June 27, 2006



TIA Daily's Robert Tracinski had a great round-up of links and commentary (under the apt title "Fourth Estate, Fifth Column") regarding the latest New York Times breach:

Last week, the mainstream media continued its policy of declassifying America's anti-terrorism intelligence gathering tactics. You didn't think that the editors of the New York Times had the legal authority to declassify national security secrets? Neither did I. In fact, publishing these life-or-death secrets is a crime.

Michael Barone offers a general argument in favor of cracking down on these national security leaks, while the Weekly Standard provides a specific legal justification for a criminal prosecution of the editors of the New York Times and at least one congressman has called for such a prosecution.

As Barone points out, the most recent New York Times exposure of a national security secret is particularly egregious because there is no suggestion that the intelligence program it reveals is illegal the (dubious) argument the Times used to justify its previous exposure of a wire-tapping program.

So the Times cannot claim that it has revealed this information in order to blow the whistle on an abuse of presidential power. That moves their actions into the realm of treason: the editors of the Times published information that they knew would aid the enemy and did so without being able to claim any legitimate motive.

NRO has posted a letter from Treasury Secretary John W. Snow to Times Magaging Editor Bill Keller. (via Little Green Footballs)

[J]ustifying this disclosure by citing the "public interest" in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective.  Indeed, you have done so here.

What you've seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available -- lawfully and responsibly -- to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists.  I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.

Posted by Forkum at June 27, 2006 04:29 PM