NY Times’ Keller “explains” his treason
It should be no news now to anyone even remotely watching the news these days that the NY Times has once again chosen to publish the details of a classified (that’s spelled s-e-c-r-e-t) program wherein the US Intelligence services were tracking international banking transactions in order to track terrorist movements and identify cells. Bill Keller, the editor at the NYT who immediately went
into hiding on vacation the second the story published has put out an explanitory letter in an effort to defend his decision to violate federal law.
I was going to comment at length on this putrid waste of electrons but there are sharper minds at work on the matter and I’m going to direct you there. First up, Hugh Hewitt fisks the letter quite effectively.
The avalanche of criticism directed at the Times is not half-hearted, and it is almost completely prompted by the assertion of the paper’s right to publish anything it wants combined with the possibility of helping the terrorists.
At a minimum, terrorists now familiar with the captured colleagues who were discovered through this program will study what those terrorists did and take pains not to use the same financial systems.
Other terrorists will simply note that what they might have thought secure is not. This is “pretty elemental stuff,” I know, but Mr. Keller can either believe terrorists are smart or they are stupid, but not both when it suits him.
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit makes good points:
I realize that the Times’ circulation is falling at an alarming rate, but it hasn’t yet reached such a pass that its stories are only noticed when Rush Limbaugh mentions them.
A deeper error is Keller’s characterization of freedom of the press as an institutional privilege, an error that is a manifestation of the hubris that has marked the NYT of late. Keller writes: “It’s an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. . . . The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly.”
The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn’t give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the “freedom of the press” the Framers described was also called “freedom in the use of the press.” It’s the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry.
Austin Bay sums things up nicely:
The Times, apparently, told the story because it could and because it thinks it can get away with it.
Indeed. Have a read of these guys today and ask yourself, if you’re subscribing to the NY Times, why are you financing the intelligence-gathering service of terrorists the world over?
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