James Taranto points out an incongruent position in regards to the New York Times editorial page:
* “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”–New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009
* “The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.”–New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010
But of course no surprises here! After all, this is the same revered and respected newspaper read by millions all over the globe who proudly published leaked information damaging to our national security and defended that decision.
To add to Taranto’s case, here’s the NYTimes editorial from January 4, 2006:
Given the Bush administration’s appetite for leak investigations (three are under way), this seems a good moment to try to clear away the fog around this issue.
A democratic society cannot long survive if whistle-blowers are criminally punished for revealing what those in power don’t want the public to know – especially if it’s unethical, illegal or unconstitutional behavior by top officials. Reporters need to be able to protect these sources, regardless of whether the sources are motivated by policy disputes or nagging consciences. This is doubly important with an administration as dedicated as this one is to extreme secrecy.~~~
When the government does not want the public to know what it is doing, it often cites national security as the reason for secrecy. The nation’s safety is obviously a most serious issue, but that very fact has caused this administration and many others to use it as a catchall for any matter it wants to keep secret, even if the underlying reason for the secrecy is to prevent embarrassment to the White House. The White House has yet to show that national security was harmed by the report on electronic spying, which did not reveal the existence of such surveillance – only how it was being done in a way that seems outside the law.
Leak investigations are often designed to distract the public from the real issues by blaming the messenger. Take the third leak inquiry, into a Washington Post report on secret overseas C.I.A. camps where prisoners are tortured or shipped to other countries for torture. The administration said the reporting had damaged America’s image. Actually, the secret detentions and torture did that.
Illegal spying and torture need to be investigated, not whistle-blowers and newspapers.
Yes, the world is a much safer place because we can trust the NYTimes to make the editorial decisions on what classified information is and what is not worthy of being leaked to the general public.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.