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The New York Times, Crossing the Damn Line

The New York Times is officially out of control.

Many on the right have been outraged over the New York Times (and other media) leaking of our classified counter terrorism plans. While that argument has merit, it is obviously easier for them to make with a Republican in office. If Clinton were still in office many of those same people would be supporting the Times on some of these stories.

As for myself, I am willing to give me media a wide berth when it comes to protecting our civil liberties. Back when we thought the call data story was completely accurate I publically disagreed with just about everyone on the right over that issue and backed the media on that leak. (Of course later we found that story to be flawed.)

So I come to this issue with a clear history not of a partisan but as a supporter of both the war on terror AND our civil liberties.

That's why I consider myself well qualified to make the case the Times is out of control when they published classified information about troop deployments in Iraq.

U.S. General in Iraq Outlines Troop Cuts
By MICHAEL R. GORDON

WASHINGTON, June 24 -- The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say.

According to a classified briefing at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007.

Under the plan, the first reductions would involve two combat brigades that would rotate out of Iraq in September without being replaced. Military officials do not typically characterize reductions by total troop numbers, but rather by brigades. Combat brigades, which generally have about 3,500 troops, do not make up the bulk of the 127,000-member American force in Iraq, and other kinds of units would not be pulled out as quickly.

American officials emphasized that any withdrawals would depend on continued progress, including the development of competent Iraqi security forces, a reduction in Sunni Arab hostility toward the new Iraqi government and the assumption that the insurgency will not expand beyond Iraq's six central provinces. Even so, the projected troop withdrawals in 2007 are more significant than many experts had expected.

General Casey's briefing has remained a closely held secret, and it was described by American officials who agreed to discuss the details only on condition of anonymity.

There are so many things to say about this story it is hard to know where to start. But I'd be remiss if I didn't note that the Times never again needs to run another story on Valerie Plame. If you want to compare that story to leaking classified troop strength numbers in a war zone; there simply is no comparison to be made. Michael Gordon should be frog-marched out of the newsroom.

The second thing to note is that the media and the left can now dispense with the whining about not having an "exit plan." We clearly have one and the NY Times put it on the front page.

But let's get to the meat of the story. The Times knowingly and willingly received classified information and the purposely published it. They've done that before but this story is critically different than past times. There is no vested national interest in this information being leaked. In the past, the Times could hide behind the public's "right to know." The public has no "right to know" our war plans. They can't hide behind the skirt of "protecting civil liberties" in this story as they have in past stories.

They published classified information not to inform the public but only because they could.

Ed Morrisey makes the compelling case that this is a controlled leak. That doesn't let the Times off the hook... In fact, if true, it damns them more.

It shows the Pentagon understands and accepts as reality that the New York Times will knowingly print classified information it receives. Further, it shows the Pentagon knows that the most effective way to get their story out thru the media is to package it as a classified leak. A damning reality to be sure.

Though I should also note if Ed is correct and the Pentagon planted this leak, the timing must also mean we really have demolished the insurgency in the last few weeks.

It is true the information released is sketchy but that is more a function of the Pentagon's plan being based on reality on the ground in Iraq and not the Times selectively withholding sensitive material.

The case against the Times grows stronger when you consider the argument against releasing an "exit plan" was that it automatically tips our hand to the insurgency. Clearly the Times is well versed in this argument but ran the story anyway.

I don't understand what makes the Times think they can print classified troop strength numbers.

If I had bugged that briefing room and I published classified Pentagon war plans on Wizbang, the FBI would have me in custody in hours. Why is that not the case with the New York Times?


Comments (57)

I strongly recommend boycot... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I strongly recommend boycotting the NY Slimes, the LA Slimes and all the rest of the traitorous scum.

Pulitzers do not come before safety.

It's time to send Osama Bin Keller the message.

Ace of Spades has a splendi... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Ace of Spades has a splendid commentary up on this topic. in it is this passage [emphasis added]:

"I'm quite sure the reasonable liberals at the NYT and WaPo know full well that programs like this are absolutely vital, and their secrecy is likewise vital. However, they have made the most anti-American and evil sort of decision: While tools like this are vital for saving American lives, they will not permit any Republican President to use them. Only Democratic Presidents are permitted to employ the full panoply of powers for protecting American lives.

It's blackmail, pure and simple. Either let a Democrat into the White House, or we will continue to sabotage American security and, in effect, kill Americans. We will keep secrets when a Democrat is in office, but not a Republican. So we offer the American people a choice: Let the politicians we favor run the country, or we will help Al Qaeda murder you."

read the whole thing!!! please.

Has anyone (or could someon... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Has anyone (or could someone) publish a list of the major advertisers in the offending newspapers, especially the NYT and the LAT?

Writing protest letters to those newspapers is probably not much different than feeding the trolls here at Wizbang. But the result might be very different if those who pay for this treason were boycotted.

Why is that not th... (Below threshold)
Why is that not the case with the New York Times?
Because you don't have million dollar laywers on staff.
I too want a list of advert... (Below threshold)
Vero:

I too want a list of advertisers that support the NYT - time to fight back

>>Why is that not the case ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>>Why is that not the case with the New York Times?

>Because you don't have million dollar laywers on staff.

So it's Kevin's fault. The bastard.

old coot is right... newspa... (Below threshold)
megan:

old coot is right... newspapers are not surviving on subscriptions, ( they haven't in a long time)it is the advertising dept that keeps them going... you will only get any newspapers attention when you "pay" attention to the ADVERTISERS... as always Follow the Money. In fact, that is better than the U.S. taking them to court.

Organizing a boycott of maj... (Below threshold)
ZF:

Organizing a boycott of major NYT advertisers is probably the best way to influence them. Nothing else is likely to work, but that could turn them around very quickly even if the pressure were coming mostly from red states.

The people who run the NYT are desperate to provoke a prosecution by the government, as this is the only thing which could provide a cover for their business management failures. Best not to hand them what they want.

Has anybody noticed that th... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Has anybody noticed that there is one standard response to any exposure of classified information by Left-Wing Press outlets by the Left?

Lee (who I suspect to be same person posting as Lint), sean/nyc, mak44, etc. all loudly proclaim that the revelation of this or that program does not hurt national security because terrorists already know that America must be doing it anyway.

The interesting thing about this is that it can be applied to any revelation of any program exposed by the Press.

Assume the New York Times exposed the details of Operation Overlord on May 24th, 1944. Lee, mak44, field-negro et al would rush to their defense with this excuse; it didn't actually hurt national security because the Germans must already know that Allied Forces want to liberate France. Supplying them the when and how through the front page would not make any difference.

When the New York Times exposed the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, the Left sought to deny that this harmed national security with this exact same excuse; terrorists must already know that they were being surveilled so it made no difference whether the whens and hows of it was exposed or not.

Neither Lee, sean, etc. here had the courage to face up to the fact that in revealing this program, the New York Times also revealed that the U.S. government must have certain numbers and e-mail addresses that it was using as seed data. If only half of the surveillees changed their numbers and e-mails, a significant set of sources and assets would have been rendered useless.

But ... they must have known it already, right?

As Ed Morrissey states th... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As Ed Morrissey states that this may be a controlled leak. "If the Pentagon felt that they needed to leak this information for political purposes?"...Paul is very indignant about the 'New York Times' printing this classified report of a General's plan, but if many officials at the Pentagon and some at the White House didn't mind it being leaked (judging by their tepid reactions), with so many officials commenting it, on condition of anonymity, is 'the New York Times' really doing the nation, or the Administration for that matter, such a great disservice in opening up the debate which has been taking place for some time.

I don't allow the NYT to ev... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I don't allow the NYT to even come close to my doorstep. Neither do I page through it if the opportunity presents itself. Their predictable reponses to anything Bush would make even Pavlov proud. What about the leaker(s) themselves. I cannot believe there was a large audience of people at this briefing of a "closely held secret". It is also obvious (to me) from the caveats listed above that this withdrawal could vaporize at anytime if the conditions are not right for it. Is it possible this "leak" is intentional????

I think boycotting their ad... (Below threshold)
Vulgorilla:

I think boycotting their advertisers is a gerat idea. Then putting an ad in the NYT is the same as saying "I have way too much business - please stay away from my store". Once the businesses realize that they are spending money to keep customers away the ads will stop, and so will the NYT, since if there is no revenue stream there is no NYT. Once you get down through the paint & primer to bare metal, its the money that keeps them alive. No money, no NYT - so simple.

Lets see, major advertisers... (Below threshold)
epador:

Lets see, major advertisers include major US automakers, US retailers, High End alcohol, jewelry, clothing, and lets not forget all the FINANCIAL advertisers.

Are we gonna boycott for real or just write letters?

I'm more disappointed in th... (Below threshold)
Glaser:

I'm more disappointed in the Pentagon for reducing our troop presence in Iraq than I am in the NYT for reporting it.

epador: "Lets see, major... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

epador: "Lets see, major advertisers include major US automakers, US retailers, High End alcohol, jewelry, clothing, and lets not forget all the FINANCIAL advertisers."

Get me the list and I will boycott every single one...and write scathing letters TELLING them so. And so will all my friends and family. I just don't want to have to delve into the cesspool that IS the NYT in order to determine the list my self.

Sorry, but I'm allergic to treason.

I drive a rusty old jalopy ... (Below threshold)
914:

I drive a rusty old jalopy dont go to the malls, drink cheap beer, dont wear jewelry. I wear clothes occasionally and have no finances to worry about? not to mention I never use spell check.


I agree with You Justrand. I wouldnt wipe My ass with that filthy rag. not that I could afford it. Ha Ha

Wait a minute, revealing Va... (Below threshold)
ted:

Wait a minute, revealing Valerie Plame's identity was MUCH WORSE for national security than the repeated leaks of national security measures and secret deployment memos by the New York Times. Much worse. Wasn't it?

The above essentially is what is the position of much of the MSM talking heads and Dem media outlets if we are to judge the time devoted to Valeria Plame.

Bottom line, the Dems, the MSM and the lefties in the USA are not only anti-American and, yes, unpatriotic, they are crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyy!

What a bunch of cutters.<br... (Below threshold)
jp2:

What a bunch of cutters.
What a bunch of runners.

If the last two stories wer... (Below threshold)
F15C:

If the last two stories weren't sufficient, then what action could the NYT take that would convince a 'reasonable person' that they did not have the best interests of American citizens in mind.

My god. Even in Viet Nam, newspapers didn't leak information on troop deployments. If that is not treason, then there is no such thing. The NYT is not out of control at all. They know exactly what they are doing - and that is not good for America.

With both the SWIFT and troop reduction stories the only parties who benefit are the terrorists of course (yea, yea, I know, they already know *everything* so divulging anything makes no difference. Right...) and, at least in their minds, the newspapers publishing the story.

Even the NYT themselves are not arguing that they've struck a blow against terrorists or helped to ensure the freedom, liberty, or safety of the American people. They are doing it for reasons of partisan political hubris and to make a buck. They could not care less about you and I.

Who do I trust more, the US government or NYT? US government, no question.

Thank you very much, but I'll keep my faith in the thousands of hard-working, non-leaking, Americans in the FBI, CIA, NSA, and various other governmental offices that are doing their level best to track and capture/kill terrorists instead of helping them.

What a bunch of cutters.... (Below threshold)
914:

What a bunch of cutters.
What a bunch of runners.

jp2 youve finally admitted it?

Looks like we were going to... (Below threshold)
Joel Whoknows:

Looks like we were going to redeploy after all, just as decorated soldiers Kerry and Murtha have said.

Eat your words.

F15C, it's not merely a mat... (Below threshold)
ted:

F15C, it's not merely a matter of who you trust more, NYT or US Govt. It's simply a matter of who is on our (the USA) side. The US Government (non-leaking portion) is; the NYT is not.

Joel Whoknows: OK, so Kerr... (Below threshold)
ted:

Joel Whoknows: OK, so Kerry & Murtha should be happy, right? How come they're still slamming Bush?

Because Hes a knee jerk lib... (Below threshold)
914:

Because Hes a knee jerk liberal.

Joel Whoknows, your stateme... (Below threshold)
STLScott:

Joel Whoknows, your statement is the equivilent of saying that Kerry and Murtha said that sun was going to rise in the morning, so of course they're right!

Any demands on their part concerning troop movements or withdrawals or redeployements are spurious and after the fact. What is going on and what will happen has been planned for a long time.

It is highly offensive and insulting for liberals and Democrats to attempt to take any credit for it.

From TPM:"I'm conv... (Below threshold)
jp2:

From TPM:

"I'm convinced that one of the primary reasons this administration doesn't want a timetable is that it would pin them down on what they are trying to do, how long they think it will take, and what it's going to cost. It would start to make them accountable."

Money.

STLScottExactly, t... (Below threshold)
914:

STLScott

Exactly, the Dems want to sneak in the back door and try to claim that their plans are the reason why troops are coming home. Because obviously they've been so anti military that the successes thereof must be plundered for political necessity no matter what the affrontery to decency or common sense.

All you "Republican's" out ... (Below threshold)
Armyguy:

All you "Republican's" out there. Keep up the good work. Keep attacking your scapegoat and watch your economy go in the tanker even more. Notice how the American dollar is hardly worth more than a Canadian dollar nowadays? That's right, your excellent foreign and domestic policy is literally destroying your economy. Keep up the good fight.

Haters are haters, what's the difference between a terrorist with a homemade bomb and a terrorist with "bunker buster" like the U.S. army. Are you ever going to wake up and see that you're not fighting a war against a threat in Iraq, your simply creating one by invading a country that was in no way shape or form a danger to the United States until Cheney decided it was time to grow Halliburton's stock (note, HAL's stock price has grown about as fast as troop death's in Iraq, one of the few great performers on the market in the past couple of years).

Your following a government that has only one interest in mind, their own.

On a last note, do you really think that Bush wanted to get Bin Laden? You have the most sophisticated government and military in the world , who once in Afghanistan is able to build an oil pipeline from one end of the country to the other within the first year, but is not able to track down and kill one man. Give me a break. Osama bin Bush has played into the Cheney Administrations hands perfectly, still using this "bad guy" as an excuse for fighting a war against a Country that has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Iraq is wrong. Was a lost cause before the first bomb was launched. It's hard to win hearts and minds when you aren't doing the right thing. Selfishness is an evil traight, not the a righteous one, and it's the only logical explanation for this war. Pure business, only good for Cheney and friends, bad for you, bad for the U.S. and bad for the world. Think about it for once.

Again ask yourselves, if you're doing the right thing in Iraq and the bush administration is a good one for your Country, how come the Canadian dollar is worth about as much as the US nowadays? How come your "conservative" government has created such a high deficit it will literally be a decade of proper fiscal management to even get back to break even? Your government is corrupt. Face the facts.

Troll Alert... (Below threshold)
914:

Troll Alert

It's a legitimate post and ... (Below threshold)
Armyguy:

It's a legitimate post and I'm not trolling.

Armyguy

[Red]Armyguy..."watch yo... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

[Red]Armyguy..."watch your economy go in the tanker even more"

tanker?

even more?

just because your dad (Howie Dean) SAYS it is "in the tank(er)", doesn't mean it is. Fact is, Comrade, it is amazingly healthy right now. unlike you.

The Times continues to do t... (Below threshold)
DOUG BOOK:

The Times continues to do this because the AG, that is, George Bush, is too much of a coward to prosecute them. And they know it. Such a president, who allows the American people to be placed in harms way by renegade traitors, should resign.

DOUG BOOK: There is an ongo... (Below threshold)
F15C:

DOUG BOOK: There is an ongoing investigation into the NSA leak, and I'm sure there will be investigations into the SWIFT exposure as well. As much as I hate the NYT right now, we are still a nation of laws and due process. I want them nailed and nailed hard, but it must be done legally.

Prosecuting a news organization is no trivial undertaking and should be handled with the utmost respect for the first amendment. Personally, I think the NYT is guilty as sin, but they still must be accorded due process.

I think a coward would choose power over wisdom and rush to prosecute - and lose the case. It takes a wiser head to give the matter its due and investigate and deliberate accordingly.

Of course, now that that br... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Of course, now that that briefing has been released, it has been rendered useless, so Casey will have to reevaluate and come up with a new time table... one that most likely will result in a delay in the draw down.

The NYT and LAT are the bod... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The NYT and LAT are the body of the snake. We have to find the head and chop it off like i do every snake that gets around my home. There are one or more, maybe several, democrat holdovers in the Intel community that are leaking this top secret information. If there is one democrat in the intel community with middle east ancestors you most likely have at least one of those responsible. Find them all and execute them in the most inhumane way allowed in the U.S. Try them in a state that allows hanging and pull them up slow and let them kick for a while. Throw the body of the snake (NYT/LAT)in the garbage to be buried along with the other garbage as it deserves. I wouldn't pay two cents for any of the rags put out by the antique MSM. I say their end will come when thousands are killed as a result of the leaks. There will be several million really hostile people.
I see CAIR doesn't like the fact that a lot of blogs have figured out they are nothing but a hidden terrorist cell. Now making threats. What a laugh.

Neither Lee, sean, etc. ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Neither Lee, sean, etc. here had the courage to face up to the fact that in revealing this program, the New York Times also revealed that the U.S. government must have certain numbers and e-mail addresses that it was using as seed data. If only half of the surveillees changed their numbers and e-mails, a significant set of sources and assets would have been rendered useless.
Martin A Knight

First off, what program thus far has had anything to do with e-mail addresses? Shut up or the terrists might figure that out.

Secondly, we've heard stories before the NSA surveillance story was printed about people buying large numbers of disposable cell phones. Were they terrorists? Who knows? Maybe another classified program is that all disposable cell phones are tapped. Oops, now I'd better shut up. But Osama bin Laden has known for years not to use a cell or satellite phone, so that's probably lesson #1 for terrorist - be careful on cell phones.

Thirdly, international wire transfers are still going to be routed through SWIFT, there is no way an entirely separate grid is going to be established without us knowing. Hell, maybe revealing it is better because then terrorists will try to move money in cash and that increases the risk of it being lost or authorities questioning them as they try to go through customs.

Fourthly, things clearly are not going well in Iraq if even a mention of withdrawal makes you all go crazy. If we are winning, withdrawal should clearly be a goal we can achieve soon. I hope that this:

Though I should also note if Ed is correct and the Pentagon planted this leak, the timing must also mean we really have demolished the insurgency in the last few weeks.

is true and talk of withdrawal is an option that does not make the wingers go nuts. But I'm not holding my breath for either of these.

I like the idea of boycotti... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I like the idea of boycotting the NY Slimes' advertisers. Would anyone like to post their identities?

Fact is, somebody leaked th... (Below threshold)
Armyguy:

Fact is, somebody leaked the info, who knows whether it's a dem or republican. It's newsworthy since it's causing this thread here, so why blame a newspaper for printing news. The current administration has already leaked information that benefited them before and literally helped lead to the rediculous war in Iraq. So if you have such a problem with the current leak, and want them hanged or whatnot, might as well start with your current leadership team.

If the current leak causes "thousands to be killed", think about the last one. Outing a CIA agent who was a critic of going to war with Iraq in the first place so the administration could take you into the current Iraq disaster with their well refined "weapons of mass destruction" marketing message.

That particular cool piece of marketing and decision making by the Bush team has caused literally well over a hundred thousand deaths if you include the peoples that Bush went in to save with "democracy".

Beating the insurgency? Yah right! Read the news... sorry, the bad guys are going to win this one and they're a lot worse than the joke of a threat that was in Iraq before.

Although Sadam was not a stellar individual, the new reality of Iraq is a hundred times worse than when the ineffectual government was there before.

Trillions of dollars later (neatly transferred from future generations (read record deficit's) into HAL's and pal's pockets), the U.S. is less stable and safe than ever before. That being said, war profiteering has never been more lucrative.

My opinon, don't blame the newspapers, blame the administration that has got you into this mess in the first place.

Wages have been flat, gas i... (Below threshold)
borkus:

Wages have been flat, gas is driving up the cost of everything, and the housing market is teetering on collapse. The Dow Jones has remained essentially flat since 2000. The economy is not all that great. Boycotting anything is not a good economy helper either.

Let's have a real debate about economics. I agree with Armyguy. Blame the idiots who put this unnecesary Iraq problem front and center in the first place, not the newspapers who are just doing their job.

Here's an idea, lets pool o... (Below threshold)
UncleZeb:

Here's an idea, lets pool our resources and take out an ad in they NYT with a message to all advertisers that future purchases of their products depend on how they spend their advertising dollars. Let them know that we feel the NYT is not the best representation of thier Corporate social values. This would send a loud message.

I will gladly collect all funds you would like to send my way and when I have enough money I will place the ad, (I promise). So send me your money and I will get the old word processor in high gear.

Just kidding about the send... (Below threshold)
UncleZeb:

Just kidding about the send me your money part but that would be a great way to use the NYT in bit of vitual Jujitsu. NYT would probably not accept the ad placement and claim it was too sensational or some such crap.

Stumbled upon your site by ... (Below threshold)
rodkin:

Stumbled upon your site by accident. How entertaining. It's always a quick giveaway of wacko right wingers with the clever made up name calling and supporting a fear based agenda over the bill of rights

Rodkin, Why dont You stumbl... (Below threshold)
914:

Rodkin, Why dont You stumble on down to "Right Wing Hate"? Im sure You will fit in nicely.

What a broken war machine w... (Below threshold)
Rob C:

What a broken war machine we are. Lets start a war with massive public support, oh but now the support is gone, so lets just stop. The Dems seem to like to take the "quick fix" or "feels good in the moment" route. 'Having a baby, not a good time, just abort it, problem solved', 'Tired of being married to teh same person - awe, just divorce them, problem solved' 'Tired of people getting arrested for illegal drugs - awe, just make them legal, problem solved' - 'Tired of friends and relative getting caught doing illegal activities, awe, make laws to protect them from the law, problem solved'
Honestly, does anyone care about the tens of thousands of lives in Iraq that we being lost or tortured each year while Sadam was in power? Or do these live only matter when they have the potential to get votes. Are we as people reduced to only have value if we can vote for someone to serve us a represent us in our government? What I see is a world full of billions of people, a few thousand or so control and influence the billions. To become part of the few that are in control, you can't get attached to any of those billions of people, you cannot see them as human, as having a life or as being equal, you have to see them as one thing, A step to power. If that person or thing cannot get you up one more step, then they are worthless and meaningless to you. Did you see a little 9 year old girl in afganistan who had been sold into slavery by her parents at three then tortured over the next few years, oh, wait, she can't vote so who cares what happens to her...
So we loose a little over 2000 soldiers in the last few years in Iraq. The only reason people care about those lives is for political gain, they are not soldiers, they are steps to power. How many people died so far this year from drunk driving accidents? awe, who cares, not enough votes to lobby that topic. How may teenagers committed suicide in the last few months.. awe - who cares, the story is not big enough to gain any votes from to try to help those kids. Oh damn, look, another soldier died in Iraq, Sweet, publish it front page news, put his picture on the web with the rest, keep a list and tell everyone, this one has potential for getting us more votes, this death is worth something, maybe two or three steps up the power ladder. Oh, yes, another point, he was captured and his head was cut off, sweet, this should really get people to back us and vote for us....

Anybody consider the possib... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Anybody consider the possibility that the entire "classified briefing" was little more than misinformation, a sham to leak to the papers and give the rags a false sense of hope? Pretend to withdraw, watch for Textile Teddy to pop up from behind a sand dune, give him a chance to get out in the open, then blow his friggin' head off. Sleight of hand, only with guns instead of cards.

Hell, we might never leave. Sure, it'll be all over the papers, probably the NYT, but who's to say that we won't have CIA NOCs over there for at least another fifty years? They call in a helicopter of commandos, another insurgency hole gets filled in the hard way. And while you're chewing on that, take a bite of this: just how far are the American fingers spread?

Just think about it, folks. How much of what we are fed is true?

Well, Lee, that's one of th... (Below threshold)

Well, Lee, that's one of the things reporters are supposed to do... fact check.

Still, there's logical problems with believing that everything is a lie.

(One of them is that a person can't rationally make the "logical" statment... "If there's so much good stuff happening in Iraq, how come the military and administration aren't constantly telling us all about it, huh? HUH?")

I suspect that the "classif... (Below threshold)
Riley:

I suspect that the "classified" information isn't classified at all, but rather is a trial balloon intended to see if a notional troop reduction can help the Republicans save themselves in the forthcoming mid-term elections.

Don't blame the NYT for this, blame Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the White House slimeballs who have a neurological aversion to telling any form of truth.

Last week, jesus-freak cong... (Below threshold)
InfantryOfficer:

Last week, jesus-freak congressmen blast dems for demanding a timetable for withdraw. this week, generals on the ground issue a timetable for withdraw. now, jesus-freaks can't argue that getting out of Iraq is unpatriotic, so lets blast NYT for releasing "troop movements". LOL. Last time I checked, "troop movements" were NOT a projected table for redeployment 6 months away.

rome is burning, morons. Put down the bible and open your eyes!!

sean ...You're of ... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

sean ...

You're of course saying the exact same thing that could be used to justify any and every single instance where the Press exposes any classified information.

If the New York Times exposes Operation Overlord a week to D-Day, the excuse applies; Germany must already know that the Allies plan to liberate France so exposing the whens and hows didn't do any damage.

If the New York Times publishes the locations of America's nuclear missile silos during the Cold War, the excuse applies; the Soviets must already know that America had nuclear missiles so revealing the where doesn't do any damage.

If the New York Times publishes the algorithm that enables American orbital sattellites to observe the Earth and distinguish geographical features from other objects, the excuse applies as well; the world already knows that America has sattellites that can see things the size of coins, so revealing the how doesn't do any damage.

If the New York Times publishes the fact that the capos of the New York mob was being wiretapped and their financial transactions were being monitored, the excuse applies perfectly; they already know it - so revealing it and reminding them to change phone numbers, e-mail addresses, contact procedures, bank accounts and purge all possible security weakpoints wholesale does absolutely no harm whatsoever (nevermind that the FBI would have to spend years to regain that same level of penetration).

You people seriously do lack imagination.

PS: The NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program also dealt with e-mail.

First of all I suspect that... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

First of all I suspect that Armyguy = InfantryOfficer = Stupid Fake.

    ... jesus-freak congressmen blast dems for demanding a timetable for withdraw. this week, generals on the ground issue a timetable for withdraw.

Heh heh heh ...

And of course, being a complete idiot, you seem to think one has something to do with the other. The GOP has absolutely no objection to a withdrawal timetable set by the Generals on the ground in Iraq. A timetable set by the Democrats in Congress in Washington DC on the other hand ...

Lee also suffers from this delusion; the idea that Republicans (or jesus-freaks, as you'd prefer to call us) would US troops to stay in Iraq forever. So anytime a soldier returns from Iraq, we should thank Ted Kennedy for personally going in and bringing him back.

Pathetic.

You know why you don't tell... (Below threshold)
Rob c:

You know why you don't tell the democrates your war plans? Because the first thing they will do is put it on the front page of the NY Times for the enemy to read about. I mean come on, are you a bunch of freak'n noobs to real world war. What kind of idiot, publish's their strageties of war in the news paper, I call you "Stupid Freak's"

You're of course saying ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

You're of course saying the exact same thing that could be used to justify any and every single instance where the Press exposes any classified information.
Martin A Knight

Martin, clearly you are giving much too much value to what the NYT has printed. All of the examples you give get into much more detail than anything than what was revealed. No operational details, algorithms, etc. have been leaked. To use your own examples, it would be like the NYT printing articles that said:
US Army determined to Liberate France, but with no specifics as to how and when;
US Possesses Nuclear Weapons, and maybe even mention that they are located on bases in the Western part of the country - of course this is true, but its probably not even half the story;
US Launches New Advanced Satellite Capable of Seeing your Ass, but please, leaking the algorithm, you're joking, right?;
And finally, the mobsters, let me just say this clearly - everyone knows cell phones are shady, if you know this and are a criminal/terrorist, you suspect all forms of electronic communication. If you didn't know this, you'd get nowhere in trying to be one. We can argue all day about "reminding them", but just go with your gut - THEY ALREADY KNOW.

If you want to continue this debate, please cite the specific piece of information from the articles that helps the terrorists. General, overarching articles that say "US is watching you" are not surprising anyone.

sean ...The fact i... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

sean ...

The fact is; the Germans "ALREADY [KNEW]" that for the Allies to break into Europe, they would need to mount a massive amphibious landing of enough troops to overwhelm their coastal defenses before they could be re-enforced. But yet they were surprised on D-Day.

Why? Even though they "ALREADY [KNEW]", they got sloppy, they got complacent and Eisenhower and his people, even though Operation Overlord was brilliantly conceived and executed, got lucky.

Imagine if the New York Times had published on the 25th of May 1944 that their sources within the War Department had told them that the Allies intend to employ an amphibious assault to secure a beachhead in Europe? What if that led to the Germans beefing up their defenses around the coasts ... including Normandy?

Even if the New York Times had made no mention of Normandy or the 5th of June (the original planned date), would they "ALREADY [KNEW]" be an excuse?

You see, you're operating on the assumption that, unlike ordinary run of the mill criminals, yes, even mobsters, terrorists never get sloppy. You're taking it as a given that terrorists/criminals never keep a line (i.e. phone number, e-mail address) long enough for US intelligence to get a bead on it.

And that is simply not true.

Mobsters are not superhuman with extraordinary powers of foresight, omniscience and perfect professionalism in maintaining their secrecy. They make mistakes. The same thing applies to terrorists. Your belief that no matter what is tried to bring them down, "THEY ALREADY KNOW" is nothing more than defeatism.

How else do the police catch mobsters? They get sloppy, they get complacent, they get desperate. And furthermore, even though mobsters know that they can get tapped they still use phones and e-mail. Somehow, someway, they have to communicate and to do so effectively they need to have a point of contact that has some level of longevity.

In other words, and I do have some experience here, if one or two terrorist cell members change their numbers, that may not be a problem because Intelligence agencies have a key number they can backtrack. But a story like the one filed by New York Times immeditately sends up all sorts of alarms; all the numbers in the cells or network of cells now change.

In many cases, intelligence agencies would now have to start from scratch, once again looking for needles in a haystack.

The same thing applies to this bank account issue. A lot of accounts would simply get emptied and abandoned and new ones would be opened to continue facilitating terrorism. After all, even though "THEY ALREADY KNOW", mobsters still use bank transfers. For the government to get a hold of these new terrorist accounts may take time the United States can ill afford.

    General, overarching articles that say "US is watching you" are not surprising anyone.

Then what exactly is "news" in the article in question? Since it was such common knowledge so much so that even "THEY ALREADY KNOW" why did the New York Times bother publishing it?

Fact is, somebody leaked... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Fact is, somebody leaked the info, who knows whether it's a dem or republican.

I'm MORE than willing to make a wager. Are you?

It's newsworthy since it's causing this thread here, so why blame a newspaper for printing news.

If Bill Keller shot a kid, it'd be mentioned here. It'd become news.

It'd ALSO be illegal.

The current administration has already leaked information that benefited them before and literally helped lead to the rediculous war in Iraq. So if you have such a problem with the current leak, and want them hanged or whatnot, might as well start with your current leadership team.

Care to reveal these leaks?

If the current leak causes "thousands to be killed", think about the last one. Outing a CIA agent who was a critic of going to war with Iraq in the first place so the administration could take you into the current Iraq disaster with their well refined "weapons of mass destruction" marketing message.

Nobody was outed. Fitzgerald said as much.

And if you really are going to hold Plame up as the epitome of great spycraft and the single person who kept all of the wolves at bay and kept the US safe, you're going to have a really tough road to travel down.

Beating the insurgency? Yah right! Read the news... sorry, the bad guys are going to win this one and they're a lot worse than the joke of a threat that was in Iraq before.

Well, if we elect "America is weak" cowards such as yourself, yes, we'll lose.

Honestly, does anyone care about the tens of thousands of lives in Iraq that we being lost or tortured each year while Sadam was in power?

The Dems are infamously and historically unconcerned with the problems of dark-skinned folks.

Martin, clearly you are giving much too much value to what the NYT has printed. All of the examples you give get into much more detail than anything than what was revealed. No operational details, algorithms, etc. have been leaked.

FAR more details were revealed in these stories than the infamous PDB that Bush got slammed for revealed about 9/11.

Just saying...

And, Martin, one of the reasons Normandy worked was that the Allies did leak false plans about an invasion elsewhere in France and did a lot of work to make it look like the invasion was going elsewhere.

HOWEVER, if today's press was around back then, they'd have leaked satellite imagery to kill the facade.
-=Mike

If you want to continue ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

If you want to continue this debate, please cite the specific piece of information from the articles that helps the terrorists. General, overarching articles that say "US is watching you" are not surprising anyone.

Martin?

Is it my fault that compreh... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Is it my fault that comprehension is so difficult for you, Lee?

Armyguy = Armyguy, so if yo... (Below threshold)
Armyguy:

Armyguy = Armyguy, so if you have any rebuttals against armyguy's post please respond to them rather than using someone else's post and association.

"Lets start a war with massive public support, oh but now the support is gone, so lets just stop." - so why did the war have massive public support? Because the American people were lied to that's why. Weapons of Mass destruction mantra resulted in the leak and outing of a cia operative who knew different. Of course Plame is not a pivotal player, but it's just another layer on the mountain that clearly shows the Cheney administration had no room for any debate on the iraq war issue, would do anything to shut anyone up who had anything different to say, and was 100% wrong in everything they said leading up to the war:

a) Weapons of mass destruction - fact: Iraq was in no way shape or form a thret to the people of America prior to the invasion. They had no weapons.
b) Al Quaida Iraq connection - fact: Sadam and Al Qaida were enemies, there was no terrorist threat in Iraq. It's now rampant with terrorist threat and is often now referred to as an Al Qaida training ground. You can attribute that new reality to the current leadership team of the United States, there is literally no one else to blame.
c) It would be an easy victory - fact: withdrawal is being debated in 2006 because it's very difficult to see any progress. The majority of Iraqi's don't want the U.S. there, so what's going to change that? Add in a few more Haditha's and you're talking about a perpetual war with no end in sight. Things are NOT going well, 6 years later. In fact, Iraq is less aligned with Western Values than in Sadam's reign.

The only possible justification left to supporters of this mess is "Well Sadam was a bad man who tortured Iraqi's" Fact: Iraqi's are FAR worse off now than they were in Sadam's reign. Truly a joke. Bush doesn't care one bit about the lives of Iraqi's (and lets be honest, he doesn't care about you either unless of your a special interest group who has paid for his marketing campaigns). Former health of Iraqi's is certainly not justification for spending trillions of more dollars on an unjust and unwinnable war that was faught for all the wrong reasons. Again, Iraqi's are far worse off now than six years ago.

America is strong and beautiful when it is just, unfortunately there is nothing just about what Bush and Cheney have done in Iraq.

It's time to hold someone accountable for the mess that's been created and it's not the NYT. You've been lied to, the emperor wears no clothes.




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