
    3) An actual editor of the NYT printed a rebuttal to Calame’s piece. The title of Chuck Norton’s article and similar statements therein are factually incorrect.

    How could Chuck Norton know so little about Calame’s role at the NYT? Because the main ideas of his “analysis” are borrowed from other sources. Here are just a few examples:

    [http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006180.htm]
    [http://www.timeswatch.org/articles/2006/20061023110129.aspx]
    [http://www.webloggin.com/ny-times-get-back-at-bush-administration/]
    [http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1724364/posts]

    It is clear that the content of Chuck Norton’s article was derived entirely from reading conservative reactions to Calame’s writing. Yet, his column gives the impression that he is providing original analysis.

    There is indeed a fine line between building on a common body of knowledge shared by many (in which case a citation may not be necessary), and presenting a derivative rewrite of other author’s intellectual contributions as one’s own. Chuck Norton crosses the line in this case.

    Although I will stop short of accusing him of plagiarism (barely), his sloppy journalism is an embarrassment to the IUSB Vision.

  32. Andrew said

    Craig;

    Since I’ve demonstrated that Chuck’s article is misleading and inaccurate, can I expect to see a retraction in your next issue?

  33. Andrew said

    “But as always, if anyone wants to have an honest and fact filled discussion about this I will be nice (very nice even)”

    My mother liked to say “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I guess I haven’t listened to her, but Chuck is following her advice! There may be hope for you yet, little buddy.

    However, the cynic in me wonders if just maybe you find that actual facts about things that really happened in the world where all the sane people live are just too uncomfortable. I was so hoping to be the recipient of some of your famous “rhetorical sting”, though. Where’s the love?

  34. Erkki KochKetola said

    Chuck:

    Still waiting for that new evidence.

  35. Sam said

    For those following this thread, please take heed of post #31 above which, given the time of its original submission (two full days before it passed moderation, from what I can tell), has not been given a chance to be heard.

    From my perspective, it wipes Chuck Norton off the board.

  36. Rachel Custer said

    This is in response to the post by “Concerned.”

    While Chuck and I don’t always agree completely on politics, allegations of plagiarism on a college campus are extremely serious, and at the very least, it might inspire more confidence in those allegations if you felt confident enough of your opinion to post your name in connection with them.

    I have looked through the links you provided. I saw no evidence of the use of parts of those articles without attributions. Also, since the links posted are those of conservative writers, is it really that surprising that Chuck and these writers would have a similar viewpoint regarding the Times article?

    As I said, Chuck’s and my political views don’t always line up, but I do believe if you are going to allege academic dishonesty, you should A.) Have excellent evidence of particular passages taken from unattributed sources, and B.) Have the guts to allege the dishonesty in a straightforward and upfront manner by signing your name.

    If you are truly confident that what you are saying is correct, and are willing to allege such a serious infraction of University policy, it seems to me you would have no problem doing so. If you are no that confident that your allegations are correct, then perhaps it would be prudent to find more evidence before making them.

  37. Andrew said

    So Rachel;

    Since Craig said “Do not fear posting a comment, all students and professors are encouraged to participate. If you are afraid of repercussions, you are more than free to make these posts anonymously.”, I think it’s a little disingenuous for you to suggest that anonymity damages Concerned’s credibility. If you’ve looked at these links and aren’t convinced that Chuck is borrowing his analysis, that’s another issue entirely. You’re entitled to your opinion.

    Regardless of whether or not Chuck borrowed the analysis (I don’t have an opinion on this), he made some blatantly false statements about the nature of Calame’s column in his article. I’d like to know how your paper plans to address these issues.

  38. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I don’t feel it’s disingenous at all. In our criminal justice system, when someone is accused of a crime, they have a right to know who is accusing them. I just feel that Chuck has a right to know who’s accusing him of plagiarism, which is a serious issue for us.

    And I do feel it damages a person’s credibility when making inflammatory statements if they aren’t even willing to post their name. It may not be fair, but it’s true. You’ll notice that all my comments have my name posted on them. That’s because I feel my opinions are worth signing my name to. If someone doesn’t even feel they can proudly own their opinions, why should we believe that they have much merit?

    Another reason I made my point is that I would be surprised if Concerned was a student who was not already a regular “I can’t stand Chuck Norton” poster. My guess is, that person thought it would damage the credibility of the statement if they DID list their name, given past arguments with Chuck, so they used “Concerned.” Of course, unless someone steps forward, we will never know.

    There are definitely situations in which using a confidential posting is preferable; however, when you are accusing someone of academic dishonesty, I honestly think you should have the guts to state your name.

  39. Andrew said

    You haven’t said anything new, Rachel.

    How do you plan to address Chuck’s inaccuracies?

  40. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    First of all, it is not my job to address Chuck’s inaccuracies, if they exist. It is the job of the editors (Jarrod and Craig). You should probably present specific examples of inaccuracies to either one of them if you feel it is an issue.

    I am wondering where your interests lie in this matter. It is interesting that you have jumped to defend “Concerned,” while he or she has remained silent. Strange…

  41. Concerned said

    Rachel,

    I understand your frustration that I posted anonymously. I thought hard about it, and ultimately decided that anonymous was best. If that fact reduces my credibility in your eyes I can accept your judgment.

    However, I would like to point out that I “stopped short” of accusing Chuck Norton of plagiarism. I won’t deny that I made a strong insinuation, but I did not actually make the accusation. I do believe he comes dangerously close.

    Erkki and Andrew have made an effective case that Chuck Norton has a striking lack of familiarity with his topic. I began to wonder how he could not be more knowledgeable about Calame’s role at the NYT (given that he chose to write a News Analysis column about it), and noted the similarity between his column and that of other conservative blogs.

    It appears to me that his awareness and primary source of information about this issue came from these blogs, not the only source to which he refers in his article (i.e. the NYT). I believe that in this case he should have acknowledged these sources because otherwise his article gives the impression that he is independently reacting to Calame’s piece in the NYT.

    For comparison, imagine that you are working on a research paper and find a really good resource complete with an excellent bibliography. Do you think it would be okay to model your paper off of that resource, use the same citations found in that resource, but not cite the actual resource? Hopefully not, because even if you did not copy it word for word, you would be guilty of a form of plagiarism.

    Although subtle compared to direct copying and pasting, this type of plagiarism is a serious problem on college campuses. It is often done unintentionally in the sense that the writer does not know that what he is doing is wrong. In this case the only consequence is some embarrassment due to a lack of familiarity with a primary source, but this practice can indeed be much more damaging.

    I do apologize for raising this issue in such an inflammatory manner. My ultimate point is that the writers and editorial staff of the IUSB Vision should be extremely careful about properly attributing intellectual content.

    I just read your latest post suggesting that Andrew and I are the same individual. This is not the case, but I do hope that someone from the Vision will address the questions he raises.

  42. Andrew said

    Rachel;

    You’ve found me out. I’m part of a big plot; ‘The Conspiracy to Get Chuck Norton!’ We have name badges, and a secret handshake, and a fort made out of empty Dell boxes in the basement of Northside.

    Seriously, get a clue.

    I wasn’t defending ‘Concerned’. I did say that since Craig encouraged people to post anonymously, complaining about the fallout isn’t appropriate. I am not ‘Concerned’, if that’s what you’re suggesting. That’s a little silly; I’m anonymous enough as it is, I don’t need another pseudonym.

    I did point out specific inaccuracies, such as when Chuck said the NYT apologized for outing the SWIFT program, when in fact the Public Editor (who is a sort of ombudsman) who apologized for supporting the NYT’s decision to out the SWIFT program. The real editor the NYT doesn’t think that the decision was incorrect.

    Are you just not reading my posts (that’s OK, I try not to read Chuck’s, so I can understand), do you just not care that he’s using this paper as a vehicle for his neo-con tripe, or do you support his idea that questioning this administration is wrong, and it’s fine to lie about people who do that?

  43. Sam said

    What I find amusing about this thread is that originally, no one even felt like responding owing to the shamelessly baiting, dubious title of this thread.

    Ten days later, Chuck decides he can’t take the lack of attention, thus writing:

    “This entry has been posted for 10 days…… I guess the facts here are too much for the usual partisans to handle.”

    It amazes me that the IUSB Vision staff allows Chuck to carry on this charade of being a “News Analyst”, made even more striking by his groundless arrogance and mindless projection onto others in terms of “hyper-partisanship”.

    P.S. I am not Concerned – pun intended. :)

  44. Erkki Kochketola said

    Here’s another dimension that hasn’t been explored yet:

    Calame is backing down for supporting publication of a controversial article, for reasons which, given the fact that he himself admits that “so many people already knew about the program that serious terrorists also must have been aware of it” (my emphasis) when the article was run, don’t make a whole lot of sense. “I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws,” he says, citing this as one of two reasons why he reconsidered this article, the other being the fact that “there still haven’t been any abuses of private data linked to the program, which apparently has continued to function” (my emphasis). A generous interpretation of Calame’s statements would be that he was arguing against publishing that particular article about the program, rather than arguing against covering it at all; a less generous interpretation is that he’s rolling over and exposing his throat to media critics (who are almost undoubtedly right-wing, since this is a favorite theme of their criticism of the media) when the article was actually fairly strong.

    Also note my emphasis. Chuck says that “what amazes [him] the most from the Times was this final admission as to why they chose to leak a top-secret program that had helped us stop terrorists.” A top-secret program that (in Calame’s words) “so many people,” including the terrorists, already knew about, and which, in spite of the publication of this article, continues to operate? Methinks Mr. Norton doth protest too much.

  45. Rachel Custer said

    Concerned,

    Thank you for your clarification. I do understand that the type of plagiarism of which you speak is rampant on this and other campuses, and it is important that we try to weed it out. I guess my biggest point before Andrew and I began discussing the issue was, is it really surprising that Chuck’s column has a lot in common with conservative websites, given that he admittedly is a political conservative? Does that necessarily mean he took his information directly from these sites, or is it possible that it means he just shares the opinion of these authors?

    I really was not trying to be inflammatory myself. You have a right to post anonymously, of course; I just thought it would be more likely people would take notice if you posted your name. A big reason for this, which has nothing to do with you, is there are several people on this site who continuously post derisive comments about Chuck, and many might conclude that you were one of those people. That is why I am glad you have clarified your position.

    Thank you for your intelligent comments; we appreciate all the genuine feedback we can get regarding making our publication better.

    Andrew,

    Do you take everything so seriously? This is not a life or death matter. Also, I believe I specifically said that you need to take examples to Craig and Jarrod, as I can do nothing about them because I am not an editor. If you really feel it is something that needs to be addressed, you are welcome to present your questions to them, but please do so in a businesslike manner (i.e. not on a blog).

    Seriously, though, Andrew, perhaps I need to restate that I don’t tend to take things as seriously on this blog as many do. I like to discuss, but I also like to laugh, so sometimes I make jokes. No biggie.

    Sam,

    You always make me laugh, so I’m glad you were concerned enough to post at least once. :)

    Thanks to everybody for your continued intelligent comments – believe it or not, the chance to hear and understand new points of view is the main reason we created this blog.

  46. Andrew said

    Rachel;

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Internet is Serious Business.

    On a less facetious note, I guess I’m a little surprised that you don’t think Chuck lying in your paper is serious. I’d think you’d want to maintain the integrity the Vision.

    I’m assuming you and Chuck are friends, so I appreciate why you’re defending him (I’m not criticizing you; it’s a nice thing to do). However, Chuck obviously lied in his editorial, so I can’t help feeling that your loyalty is misplaced.

    The purpose of this blog, according to Craig: “The original intent of the online Weblog was to offer an opportunity for anyone to argue with staff writers with whom they may disagree. Using this system, each writer can be held accountable for their viewpoint by the Vision audience.”

    Based on Craig’s statement, I think that it’s entirely appropriate to use this forum to ask the editors what they intend to do about Chuck’s falsehoods. They (unintentionally, I’m certain) were party the publication of intentionally inaccurate and misleading statements, so they have a responsibility to their readers to redress the issue.

  47. Sam said

    Actually, I would not go as far as to conclude that Chuck lies in his reporting. He doesn’t have the capacity to do so, in my opinion. Chuck is truly unaware of the biased and misleading nature of his material.

  48. Sam said

    Rachel states:

    “… is it really surprising that Chuck’s column has a lot in common with conservative websites, given that he admittedly is a political conservative? Does that necessarily mean he took his information directly from these sites, or is it possible that it means he just shares the opinion of these authors?”

    I agree with her question. The answer is no. The similarities are not surprising. However, Concerned has apparently examined the text as well as lines of reasoning in these three additional sources (I haven’t seen them) and concluded that content plagiarism – as opposed to copy plagiarism – may well have occurred, without making a direct accusation.

    In short, I wouldn’t write off Concerned’s concerns so quickly. Concerned may indeed have valid concerns, and likewise I am concerned that others would write off Concerned so quickly owing to their concern regarding to the true identity of Concerned.

  49. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Thank you for the kind comments. I agree that concerns of this nature should be addressed – I merely stated that I don’t really have the standing to do much about it except relay it to the editors. However, I feel if someone wants to make an allegation and ask that it be examined, they should address the proper parties in a more official way than the blog.

    Andrew,

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I AM NOT THE PERSON TO ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS. Of course I would like the Vision to have a reputation as a newsletter with integrity (I’m still not convinced that we have anything else, to be honest), but I DON’T EDIT THE PAPER AND i AM NOT THE ONE TO INVESTIGATE THESE CONCERNS. (Not yelling, just using caps for emphasis.)

    The only reason I suggested using another medium than the blog is that it may make your concerns more likely to be addressed in the manner you seem to desire. Let’s face it, a lot of allegations are made involving Chuck on this blog, but the parties who make them don’t really seem to desire follow-up, they are just blowing off steam at Chuck. I was really just attempting to help you get your concerns heard, if indeed that’s what you want to do.

    I have decided to pass your concerns on to Jarrod Brigham, since you are obviously serious about them; however, I think it would carry more weight with him if you wrote an email to him yourself. Our email is sbvision@iusb.edu and you are welcome to express any concerns you have.

    However, I must tell you, if you write an email that says “Chuck obviously lied in his editorial,” I’m not sure you will be taken seriously. This is why I suggested that you present verifiable evidence of content plagiarism or outright lies.

  50. Chuck Norton said

    LOL, I see those who are so desperate to shut down any voice that doesn’t go along with them has gotten really really desperate. In fact I am laughing as I read this.

    First of all, just because some others reported on the story that the Ombudsman for the NYT said that the times was wrong to publish it doesn’t mean its plagiarism. Look at how many people reported on the OJ Simpson case, so does that mean that if I wrote a story about OJ Simpson that its automatically plagiarism? In fact, as a Professor once told me on campus, “if you look at the ABC, CBS and NBC news on most nights you will see the same stories reported, with the same spin or angle, usually in the same order and for the same length of time” …. so which one plagiarised who???

    Second, the ombudsman is like an editor who is independent from the other journalists and editors. He is there to make the paper more honest and accountable to itself so occasionally the other editors will disagree with the ombudsman…… that is why they have one. He even describes himself as the “public editor” of the NYT.

    Third, I state my sources, and I talked about that Katz Case and the other cases that the bloggers you listed did not talk about in their coverage of this story.

    Fourth, I also posted articles and such in this blog right here that are not featured in the others coverage either.

    I maintain a massive data archive on my own that I spend a great deal of time updating. I know my stuff cold, I read several news wires each day, and the online newspapers regularly.

    Face it you turkeys, my articles are bullet proof. I do allot of research, I state sources, I give hard hitting analysis that none of you can refute. I reported that the NYT printed a mea culpa by its public editor, those facts are not refutable and just because another editor disagrees with the other editor it doesn’t change anything.

    As for Erkki’s argument that the NYT made stating that the terrorists already knew about the programs for surveillance…. well the terrorists who tried to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge didn’t and in the case that was just done with Anna Diggs Taylor the plaintiffs said that they are now afraid to make phone calls in fear that the NSA could intercept them…. so I guess they didnt know about it either. There is also another case where terrorist supporters are buying thousands of prepaid cell phones and others to illegally modify them so that the calls cannot be traced. I do believe that I even saw an article about how terrorists changed how they moved money in light of the SWIFT article. So the “they already knew it” argumenst doesnt fly. Knowing that the US tries to track money and calls to bad guys is one thing, describing methods on how it is done is quite another. Maybe that is why people from both parties asked the NYT not to print the story.

    Wow you guys are are desperate, you cant beat me in an argument fair and square, you call me all sorts of names, and now you try a bogus plagiarism charge. I would not be surprised if one of you nuts tried to run me down or stick me in the back with a sharp object because I have been threatened by nutty extremists like you before before.

  51. Sam said

    Chuck,

    You’re insane!

    Sam

  52. Andrew said

    Chuck, you’re stupid.

    The headline of Chuck’s article was “NYT Admits It Was Wrong To Leak Terror Surveillance Program”. In fact, the public editor of the NYT said he was wrong to support the publication of the article that leaked the SWIFT program. These are two very different things, and if Chuck read Calame’s column, this should have been obvious to him. Either he didn’t (in which case he’s a best a sloppy columnist, and at worst a plagiarist, pick your favorite), or he read the column and decided to make something up. Either way, you guys need to publish a correction.

    Rachel, it’s really annoying that you’re taking issue with my choice of forums for this complaint rather than the fact that CHUCK LIED IN HIS EDITORIAL. Why don’t you address the problem (Chuck making things up) instead of inventing a new one (me using this blog to hold Chuck accountable, which its stated purpose)?

    I’m not going to write Jerrod or Craig. Their response should be as public as Chuck’s lies were. It’d sure be swell if the editors would pretend they cared about Chuck’s lack of anything remotely resembling journalistic integrity.

  53. Chuck Norton said

    Awe, poor little Andrew, so desperately trying to stick with your attempt to shut me up. When the public editor of the NYT says that:

    – QUOTE –
    I don’t think the article should have been published….

    Those two factors are really what bring me to this corrective commentary: the apparent legality of the program in the United States, and the absence of any evidence that anyone’s private data had actually been misused….

    I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws….

    What kept me from seeing these matters more clearly earlier in what admittedly was a close call? I fear I allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger my instinctive affinity for the underdog and enduring faith in a free press…


    – quote-

    That is a mea culpa if there ever was one…. the ombudsman of the paper said, “I don’t think the article should have been published” … that means it was wrong to publish it… as your local teenager would say DUHHHHH.

  54. Chuck Norton said

    Above – The last -quote- there is where the italics and original quote were supposed to stop, I forgot to put in the / to stop the italics…

  55. Erkki KochKetola said

    “I reported that the NYT printed a mea culpa by its public editor, those facts are not refutable and just because another editor disagrees with the other editor it doesn’t change anything.”

    Actually, what you claimed to be reporting was that The New York Times printed a mea culpa, which is an entirely different matter. The Public Editor has no power to speak for The New York Times; as the op-ed observes, his opinions are his own. Further, both the managing editor and the publisher disagree with Calame; this is not “just another editor.” So, yes, it absolutely changes everything.

    “As for Erkki’s argument that the NYT made stating that the terrorists already knew about the programs for surveillance…”

    Chuck, as I have consistently pointed out, the Calame op-ed was referring to the program that the NSA is running that monitors international banking transactions, not international phone calls. Your efforts to conflate the two to the contrary, they are not the same. The case that Judge Taylor heard has nothing to do with this.

    You claim that you “believe [you] saw an article about how terrorists changed how they moved money in light of the SWIFT article.” Can you produce this article? If they did that, why is the SWIFT program still ongoing? Clearly, they must still be using it.

  56. Erkki KochKetola said

    Gah.

  57. Sam said

    Once again, I can’t believe that the IUSB Vision staff, conservative as they are overall, so proudly hangs on to Chuck Norton. He would be an embarrassment to any university blog, conservative or otherwise. Just the absolute, very worst possible of communicators, in any and every sense of the word.

  58. Sam said

    “First of all, just because some others reported on the story that the Ombudsman for the NYT said that the times was wrong to publish it doesn’t mean its plagiarism.”

    That is a pathetically weak counter to what you’ve been accused of, directly or otherwise.

    Instead of such rubbish, why don’t you simply demonstrate how you wrote originally based on the NYT article, as opposed to pilfering your hyperpartisan talking points from the aforementioned sites? Surely there must be a way to do that.

    The more you comment on this, the more it seems clear that you did, in fact, ride on the back of these other sites.

  59. Andrew said

    Charles Norton, esq.

    Dear Sir.

    Thank you for your sympathy, in this, my time of trial. Would that I could express how much your words of condolence mean to me.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew ‘Shamed and Chagrinned’ Smith

  60. Chuck Norton said

    Sam, once again, all name calling, no refutation, no facts and no argument. Sam needs to realize that he just doesnt have what it takes between the ears to beat any conservative in the arena of facts and ideas.

    Erkki, also you straw manned my argument. I never ever said that SWIFT wasnt being used by the government any more, yet that is the invented argument by you that you are responding to. How about you show me a residue of intestinal fortitude and just take on my argument head on. Of course the government still uses the SWIFT program (DUHHHH) but now it is less effective because some terrorists are using different means to move money. Its like when Osama was using a satalite phone and we were tracking him with it until some pinhead decided to blab how we track him.

  61. Chuck Norton said

    Sam, since you are clearly incapable of reading response number 50 above that already answered you, I will quote myself.

    – QUOTE –

    Third, I state my sources, and I talked about that Katz Case and the other cases that the bloggers you listed did not talk about in their coverage of this story.

    Fourth, I also posted articles and such in this blog right here that are not featured in the others coverage either.

    I maintain a massive data archive on my own that I spend a great deal of time updating. I know my stuff cold, I read several news wires each day, and the online newspapers regularly.

    – END QUOTE –

    As you can see I posted references to facts and I posted other evidence articles IN THIS BLOG RIGHT IN THIS THREAD ABOVE that are not even mentioned in the entries in the aformentioned blogs.

    Now I realize that you might not be able to understand what I just told you so I will make it even more simple, – in this thread I posted evidence that the people you claim that I copied from did not mention in their blog entries. That means that I showed you evidence that they did not. Now I realize that you are going to sit there and lie through your teeth and than repeat the same old lies and attacks, but those that read here will see how full of it you are, which is why you hide behind an anonymous name. At least I can respect Erkki, at least he has the guts to get beaten fair and square in public and signs his name to it. And Andrew… well his arguments are so bad that anyone can plainly see that.

    Come on you people, is this the best you have got? Are you three the best the radical left has to offer?

  62. Chuck Norton said

    Why is it……..

    You know guys, there is a reason that I give you facts that most often even the very best of the blogosphere doesn’t give you, there is a reason why, as I have here in this thread, pull out articles for evidence from years ago that the other bloggers don’t have.

    The reason is that not only am I smarter and more prepared than you are, I work harder and have more information archived than most of the best of the blogosphere.

    It is the same reason that for 5 semesters now I have been THE campus writer that this campus talks about. It is the same reason that I am the writer that alumni send accolades to the administration about.

    You can call it ego, or arrogance, I call it hard work….

    …and

    I will continue that hard work until I am a one man media empire and IUSB has a state of the art School of Broadcast Communications named after yours truly :-)

    Your friendly news analyst,

    Chuck

  63. Andrew said

    Will they have a class where they teach students to be a pompous and arrogant ass, or is that going to be a perquisite?

  64. Chuck Norton said

    Yup Andrew, just like the schooling I give you every day.

  65. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    Alright, I’ll say it one more time slowly….

    I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. YOU WILL NEED TO TALK TO JARROD BRIGHAM.

  66. Andrew said

    Rachel;

    CAPS LOCK IS THE CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL!

    so you are SUB-ZERO!!!

  67. Andrew said

    It’s obvious that the editors don’t care about Chuck’s lies. That’s unfortunate.

    I’d hoped you people stood for something besides partisan talking points, but your unwillingness even to address this issue is proof that you think the ends justifies the means, even if the means are a pack of poorly constructed lies.

    The most pathetic thing about this whole debacle is that previously, when someone debated Chuck, one of the editors was always on hand to say something. Now that he’s been exposed as a liar, they’re nowhere to be seen. In some sense, this is understandable; even they can’t stomach defending the position Chuck’s taken this time. However, to totally ignore his lies and slander is indefensible.

    The editors of this paper should be ashamed of themselves.

  68. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    On checking the email, I noticed you had not actually sent anything to the editors regarding this issue. Don’t you think that would be appropriate before absolutely bashing them for not addressing it?

  69. Andrew said

    No. I do not. They can read this blog as easily as you can. It’s the responsibility of the editors to aggressively check for and correct errors. I know the editors have read at least some of the comments exposing Chuck’s lies, because they required moderation.

    I think it casts your paper in a very bad light to suggest that in order to get a response from the editors, I have to jump through a series of silly little hoops. There’s no excuse for this; the editors should be anxious to ensure that nothing but the unvarnished truth appears in their paper.

  70. Sam said

    Andrew,

    I think the moderation issue is a technical one. Adding links to a post, for some reason, tends to place it in moderation. Unfortunately, the correction can take days on occasion.

    As an aside, I would not worry so much about quality control. Writers usually take responsibility for it on almost any level. I doubt it is the responsibility of the IUSB editorial staff to “aggressively check for and correct errors”. It’s too much to ask of anyone.

    Cheers,

    Sam

  71. Andrew said

    I understand why moderation happens, Sam. I think it’s a good idea. I was saying that I know that the editorial staff knows that Chuck lied in his column (I know this because they had to approve my post which detailed his lies), and are unwilling to address the issue.

    Whether it’s the responsibility of the editors to fact check articles before press isn’t at issue here. I think you will agree that, if an inaccuracy is discovered, it’s the responsibility of either the editors or the writer to correct it. Since Chuck has responded to my calling him out on his falsehoods with his typical arrogance, it falls to the editors to correct the article.

    The editors haven’t done this, so I think it’s fair to conclude that they don’t care what Chuck says, so long as he keeps spouting his neo-con propaganda.

  72. Erkki KochKetola said

    I spoke to Jarrod personally about this issue last week, and he shrugged it off as, “well, it’s just Chuck’s opinion” (a paraphrase, not an exact quote). I’ve taken the trouble of e-mailing the Editors so that they can’t claim they weren’t e-mailed. In Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990), the Supreme Court held that anyone expressing an opinion that they represented as being factual or based in fact can be successfully sued for libel. Although, in this case, the IUSB Vision is unlikely to significantly damage the reputation of the The New York Times, the Editors have a responsibility to ensure that their publication meets certain minimum journalistic standards. Clearly, Chuck’s column does not meet those standards.

  73. Rachel said

    Erkki,

    Yes, your email was delivered on Sunday. As in yesterday. Before you imply that people are “claiming” no one was emailed, you might give us time to actually check the email. Most of us do have other things to do on weekends.

    Also, Jarrod is correct in stating that the article was Chuck’s opinion. As many of you have stated time and again, everybody has a right to their opinion. We don’t want to be discriminatory, now do we?

    Finally, Errki, for a libel case, I believe you will have to prove that there are, in fact, outright lies in Chuck’s article and that they were made with malicious intent. It’s very difficult to prove libel, but feel free to attempt to pursue it to the highest court in the land if you so choose.

    To be honest, while I am not the editor who will address this issue, I have seen very little to no conclusive evidence not taken directly from biased sources that show Chuck included outright and malicious lies in his article. To be honest, most of the evidence appears to be nitpicking regarding Chuck’s choice of words, etc.

    I hope you all will try to understand that we at the Vision try to do the best we can to put out a quality student publication. It is difficult to investigate all claims of wrongdoing by Chuck that are made by, frankly, the same few people time and time again. You guys make up a tiny percent of the IUSB population. If this was really the huge issue you are making it out to be, wouldn’t we be hearing from some other people, maybe people who don’t constantly post things about Chuck’s lies, mistakes, etc.? Do you feel like you three or four are the only people on the entire campus intelligent enough to spot such a drastic departure from proper journalism as you claim? It’s suspect. Ever heard the story about the boy who cried wolf? The more you accuse Chuck week after week, the less people will tend to listen if you ever do have a valid claim.

    The vast majority of comments we hear from others are positive. Could it be that your idealism is getting in the way of just accepting Chuck’s opinion as his own and moving on? The horse is dead, guys. Let’s stop beating it.

  74. Andrew said

    Rachel.

    Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that I read an article in this paper in which you apologized for supporting a particular viewpoint. Let’s further suppose that, on reading this article, I went to my paper (which we’ll call “Andrew’s Awesome Alliterative Answers”, because no one can stop us), and wrote a column in which I said that the IUSB Vision had apologized for supporting this viewpoint. In order to really mirror the situation, you’d have to be employed as an ombudsman (which you aren’t, as I understand it), but my story problem still works to large order.

    Now, I’d be wrong to write this article, because you’d be expressing a personal opinion (you were wrong to espouse a particular view), and your opinion isn’t necessarily that of the Vision. If, on the other hand, Craig or Jerrod had written the article, I’d be perfectly justified in writing such an article, because they’re editors of the Vision.

    In this case, Calame isn’t the editor of the NYT. I pointed this out, and Chuck’s response was to insult my intelligence (poorly; Chuck’s no wordsmith). I’m pretty sure Chuck knows who the real editor of the NYT is (he may even have a little doll of Bill Keller in which he inserts pins each night before bed), but he deliberately chose to misrepresent the article Calame wrote about his personal opinion as being an article about the collective opinion of the NYT by someone who had the authority to write such a piece.

    I’m not complaining that Chuck’s voicing an opinion. I am complaining that in voicing his opinion, he misrepresented the facts of the matter. That you’re suggesting that this is nitpicking is ridiculous. You can’t be serious. No one could read Chuck’s article without thinking that the NYT has apologized for leaking information about the SWIFT program. This isn’t what happened. Someone who is loosely at best affiliated with the NYT apologized for supporting the decision to publish the article on SWIFT. This is a big difference.

    A real paper would have corrected this a long time ago; a real paper wouldn’t be hiding behind this ‘oh that’s just his opinion, poo on you’ stupidity. That’s all I’m saying.

  75. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I don’t believe I ever used the words “poo on you.” :) You have presented a clear and concise argument for the issue you feel is important here, which I appreciate. I guess my point about nitpicking is that I could see myself in a situation where I stated that the New York Times printed something, when I was actually referring to a writer for the New York Times. In a certain sense, things that are printed in the New York Times are also printed by the New York Times.

    Also, I’m confused. Calame’s position is as public editor. Is this or is it not an editorial position? And if it’s not, why does it include the word editor? Also, wikipedia states “Newspaper and media ombudsman offices are especially valuable for promoting journalistic integrity on behalf of readers, viewers and listeners.” If the person responsible for promoting journalistic integrity didn’t have a relevant opinion to this situation, then who does?

    Many times editorial pages (and therefore the newspapers they represent) print two editorials that directly contradict each other when it comes to viewpoint. It is still accurate to say that that newspaper printed those viewpoints.

  76. Andrew said

    Stop nitpicking!!! Wow that was totally uncalled for and everything how do you get up every morning and make mountains out of molehills and everything it’s pretty amazing really!!!

    On a more serious note:

    On Calame’s website (which I’ve linked before), it’s plainly stated that “Byron Calame is the readers’ representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly on the Sunday Op-Ed pages.”

    So while it’s fair to say that “Byron Calame, a public editor for the NYT, regrets his support of the NYT’s decision to leak the SWIFT program”, it is untruthful to say that “NYT Admits It Was Wrong To Leak Terror Surveillance Program”, because (clearly) Calame doesn’t speak for the NYT.

    I didn’t want to go here, but by your logic it would be fair to say that since the IUSB Vision has published an article questioning whether abortion is biblically OK (and I am not going to be involved in that discussion), the IUSB Vision thinks that there’s no biblical opposition to abortion. This is patently not the case; both of the editors of the IUSB Vision have registered their opposition to abortion from standpoints besides a biblical one; however if Calame’s column amounts to an admission of guilt by the NYT, then Ryan’s article must perforce represent a belief in a biblical support for abortion by the IUSB Vision.

    Chuck said: “I am amazed that the Times had the courage to admit this (even though it was buried) and I hope that it is a sign that the newspaper will start to act more responsibly. It seems that all the rhetoric from the hyper-partisans about how Bush was trashing the Constitution with these programs was just that – rhetoric.”

    You can see that Chuck doesn’t make a distinction between the words of someone who clearly states that he doesn’t speak for the NYT and statements by someone who does (e.g. Bill Keller; I’ve previously linked a post from Calame’s blog where Keller re-affirms his support for the decision to leak the SWIFT program).

    You seem reasonable, Rachel. I honestly don’t understand why you think Chuck’s position is defensible.

  77. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I understand your point. The only point I’m making is, perhaps it was a misstatement by Chuck rather than a devious attempt to commit libel, which is a lie with malicious intent. I do not feel Chuck has committed libel, which is my main point. The editors will have to address whether or not they feel something needs to be corrected in future editions. But the only position I am defending is that I don’t believe there was an attempt to maliciously lie by Chuck.

    Thanks for the intelligent comments.

  78. Erkki KochKetola said

    Oh, the incompetence defense? We’re reduced to that now?

  79. Tom said

    In that case then can we expect an apology and a stament of correction in the next issue from Chuck for his “misstatment”

  80. Rachel Custer said

    You guys, I have told you I am not the one to officially address this issue. And I didn’t make the statement that that is definitely what happened – I was merely wondering why you are so quick to attack rather than to try and understand what is going on? That was my point…if it is determined by Jarrod and Craig that there is a problem, they will address it. If it’s not, they won’t. My point was that Chuck was not maliciously printing lies, so he cannot be charged with libel. Sorry for the obvious misunderstanding; to be honest, it’s exhausting even expressing my opinion on this blog because of how every word is gone over and picked apart by you guys.

    Nobody has addressed my question from earlier. Why is it that liberals constantly express the inherent value in everybody’s opinion but those of a conservative or a Christian? In my experience, only added to on here, there is no one more unaccepting than a liberal confronted by a conservative. If everyone else’s views are acceptable, why can’t you just live and let live when it comes to conservatives?

  81. Andrew said

    In any event, Rachel, it needs to be corrected. The editors have been avoiding their responsibility, which is completely unprofessional and could give people the impression that this paper doesn’t care about the truth.

    I think you’ll agree (without commenting on the validity of Chuck’s opinions) that he sometimes takes rather a different view of reality than do most of us, and that he reacts strongly to people who challenge his views. This gives some people (like myself) the idea that he’s a fanatic, and sometimes fanatics are willing to believe that the end justifies the means, so that it’s acceptable to tell lies in order to encourage their audience support their viewpoint. This is my basis for thinking that Chuck was maliciously misinterpreting the facts.

    I think you already agreed that the content of the Calame’s article was very obviously quite different from what Chuck said it was. This is my basis for thinking Chuck’s incompetent. One or the other must be true (perhaps both!).

    I think Chuck wanted to portray the NYT as admitting they were playing a partisan political game (and his most recent column lends credence to this idea). If he can do this, he can suggest that nothing the NTY says about politics can be taken seriously. However, all he’s succeeded in showing is what I’ve said for some time; that he shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Of course, if you agree with Chuck says, I suppose you’d be predisposed to think he made an honest mistake. My point is that even if this is the case, it’s not a mistake a columnist should make, and definitely not one a journalist would refuse to correct (as Chuck, and so far the editors of this paper have). Chuck’s response (arrogant hyperbole), did not lead me to believe he’d made an honest mistake so much as that he was angry he’d been caught.

    Take a look at Chuck’s responses:

    (comment 50): “I reported that the NYT printed a mea culpa by its public editor, those facts are not refutable and just because another editor disagrees with the other editor it doesn’t change anything.”

    In fact, Chuck didn’t say any such thing. Look through his original article, you won’t find a single mention of an editor at all, much less the public editor. Chuck said that the –NYT- had admitted fault in leaking information on SWIFT, and we agreed that the distinction is important.

    After I called Chuck on the inaccuracies in his article, he proceeded to ignore them and pretend that he’d written that the public editor, not the NYT, had said that leaking SWIFT was wrong. So, not only does Chuck mischaracterize what Calame wrote, he misrepresents what he’s written! You’ll notice that I’ve never complained that he lacks gall.

    (comment 62): “… not only am I smarter and more prepared than you are, I work harder and have more information archived than most of the best of the blogosphere.”

    Ok, so I’m not going to bother refuting that. I just wanted to point out that you can cut the arrogance with a dull spork.

    Anyway Rachel, I think you’ll agree that this paper should issue an correction and apology; after all, you wouldn’t too thrilled if I published an article entitled “The IUSB Vision Supports Abortion!!!1″ in my wonderful (but sadly mythical paper) ‘Andrew’s Amazingly Awesome Alliterative Answers”.

  82. Rachel Custer said

    Oh, and Erkki,

    I’m not a lawyer. I’m not offering a defense and don’t need to. I am offering an opinion.

  83. Andrew said

    p.s.

    1) Why is it OK for conservatives to stereotype liberals, but not for liberals to stereotype conservatives? That seems pretty unfair to me, Rachel Custer! (Also, you should not stink up this thread with red herrings).

    2) This isn’t a matter of opinion. If Chuck had said “well, the public editor of the NYT says he was wrong to support the decision to leak SWIFT, and I agree with him”, then it would be a matter of opinion. Chuck said, in essence, that the NYT said it was wrong to leak SWIFT. Notice that Chuck didn’t represent this as an opinion, he presented it as fact. This is why I’m complaining. For you to suggest otherwise makes me think that you’re either trying to make this about something else, to take the heat off of Chuck, or you just don’t understand the difference between fact and opinion.

  84. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I guess you’re right. I truly DON’T understand why this is worth hours and hours of discussion. I DON’T think it’s the big deal you guys are making of it, and another thing…you’re right, whenever people treat you in a way you don’t like, you should treat them that same way, only worse…that’s the way for us all to make the world better. Didn’t Jesus even say…though shalt do to others what they do to you, only worse? Oh wait…hmmm. That doesn’t sound right. So if someone stereotypes me for any reason, it is ok for me to stereotype them? So if a black person says white people are greedy or can’t dance (which I’ve heard several say again and again) it’s right and the best way for me to deal with the situation by answering, “well, black people are…(insert stereotype here – I’m not going to write one because I know what the result would be)?” Does that make sense to you? Is that any way to do things in a society where we are trying to get along, not hate each other?

    That’s not a red herring. It was a genuine question. I have addressed the issue as completely as I can and as completely as I intend to. I have spent enough time on this topic. I’m done with it. It’s starting to bore me.

  85. Sam said

    What a strange thread. Yet, they all are on this blog. Why? Because it is managed by an extremely right-wing group of students at IUSB.

    “Jesus” manages to creep in – once again – now within a thread that would presumably not require such reference at all.

    Why the mention of” Jesus” as part of a thread pertaining to a political NYT article regarding surveillance?

    Why the continued assault on Chuck Norton in the context of libelous claims?

    The guy is dumber than a coal bucket – so dumb that he has no idea how his assertions could be construed as being hopelessly hyper-partisan. So he made too much out of a so-called “public editor” piece on the issue at hand, going so far as to misrepresent it. Fine.

    Why is Chuck znorton supported by the IUSB staff/ Because he is very right-wing. Who doesn’t see this?

    He isn’t worth a dime with respect to debate. Save your energy for something truly nonpartisan.

  86. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    I really don’t think of myself as “extremely right-wing.” Yes, I tend to the right on political issues, but isn’t that part of what makes this country so great, that we can all choose our own political views?

    Yes, I mentioned Jesus, (as part of a somewhat facetious post regarding Andrew’s ideas of tit for tat discrimination), but I can only speak as to why His name comes up in my posts so often; the rest of the Vision staff will have to speak for themselves. Personally, my religious beliefs are a big part of my life and my total belief structure. Therefore, it is very difficult for me to discuss issues that are important to me without viewing it in light of my religious beliefs. It is a personal thing to me.

    I think you go a little far in your insinuation. The name of Jesus doesn’t appear in the printed version of the Vision very often, and we don’t use the newsletter to preach the gospel. On this blog, we discuss our opinions, and it makes sense that many people who are Christians will have opinions that are filtered through their religious beliefs. Why is this wrong? People filter their opinions through their ideology all the time. This goes back to a previous question I asked that I never got an answer for: why is it ok for everyone else to filter opinions through ideology but not conservative Christians? I really want to know, but no one will answer me.

  87. Sam said

    Rachel,

    I don’t dispute any of your specific comments above. I was being more general, namely, the IUSB Vision weblog is managed by a decidedly “conservative Christian” group of students. Just an absurdly obvious fact.

    Not exactly the McLeher news hour, although I’m sure your resident “News Analyst” – always defended 100% by your staff, no matter what – would label that as part of our “antique media” as well.

    This is all about mixing the secular with the sacred, almost irrespective of the thread topic. It’s what drives people like you, Craig Chamberlain, and Jarrod Brigham.

    It’s why all these threads turn out the way they do (indeed, the basis upon which many of them start out).

    I don’t expect anyone to just come out and acknowledge that the IUSB Vision is a conservative Christian blog, however – even though it is.

    :)

    Sam

  88. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    It might surprise you that we freely admit most of our staff is conservative and several are Christians. While I don’t think this makes us “extremely right-wing”, necessarily, there are several reasons for this.

    First, the Vision was created due to discrimination against us and our views on campus. We had to go so far as to start our own publication to be able to have a space to speak out on conservative views. Doesn’t seem right, but that’s just the way it is. So, we created our own space.

    Another reason for the preponderance of right-leaning individuals on our staff is, again, not too many liberals will write for us. Lately, we have had more representation from the left, but we get no recognition for it, we just continue to be attacked because we dare allow conservatives to speak their minds on campus (GASP).

    Finally, is there really anything wrong with our newsletter leaning toward the conservative side? If we printed a socialist newsletter, or a LBGT newsletter, or a diversity newsletter, we’d have all kinds of support from the left for our right to exercise free speech. Why is it different now?

    Which leads me back to my question that nobody seems to want to answer. Why is it ok for every other group besides conservatives and Christians to express any opinion they want? It’s not facetious, guys, I really want an answer. I want to understand what exactly is so threatening to liberals about conservatives and Christians.

  89. Tom said

    Who has ever said that you are not allowed to express you view points as Christian, I personally just don’t think they are worth reading unless you can also build a logical bases for them outside of the fact that you believe them, and when we attack your ideas we attack the logic behind them, because that is how ideas are tested, refined, and strengthened. If you don’t want us to respond then maybe it wasn’t a good idea to have a message board, that said my contention with Chuck is not that he is conservative, it is that he is inaccurate, if (and I’m not saying it was) and intentional and malicious act then the editors should take some corrective action, if it was an honest mistake, then Chuck should be a professional and correct himself as well as apologize for his mistake. That is all that we are asking for and it has nothing to do with Christianity so I don’t know why you keep bringing it up.

  90. Rachel Custer said

    Tom,

    I was responding to your post about Christianity because you commented that Jesus’ name had appeared in this post. I was offering an explanation as to why I comment from a Christian standpoint. Sorry, Tom, but I don’t believe the only thing backing your beliefs and ideas is logic; I’m sure you have some beliefs that you believe due to feeling or for other reasons. I haven’t met a person yet whose every belief is based on infallible logic. Also, I was attempting to liven the conversation up into something a bit more interesting…as I said, the constant repitition on this thread is starting to bore me.

    Also, the editors don’t apparently feel like there is enough of a “logical basis” for you guys’ idea that Chuck’s article was inaccurate. I don’t think it’s going to happen guys…give it up.

  91. Tom said

    I’m not saying that my or anyone’s ideas are backed in pure logic, I’m saying that they should be able to support them with logic, at least if they ever want to use them in a productive conversation, or convince someone to agree with them. Also if the editors disagree with us then it would be nice if they would tell us why instead of hiding from this thread entirely.

  92. Craig Chamberlin said

    Some of you believe we are a conservative Christian blog, did you just label yourself a conservative Christian? Interesting… we do not restrict anyone from placing their viewpoints here, just because the three of us may be conservative Christians does not mean the entire blog and everyone participating in it is. It would be a “conservative Christian” blog if only conservative Christians were writing for it. Which implies individuals such as yourself fall under that critera.

    I appreciate you stereotyping us as such, as it does nothing to further any kind of argument. When one runs out of rebuttles they are left only with labels… it is a sad truth, I know.

    My arguments are based 100% off of logic, in case you haven’t been reading them. Just because at times I make reference to philosophical Christianity (which many scientists have done in the past) it doesn’t change the validity of my argument, I am not quoting scripture as fact, I’m quoting it if it has relevance to the discussion. Even if someone believes in Christ, does that allow you to have a discriminatory outlook on their opinion just because of the God they believe in? Dwell on that question for awhile.

    As for the editorial staff to participating in this discussion, I know everyone here would like me to jump to Chucks defense, but Chucks defense is on Chuck. If I feel I have something to contribute, I will. You guys think his opinions should be censored or retracted, thats fine, but I am for free speech. Although I have disagreed with many writers interpretations of facts on our staff, I didn’t advocate censoring their opinions, what makes you think I would treat him any differently?

    Lastly, if you guys believe you refuted Chucks point well enough, why not leave the discussion alone and let the readers decide? Do you need approval from us to verify that your argument was valid? If that’s the case, I fear the foundation by which you are arguing. A valid argument need only establish the inaccuracies in another argument and let the reader decide for themselves. You should have confidence that the readers can think for themselves and that your argument establishes your point on the level of common sense. If you are shakey in your argument, perhaps it is better to spend more time on it that way you will not need the approval of outside audiences to verify you are correct.

  93. Sam said

    This is in response to Rachel’s post above (#88).

    Thank you for clarifying, briefly, the origins of the IUSB Vision as a partial means of acknowledging that it is, essentially, a fiscally and socially conservative Christian-based blog… even though writers of different persuasions are explicitly invited to contribute and yet, for some reason they do not.

    There is nothing wrong with a publication leaning toward one side or the other, as you stated, and of course we are all entitled to our opinion.

    “Why is it ok for every other group besides conservatives and Christians to express any opinion they want?”

    I never thought that expressing a Christian conservative view point was intrinsically not okay (sorry for the double negative). The earliest perception I developed about this blog was that the staff were seemingly careful to avoid labels such as Christian and conservative, despite the obvious fact that the blog is decidely Christian-based and conservative. As long as the staff can at least acknowedge reality, which you have done, any concerns I might have had in the past no longer exist.

    Craig (#90):

    I tend to agree with your views on Chuck. He is expressing an opinion, however distorted it may be, and I don’t feel the staff need to jump to his defense. His lack of journalistic integrity on several levels speaks for itself, not for the Vision.

    “It would be a “conservative Christian” blog if only conservative Christians were writing for it.”

    I don’t agree. Surely there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the IUSB Vision is a conservative Christian blog manifested in its primary staff, its origins, and the editorial opinions it publishes.

    “When one runs out of rebuttles they are left only with labels… it is a sad truth, I know.”

    The word “liberal” has been used by conservatives as a decidely derogatory term for decades, with no end in sight.

    I never thought “conservative” meant something inherently bad, but the political party to which you ascribe never hesitates to use the term “liberal” precisely in that fashion.

    In fact, I am taken by the repeated insinuation that in actuality, it is conservative Christians who are discriminated against unfairly in our society on several levels – such as on this website; in regards to the teaching of Intelligent Design in the high school science classroom; in the context of dating someone (Rachel’s specific example); etc.

    [Note: the paragraph below is something I started to write, but couldn’t figure out how to tie it back in – on the other hand I chose not to delete.]

    [You think that because I do not espouse your particular religious belief, either I am going to hell, or at least I will be denied an agreeable state of eternal life that you and relatively few lucky others are entitled to simply on the basis of your faith. On the other hand, I do not feel that by virtue of your belief system, you lose an opportunity to gain access to something I have access to already. This means that you and I are not on opposite sides of the same coin. I bring up this notion in the context of your perception that people like me tend to notice or react “arrogantly” when religion is brought up in the context of discussions centering around issues like abortion, economics, health care – even this NYT thread (although I acknowledge that surely the Bible was not brought up as a serious element here).]

    “My arguments are based 100% off of logic… ”

    I was surprised to hear you claim such a thing. On the other hand, I think I understand the acute limited context to which you refer. For example, you used recently used biology and logic in another thread as a secondary argument against abortion at any time following conception. By the way I will be getting back to you on that :) I just wasn’t sure where to start. I’ve had those types of discussions before, many years ago, and got tired of the standard responses. This time I am reading a book by Eric Singer which I’d like to complete before accepting your “logic-based” challenge to whether it’s ever okay for a woman to have an abortion.

    Cheers :)

    Sam

  94. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Eric Singer…..that should be a fun thread to respond to. :)

    I do think sometimes how unfortunate it is that liberal has become a dirty word to some people…if only for the reason that when I am trying to honestly refer to people who are liberals politically, it sounds as if I am being hateful due to the connotations some conservatives have placed on the word. It makes it hard for me to determine what language to use so people who are politically liberal don’t think I am being hateful and tune me out.

    With the religion thing, all I can really say is, in my mind, one cannot be a Christian for logical reasons only, because there is a point where there must be a leap of faith. Logic can take you a long way toward a belief in God, but there’s a point where you just have to believe.

    Also, Sam, I find your views on what I believe about the future state of your soul a bit discriminatory and stereotypical in themselves. I wouldn’t presume to make the statement that any one person is going to Hell…that is not in my power, nor is it my responsibility to decide, thank God. I am not the Judge, and Christianity does not teach that Christians are the Judge…the Bible says there is only one Judge, God. My job as a Christian as I understand it is to have faith in Christ and show love to others. I have enough trouble working on those things myself without condemning others to Hell. And I hope you haven’t felt that I have ever told you I felt that way about you…if so, I sincerely apologize and recognize that I must work on tempering myself in that regard.

    However, I think it’s important that you realize, while you were speaking about the lack of discrimination against Christians, you were stereotyping all of us as you did so. I don’t think you meant to do it, but that is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about when I discuss the pre-existing negative ideas that people seem to have about Christians.

    I realize there are Christians who have no problem condemning other people to Hell. I would like to point those people to the Bible and gently remind them that the greatest command Jesus gave is to love one another. There is a place for condemning sin, but I don’t think it is the individual Christian’s job to condemn people.

  95. Andrew said

    Craig.

    I’m more than a little annoyed with you.

    I don’t need your approval of my argument; this would require that I hold some modicum of respect for you and your editorial staff. I don’t. You’ve shown that you don’t care about journalistic integrity; you don’t care that your paper prints things that aren’t true.

    I’m not wasting my time on this for your benefit (which is why I haven’t bothered to send you emails; I knew that this is the response I’d get. It’s bloody insulting), I’m doing it for the people who read this paper.

    Journalistic accountability is at the heart of this issue, Craig, whether you want it to be or not. Chuck didn’t say this explicitly in his article, but the subtext was that the NYT is to be held accountable for its actions, and to Chuck, Calame’s column was all he needed to hoist the Times by its own petard (after he changed a few trifling details, but what’s wrong with that? He was able to say that a paper he disagrees with has a malicious vendetta against this administration. At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters?).

    What I want is an acknowledgement from someone (Chuck or the editors of this paper, I don’t care) that Chuck’s article presented AS FACT, NOT AS OPINION (and to say otherwise is stupid) things that aren’t factual. I don’t care whether you say this was a ‘mistake’ or what. If you want to retain any measure of credibility, you’ve got to face up to mistakes when you make them. This doesn’t invalidate your message (whatever that is. Right now, it’s a message that you’re incompetent), it just says you’re big enough to own up to your mistakes.

    I want you guys to acknowledge this error because you printed something that is not true. It’s not about opinion; Chuck didn’t present his article as an opinion, suggesting that he did is a pathetic cop out. You should have more integrity.

    This is not about censorship. This is about Chunk LYING IN PRINT. In your paper. It’s your responsibility to fix this.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  96. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I guess if you feel we have allowed misrepresentations or outright lies in our newsletter, we will have to settle for the same reputation as, say, the New York Times.

    I think we can manage.

  97. Andrew said

    That’s really helpful. Thanks, Rachel.

  98. Craig Chamberlin said

    Sam,

    I’m sorry you believe all Christians believe non-Christians are going to hell, this is definitly not our place to determine. I agree with Rachel, “Thank God.” I sure do not want that responsibility. I look forward to reading your arguments regarding the biology and abortion.

    Also, the particular descrimination comes in when multiple individuals use a label as an intent for an argument. What does “this being a conservative blog” have to do with the current argument? Nothing, of course, it is an attempt to discredit those who are arguing by associating then when a common stereotypical conception of “conservative Christian”. Otherwise, why mention it? It is a suggestion that the only reasoning behind our arguments is attempting to oppress our beliefs onto others. In other words, the context villifies those individuals.

    Religion comes up with controversial issues because these issues deal with morality. Is it so hard to expect the discussion of the right and wrong of abortion (especially if it is asking the question whether there is a moral justification or not) to bring up religious connotations?

    Andrew,

    So are you accusing Chuck of being a mis-informed student or of libel?

    If of being mis-informed, I assure you, many students are – dare I print a correction for each one?

    If of libel… good luck with that…

  99. Craig Chamberlin said

    Let me correct myself,

    If you believe he was mis-informed, many students probably are (on small inaine details), I could spend a career publishing corrections. You guys are already doing such a great job, wouldn’t want to take it from you… :)

  100. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I thought it was a good point. Ok, maybe a bit facetious, but my point was Chuck’s column was no more misleading or libelous than a lot of stuff the NYT publishes…wonder why that’s more acceptable to you? Your ideology is showing, Andrew…

    Plus, as I’ve stated, that whole issue is boring me, and I don’t really intend to waste any more time seriously addressing it.

  101. Sam said

    I stand by everything I stated above. Also, I was careful not to state that Christians believe that nonbelivers are necessarily going to hell.

    “Thank God” all you want. Keep going, Craig.

    I never stated that you as a Christian assume the responsibility of judging others, so don’t put words into my mouth. I was talking about your beliefs, not your responsibilities. The responsibiliity you assume as a Christian is to pass along the message I stated previously. That is, from my understanding, one of your proposed missions as a Christian. Don’t embarrass yourself by coming up with some way to disagree with the truth of what I just stated above a second time.

    The fact that this is a conservative, Christian-based blog has EVERYTHING to do not only with the current “argument” but every single thread on this website. I can’t believe yopu are in such denial on this point.

    It is very easy to “stereotype” conservative Christians such as yourself, so to speak, given the common and very specific threads that form the most critical bases for the lines of reasoning and thought processes you and all other conservative Christians manifest. The talking points are 100% consistent. This is an abject no-brainer. For example, your argument against abortion isn’t really predicated upon science. It is based on an a priori, biblically dictated notion of right and wrong. That makes it very easy to stereotype people like you.

    I haven’t read one single, solitary viewpoint of yours that is not a through-and-through regurgitation of one of the most fundamental conservative Christian talking points in this society. The only part concerning me is that you can’t simply admit how religiously biased each and every one of your particular viewpoints is, as though doing so would somehow undermine your credibility. On the one hand you staunchly affirm the connection between your very conservation Christian beliefs and anything you write or state. On the other, you steadfastly deny the neccesity of any such connection upoin mood or convenience, accusing people like me of trying to stereotype you.

  102. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    So you are trying to tell us that your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, don’t influence your ideas regarding moral issues? Come on.

    Craig and I both wrote you extremely respectful posts, to which you responded with a very angry, hateful post. All we are asking is that the beliefs we hold dear be respected as much as you think yours should. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

    No one has denied that we are conservative Christians. All Craig said was he didn’t think the fact that three of us are conservative Christians made this a conservative Christian blog, due to the fact that, technically, there are more people on this blog that disagree with us than agree.

    At the risk of sounding like we have switched parties, live and let live, Sam. Appreciate the differences of others.

  103. Sam said

    I wouldn’t describe my last post as “very angry and hateful” – at least that’s not how I feel. (Do you really think that?)

    I don’t care for the tone of posts beginning with “I’m sorry you believe..” or whatever and then proceed to predicate themselves on contrived statements I supposedly made.

    Otherwise, I can’t really disagree with what you are conveying. I certainly will not hide behind the fact that my own views on any of these topics are likewise very much connected to my own religious beliefs, or lack thereof. So long as it’s understood both ways.

    Quite honestly, I do have sincere respect for the beliefs you and other hold dear.

    Sam

  104. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    I apologize then. It is very difficult to ascertain intended tone sometimes on the web, and I wasn’t trying to accuse you of something you didn’t mean. No, I didn’t think your previous posts had implied hatred, but I guess I misread the post as angry.

    You have actually been one of the more respectful people on the blog regarding our beliefs. I always enjoy discussing things with you, even when I get a little heated…I always calm down later :). And I understand the tone you are referring to in Craig’s post…I think I know Craig well enough, though, to believe he didn’t mean any offense by it.

    It’s frustrating for me personally to try to discuss issues like this without bringing my religious issues into play, simply because they are an important part of my life. Then, when I do bring it up, I am told that I am not basing my arguments on logic; I understand, but it is frustrating to have to divorce such a huge part of myself when arguing a moral point. I appreciate your willingness to understand that everybody has their predilections and beliefs that influence their opinions.

    Thanks for your post.

  105. Andrew said

    So Craig.

    I’m not suggesting that you print a correction of every misinformed opinion a random student voices. I am saying that when someone who writes for you misrepresents facts, you need to correct them. Your interpretation of my comments is stupid; you’re smart enough to know that, so why’d you say it?

    Rachel;

    I don’t actually read the NYT. I think governmental accountability is good, no matter who’s in power (I love the taste of schadenfreude in the morning). I think your argument was lousy, because you didn’t actually have any ‘misleading or libelous’ ‘stuff’ from the NYT to point at while you made it.

    I also think that ‘well, the NYT publishes misleading or libelous stuff, so we can get away with it’ argument is not one you want to make. My Sainted Mother liked reply to this sort of blather with ‘If everyone else were jumping off of a cliff, would you do it too?’

    You need to find a better excuse for the editors shirking their responsibilities.

  106. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    It wasn’t an excuse. It was a facetious statement made out of boredom, not a “thesis,” as everyone on here seems so fond of calling their opinions. It was somewhat of a joke, and apparently it fell flat. Fine. Let it ride.

  107. Craig Chamberlin said

    Sam,

    You stated, “You think that because I do not espouse your particular religious belief, either I am going to hell, or at least I will be denied an agreeable state of eternal life that you and relatively few lucky others are entitled to simply on the basis of your faith. ”

    How else was I supposed to interpret this other than me believing you are going to hell? I apologize if I interpreted other than you had intended it, but I can not think of any other way it was intended.

    If I indeed interpreted this correctly, then you are saying I am Judging you by determining whether you are or are not going to hell. This is a misconception, and that is why Rachel and I addressed it. Christians (I know there are exceptions) do not sit on a high-rise judging others who are non-Christians, if they are, then they themselves are guilty of judgement.

    Secondly, your post came off very agressive, and I realize mine did as well. It is hard to discuss issues like stereotypes and religion without it coming off with a negative connotation. I might have been too aggressive, for that I apologize. However, you are guilty of discrimination. Let us say, hypothetically, this is indeed a 100% completely conservative Christian blog. How does that make our logic any less valid? Are you suggesting just because we are conservative Christians we are less accurate in our arguments? How is this not discrimination again?

    You stated, “I haven’t read one single, solitary viewpoint of yours that is not a through-and-through regurgitation of one of the most fundamental conservative Christian talking points in this society.”

    If you feel this way, that is fine, but you are labeling my logic and squeezing me into a comfortable stereotype to discredit me. Stereotypes do nothing productive, labels do nothing productive, and if I logically deduce something you believe is fundamentally flawed point it out instead of label dropping. If you are incapable of arguing against the “regurgitated arguments”, aren’t you only pointing out that the arguments are actually valid? After all, if they were not valid, then why can’t one argue against them? I fear sounding too aggressive here, but it isn’t meant to be. I’m simply pointing out if I am wrong, correct me, do not label me (which is what you are now currently doing).

    You know as well as I that the only “biblical priori” I used in the argument of abortion is that murder is wrong. If this is something purely Christian, then you are absolutely right, my argument against abortion is riddled with Christian fundamentalism. Human rights is not a Biblical idea, it is a structure used by our legal system, do not live in denial about whether if a fetus is a human or not it is entitled to human rights. This is not religious, it is common sense. I’m sorry to be aggressive here as well, but you’re accusations about my Abortion argument is grossly mis-represented.

    I am not living in denial of being a Christian or a conservative, but I will never accept a label. The sooner you realize that the better. I do not go out of my way to make sure my arguments fit into a convenient stereotypical “conservative Christian” argument. I’m simply using logic, facts, consequences, science, philosophy and common sense to draw a conclusion. If it falls under conservative Christianism, then so be it. You’d be surprised at how many conservatives I disagree with (Torture and the Death Penalty for example). No one can be squeezed into a stereotype, so don’t do it, it does nothing productive, it is just a label. I haven’t labeled you, and I never will, I’d appreciate it if you used the Golden Rule and did the same for me. Again, I’m going to apologize for this being a little aggressive, I was a little offended by your post.

    I really do respect you Sam, you are usually very articulate in your arguments. As of late, however, they seem to be more labeling than productive.

    Andrew,

    I will sit down and have a discussion with Jarrod about it this weekend (seriously). I apologize for not taking your request seriously enough, that was indeed unprofessional of me. Thank you.

  108. ryan said

    Craig, you and Jarrod have fought so hard to try to create some type of integrity for the Vision. Articles and discussions like this are why you are failing. The reason it is significant that it is a conervative Christian blog is because otherwise you would be issuing a retraction. It is clearly shown that Chuck has, once again, deliberatly misrepresented another persons work.

    I’d also like to echo the plagiarism concerns. I first noticed this problem when he wrote the article on civics in college campuses, I could find very similar articles on the web to what he had done. Though only he had the nerve to draw the rediculous ‘its because they’re liberal’ conclusion. Please be careful of this, and as editors you and Jarrod need to start watching this trend.

    Regardless, the failure to issue a retraction for the Vision newsanalyst demonstrates a clear lack of integrity for the Vision. I will not be writing any further articles for it, and I will be sharing my concerns with the rest of the CDA by the end of the week unless this is addressed by the editors. It’s not a matter of censorship, its a matter of libel. If you print something like this it is the editors job to make sure its not libel. That duty has been ignored here.

  109. Craig Chamberlin said

    Exhausting… isn’t it? :)

  110. Sam said

    Here’s the main problem for Chuck:

    “NYT Admits It Was Wrong To Leak Terror Surveillance Program” (title of his piece)

    It should be overwhelmingly clear, from the detailed content of this thread, that the New York Times did not admit it was wrong to leak the terror surveillance program.

    Such was the opinion of a “public editor”, a “readers’ representative” (not an NYT editorial staff member) and to make it worse for Chuck, an actual NYT editor was then quick to discredit Calame’s remarks (so did the publisher).

    Enter concerns by Concerned regarding content plagiarism.

    So in my opinion, even though Chuck lacks the intellectual capacity to knowingly lie or misrepresent and thus his comments were not libelous per se, the piece should probably still be retracted.

    For his own good, Chuck needs to receive at least one such negative consequence of his irresponsible and embarrassingly biased journalistic practice – while he is still an undergraduate student.

    Craig,

    Here’s what I originally wrote in #93 (the part I enclosed in brackets because I wasn’t sure how to tie it back in):

    “You think that because I do not espouse your particular religious belief, either I am going to hell, or at least I will be denied an agreeable state of eternal life that you and relatively few lucky others are entitled to simply on the basis of your faith.”

    Notice the either/or clause. You and I both know these outcomes are not one and the same, and that the difference is not trivial.

    Notice also that I did not place you in a position to “judge”, i.e. make a final assessment or decision. I used the verb “think” which in this case would be consonant with “construe”, “surmise”, “presume”, etc. I never stated that you claimed the authority to pass judgment. Once again, not a trivial semantic distinction.

    Here is your reply (post #98):

    “I’m sorry you believe all Christians believe non-Christians are going to hell, this is definitly not our place to determine.”

    I felt offended by both halves of your comment as a result, probably more by the second part, because it marked the 825,97th I’d been provided the tired old Christian response “Hey, I’m not the one judging you – He is (by implication”.

    Hence my irritated reply (#101). I’ll admit that the tone was a bit excessive.

    :)

    Ah jeez, but then from you this morning (#107):

    “How else was I supposed to interpret this other than me believing you are going to hell? I apologize if I interpreted other than you had intended it, but I can not think of any other way it was intended. If I indeed interpreted this correctly, then you are saying I am Judging you by determining whether you are or are not going to hell.”

    Where did I go wrong in my previous statements? What part of what I stated previously do you not understand, assuming such to still be the case?

    On the other hand, I certainly respect your concerns about the importance of avoiding stereotypes. And thanks for the overall constructive tone of your last response. I enjoy my discussions with you.

    Rachel,

    As always, I have a hard time taking issue with your perspective on anything, because you are diplomatic to an arresting degree without managing to compromise your position. It’s quite a talent. You make it very easy not only to agree to disagree, but to develop newfound appreciation for the other side. I don’t always respond to your comments and this is most likely why.

    Cheers,

    Sam

  111. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    How nice of you. That comment made me feel really good. Believe it or not, there have been times when I get a little too excitable (Nah!) and I really have to be careful not to be rude or sarcastic in a disagreement…so thank you for letting me know that my work is paying off!

  112. Sam said

    Rachel,

    I’ve noticed that you are capable of being sarcastic (wouldn’t go as far as to say rude) in response to something that ticks you off. Welcome to the human race!

    :)

    In any event, I wonder whether anything will happen as the result of this thread. Probably nothing in terms of an active response by the IUSB Vision, which I can understand.

    Hopefully Chuck’s journalistic tactics will be influenced by this thread at the nanomolecular level either way.

    Nah, they probably won’t be :)

  113. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Lol re: the nanomolecular level. Chuck’s writing is exclusively his own. He has very strong opinions about things. It kind of makes me laugh when people get so mad about Chuck’s writing, and then kind of project his opinion onto the whole Vision staff. We do disagree among ourselves, as well…I think there are a few people who think we are all practically a bunch of neo-fascists who would like to see America pre-emptively nuke the world. :) We do have a range, from Chuck to Craig, who is actually fairly moderate at some points.

    I honestly enjoy being on this blog, especially when people are just trying to help me learn something about their viewpoint (rather than getting angry and hammering it). I believe it has helped me to think about what I personally believe, and why I believe those things, and re-examine some of my thinking…which is always good.

    Anyway, as usual, I digress. I better go do some simple linear regression. :(

  114. Sam said

    Rachel,

    I certainly do not project Chuck’s opinion onto the IUSB Vision staff.

    Just so you know, however, most of his dissenters are not laughing (including me, even though I often laugh about it).

    Ha ha ha :):)

    BTW good luck with linear regression, a subject I happen to teach. May the Lord be with you.

    :)

    Sam

  115. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    LOL. You see how hard I’ve been driving myself, since I’ve obviously been on the computer quite a bit tonight and not looking at my statistics book. Where do you teach, and what subjects (if you don’t mind me asking, I realize some prefer a bit of anonymity on the web).

    Funny thing…I usually hate math, but statistics I actually kind of enjoy. I’ve always been able to understand probability, and it goes a long way toward helping one enjoy a subject when one doesn’t feel like the professor is speaking another language entirely (think Calculus).

    Ah well…back to the book.

  116. Sam said

    I’m a professor at Ohio University teaching gross anatomy and neuroanatomy, statistics, and research design to doctoral students, with a research focus in Alzheimer’s disease. Never actually taught undergraduates myself. I do have a connection with IUSB, hence my occasional involvement. Mainly for fun… although I have certainly learned from participating on your site.

  117. Rachel Custer said

    Impressive. Is it called gross anatomy because you have to dissect earthworms…I remember that from high school (I refused to touch the worm). :)

  118. Sam said

    Rachel,

    I know you are just being cute :) – and it works – but will answer with a straight face nevertheless in the event I was wrong.

    The term “gross” (aka macroanatomy) in this case means “visible to the naked eye”, as opposed to “micro” (not visible to the naked eye). Those are the two sectors of human anatomy. So, gross anatomy refers to dissection of the human cadaver, which constitutes my primary responsibility at OU. We dissect the body from head to toe (nine cadavers, based on 30-36 students otal) with a focus on the musculoskeletal system.

    I think you referred to the cadaver as a “corpse” in a previous correspondence. A corpse is simply a dead bdy. A cadaver is one donated for the specific purpose of medical education and in that case, it is prepared as such.

    Microanatomy, on the other hand, is synonymous with the noun “histology” and to a lesser extent, “cytology”. It refers to study of the human body, albeit under the microscope using stained tissue sections.

    Likewise, neuroanatomy refers to the assesment of fixed human brain, which is my specialization (although mainly at the microscopic level, which is the basis for all of my research). Prior to studying sections of the human brain, we take the brains out of the cadavers utilized in the previous gross anatomy course by way of a specialized craniotomy procedure.

    Subject change. Did you see Borat yet? :):) If so I bet you didn’t like.

    High five,

    Sam

  119. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Wow. I am floored by your knowledge (bows down touching head to floor three times). Very interesting stuff. I apologize for my ignorance regarding the difference between cadavers and corpses (I watch a lot of cop shows, so that might be where I get my terminology). :)

    Haven’t had a chance to watch Borat yet. I would like to; I hear it’s hilarious. I have read several things on the internet regarding some kind of possible problems with villagers feeling they have been taken advantage of or something, but to be honest, I think I need to watch the movie to understand the whole issue. Is it out on DVD yet, or still in theaters? (I haven’t gone to the theater in forever…it’s gotten outrageously expensive, and I am training to be an accountant, so I have a reputation to uphold lol).

    Anyway, thanks so much for the quick education in anatomy terms; it sounds really interesting and way over my head! I’m not sure how I would actually do if I was attempting to dissect a cadaver, but it sounds like a great experience for those who can stomach it. The human body is amazing.

  120. Chuck Norton said

    So guys this is pretty funny,

    The Public Editor of the NYT says that they were wrong to publish that article, and your response is that since it is not the editor on the editorial staff that YOU like than therefore I must be lying. The problem is that anyone who has taken a newspaper editing class knows quite well that the Public Editor and/or Ombudsman is there just for articles like the NYT wrote and what I commented on in my article.

    Your argument here is almost as bad as your laughable claims of plagiarism. Everyweek the same three idiots come on this blog and accuse me of something, and every week you get your rhetorical heads handed back to you on a platter. I am glad that this week was no exception.

  121. Andrew said

    I never said you plagiarized anything. I haven’t commented on these claims at all, but I never accused you of stealing this crap from other people. I don’t like to read things as painfully stupid as your columns tend to be (it destroys my faith in humanity) so I wouldn’t go looking for evidence that you lifted this column.

    But your caviler response to the proof that you’ve willfully misinterpreted facts validates my insistence that the editors need do your job and issue a retraction.

    p.s.

    If you ARE stealing this stuff, do us all a favor and take it from someone who knows how to write.

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