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Rep. Peter King: Charge the New York Times

Updated

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York wants the New York Times prosecuted for its disclosure of the classified terrorist financial tracking program.

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.


Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.

King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times -- the reporters, the editors and the publisher."

"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press.

A message left Sunday with Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis was not immediately returned.

Senator Arlen Specter said such an action is premature - no surprise there.

In spite of Senator Specter's remarks, I hope other lawmakers follow Rep. King's lead and stand up to the New York Times and other newspapers who work to undermine our government's ability to protect us from terrorists. The editors of these newspapers must know that we will not tolerate their disclosing secret national security programs and operations, tipping our hand to our enemies, which puts the lives of our citizens, military personnel, and country at grave risk.

Unfortunately, fear of prosecution may be the only way to get the Times' attention. It's unfortunate, but the reality is the New York Times and the other left leaning media who published the details of the terrorist financial tracking operation don't have any loyalty to or patriotism for America. In fact, they don't appear to have any concern for the safety of the American people. If they had, they wouldn't have chosen a path that puts the American people, not to mention our military personnel, in more danger. So if the media won't refrain from publishing national security secrets, whether during wartime or peacetime, out of simple concern for America's safety and well being, then perhaps we should make it so they refrain from publishing national security secrets out of fear of prosecution. It's obvious that we can not trust the New York Times to do what's right.

Additional: We learned yesterday that the Times again published classified information from a secret briefing about troop deployments in Iraq. Be sure to read Paul's piece from earlier today.

Update: Be sure to read Austin Bay's piece "The Axis of Abuse: The NY Times and Washington, DC Leakers." In it he offers a variety of possible motives for the Times' disclosure of national security secrets. He also says that the leakers should be prosecuted but is concerned that the Bush administration wouldn't have the nerve. None the less, Austin is right. The person or persons who leaked our national security secrets to the Times must be prosecuted and jailed.

Update II: Allahpundit has the video of Rep. King's appearance on Fox News Sunday where he stated that the NY Times should be charged publishing classified national security information.


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Comments (72)

Its about time!! Go Peter..... (Below threshold)
914:

Its about time!! Go Peter..

Hey Peter you just as well ... (Below threshold)
stan25:

Hey Peter you just as well add the alphabet networks to this list. They are just as guilty by reporting what the Times puts out.

The best possible thing to ... (Below threshold)

The best possible thing to happen to the Times and the rest of the leftist media would be to get charged with a crime. I'm not saying it's not deserved, but I am saying they are begging for it. They want it to happen, desperately. They need to seem relevant again, and that would do it. The Kos Kids and all the anti-war freaks would protest for freedom of the press, buttons would start showing up on blogs, "Support the Free Press!" and even moderates would worry about the slippery slope and reluctantly sign on. Nothing would better solidify the "imperialist" Bush administration meme and the facts of the case would be lost in all the propaganda spewed out by the Times leftist fellow travelers.

Prosecute the crap out of the leakers, and absolutely shut the traitorous media out of everything they normally have access to. Treat the traitorous media like the most Insignificant Microbe of a blogger. Prosecuting them benefits them too much.

Prosecuting the NY Times is... (Below threshold)
smitty:

Prosecuting the NY Times is just what its owners and editors want. They could then relive the glory days of the Pentagon Papers, increase ciculation and rally the Left.

Besides, the Times has powerful allies in the MSM, Congress and the courts. Nothing untoward is going to happen to the Grey Lady---you can bank on it.

I agree with those calling ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

I agree with those calling relentless investigation, prosecution and punishment of ALL who contributed in any way to the NY Times...but not the NY Times. That IS what they want...do not give it to them.

But the morons who PROVIDED this information should do jail time...and that INCLUDES members of Congress if they are found to have been among the leakers (and my bet is that they WERE!)

Laura's right. That's what ... (Below threshold)
Jonah:

Laura's right. That's what the MSM and moonbats want. Alternatively, put the reporters in jail until they cough up the names of the leakers then put the leakers away for a long stretch. Then let the reporters go free.

Otherwise, it's an lengthy First Amendment battle which will end in a likely MSM victory.

They deserve to be prosecut... (Below threshold)
Jason McClain:

They deserve to be prosecuted. At the same time what if this IS a marketing ploy like the scratching post asserts?

Good link Jason. The Times ... (Below threshold)
914:

Good link Jason. The Times ciculation #s seem to be going the way of the MSM in general. There shooting themselves in the foot and dont even see it.

If the Plame stuff was wort... (Below threshold)
just me:

If the Plame stuff was worth investigating and spending millions of dollars on, this is worth investigating.

I would rather see the people who are leaking the information charged, than the actual media, but at this point I wouldn't cry any tears if the media reporters found themselves behind bars.

WWFFD?"If I had to... (Below threshold)
jp2:

WWFFD?

"If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter."

Who cares though. Really, we should listen to Kim. (Despite her history of terrible errors)

Does anyone at the New York... (Below threshold)
Ginny:

Does anyone at the New York Times, and other medias, as well as the duly elected officials in Washington, remember during the days of WWII the great saying "Loose lips sink ships"? Same holds true for troops fighting for freedom for others as well as for ourselves. The media should button their lips and cease being so nosey. The American public does not need to know everything or anything that is going on behind the scenes.

"The media should button th... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"The media should button their lips and cease being so nosey."

Hey Ginny, do you think the Constitution of the US should provide freedom for the press?

By 8AM Monday all reporters... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

By 8AM Monday all reporters involved should be in front of a judge. If they refuse to identify the traitors that are providing the Top Secret Information lock them up on an open ended sentence. It they don't talk in 10 years they stay in prison if it becomes a life sentence that is their choice.
I see Specter is making the fact that he's also a traitor public.
What is going on in the Northeast? I think a chemical attack has already taken place on the water supply.
Murtha comes out and proves what everyone has been saying is true, he really is insane. Every know politician in the Northeast is showing the same 'insanity' traits. Just review the statements of the past week and you'll find Kennedy, Hanoi John, Dean, Specter, Clinton and a host of others showing the same level of insanity.

Time to remove these nuts from office, by force if necessary. They have set it up for hundreds of thousands to be killed in the U.S.
Do you really want to wait for the deaths to occur and then remove them?

Hey jp2, do you think the N... (Below threshold)

Hey jp2, do you think the NYTimes should have printed the plans for the Normandy invasion before it happened?

Or is that protected 1st Amendment speech?

I detest Arlen Sphincter. ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I detest Arlen Sphincter. >:-(

When this country is more c... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

When this country is more concerned with the outing of a lowly CIA WMD analyst than it is with disclosure of programs that keep your children safe something is really screwed up.

Shouldn't the LA Times and ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Shouldn't the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal be charged as well?

If any newspaper or peri... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

If any newspaper or periodical, by false or misleading news causes any interference in the diplomatic action of the government ... or hurts the credit of the nation at home or abroad . . . and if the newspaper or periodical ... incites to crime or to class hatred ... or insults the nation, such newspapers shall be suppressed. From the decree enacted by Benito Mussolini in July 1924, establishing censorship of the press in Italy.

I hope other lawmakers follow Rep. King's lead and stand up to the New York Times and other newspapers who work to undermine our government's ability to protect us from terrorists. The editors of these newspapers must know that we will not tolerate their disclosing secret national security programs and operations, tipping our hand to our enemies, which puts the lives of our citizens, military personnel, and country at grave risk. Kim Priestrap.

The great historical tragedy was, of course, what constiitued information that could "hurt the credit of the nation". (Intentionally ambiguous language inserted by the Fascists btw, later covering... treason as well.)

You travel down a dark path my fellow Americans. Truly.

Our own great nation was founded in large part in reaction to the lack of freedom of the press in Europe at the time. Ever heard of John Peter Zenger? You should.

During the Civil War, both the Confederacy and the Union sought to prosecute journalists for printing information they felt was irroesponsible, and attempts by the War Department to suppress such stories went pretty much ignored. Such incidents have been addressed in the courts throughout our history. (The proper forum for such issues to be dealt with in a democracy.)

n 1931, the Supreme Court, in Near v. Minnesota, for the first time declared almost all forms of prior restraint to be unconstitutional.

In World War II the Office of Censorship, under the direction of Byron Price, expanded upon techniques developed by George Creel's Censorship Board of World War I. The new office supervised (1941-45) the most comprehensive censorship in U.S. history. Compliance was voluntary, however, and was based on the office's suggestion to editors on topics to avoid. Because Price and his assistants were respected journalists themselves, newspapers and journals cooperated. Similar cooperation was accorded to the Office of War Information, which controlled the flow of news from government agencies. As a result, the government rarely took punitive action.

Old Time Religion,... (Below threshold)
smitty:

Old Time Religion,

Like I said, going after the NY Times would be a waste of time and money and only increase the Times' circulation and prestige.

During WWII Amrican newspapers "voluntarily" withheld classified inofrmation, but then they actually supported the war effort and did not seek to subvert it.

Nice rhetorical trick, quoting Italian fascist censorship policies. Does Bush = Mussolini?

BTW, Lincoln did order the arrest of the publisher of the N Y World in 1864 for the publishing of a fraudulent Presidential decree.
He was subsequently released.

Normandy vs. the Bush admin... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Normandy vs. the Bush administration going through private bank accounts? Do you really want to go there?

You don't HAVE to defend everything they do, do you?

Nice rhetorical trick, q... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Nice rhetorical trick, quoting Italian fascist censorship policies. Does Bush = Mussolini?

Um. No. I never said that nor do I believe it. Nice rhetorical trick? No trick to it. It's fact. And, the similarities are for everyone to see for themselves. Just because it's a hard truth doesn't mean it's a "trick".

A rhetorical trick would be, oh, something like this: "Does Bush = Mussolini?", since it was not implied, nor was it stated, but you slipped it in there anyway.

Again, for clarity: the two quotes were simply examples of similar thinking. That's all. And, ummm... the second quote was by Kim, not Bush, so how you actually make that HUGE jump in logic is pretty astounding actually. ANd, no, I'm not calling Kim a fascist either. The statements are remarkably similar though. That's all I'm saying.

Kim's remarks are merely words. Mussolini's were backed up with action. Therein lay the difference for those confused.

I'm a life long Republican who is simply more than a little tired of all the hate rhetoric that is not backed up by anything real. It's all nonsense.

So, when are we going to start locking up Liberals? Is that what it has come down to?

I'm old enough to remember a time when being a Conservative was like being a leper. It wasn't right then, it isn't right now when we do it to them.

It's extremist in the worst sense of the word.

Come on people! Look at that jump in logic that was just made with absolutely no basis for it.

I took a quote from a law enacted by the Fascists and compared it to one made by Kim and Smitty replies with: "Does Bush = Mussolini?" The quote was not by Bush, it was by Kim.

Does Kim = Bush?

Lord help us if this is the rational thinking that personifies the Conservative movement.

Let's just forget all about... (Below threshold)

Let's just forget all about the fact that the law was broken. Move along, folks, nothing to see here...

Which law was broken? Can y... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Which law was broken? Can you cite it please?

mantis,Yes, they s... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

mantis,

Yes, they should be as well.

The WSJ may be off the hook... (Below threshold)
Jonah:
JP2 and OTR:If the... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

JP2 and OTR:

If these 2 ----what ever they are --believe what they are saying they got to be 2 of the dumbest %$^%^# on the planet. No one could be that dumb and be human.

"Of course the people don't... (Below threshold)
Heckle Jeckle:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Old Time Religion - <... (Below threshold)
Jonah:

Old Time Religion -

The NYT probably have immunity from prosecution under the First Amendment. Other special groups with legal immunity are foreign diplomats and the Kennedy family.

The leakers however, presumably holders of various classified document clearances, may be in trouble.

Espionage Act
June 15, 1917, ch. 30, 40 Stat. 217

Espionage and Sabotage Act of 1954
Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1261, 68 Stat. 1216
Short title, see 18 U.S.C. 2151 note

maybe Section 798 of Title 18, the so-called Comint statute

And UCMJ, if applicable

I'm sorry the google key on your keyboard is broken.

From Power Line:(<a ... (Below threshold)

From Power Line:
(The Times and the Law)
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information--
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes--
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Subsection (b) defines the critical terms of the statute; suffice it to say that I believe they are clearly applicable to the conduct of the "nearly a dozen current and former govenment officials" who spoke to the Times. Their violation of the statute is a felony. Because their disclosures to the Times were illegal, these current and former government officials sought the promise of confidentiality from the Times to protect their identity.
[...]
Assuming that the terms of the statute apply to the leaks involved in the NSA story, has the Times itself violated the statute and committed a crime? The answer is clearly affirmative. The statute makes knowing and willful "publication" of the proscribed information a crime. Moreover, under the basic federal aiding and abetting statute -- 18 U.S.C. § 2 -- in willfully helping the leakers publish their disclosures, the Times is as culpable as they are and punishable as a principal.

Which raises the question: Does the First Amendment afford the Times immunity from criminal liability for its conduct? In New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)(the Pentagon Papers case), the Supreme Court held that it was presumptively unconstitutional for the government to restrain the publication of classified information. In separate opinions concurring with the order allowing the Times to continue publication of its Pentagon Papers stories, however, a majority of the justices clearly contemplated that the Times could be held responsible for any violation of the law involved in publishing the stories. For a scrupulous consideration of the Pentagon Papers case in this context, see Harvey Silverglate's Boston Phoenix article: "The Gray Lady in shadow."
-------------
Read the whole article, because this short clip from it is not a very clear explanation. It is however, enough to make it clear that just crying "First Amendment!" is not an ollee-ollee-oxen-free for the press.

The Power Line article was in relation to their previous violation, printing the NSA story, but it may also be applicable here. And even if it's not, we're still well within any statute of limitations for the first offense. At best, this new story just adds insult to injury. At worst, it's *yet another* crime.

The First Amendment does NOT give the press carte blanche to print anything it wants.

Newspapers do NOT have any ... (Below threshold)

Newspapers do NOT have any 1st Amendment protections from prosecution of their violation of criminal laws.

If disclosing classified information in a letter is illegal, so is printing it in a newspaper. The state of the law from SCOTUS decisions protects the newspaper only from prior restraint of publication and/or confiscation of published copies.

That said, there is a practical immunity for those who break these laws. A criminal trial would likely bring even more secrets into the public view, further damaging national security, so even if they are slam-dunk provably guilty, they are not likely to be charged and prosecuted.

õ¿õ

Laura, 18 U.S.C. § 798 as w... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Laura, 18 U.S.C. § 798 as written applies to the LEAKER/S, not specifically to the person who publishes the leak.

Read: Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information...

Read that first sentance closely: "Makes available to an unauthoriized person, or publishes..."

18 U.S.C. § 798 is written to apply to the LEAKERS. If you read the opinion on the Pentagon Papers case you cite, this is why, as you note: "the Supreme Court held that it was presumptively unconstitutional for the government to restrain the publication of classified information."

Jonah, I'm most aware of the both versions of the Sedition Act and Comint. Your condescencion is cute, but misplaced. Just because you just Googled it and discovered it, doesn't mean others haven't read them previously and understand them.

Both Sedition Acts and Comint were constructed to prosecute the LEAKERS.

We should be asking who in the Pentagon leaked classified information to the press.

Any sentient person will immediately understand though that an answer to that question will never be found.

Thus, the lemmings run toward the press.

I wonder why.

If disclosing classified... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

If disclosing classified information in a letter is illegal, so is printing it in a newspaper.

No. Not entirely correct. If a leaker writes the classified information in a letter, that is a crime. If that letter is then given to the press, it is not necessarily a crime.

And, here is the reason...

The state of the law from SCOTUS decisions protects the newspaper only from prior restraint of publication and/or confiscation of published copies.

Yes. Newspapers can not be restrained from printing information they believe is in the public interest, nor can that information be confiscated.

There is a line that is crossed. The same laws that protect the press when they publish photos of people and violate their privacy also protects the publication of information that may be classified.

Further though, as noted above already: Which raises the question: Does the First Amendment afford the Times immunity from criminal liability for its conduct? In New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)(the Pentagon Papers case), the Supreme Court held that it was presumptively unconstitutional for the government to restrain the publication of classified information. In separate opinions concurring with the order allowing the Times to continue publication of its Pentagon Papers stories, however, a majority of the justices clearly contemplated that the Times could be held responsible for any violation of the law involved in publishing the stories. Comtemplated. They did not rule, they contemplated it. WHich is an editoral statement actually.

Finally: This section is very important:

The term "classified information" means information which, at the time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national security, specifically designated by a United States Government Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution;

The program revealed by the NY Times was not unknown. It had gone reported previously.

It's a slippery slope. It is illegal to disseminate classified information. Yes. But, if it gets to the press, and the governement knows it gets to the press, they can not restrain the press from publishing it. They have acknowledged that the crime lay with the person who LEAKED the classified information in the first place.

To expect any media outlet NOT to report information is just a joke. Turn down a story that EVERYONE will be talking about? Get real.

So, who leaked the information?

I feel the question will go unasked. And, for a reason.

Leaks serve the WHite House too. That much is fact.

I asked you first jp2 - si... (Below threshold)

I asked you first jp2 - simply answer the question.

Would you approve of the New York Times publishing the Normandy invasion plans?

>>>Normandy vs. the Bush ad... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

>>>Normandy vs. the Bush administration going through private bank accounts? Do you really want to go there? You don't HAVE to defend everything they do, do you?
--Posted by: jp2 at June 25, 2006 07:44 PM

jp2 - No offense but seriously, are you borderline retarded? Exposing a national security program translates into death and a country made weaker by some "newsguys" decision about what he claims is the public's "right to know". I did not need to know this... But I'm glad the NYT is able to properly weigh national security against the need for a dig at an administration they disagree with.

Do you honestly feel the NYT published this story with the intent of informing the public?

You don't HAVE to defend everything they do, do you?

Question for all of you sta... (Below threshold)
Real American:

Question for all of you standing against the NY Times' reporting of the banking story: How exactly do you propose we maintain checks on government power used against American citizens? If the lid never comes off, how are we to protect ourselves from oover-reaching power? What if Dems were in power and wanted to use the same mechanism ? Would you be so eager to give them a free pass to snoop?

Real American,The ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Real American,

The Times so much as said there was nothing illegal, just that it was in "the public interest". We now have weakened national security just that much more so the a paper can sell some more issues (and attempt to score points against the current Administration).

Would I want a reporter telling me if the big, bad gov is stealing people from old-folks homes and turning them into Soylent Green? Absolutely.
Do I want a reporter spilling the beans on an important security measure that could, until it had been exposed, be used to prevent terrorist actions? No.

Yes, I am a Republican, but I swear this to you: If Dems were in power, or Greens, or whoever, my reaction about the sedition of the NYT would be the same.

Old Time Religion,... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Old Time Religion,

There's an interesting twist to this story. The New York Times, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal all posted essentially the same story on their web sites Thursday night. It's ludicrous to think that these three news organizations independently investigated this classified program and just happened to publish their findings at almost exactly the same time. What likely is that the editors of these three news organizations conspired to publish the story about a classified program.

What this means is that a prosecutor only needs to show that publishing a story about a classified program is a crime and then demonstrate that there was a conspiracy to violate the law, which is a crime in itself and one not covered by the 1st amendment.

There are many recent examples where people have been charged and some convicted for secondary crimes where they were never charged with the original crime or that it was proved that the original crime ever occurred.

My point is that there may be a way to put enough pressure on the editors to give up the names of those who leaked the story in the first place. Either that, or see these editors off to jail for a long long time.

Real American,The ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Real American,

The courts are part of the government, so they could take a more literal reading of the first amendment and limit that freedom to just the printed page. There's nothing in the 1st amendment about radio, TV, the telephone, telegraph or the internet. That's basically the approach lower courts have taken with the 2nd amendment, which was intended by the founders to be the ultimate guarantee of our liberty. Obviously, the founders couldn't have seen how technology would advance so much in either communications or weapons of war. Nevertheless, anyone wanting to preserve the 1st and 4th amendments needs to fight for the 2nd amendment with as much vigor.

In the war on drugs and crime, Liberals have worked to take 2nd amendment rights away from law abiding citizens in order to, in their opinion, produce a safer society and reduce the murder rate.

In the war on terror, Conservatives are working to take 1st and 4th amendment rights away from law abiding citizens in order to, in their opinion, produce a safer society and reduce the murder rate.

Bottom line: If you want your rights protected you need to protect my rights even if you don't like them. Otherwise, I'm not going to protect your rights either.

Old Time Religion:I'... (Below threshold)

Old Time Religion:
I'm no attorney, and don't feel especially qualified to debate the law on this issue. Perhaps you are. I'm perfectly willing to be wrong on the issue of the Times' crimes. It doesn't substantially change my POV because (if you scroll way up) you'll see that I'm not a proponent of prosecuting them in any event. My position was already to prosecute the crap out of the leakers, and to put the press in "time out" by shutting them out of every press conference and perquisite they normally enjoy. But that's based on my opinion that in light of their shrinking audience they desperately WANT to be prosecuted and I don't want to give them what they want.

However - and for what it's worth - some lawyers do feel that there are grounds to state that they are guilty of a crime. The guys at Power Line do, and Alberto Gonzales believes they may be also. The premise seems to be that the espionage laws were broken. I don't mind admitting that I'm inclined to believe them because I want to. If publishing classified information wasn't a crime, it should be. The Pentagon Papers case was over thirty years ago, the ruling was that the press cannot be *restrained* (I read that as "preemptively",) saying nothing of prosecuting for criminal behavior *after* publication, and we have a different SCOTUS now. If it got to SCOTUS, there's no telling how they'd rule.

Prosecute the NY Times or o... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Prosecute the NY Times or other media entities for publishing information on these 'secret' government anti-terrorism programs?

If such an action is a crime then the person guilty of divulging the information to the public (of which the media is a part of) is a GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL. This person is the real threat to our troops and citizens.

Once a member of our own government decides to break the secrecy of such programs by giving information on them to the press the natural course of things in this country is for this information to then be published in bulk for the masses.

The state of the law fro... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The state of the law from SCOTUS decisions protects the newspaper only from prior restraint of publication and/or confiscation of published copies.

Yes. Newspapers can not be restrained from printing information they believe is in the public interest, nor can that information be confiscated.

There is a line that is crossed. The same laws that protect the press when they publish photos of people and violate their privacy also protects the publication of information that may be classified.

OTR, you seem to ignore that nobody is trying to prevent the press from printing anything. There is ZERO protection from prosecution for printing classified material.

The gov't can't STOP them from printing it. But they can punish them for what they printed.

And to give you a hint --- if a journalist broke into a house and printed pictures, the journalist could STILL be prosecuted for breaking & entering, regardless if the pictures are printed in a newspaper.

Journalism is not protection from prosecution for committing crimes.
-=Mike

Wow! I find it amazing as w... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Wow! I find it amazing as well as horrifying to know that there are people who support a totalitarian regime for America. Calling people who support freedom of speech and transparent government treasonous is enough to make me puke. Why don't you people reinstall Saddam as quickly as you took him out and move to Iraq. That way you can enjoy being told what to do by a government full of secrets.

Why can't the NYT just repo... (Below threshold)
Fezzi:

Why can't the NYT just report what the govt tells them? What do they think they are, a newspaper?

Allen, I hope you're not on... (Below threshold)

Allen, I hope you're not one of the people who were screaming, "Why didn't they connect the dots!?" after 9/11. If the MSM takes away the pen of the government every time they try to connect the dots, the dots. Won't. Get. Connected. Even the Times admits the program was both legal and effective.

I think calling this totalitarian is over the top. But just to play along, was Lincoln's administration a totalitarian regime? And if it was, would you call the regimes of his successors totalitarian also? If not, what happened to make his successor's regimes not be totalitarian, and why don't you think that *that* history wouldn't repeat itself after the current war is over?

Wow! I find it amazing a... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Wow! I find it amazing as well as horrifying to know that there are people who support a totalitarian regime for America. Calling people who support freedom of speech and transparent government treasonous is enough to make me puke.

People who are so naive that they cannot fathom the concept that a state might need to have some secrets from enemies are too oblivious from reality to really take seriously.

Who in the heck gave Keller the power to determine what is and what is not a needed national secret?

The press and the left griped that Bush wasn't diplomatic enough in his pursuit on the War on Terror. They then burn ANY country who dares to work with us by revealing every possible secret that they can, assuring that nobody will want to work with us.

You can't have diplomacy if nothing can ever be kept quiet.
-=Mike

Awww... Did the Weepublican... (Below threshold)
H. Schulze:

Awww... Did the Weepublicans Lose Their Mid-Term Supwise?

Security violations, please! The only thing more absurd than charging the NY Times with leaking State secrets is Ruling Republicans AGAIN using our troops for political -- rather than military purposes.... While charging Democrats with cut-and-run policies, our Commander-in-Chief will wait until its politically expedient... oh, let's say September/October. Y'all just annoyed someone leaked a political secret, not a military one.

The only people who wouldn't think the Administration would do something so cynical are kneejerk Republicans, certainly not the insurgents!

*yawn* Another day, another... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

*yawn* Another day, another troll. C'est la vie.

The NY Times is in rather clear violation of the Espionage Act and there is no case law, whatsoever, that protects them in this case. The press is protected from prior restraint, but they are quite unprotected from criminal sanctions for what they print.

The Democrats CLEARLY want to cut-and-run. Murtha wants to "redeploy" troops to fight the insurgency to Okinawa (where, mind you, we've been working with the governor there to remove as many of our troops as possible for the last few years). Murtha holds up Somalia as good leadership (the running away from there directly led to the marked increase in terrorist violence against the US that marked the 90's and up to 9/11).

Murtha is a modern-day Benedict Arnold. A man whom holds some deep hatred of his country and, God willing, he'll be shit-canned in November.
-=Mike

Please. The bush nazis ille... (Below threshold)
loper:

Please. The bush nazis illegally invaded Iraq & we are siupposed to believe that thr release of this info will hurt the war on terrror. The Iraq war will provide more terror wannabes with millions of reasons to hate the usa. Bush, Cheney,Rumsfeld, & co. are all responsible for this mess and will divert attention any way they can from this quaqmire in Iraq. Satan has a place for war mongerers like the neo-cons, and it is a hot tar smelt of death & fear, sorta like an oil field.

A French phrase in a post h... (Below threshold)
H. Schulze:

A French phrase in a post here?! And you call yourself an American!

Yes, another day, another legal genius pronouncing final judgements from some judicial bench in a wood-paneled basement....

If there's any case to be made (as opposed to all the mock (Fox News) outrage as diversionary tactic for Bush's March to Monarchy), to quote the Twit of the Twenty-First Century, "Bring it on!"

But there isn't and they won't... this too shall distract and THEN pass.

If there's any case to b... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

If there's any case to be made (as opposed to all the mock (Fox News) outrage as diversionary tactic for Bush's March to Monarchy), to quote the Twit of the Twenty-First Century, "Bring it on!"

There is an ongoing investigation and now Congress wants to investigate.

The WH needs to simply revoke the NY and LA Times press credentials.
-=Mike

This thread is gay. So are... (Below threshold)
Name:

This thread is gay. So are its members.

Hi Laura,The Espio... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Hi Laura,

The Espionage Act was written and has been readily interpreted to deal with LEAKERS as well.

To put it bluntly: there is, by rule of law, a great difference between the function of a free press-which is to inform the citizenry of information- and taking that information from its classified form and passing it into the hands of others. The latter is espionage. The former is not.

THe men at Powerline are lawyers, but to be honest, their positions on this matter has very little to do with the reading of the law and very much to do with interpreting the law. And, those are two very different and essential things.

Furhter, your opinion that the NY Times wishes to be prosecuted is interesting, but hardly based in any reality. It makes for great fodder at Free Republic, but the truth is a bit more simple.

My take is that the leak in the Pentagon was intentional in order to provoke this very dust up.

The fact that AG Gonzales spoke out on this very matter a few weeks ago is evidence of that.

Firing up the base is one of the great ways of enforcing power.

TO wit: Although one may never be able to get the NY Times to stop publishing information, you can make them remember the bruise you gave them last time they did. (The letters to the Editor alone are proof of that right now. And, they are pouring in no doubt. Still.)

There is nothing new to this tactic. Except its now in the headlines.

Mac Lorry wrote:
here's an interesting twist to this story. The New York Times, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal all posted essentially the same story on their web sites Thursday night. It's ludicrous to think that these three news organizations independently investigated this classified program and just happened to publish their findings at almost exactly the same time. What likely is that the editors of these three news organizations conspired to publish the story about a classified program.

Sorry Mac, but your theory is simplly not grounded in the reality of how news stories move from source to source.

The reality is: it's not uncommon for a story to go from one source to the other in total and unedited. It happens hundreds of times every single day, from Page 1 to 100. News outlets have deals in place to share such oontent.

That's not uncommon at all. "Conspired"? Hardly. Again, your "theory" just ignores or is unaware of how the news biz works.

What such a story does imply is that all three news outlets were approached by the leaker.

Now, in such a circumstance, it's good money to assume that all three would print the information. It's what they DO!

From an insiders perspecitve, the "theory" could be that all three news outlets were set up.

It rubs both ways.

Congress should outlaw the ... (Below threshold)
Tomterriffic:

Congress should outlaw the NY Times and Washington Post after they shut down Public Broadcasting. All the paradoid dittoheads can then get daily injections of Rush and FOX without fear of the real facts.

My take is that the leak... (Below threshold)
H. Schulze:

My take is that the leak in the Pentagon was intentional in order to provoke this very dust up.

The fact that AG Gonzales spoke out on this very matter a few weeks ago is evidence of that.

Firing up the base is one of the great ways of enforcing power....

What such a story does imply is that all three news outlets were approached by the leaker.


Exactly. Well put. (It is baffling to read people who write about the "leftist media" (whatever that is; left of Fox?) is "begging for it" -- as if these well-behaved children were astonished at a misbehaving sibling ("why can't you just do what Dad tells you?"), rather than professionals who are paid to ask difficult, and often uncomfortable, questions, not simply pass along press releases. This does indeed "rub both ways" -- and the kids who giggled so gleefully when that leftist(!) press went after the Clintons can't seem to stomach reasonable questions about plans to use our troops for political (Midterm election) gains, rather than military ones. (And is there really no one on the Right who's willing to step up and challenge the sheer cynicism of THAT kind of plan?))

Old Time Religion,<bl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Old Time Religion,

Sorry Mac, but your theory is simply not grounded in the reality of how news stories move from source to source. The reality is: it's not uncommon for a story to go from one source to the other in total and unedited. It happens hundreds of times every single day, from Page 1 to 100. News outlets have deals in place to share such oontent.

I'm well aware of how news stories go from one source to another, but that's not what happened this time. When the NYT broke similarly stories, there was a time lag on when the story was posted on other news organization's web sites, but that didn't happen with the LA Times and Wall Street Journal, they all published Thursday night at nearly the same time. Also the LA Times and Wall Street Journal don't cite the NYT as the source of their stories. That leaves just two possibilities. Either the three news organizations developed the stories independently and just happened to post them all at the same time or there was a conspiracy to publish the story at the same time.

MikeSC: The NY Times is ... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

MikeSC: The NY Times is in rather clear violation of the Espionage Act and there is no case law, whatsoever, that protects them in this case. The press is protected from prior restraint, but they are quite unprotected from criminal sanctions for what they print.

Sorry Mike, wrong on both counts. THere is ample case law on this matter. Are you an attorney? If not, just make that remark to one and you will get a nice laugh. Sorry, but that is the truth.

You very clearly do not understand, nor have read, the Espionage Act.

The gov't can't STOP them from printing it. But they can punish them for what they printed.

Again, you are not entirely correct. The government can definitely NOT "punish" newspapers for printing a story. Where you get that idea is beyond me. Maybe you just made it up. But, I think you are just re-interpreting the secondary clause from Powerline: "a majority of the justices clearly contemplated that the Times could be held responsible for any violation of the law involved in publishing the stories."

In the end, what you seem to be advocating is that the government be allowed to decide what should and should not be published in the press.

Alas, as I noted above, this story is not new.

The existence of financial data mining programs, including Operation Greequest, has been available to the public for a number of years on the government webiste @ usinfo.state.gov under International Information Programs > USINFO > Topics > International Security > Response to Terrorism > Shutting Down Terrorist Financial Networks. Here is the link.

A quote of particular interest:

• The U.S. has now designated 153 individuals, organizations, and financial supporters of terrorism pursuant to Executive Order 13224. Designees include terrorists from around the world.

• Prior to today's action, the U.S. has blocked over $27 million in assets of the Taliban and al Qaida, and other nations have blocked at least $33 million.

• The Treasury Department has established an inter-agency Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center, and mobilized financial investigators -- under Operation Greenquest -- to develop leads for further enforcement action.

Also, please note the long list of actions to date. Impressive.

These data mining programs

And, do you all here think that this program was done with people sitting in a room staring at computer screens looking for "anomolies"?

Obviously not. It was an organized, and very public, program of data mining.

Not a news story at all. In truth.

Again, though, if a source, a LEAKER, gives you a "scoop", you print it. You run with it.

Do the math.

Mac Lorry wrote: <blockquot... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Mac Lorry wrote:

When the NYT broke similarly stories, there was a time lag on when the story was posted on other news organization's web sites, but that didn't happen with the LA Times and Wall Street Journal, they all published Thursday night at nearly the same time. Also the LA Times and Wall Street Journal don't cite the NYT as the source of their stories. That leaves just two possibilities. Either the three news organizations developed the stories independently and just happened to post them all at the same time or there was a conspiracy to publish the story at the same time.
There is a third possibility which you omit: all three mews outlets were given the story at the same time by the same source.

And, the "time lag" is a common thing. You are making something which is common, it happens hundreds of times every day, appear uncommon.

If you understood how stories move from outlet to outlet, how that works, you would not be building a baseless conspiracy theory upon untruths and fabrications.

H. Schulze, <blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

H. Schulze,

rather than professionals who are paid to ask difficult, and often uncomfortable, questions, not simply pass along press releases.

You give the press too much credit. It wasn't that professionals asked difficult and uncomfortable questions. Rather some disgruntled, disloyal government worker dropped the story in their laps, and like little children with a new toy, the NYT had to show the world what it got.

Children find war hard to understand and don't like that idea that it requires sacrifice and courage. That's why adults have to keep the children out of positions of power as much as possible and out of the White house in particular.

Old Time Religion,<bl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Old Time Religion,

And, the "time lag" is a common thing. You are making something which is common, it happens hundreds of times every day, appear uncommon.

You need to read what I wrote more carefully. It's not the time lag that shows coordination, it's the lack of a time lag that shows coordination.

There is a third possibility which you omit: all three mews outlets were given the story at the same time by the same source.

Even if that were true, without coordination, the odds of three independent news organizations posting the same story at the same time are astronomically remote.

If you understood how stories move from outlet to outlet, how that works, you would not be building a baseless conspiracy theory upon untruths and fabrications.

Three news organizations all published essentially the same story at the same time and none cited the other as the source. If that's factually wrong, say so. If not, what untruths and fabrications are you talking about?

Mac,That's why ... (Below threshold)
H. Schulze:

Mac,

That's why adults have to keep the children out of positions of power as much as possible and out of the White house in particular.

Couldn't agree with you more. On the issue of this particular "toy" -- I'm frankly unsure if the NYTimes should have waited before publishing -- but not for the reasons several posters have given: "National Security". The whole notion that plans are being considered should shock no one (I'd be more shocked if our generals didn't present those and other options) However, WHEN those plans are to be implemented -- prior to Midterm elections -- is the point that Republicans have been embarrassed with. Hence all this feigned outrage when they've been caught out in a blatantly political use of the military.

H. Schulze, I wrot... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

H. Schulze,

I wrote "That's why adults have to keep the children out of positions of power as much as possible and out of the White house in particular.

To which you replied "Couldn't agree with you more."

Given that the sentence you emphatically agreed with is grammatically tied to the prior sentence it can logically be conclude that you also agree with that sentence which is -- "Children find war hard to understand and don't like that idea that it requires sacrifice and courage."

However, WHEN those plans are to be implemented -- prior to Midterm elections -- is the point that Republicans have been embarrassed with. Hence all this feigned outrage when they've been caught out in a blatantly political use of the military.

It seems that if a war can't be successfully prosecuted and wrapped up in the year following an election, then any military action towards completion of the war is seen by the left as political use of the military. That leaves the left in the position of hoping for military failure while showing steadfast support for the troops. Obviously, most of the left doesn't have a problem with their two faced position.

Sorry Mike, wrong on bot... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Sorry Mike, wrong on both counts. THere is ample case law on this matter. Are you an attorney? If not, just make that remark to one and you will get a nice laugh. Sorry, but that is the truth.

You very clearly do not understand, nor have read, the Espionage Act.

READ the Pentagon Papers decision. Blackmun is more than clear that the 1st Amendment protections are not absolute and that the media is no more protected from national security law than you or I am.

All that has ever been said is that the PREVENTION of publication cannot be done. And it was not done here.

Again, you are not entirely correct. The government can definitely NOT "punish" newspapers for printing a story. Where you get that idea is beyond me. Maybe you just made it up. But, I think you are just re-interpreting the secondary clause from Powerline: "a majority of the justices clearly contemplated that the Times could be held responsible for any violation of the law involved in publishing the stories."

A basic reading of the Constitution is what gave me my ideas. Where you got the idea that the media is protected from laws that the rest of the country has to follow is a little baffling.

In the end, what you seem to be advocating is that the government be allowed to decide what should and should not be published in the press.

Nope. I do not advocate prior restraint.

I advocate the media being held responsible for what they decide to print.

Alas, as I noted above, this story is not new.

The existence of financial data mining programs, including Operation Greequest, has been available to the public for a number of years on the government webiste @ usinfo.state.gov under International Information Programs > USINFO > Topics > International Security > Response to Terrorism > Shutting Down Terrorist Financial Networks. Here is the link.

Then care to explain why it was on the front page if it was "common knowledge"? I had never heard of the program and, unlike you, I actually know what's going on.

Not a news story at all. In truth.

Again, though, if a source, a LEAKER, gives you a "scoop", you print it. You run with it.

Let me guess --- you don't recognize how the first sentence here and the second sentence are completely at odds, right?
-=Mike

Mac wrote: he odds of th... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Mac wrote: he odds of three independent news organizations posting the same story at the same time are astronomically remote.

Wrong. News outlets all subscribe to numerous wire services. And in todays online enviornment and wireless subscription services, much like RSS feeds, news items are fed over the system to hundreds of outlets and services around the globe.

Your assumption is flawed and rooted in a basic misunderstanding of how news items are posted, and how outlets share stories and wire services. The NY Times for example, is its own news syndicate. Nearly every news outlet in the world subscribes to it. And, each news outlet has a different relationship regarding "breaking news" in regard to the NY Times Syndication and wire servies. For example, both the LA Times and the WSJ use the NY Times wire service (amongst others) and it is not uncommon, being that all three papers are in competition (an important concept for you to grasp Mac.) and if they believe ir know that a story coming over the NY Times wire is important and they understand that the NY Times is going to lead with it, they may lead with it as well.

Either way, the "timestamp" which you seem to think indicates some type of conspiracy is simply an indication of the story post time. And, it may be the same (or it may not be the same) from paper to paper if the story is from a common service, say the NY Times service for example. It does not prove any type of conspiracy.

Anyway, your statement that the post times were the same is incorrect.

Three news organizations all published essentially the same story at the same time and none cited the other as the source.

Most likely because the source was not "each other" but the LEAKER. And, yes, that would mean the stories would be similar, if the LEAKER is telling the same story to multiple news outlets. Again, not uncommon in the news business at all. Multiple news outlets can be working on the same story at the same time. You can BET on it! And, as I've noted before, this particular story is not really news at all. The information has been out in the public domain for a long time. (See the link in my post above.)

Nor would "same time" posts be uncommon. But, in this case, you are dead wrong on that count.

The LA Times published at 12:06 PM PDT, June 23, 2006. The NY Times published in the evening edition (posted prior to 6PM) on JUne 22, 2006. A day prior.
The WJS published in between (as I recall, since I do not have a subscription to it and can not source it.) and the AP went wire with the story around the same time as the LA Times.

It took a normal news cycle 12 - 24 hours, from first post to wire.

It's rather obvious that all three papers had the same information, most likely from the same source.

You want to wear a tinfoil hat? Start here: The LEAKER.

READ the Pentagon Papers... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

READ the Pentagon Papers decision. Blackmun is more than clear that the 1st Amendment protections are not absolute and that the media is no more protected from national security law than you or I am.

Ummm. Mike. The Blackmun statement on the Pentagon Papers is part of the DISSENTING OPINION. Not the DECISION. Dissenting opinion is just that. Opinion. The decision is THE LAW.

You do know the difference, right?

You say you don't support "prior restraint", which is the imposition of a restraint on the publication of information before the information is published, but rather you "advocate the media being held responsible for what they decide to print." Which one is to surmise, you mean that the media should be prosecuted for printing information that the government decides warrants prosecution. Interesting. Sounds rather familiar to me actually.

A basic reading of the Constitution is what gave me my ideas. Where you got the idea that the media is protected from laws that the rest of the country has to follow is a little baffling.

THe media is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as warranting protection from just this type of attack. THe citizens of the US are given their own special protections as well. The press was singled out for very specific reasons, as noted in the Deciding Statement of the Pentagon Papers case.

Eugene Volokh has written some sage advice to fellow conservatives on this matter, which I agree with:

Publishing classified information is not the same thing as stealing state secrets or spying for the enemy. There is a distinction between clamping down on government employees who leak sensitive national security information and targeting the reporters who publish those leaks. It is one thing to question the wisdom or propriety of publishing sensitive national-security information, or to allege media bias. But it is quite another to call for the criminal prosecution of journalists for reporting on matters of public concern, even when those matters implicate national security. Not every embarrassing or unfortunate disclosure is a criminal act.

Sensitive information should be treated sensitively, even by journalists. Conservatives, however, should be wary of novel applications of vaguely worded criminal statutes, particularly in the face of clear constitutional text. If the Justice department were to go ahead and prosecute journalists for reporting on such information, it would unduly hamper press freedom and set a dangerous precedent that conservatives would come to regret.

And, those who would control the press via prosecution post publishing are headed down a dark path which has been seen before.

Then care to explain why it was on the front page if it was "common knowledge"? I had never heard of the program and, unlike you, I actually know what's going on.
[...]
Let me guess --- you don't recognize how the first sentence here and the second sentence are completely at odds, right?

Actually, it is rather simple. They aren't at odds at all. But, since you know what is going on, even though you had never heard of the program, why don't you tell us all what is going on Mike?

I'll wait.

It seems that if a war c... (Below threshold)
H. Schulze:

It seems that if a war can't be successfully prosecuted and wrapped up in the year following an election, then any military action towards completion of the war is seen by the left as political use of the military.

The President (same guy claimed he had no interest in "nation building") has far more than a year.

Just which war are you talking about: Afghanistan or Iraq? We've been in both places more than a year.

What gives Republicans the heebie-jeebies is that if Clinton had screwed up this royally with as many dead American troops as we have in both countries, he'd be in a Federal penitentiary. And yet you continue to back every illegal wire tap and erosion of civil liberty... to what end, exactly? And for how long?

Nixon decided to pull out of Vietnam after how many years? Ten? Fifteen, if you count our "advisory" role with the French. And there are still those Republicans who believe: if we only stayed a little longer....

The question you and other posters have not answered is how Republicans could have been decrying Democrats for cutting and running -- while the Commander-in-Chief's leading general is putting together a plan to do just that: pull out -- during the Midterm elections. Much of this ratcheted Republican rhetoric is designed to cover sheer embarrassment.

From Justice White concurri... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

From Justice White concurring statement on New York Times Vs. United States:

In seeking injunctions against these newspapers, and in its presentation to the Court, the Executive Branch seems to have forgotten the essential purpose and history of the First Amendment. When the Constitution was adopted, many people strongly opposed it because the document contained no Bill of Rights to safeguard certain basic freedoms. [n1] They especially feared that the [p716] new powers granted to a central government might be interpreted to permit the government to curtail freedom of religion, press, assembly, and speech. In response to an overwhelming public clamor, James Madison offered a series of amendments to satisfy citizens that these great liberties would remain safe and beyond the power of government to abridge. Madison proposed what later became the First Amendment in three parts, two of which are set out below, and one of which proclaimed:

The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments, and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable. [n2]

The amendments were offered to curtail and restrict the general powers granted to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches two years before in the original Constitution. The Bill of Rights changed the original Constitution into a new charter under which no branch of government could abridge the people's freedoms of press, speech, religion, and assembly. Yet the Solicitor General argues and some members of the Court appear to agree that the general powers of the Government adopted in the original Constitution should be interpreted to limit and restrict the specific and emphatic guarantees of the Bill of Rights adopted later. I can imagine no greater perversion of history. Madison and the other Framers of the First Amendment, able men [p717] that they were, wrote in language they earnestly believed could never be misunderstood: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press. . . ." Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints.

In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.

in·vi·o·la·ble Pronunciation (n-v-l-bl)
adj.
1. Secure from violation or profanation: an inviolable reliquary deep beneath the altar.
2. Impregnable to assault or trespass; invincible: fortifications that made the frontier inviolable.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin inviolbilis : in-, not; see in-1 + violre, to violate; see violate.]
Old Time Religion<blo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Old Time Religion

Wrong. News outlets all subscribe to numerous wire services. And in todays online enviornment and wireless subscription services, much like RSS feeds, news items are fed over the system to hundreds of outlets and services around the globe.
The LA Times published at 12:06 PM PDT, June 23, 2006. The NY Times published in the evening edition (posted prior to 6PM) on JUne 22, 2006. A day prior. The WJS published in between (as I recall, since I do not have a subscription to it and can not source it.) and the AP went wire with the story around the same time as the LA Times.

I don't know what your source was for that information, but it's wrong. The NYT, LAT, and WSJ, and only these three, posted the story to their respective web sites in the evening of June 22. The AP then picked it up and other news organizations started posting the story. Bush and others have even been asked why they are criticizing the NYT and not the LAT or WSJ for running this story at the same time. Their answer was that they had been working with the NYT for a month before and even had Treasury Secretary John Snow meet with the NYT editors to explain why they should not publish the story. The NYT confirmed that yesterday.

The fact is that once the NYT posting this story to their web site, the LAT and WSJ quickly posted similar stories credited to their own reporters with no citation given to the originating source. In the news world, that means they didn't just get it off a wire service.

What I heard on the network news last night was that reporters from the LA Times and Wall Street Journal got wind of this story days before the NYT posted it. Apparently, there are leaks within the NYT itself. This was not the result of a common wire service source as you have been claiming over and over.

If the advertisement managers of these three news organizations communicated directly with each other about advertising rates, they would be in violation of anti-trust laws. Yet information about a classified program passed between these news organizations. You seem to think it was a common leaker who risked exposing themselves to thee news organizations. Maybe they were that stupid or maybe there's another explanation. If the NYT is ever prosecuted, then I think it's important to find out how the information about a classified program leaked between these three news organizations. The NYT editors would probably like to know that themselves.

H. Schulze,Your or... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

H. Schulze,

Your original complaint was as follows:

However, WHEN those plans are to be implemented -- prior to Midterm elections -- is the point that Republicans have been embarrassed with. Hence all this feigned outrage when they've been caught out in a blatantly political use of the military.

Now you ask:

Just which war are you talking about: Afghanistan or Iraq? We've been in both places more than a year.

In case you hadn't noticed, elections come every two years. Prior to the last two elections (2002, 2004) the left has been complaining about Bush using the war on terror for political gain and you are now making the same charge for the 2006 elections. That means that if a war can't be successfully prosecuted and wrapped up in the year following an election, then any military action towards completion of the war is seen by the left as political use of the military. Do you get it now?

What gives Republicans the heebie-jeebies is that if Clinton had screwed up this royally with as many dead American troops as we have in both countries, he'd be in a Federal penitentiary.

That's a baseless charge. We lost more than double as many troops in a single day in WWII and no serious person expected the President to be charged with a crime. If the US had suffered nearly 3,000 civilian deaths from terrorist attacks under Clinton, it would be the conservatives who would have given him support to prosecute the war against terrorists. The same critics of Bush on the left would be criticizing Clinton regardless of his party affiliation.

And yet you continue to back every illegal wire tap and erosion of civil liberty... to what end, exactly? And for how long?

First, no court of law has ruled that any of the wire taps are or were illegal. In fact, every court ruling that deals with similarly issues backs the President's position. Second, the left has no moral standing to complain about erosion of civil liberties. It's the left that has been at the forefront of eroding civil liberties for more then for 40 years.

Nixon decided to pull out of Vietnam after how many years? Ten? Fifteen, if you count our "advisory" role with the French. And there are still those Republicans who believe: if we only stayed a little longer....

It's not the staying longer that counts. Unlike the French, we were not interested in staying, but only in defeating the communist north. The right move would have been for the U.S. to invade the North and established a legitimate government for all of Vietnam. That wasn't doable during the cold war without facing down China and the USSR. That's the lesson of Vietnam, that half measures don't work in war.

We are going to face that same problem with Taiwan when China finally builds up it's military sufficiently. Unless the US is ready to risk all out nuclear war, the best we can do is negotiate a gradual takeover of Taiwan by China. We should start that negotiation now and Bush knows it, but he can't do anything because it would make him look like a traitor for not supporting the free people of Taiwan. It will likely be the next President who'll face that challenge. Will you support them?

The question you and other posters have not answered is how Republicans could have been decrying Democrats for cutting and running -- while the Commander-in-Chief's leading general is putting together a plan to do just that: pull out -- during the Midterm elections.

The answer is "so what"? Other generals likely have plans for invading Iran and others have plans to increase the number of troops in Iraq. Generals like to have contingency plans, that's part of what they do. The President is Commander-in-Chief and anyone with half a mind realizes that cutting and running is the wrong thing to do. The war with Islamic Fundamentalism will be fought, if not in Iraq and Afghanistan, then in the US and Europe.

I am fascinated by the fact... (Below threshold)
Bostonian:

I am fascinated by the fact that the apologists for the NYT cannot bring themselves to admit that there are laws against revealing classified information.

Their arguments (such as they are) just completely ignore this inconvenient fact.

Bostonian, I'm fascinated a... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

Bostonian, I'm fascinated at how much power the right-wing are willing to give our leaders.

Mac, you are incorrect. The NYT, LAT, and WSJ, and only these three, posted the story to their respective web sites in the evening of June 22. The AP then picked it up and other news organizations started posting the story.

The NYT posted at around 6PM on June 22. The LAT and the WSJ posted wire stories at that time. Later, both the LAT and the WSJ posted there own stories. And, again, this is totally common behavior. Far from being a "leak", news outlets often lift from each other. That's how it works.

The first thing EVERY reporter around the country does EVERY SINGLE MORNING is open up the NYT, the LAT and the WSJ.

You do understand that news outlets do get their news from EACH OTHER right?

What is fascinating to me is how this non-story has been given such import by the right-wing lynch mob. they behave just like the left-wing mobs.

Before September the 11th, law enforcement could more easily obtain business and financial records of white-collar criminals than of suspected terrorists. See, part of the way to make sure that we catch terrorists is we chase money trails. And yet it was easier to chase a money trail with a white-collar criminal than it was a terrorist. The Patriot Act ended this double standard and it made it easier for investigators to catch suspected terrorists by following paper trails here in America. --- President George W. Bush --- April 20. 2004.

Gee. I wonder if the President should be prosecuted for revealing the existence of a classified program?

You people have no clue how you are being led around by the nose like trained dogs.

Victor Comras covers how the "secret" program was well known.

And, MikeSC, just because YOU weren't aware of it, doesn't mean it was secret.

The President of the United... (Below threshold)
Old Time Religion:

The President of the United States revealing the existence of "secret" programs in a speech on June 9, 2005 that was broadcast on C-SPAN and FOX.

One tool that has been especially important to law enforcement is called a roving wiretap. Roving wiretaps allow investigators to follow suspects who frequently change their means of communications. These wiretaps must be approved by a judge, and they have been used for years to catch drug dealers and other criminals.

Yet, before the Patriot Act, agents investigating terrorists had to get a separate authorization for each phone they wanted to tap. That means terrorists could elude law enforcement by simply purchasing a new cell phone. The Patriot Act fixed the problem by allowing terrorism investigators to use the same wiretaps that were already being using against drug kingpins and mob bosses.

Great. Tell the terrorists what we are doing. Traitor!
Hello? I live in the UK. ... (Below threshold)
Liz Zitzow, EA:

Hello? I live in the UK. I just saw the Daily Show and discovered this big story that has, quite frankly, passed the international press by.

What is the problem here? That the Times reported on a story THAT HAS BEEN IN THE PRESS FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS?

How is that breaking news?

Could it be because you all don't read the financial papers (Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, etc.)? Get out more, read a different newspaper every day. The IRS and the Fed had press releases on this back when it began. I guess the "usual" media sources didn't bother to pick it up. Every international accountant has known about it for the past three years and we all caution our clients not to do business with people who might ding-ding a red light.




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