"If the Times Stops Helping the Terrorists, the Terrorists Will Have Won"
This ought to be rich. But what I really want to know is when the Times will publish a useful secret (useful to Americans, not terrorists), say, the exact deductions on your income tax returns that automatically trigger an audit? Nah, that might hurt the government’s war on your wallet.
“SINCE Sept. 11, 2001, newspaper editors have faced excruciating choices in covering the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents.”
Oh yes, we can tell. They must weep every time they have to publish something damaging to the war effort. Weep, I tell you!
Liberals just can’t help playing the victim card. It’s in their bones. Every day is an excruciatingly painful choice: shall we merely undermine the war effort, or actually assist our enemy?
“Each of us has, on a number of occasions, withheld information because we were convinced that publishing it could put lives at risk.”
Sorry. You don't get credit for common decency. What about the many other occasions you purposely chose to put American lives at risk?
“Last week our newspapers disclosed a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions. We did so after appeals from senior administration officials to hold the story. Our reports--like earlier press disclosures of secret measures to combat terrorism--revived an emotional national debate, featuring angry calls of 'treason' and proposals that journalists be jailed along with much genuine concern and confusion about the role of the press in times like these.”
Liberals cannot help thinking in terms of feelings. It most certainly is “an emotional debate,” in that it centers entirely around the Times’ visceral hatred of President Bush. Remove that from the equation and we wouldn’t be having this debate.
The Times, of course, is not angered by treason. They're above that sort of thing.
“We agree, however, on some basics about the immense responsibility the press has been given by the inventors of the country.”
What a monstrously pompous inversion. The founders gave no such special responsibility to huge, self-serving media conglomerates. Rather, they created a government whose purpose was to protect the rights of individuals, not “the press” and certainly not “The Times.” The Times has no special rights that any ordinary citizen doesn’t possess, but they obviously consider themselves above the law, including the constitution. If I did what the Times had done, I would be arrested, tried and jailed as a spy, and rightfully so. There is no fourth branch of government called “the press.” There are only people with blogs, most of them idiots, a few of whom go to the trouble of printing and distributing their blathering, like the Times.
“Make no mistake, journalists have a large and personal stake in the country's security.”
That’s true. Right through the heart.
“We live and work in cities that have been tragically marked as terrorist targets.”
Liberal always call evil a “tragedy.” Then they call tragedies, like Katrina, “evil,” at least if they can blame it on a Republican.
“Reporters and photographers from both our papers braved the collapsing towers to convey the horror to the world.”
Special pleading. How come they haven’t conveyed the horror every day since? Why the blackout? How come they don’t show the horrifying beheadings on the front pages, instead of conveying the horrifying inconvenience of Gitmo or Abu Ghraib day after day after day?
“But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate.”
How convenient. This is a new twist. When President Bush says that they hate us because of our values and our freedoms, liberals, including the Times, always snicker. For the Times, it’s always something we did to inflame the terrorists.
“If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.”
What dopes. The issue isn’t freedom of the press. The issue is fifth columnists (all five now available through Times Select) within the press misusing their freedom to help the terrorists. The terrorists love that kind of freedom of the press. I can assure the Times that none of them are complaining about the invaluable assistance they are receiving from the Times.
“Our job, especially in times like these, is to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf, and at what price.”
Sounds like this program was doing a pretty good job at a small price until you needlessly blew their cover.
By the way, as lowly readers, our job, in times like these, is to judge whether our unelected elites are fighting on our behalf or for the other side.
“If a war is being waged in America's name, shouldn't Americans understand how it is being waged?"
Er, no, not if the tactic in question it is perfectly legal, and if revealing it will undermine the effort and embolden the enemy. In any event, no one would ever accuse the Times of understanding how or even why this war is being waged.
“Government officials, understandably, want it both ways. They want us to protect their secrets, and they want us to trumpet their successes.’
It’s true. Strange as it may seem, Americans would prefer that you actually be on America’s side instead of revealing its secrets, trumpeting our failures, and exaggerating the successes of our enemies.
“How do we, as editors, reconcile the obligation to inform with the instinct to protect?’
Now you’re asking us? For starters, if a program is legal and effective, and congress is being fully briefed on it, why not overcome your perverse “obligation to inform?”
“Often the judgments are painfully hard. In those cases, we cool our competitive jets and begin an intensive deliberative process.”
Of course it's painful to needlessly reveal secrets that may result in the deaths of fellow citizens. Obviously you succeeded in overcoming the pain. Next time try respecting it.
“Finally, we weigh the merits of publishing against the risks of publishing. There is no magic formula, no neat metric for either the public's interest or the dangers of publishing sensitive information. We make our best judgment.”
In other words, we have no idea why we did it. We just did, knowing full well that it was a a legal and effective program and that disclosing it would assist the enemy and place American lives in jeopardy. Memo to the Times: that is a magic formula, in that it lacks all reason.
“We understand that honorable people may disagree with any of these choices... ”
Precicisely. That's what makes us honorable. We fail to detect the honor in your utterly self-serving position.
“But making those decisions is the responsibility that falls to editors, a corollary to the great gift of our independence.
The responsibility does not fall to a special breed of human beings called “editors.” Rather, it is a responsibility shared absolutely equally by all American citizens. In any event, you are trying to deflect responsibility for what you've done, or you would accept the consequences, including the legal ones.
“It is not a responsibility we take lightly. And it is not one we can surrender to the government.”
Then you are not an American, for this is a representative republic in which we routinely “surrender” power to our elected representatives. It is not up to dictatorial elites, to the New York Times “editocracy,” or to unelected judges to arrogate that power from the people and their elected representatives. This is a power that free people take very seriously, and we cannot surrender it to a bunch of journalistic perverts who will do anything to weaken President Bush, even if it means giving aid and comfort to those who wish to destroy us.
Oh, and after all that, what is the answer to the question "When Do We Publish a Secret?"
"We're the Times, the fourth branch of government above the other three. Therefore, When we f***ing feel like it."