Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Pulitzer for disclosing national security secrets

Paul at Powerline says:

New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won the Pulitzer Prize today for their treasonous contribution to the undermining of the highly classified National Security Agency surveillance program of al Qaeda-related terrorists.

As I argued in a column for the Standard, the Risen/Lichtblau reportage clearly violated relevant provisions of the Espionage Act -- a particularly serious crime insofar as it lends assistance to the enemy in a time of war.

Juxtapose the Times's award-winning reportage with the Times's highminded editorial condemnation of President Bush for allegedly failing to follow proper procedure in declassifying the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate key judgments.
Today the Times instructs us: "Even a president cannot wave a wand and announce that an intelligence report is declassified."

Waving a wand is apparently a prerogative reserved to Times executive editor Bill Keller, who made the decision to "declassify" the NSA surveillance program in the pages of the Times. According to Keller, the publication of the NSA story did "not expose any technical intelligence-gathering methods or capabilities that are not already on the public record."

Thus Keller waved his wand, and the Times blew the NSA program. Smarter folks than I will have to reconcile the trains of thought at work among the editors of the New York Times.
We hear a lot these days from folks at the Times and their supporters about “arrogance” and “privilege.”

The Times condemns them when they think they’ve found them in others. But could there be anything wrong in disclosing a secret National Security program? The Times will make that decision.

Well, when the Times does it, how about telling us the how and why? At least answer questions the Times own public editor.

The Times won’t answer those questions. Arrongace, privilege and “we’ll decide what’s a secret.”

Its enough to make me ask whether the people running The Times are on the same side we're on.