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23 October 2006

Belated realizations

The NY Times public editor has admitted that publication of national security information leaked in an attempt to damage ongoing programs that were alleged – without any supporting factual basis – to be somehow “illegal” or “improper”, was a mistake.

The damage having been done, this admission garners the American public nothing. Introspection in the face of monumental arrogance is by no means commendable. The Times took upon itself a decision regarding the most sensitive aspects of current intelligence and counter-terrorism operations, based on an incomplete picture provided by sources whose motivations were likely suspect and whose identities have never been revealed. That it now expresses faint regret, couched in the defensive against the supposed ill-effects of “criticism”, is meaningless.

They call it a secret for good reason. The process by which that designation is established is one of law and of sober, rational contemplation. The higher order effects of improper disclosures are extremely difficult to anticipate and usually beyond the ken of most laymen – and that’s only one of the reasons that the revelation of classified information is a crime.

It seems to your authors that the call for prosecution is most certainly bolstered by this public admission. It would be most interesting to read, in evidence provided to a court by the discovery process, what if any internal discussions occurred within the Times regarding the decisions to compromise ongoing programs for financial and political gain.

The swarm has covered this well... credit goes to Michelle Malkin, Captain’s Quarters, and Just One Minute.