Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Gray Lady Joins Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally and Jane Fonda


Apparently a great many people agree with me that the NY Times again stepped over the line and committed treason when it revealed the NSA program to intercept calls between suspected foreign Al-Qaeda and their accomplices in the United States; also a Rasmussen poll reported that 64% of those surveyed agreed that this surveillance program is necessary and legal.

The federal law is 18 U.S.C. § 798, a law that precisely prohibits leaks of the type of classified information disclosed in the story. Subsection (a) of the statute provides:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There are definite indications that the Justice Department is not only investigating the persons who leaked this information to the Times (there is no question that this was a serious crime), but also is seriously pursuing the question of the Times’ legal culpability in this matter. If the Times is charged, undoubtedly a First Amendment defense will be raised, and the Supreme Court will have an opportunity to rule on whether the press or a duly elected president of the United States has the authority to decide what is in the best interests of protecting the safety and security of American citizens who have been murdered by the thousands and are faced daily with the possibility of more incidents of mass murder.

You all know by now that I believe that the action by the NY Times was so egregious that freedom of the press is no longer an issue, and that the Times should be shut down and its publisher and senior editors punished. Some thought that extreme, but I find many other sensible voices being raised with similar thoughts. People who make their living at various positions in the media do shrink from reaching a conclusion as to what is an appropriate punishment for the Times, but that is only natural. Certainly a rebuke or a fine would be ludicrous for an action that has endangered all our lives, and during other wars could have been dealt with by a firing squad.

Excerpts from various journalists:

David Yerushalmi of
"Invariably, the prosecutor will turn to the New York Times, not simply to determine the source for the disclosure but for the crimes committed by the paper and its management. The facts as provided by the Times to date are that it learned of the NSA program over a year ago and held the story at the request of the White House (presumably the Times asked the Administration for confirmation). After at least one meeting with the President, the Times editor, Bill Keller, and publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., were convinced that the nation's security would be at risk with the publication of the leak and held it. Approximately one year later the Times published the story."....

"Again, we turn to the law for instruction. Section 793(e) of the Espionage Act makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years for any "unauthorized" person "in possession of...information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates...the same to any person not entitled to receive it...." The law also makes it a separate offense to "conspire" to violate the law, something the Times must have done to grant confidentiality to its sources."

David Yerushalmi is of counsel to the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, a Washington D.C.- and Jerusalem-based think tank.

Conservative Tymes

"As the ACLU and CAIR (“Council for American Islamic Relations”—formerly Islamic Association for Palestine—an FBI identified front-group for the terrorist organization Hamas) join hands to stop US eavesdropping on al-Qaeda and other terrorists, in its own inimitable way the leftist mainstream media continues to chip away and undermine US national security. First and foremost, it is the duty of the President of the United States to protect the country. However, with the recent “reporting” by the New York Times and the Washington Post, one is led to believe that protecting US national security is criminal behavior.

Second, the NSA spying-on-terrorists scenario (once top-secret but ‘outed’ by the New York Times) is not only acceptable but, necessary if we the people want our country to remain. If President Bush had not affected it, he would have been accused by his domestic political enemies of dereliction of duty. Although it’s still hard to believe, the bi-partisan US Congress actually acknowledged that the President of the United States is constitutionally allowed to protect the country: “Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States,”, as Congress recognized in the joint 2 October 2002 resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40). That includes the very legal use of warrantless wiretaps of suspected terrorists both domestically and foreign. On this issue, even FISA did not have to be consulted. So, at this point in time, congressional Democrats actually recognized the power granted to the President of the United States to protect the US’ national security. Note: The US Congress has neither the right to grant these powers to the president nor to take them away. These powers are exclusive to the Executive branch of government. President Bush wanted to include Congress in this momentous decision. But, he was under no obligation to do so. Suffice it to say, in retrospect and considering the congressional liberals’ attempts to currently weaken if not usurp Executive powers, it may have not have been the best possible decision."

Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics

"Hello, 2006. The New York Times kicked off the new year by refusing to answer its own ombudsman's questions about the timing of the newspaper's anonymous illegal leak-dependent National Security Agency monitoring story. Long live transparency and accountability.

Meanwhile, Times reporter James Risen launched his anonymous illegal leak-dependent book, "State of War," with a self-congratulatory appearance on NBC's "Today" show. Risen's leakers, he told Couric, were the opposite of the Valerie Plame case leakers because his people came forward "for the best reasons." How do we know that's true? Because Risen says it is. So there.

Risen then patted himself and his bosses on the back for their "great public service" in publishing the story (never too soon to go Pulitzer Prize-begging) and heaped more praise on his anonymous sources as "truly American patriots." Risen also told Couric that many of his law-breaking sources "came to us because they thought you have to follow the rules and you have to follow the law." Uh-huh.
Asked about the timing of the original story (held a year, then published in the midst of Senate debate over the Patriot Act and a few weeks before the release of his book), Risen said "it wasn't my decision" and refused to "discuss the internal deliberations."

In other words: Keeping secrets to protect counterterrorism operations is an impeachable offense, but keeping secrets to protect the Gray Lady's fanny is an elite media prerogative."

Cliff Kincaid, Media Monitor

President Bush has basically accused the New York Times of treason. In his remarks on how the paper disclosed the existence of a program to discover planned Al Qaeda terrorist operations on U.S. soil, Bush said this information was "improperly provided to news organizations," meaning the Times, and "our enemies have learned information they should not have…" He said "the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country."

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At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I think that the senior editors of the New York Times, and the Owner, should be incarcerated for treason. If I had my way, "Little Arthur" would be put in a women's pentatentary. That would really punish him.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous steve said...

It was also revealed in a weekend talk show about a program to release unhelpful nuclear blueprints in an effort to undermine the activity of that country...


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