Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dave Reinhard nails it

Today's column by the Oregonian's Dave Reinhard hits the nail on the head in the discussion about the media's rush to expose classified programs working to track down terrorists.

It opens with a mock letter to the editor of the New York Times:
Dear Bill Keller: Remember me? We met in the elevator here at The Oregonian recently. Your decision to expose a secret program to track terrorist funding got me to thinking I had better write and apologize. I don't think I was sufficiently deferential on our brief ride together. I treated you like the executive editor of The New York Times who used to work for The Oregonian. I had no idea I was riding with the man who decides what classified programs will be made public during a war on terror. I had no idea the American people had elected you president and commander in chief.
That about sums it up, because Keller is making decisions he has no business making -- decisions on which government programs should be secret and which should be exposed to the light of day, regardless of how many Americans might be at risk of death as a result of their exposure, regardless of whether their exposure is motivated by illegalities by the government or vendettas against it. Decisions that, until this war, were made by the President.

Reinhard's whole column is worth a read, but here's the conclusion (with my emphasis):
Not to worry, you tell us, terrorists already know we track their funding, and disclosure won't undercut the program. (Contradictory claims, but what the heck.) You at the Times know better. You know better than government officials who said disclosing the program's methods and means would jeopardize a successful enterprise. You know better than the 9/11 Commission chairmen who urged you not to run the story. Better than Republican and Democratic lawmakers who were briefed on the program. Better than the Supreme Court, which has held since 1976 that bank records are not constitutionally protected. Better than Congress, which established the administrative subpoenas used in this program.

Maybe you do. But whether you do or not, there's no accountability. If you're wrong and we fail to stop a terror plot and people die because of your story, who's going to know, much less hold you accountable? No, the government will be blamed -- oh, happy day, maybe Bush's White House! -- for not connecting dots or crippling terror networks. The Times might even run the kind of editorial it ran on Sept. 24, 2001. Remember? The one that said "much more is needed" to track terror loot, including "greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities"?

Keep up the good work -- for al-Qaida.
Oh, and one related point, from an email sent to Hugh Hewitt today and quoted on his blog:
If the Times*2 do not experience ***GENUINE PAIN*** here, we will be effectively giving a "pocket veto" over intelligence operations to the Main Stream Media, as conflict-adverse incumbents both elected and bureaucratic, will gauge all potential covert ops in terms of political blowback when the Op is blown in the MSM....

this will, i contend, in addition to fostering EVEN MORE caution amongst the Intelligence Mandarins regarding Ops, will effectively give a COST-FREE veto over Plans and Ops to every employee of an Intelligence Agency, who is willing to invest in a cellular phone call to a reporter from a MSM outlet willing to print/broadcast it...

And if Times*2 aren't REALLY SPANKED HERE, that will be very, very many MSM entities....
That's why the leakers must be investigated, discovered and prosecuted. And part of that investigation must include the subpoena, testimony and -- if necessary -- incarceration of the media players who think they're above the law because they have the Pentagon papers playing in their iPods 40 years later.


  • At 6/30/2006 11:20 AM, Blogger DirtCrashr said…

    Excellent letter! Keller is definately making decisions he has no business making, he apparently believes he's Emperor-Editorialis of the Country?


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