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The New York Times Leaks Again

This time it was a classified document that said the US is not confident in Prime Minister al-Maliki's ability to clamp down on his country's sectarian violence. This leak may have caused the postponement of the US-Iraq summit in Jordan:

President Bush's high-stakes summit with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was put off Wednesday after public disclosure of U.S. doubts about his capacity to control sectarian warfare.

The White House said the two leaders would meet on Thursday.

The postponement was announced shortly after Bush arrived here for talks with King Abdullah II and al-Maliki. Bush's meeting with the king was to proceed on schedule.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett denied that the move was a snub by al-Maliki or was related to the leak of a White House memo questioning the prime minister's capacity for controlling violence in Iraq.

"Absolutely not," Bartlett said." He said the king and the prime minister had met before Bush arrived from a NATO summit in Latvia. "It negated the purpose for a meeting of the three of them," Bartlett said.

Fox News' Shepard Smith says lots of his sources are saying this postponement is directly because of this New York's leaked memo. He says he's almost 100% percent sure of it.

Take that for what it's worth, but the Times' leaked memo is the only thing that's changed in the last 24 hours.

The meeting between Bush and al-Maliki will be only over breakfast midnight ET with a press conference at 2:30am ET. There will only be four questions allowed, two from the American press pool, and two from Iraqi journalists with no follow up.


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Comments (38)

Please, we have to go after... (Below threshold)
epador:

Please, we have to go after the leakers, not the NYT. I guarantee if the NYT would not have published it, the leakers would have found someone else to publish it.

As much as I hate the NYT. Only good thing about it is the Sunday Magazine and the crossword.

Take that for what... (Below threshold)
Take that for what it's worth, but the Times' leaked memo is the only thing that's changed in the last 24 hours.

There was also the threat by Moqtada al Sadr's block to boycott Parliament if Maliki met with Bush.

Let's not blame the NY Times for publishing Bartlett's memo. The memo was spot on in evaluating Maliki's performance.

As much as I have been an extremely vocal critic of Bush, I don't like to see the President of my country stood up by the likes of Maliki. As a country, we deserve better than that from an Iraqi Prime Minister given all that our heroes have sacrificed for them.


I thought the boycott was a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I thought the boycott was a known threat, known for a week or so -- and therefore should not have caused a change in plans, if already known... no?

The Republican buffoonery in the Washington gets more entertaining every day. I suspect the majority of Americans, if they could vote today, would vote George out of the White House -- in a friggin' heartbeat.

And there is no question that if the November 7th election had been delayed a month, until next Tuesday let's say.. the result would have been even more overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats. We're witnessing the meltdown of the party in power for the last 12 years, triggered by a horrendously wrong turn after 9/11.

However once again, as always -- it's someone else's "fault". After all, it was the American people who let terrorized victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 drive the policy decisions in the GWOT. Even re-elected the clowns in 1994.

Doh! Our bad!

We now return our audience to the previously scheduled episode of "Kill The Messenger," already in progress.

I am so sick of the NY Time... (Below threshold)

I am so sick of the NY Times and other hippy liberal faggots like them trying to do the terrorists jobs for them. It's about time we clamped down on these threats to our national security. It's a pity that now with the democraps in the house it's only going to get worse.

So, Lee ... you're okay wit... (Below threshold)

So, Lee ... you're okay with classified information being leaked? Or is it okay only when you perceive the leak to be injurious to your opposition?

Oyster, Kim et al:... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Oyster, Kim et al:

The NYT didn't "leak" anything. They published a "leak" from George Bush's administration. Where's the outrage at the adminstration/employee responible for same? Be consistent if you're going to condemn leaks. Oh, and if a news reader (Smith) from Fox says his sources say something by god it must be true. Now you folks use a news reader from Fox as your expert? That's a gas and a half.

Steve, you need sesitivity or toilet training. I'm not sure which. Well, actually I am.

He should be strung up as w... (Below threshold)
RYan:

He should be strung up as well, but that does not relieve the New York Times of its culpability. It is not their business to decide what shoudl and should not be classified. Last I checked, they were not part of the CIA. .

"The classified document b... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

"The classified document by Bush's national security advisor states "His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans... "But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests (he) is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action." Sounds awfully like someone else we know.

If you truly believe that t... (Below threshold)
drlava:

If you truly believe that this was "leaked by the NYT" It is time to unplug the keyboard.

Oh, wait, you are the same folks that belived that the GOP was not going to be destroyed a few weeks ago.

I think you also believe that GWB is a fine president. There WERE WMD. Saddam was responsible for 9-11.

Shouldn't a bit of political acumen be required here??

"So, Lee ... you're okay... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So, Lee ... you're okay with classified information being leaked? Or is it okay only when you perceive the leak to be injurious to your opposition?"

This post isn't about the leak, it's about the publication of the leak. I believe the NYT did the right thing publishing this information, for the same reason that if the U.S. government has classified information that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, the American people should have that information, classified or not.

Our government operates for the American people,.If the press has information to the contrary, that the government is not operating in our best interest, I want to know --- we have a right to know.

I am absolutely okay with this type of leaked information being published. We've been lied to from day one regarding Iraq, and American soldiers are dying needlessly as a result. If it is the opinion of some of those in the White House that al-Maliki isn't as competent and capable as our President is publicly telling us he is then yes, the American people have the right to know that.

If you were considering enlisting in the military, knowing that you would in all likelihood be sent to Iraq, wouldn't you want to know?

If you went into a recruiting office and asked the recruiter is al-Maliki was a competent and capable leader, would the recruiter tell you the truth? Would the recruiter even know the truth, without the NY Times' publication of this memo?

How many times did President Bush stood before television cameras as we approached the November 7th election, and tell us that al-Maliki is the right man for the job in Iraq? Any chance Bush said those words because of partisan, political reasons?

We live in a country where the President of the United States looks the American people in the eye and lies because it is in the best interest of his own political party. Knowing that is the case is absolutely in the best interests of the American people, at all times.

Steve Niles, you're a disgr... (Below threshold)
offended:

Steve Niles, you're a disgrace to your species. You don't deserve to vote.

So Lee, do I have your abso... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

So Lee, do I have your absolute WORD that this will apply in ALL cases, and if the disasterous happens and we have a Democratic president you will NOT complain about leaks to the press? The pres is NOT a branch of gevernment and IS subject to the same laws as us normal lowly citizens,
'

This memo was distributed t... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

This memo was distributed to a handful of top level WH officials. Do you really think that someone that close to Bush would leak this memo without the Presidents approval?

Grow-up.

This was another political blunder by the bushies.

By the way, the memo was no... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

By the way, the memo was not classified. The President has the authority to declassify any document he chooses. When he gave the approval to release the memo to the press, he declassified it.

I don't know, what if it wa... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I don't know, what if it was "leaked" on purpose? Why is that a bad thing? We need the Iraqis to take control of their own country. We also need the gov't to stop the sectarian power struggles. What better way than to "leak" a "classified" document so we can say it in a very public way without actually having to say it?
And how funny would it be for Bush to use the NY Times as his propaganda arm? I mean, they usually work for the other side.

I hope this was on purpose, and I hope it makes the Iraqis understand that our patience is running out with their sectarian crap.

"So Lee, do I have your ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So Lee, do I have your absolute WORD that this will apply in ALL cases, and if the disasterous happens and we have a Democratic president you will NOT complain about leaks to the press?

No. Like any reasonable and responsible adult I'll evaluate the leak and the "importance of knowing" on a case-by-case basis. I don't believe that any and all leaked classified information should be published by the press solely because it was leaked.

Hey Kim, your headline for ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Hey Kim, your headline for this post is a lie.

The New York Times Leaks Again

The New York Times didn't leak anything. They published leaked classified information provided to them by others.

Let's start a pool on the odds that Kim will correct her erroneous headline. Who's in?

I agree with epador. It is... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I agree with epador. It is time to find who the leakers are. And I think that the reporters at the NYT do not receive the protection of the Constitution on this regarding their sources. If Lee personally feels we have the right to know this information, I also personally feel I have the right to know who is leaking it. Why? Because I believe that much of this is indeed legitimately classified information. If I wanted al-Maliki to know I didn't think he was doing a good job I would rather have the privilege of telling him behind the closed doors of diplomacy - in my own way - than through a reporter's column in the Times. I have no doubt the NYT loves this role, but I now feel I have the right to know who is feeding them this information. I want to see Bush succeed, Lee does not. So it is more important to me that Bush knows who the rat is. Lee does not care in this regard.

"..how funny would it be fo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"..how funny would it be for Bush to use the NY Times as his propaganda arm?"

Veeshir, the WH used Judi Miller, of the Times, extensively to peddle their "Saddam had WMD" lies. Scooter leaked to Judi the aluminum tubes lie, Plame's identity and other CIA conclusions.

And your Criterion is:... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

And your Criterion is:

"Is the president at the time a Republican or a Democrat?"

So you think that the New York Times should get a special exemption from the law?

YOu se, Lee, the problem wi... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

YOu se, Lee, the problem with leaks is that they are almost ALWAYS selective and deceptive, and quite often leave you, the voter, actually knowing LESS that you did before - all while managing to damage security at the same time. Now I realize that ripping down the United states on the world stage gives you warm fuzzies, but. ..

"So it is more important... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So it is more important to me that Bush knows who the rat is. Lee does not care in this regard."

I don't care who the leaker is, or what their motives for leaking may have been. That is a separate issue from the discussion of the New York Times publishing the leaked information, but I absolutely believe any and all leaks need to be fully investigated, and if the guilty party is found they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

It's my belief that anyone who leaks classified information does or should know that doing so may have harsh consequences. I also believe that a reasonable jury would acquit someone who leaked classified information regarding a link between smoking and cancer, to use the example I provided earlier, because the public's right to know would, in all likelihood in this specific hypothetical instance, exceed the government's reasons to keep the information classified.

I'm not suggesting that the leaker did the right thing by leaking this classified memo, but I do believe the NY Times did the right thing by publishing it.

Is there anyone here who believes that our government has the absolute and un-challengeable right to declare anything they want as "classified", and that there never could be an instance where that privilege was abused?

One you recognize that it could be in the best interests of the American people for the press to publish leaked classified documents the question becomes whether the New York Times' publication in this instance was justified or not -- but I will not agree with anyone who suggests that the New York Times should not under any circumstances ever publish leaked classified information.

The framers of the Constitution wisely recognized the importance of the free press, and smear and run bloggers are nothing more than partisan political hacks if they suggest otherwise. Sadly, posts like Kim's, which incorrectly identify the NYT as criminal leakers, do a great disservice to our country by attempting to weaken that constitutional mandate of a free and independent press.

It's chilling to think of a political party, operating through a network of bloggers, which systematically attempts to weaken our free press system -- but that's exactly what the Republican party is attempting in the United States today, in my opinion.

The press is free - they ar... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

The press is free - they are also free to follow the law like anyone else, and the law ALSO prohibits passing on clasified information. Leakers almost always, almost 100% of the time, have a political agenda in leaking - and the publishers of those leaks almost always do too. Again> Do you think that the laws of the United States of America should NOT apply to the New York times: In other words, do you believe the members of the New York Times are a special class of citizen that can do things illegtal to everyone else - and if they ARE part of the government with governmental powers to declasify information, then they should be subject to votes.


And if they think the leaked information IS that important, they should take a page from Martin Luther King and SUFFER the conseqences of willfully breaking the law.

Lee - you seem to share a t... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Lee - you seem to share a trait I have noticed among democrats - the areas of government or places where they want to increase power the most, are in the places where people can't vote for those makign the decisions. Unelected judges. The Press. Beauraucrats. Any area that is NOT subject to correction from an outside source.

Lee, there's tons of stuff ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Lee, there's tons of stuff that is classified that I probably would love to hear about. But, well, you know, the Bush administration did not come up with this classification. And although there is this trove of interesting stuff which might actually affect my perspective, my perspective is not as important as that of those whose decisions directly affect policy. It is likely a judge would find that it is the public's right to know that smoking is associated with cancer. It is just not clear that if you were arguing this case before a judge, that the judge would accept your argument that the public's right to know the impressions of Maliki included in a classified document is valid because it might alter someone's (voluntary) choice to enlist. If this piece of information is the basis for one's decision to enlist, you must have just come out of a three year coma.

Just had another thought:</... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Just had another thought:

Have you ever heard of "Th Fairnes doctrine" Are you in favour of it or against it? If you are in favor, then how do you reconcile an absolute support for "Freedom of the pres' with a desire to have the presses freedoms curtailed?

Freedom of the pres is the freedom to SAY whatever they want and pubish whatever political opinion they want, even in direct opposition to the government. It is not a lisence to break laws, whlich you seem to believe it is.

I apologize for this "link ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I apologize for this "link and run" but I'm short on time today and have to leave the computer now and I'm really interested in discussing freedom of the press further... but the most notable case of this sort is the publication of the "Pentagon Papers", in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of the press to publish classified information. Here's a link.

Hugh, I never said or even ... (Below threshold)

Hugh, I never said or even implied that the NYT "leaked" the story. The NYT "reported" on the leak. Or is it just more fun to assume someone is stupid and be quick to criticize rather than actually reading what they said?

THat is not answering any o... (Below threshold)
RDM:

THat is not answering any of the questions. . .]

ANd also, the SUpreme court... (Below threshold)
RDM:

ANd also, the SUpreme court has been wrong before. It will be wrong again.

Lee: My question was in re... (Below threshold)

Lee: My question was in regards to classified information being leaked by whomever the Times sources are. Not whether the Times has a right to print it. I asked you that because your first comment did not address the post at all. Frankly, I'm of the mind that if we begin using the law to punish newspapers for what they print then we begin that slippery slope ride. It's the leakers who are clearly breaking the law.

Lee, I just want to echo Oy... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Lee, I just want to echo Oyster's comment. I too am not concerned with prosecuting the NYT or the reporter named in the byline. My concern is with the government source and the Executive's right to know that source. Clearly the source had another alternative quite compatible with the checks and balances outlined in the Constitution: he/she could have made contact with a congressman or senator on the appropriate committee. If the source didn't I think the source has made an intentional mistake. And if he/she did and the legistator said something like: "yeah, I've been briefed on that information and that's all I can say. Hey, off the record, I don't have much faith in al-Maliki right now either but it's who the people elected and we worked hard toward that election so we have to get him on track..." that should also be the end of it. It seems there is someone within the Bush Adminstration who is shopping his/her agenda around.

Fox News' Shepard Smith ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Fox News' Shepard Smith says lots of his sources are saying this postponement is directly because of this New York's leaked memo. He says he's almost 100% percent sure of it.

Yes, it couldn't possibly have been in response to al Sadr walking out on al Maliki. Oh my God.

Oyster: "Lee: My questio... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Oyster: "Lee: My question was in regards to classified information being leaked by whomever the Times sources are."

DaveD: "Lee, I just want to echo Oyster's comment. I too am not concerned with prosecuting the NYT or the reporter named in the byline. My concern is with the government source and the Executive's right to know that source."

I thought I answered that here. "I don't care who the leaker is, or what their motives for leaking may have been. That is a separate issue from the discussion of the New York Times publishing the leaked information, but I absolutely believe any and all leaks need to be fully investigated, and if the guilty party is found they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." Whether the Times should be forced to disclose their source is up to the legal system to decide.

DaveD: "It seems there is someone within the Bush Adminstration who is shopping his/her agenda around."

Possibly, or as Veshir wrote above: "And how funny would it be for Bush to use the NY Times as his propaganda arm? I mean, they usually work for the other side." I'm not sure the motive of the leaker matters, or could even be proved one way or the other, but I agree the leaks should be fully investigated, and if the motives come to light that's great.

Oyster:Well I did ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Oyster:

Well I did the old assumption thing, you know where I make an ass out of u and me. Mea culpa. The thread is about the NYT "leaking"....so I assumed.....

H

DOes the law not ALSO have ... (Below threshold)
RYan:

DOes the law not ALSO have provisions agains passing ON classified information?

LEE - YOu don't fe... (Below threshold)
RDM:

LEE -

YOu don't feel comfortable with the president being able to classify just anything, so why do you feel comfortable with Pich SUlzberger, who has flas out SAID that he was 'workign to defeat the Bush administration' - pretty much flat out admitted he was a partisan hack - deciding what should and should not be declassified? Somethign leaked is damaged forever; That can't be taken back. SOmethign classified can later be declassified. Out of the two, I know which is worse. BUt you belong to that breed of people that think the law shoudl only apply in certain cases, and definitely not if it supports a liberal cause. In that case, the law can fly out the window and convienience takes over.

To "Offended".Well... (Below threshold)

To "Offended".

Well, don't worry son, now that your pussy faggot hippy party is in charge the whole situation will go to hell and my boys will be back in charge fixing your mess very shortly. Enjoy your liberal paradise for the very short time you'll have it before the grownups come back.

It's the NY Times that is the disgrace to this country. We should do all in our power to shut these fags down.

-Steve Niles




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