“Journalists” Still Parroting DiFi’s Fear-Mongering

Excuse me for a little post holiday crabbiness.

But people who write stories like this are really not doing their jobs.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA said there was “huge malevolence” against the United States, and warned that the terrorism threat against the country is on the rise.  “I think terror is up worldwide,” she said. “The numbers are way up.”

[snip]

Both lawmakers admitted that the more diffuse nature of today’s terrorist groups has made it harder to counter potential threats. Rogers pointed out that the rise in al-Qaeda affiliates spread around the globe raises the risk of a smaller scale attack and makes it “exponentially harder” for U.S. intelligence to keep track of them all.

It has been clear for two weeks that this fearmongering is part of an attempt to justify the dragnet. But the premise and the response are so illogical they should never be presented as “news.”

If we’re less safe, then what thousands of experts will be fired for screwing up the war on terror?

If we’re less safe, then why aren’t our overseers scrambling to understand why massive dragnets haven’t kept us safe?

If we’re less safe, than why isn’t the press asking why both Dianne Feinsein and Mike Rogers be fired for their failures?

If we’re less safe (and the real numbers don’t support these fear-mongers), then the response should be far more aggressive than simply repeating the claims that show a massive failure on the part of our security establishment.

But, if the claims are transparently bullshit, then reporters should not report them as fact.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

9 replies
  1. bloodypitchfork says:

    quote:”Excuse me for a little post holiday crabbiness.”unquote

    Crabby? You’ve never woke up beside me. (Insert rolling eyes here)

    quote:”But, if the claims are transparently bullshit, then reporters should not report them as fact.”unquote

    CNN gushes. MSMBC spins. Journalists question, sometimes while crabby. :)

  2. what constitution? says:

    Rewatched a couple of the Harry Potter films over the weekend. Does anybody else think DiFi is looking more and more like Dolores Umbrage as she squawks “I will have order!”???

  3. Nigel says:

    DiFi opinions might well be skewed by her beginning to detect the ‘huge malevolence’ outraged Democrats feel towards her ?

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If we’re less safe, what has the US actively done to make us so? Acts the USG seems to go to great lengths to avoid acknowledging or considering. The frequency of drone killings, for example, accompanied by the arrogant that anyone we kill, by definition, is a bad guy. Several hundred women, children and old folks, now dead, might disagree, as might their surviving friends and relatives. Sometimes we kill without knowing who they are, but because too many assembled together without first asking US permission to do so.

    But that’s not the sort of thing DiFi has in mind, not least because it implies US complicity in worsening its own security in order that we continue to have enemies numerous and bad enough to justify our arrogance.

  5. P J Evans says:

    @Nigel:
    I don’t know how she’d notice: it’s not like she pays any attention to the letters and e-mails she gets from constituents. Anyone who’s gotten one of the press releases that she thinks is a reasonable response knows that.

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