June 27, 2006

Senate Asks Intelligence Czar For Leak-Damage Investigation
— Ace

Good. Let's get started with this already.

As I Was Saying... Belgium probing legality of SWIFT subpoenas.

Thanks, NYT! Thanks so much for serving as a hostile intelligence service providing damaging information to our enemies as well as our very-reluctant allies.

Pat Roberts, writer of the letter cited above, says that the next attack on the US may very well be laid at the feet of the NYT.

Peter King wants to throw the reporters in jail until they reveal their sources to a grand jury.

Some Congressmen calling for a tightening, toughening of espionage laws.

These updates from Brit Hume's show, on now.

Bump the Jail-O-Meter to...


They're making all the right moves to gain the political support they need to throw these sonofabitches in jail for a year or five.

A Treasonous Bridge Too Far... Patterico dreams the impossible dream and ponders if the NYT and LAT realize they committed treason that the American public will not forgive.

The "treason" part they didn't mind, of course. They always understood that.

But it is possible it's dawning on them that this is all very, very close to publishing submarine positions as they're about to attack a target, and that the public may have had just about enough of their arrogance and hostility to American security.

The American public has a reflexive instict against prosecuting journalists. But that's all it is at this point-- reflexive. The more the public considers precisely what the NYT has done, the more they'll realize their reflexive support for press freedom should not apply in such a disgraceful case.

Posted by: Ace at 12:02 PM | Comments (33)
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1 And what happened to the female career cia agent who leaked classified info a couple of months ago? Besides getting canned -- nothing.

Posted by: shawn at June 27, 2006 12:23 PM (lwPIs)

2 The Bush administration needs to go on the offense hard. This looks like a good start, but it needs to be bolstered by a PR campaign to educate the public about why exposing this information was such a irresponsible, unpatriotic act.

The best way to do this is to haul Bill Keller and his scumbag reporters to court and question them about their sources. They, of course, will refuse and be found in contempt, but this will keep the story in the media for months which will help Bush make his case.

I'm with ace in believing that this reflexive instinct for protecting press "freedoms" can be overcome if you can keep people's attention long enough to explain to them the usefulness and legality of the program and how they've been betrayed by its exposure.

Posted by: The Warden at June 27, 2006 12:39 PM (rkK3q)

3 shawn

Besides getting canned -- nothing.

Don't you worry none... I'm sure she'll get a nice book deal and a Lifetime movie of the week.

Probably a nice sitcom too... I forsee an Odd Couple type show with her and that nice lady ex-General (nominally) in charge of Abu Grahib. The jokes will practically write themselves.

Posted by: krakatoa at June 27, 2006 12:45 PM (CX6Ok)

4 Or, we could allow Bill Keller, Pinch and the NYTimes the outlaw status they've claimed for themselves and their employees, their property and the rest of the carcass of the Grey Lady. And I mean "outlaw" in the traditional sense -- that is, the medieval sense. If they're not bound by the requirements of the law or the moral obligations of citizenship, then maybe they shouldn't get the protection of the law or the goodwill of their fellow citizens. How long would the NYTimes last if the government announced that no act otherwise a crime would be considered as such if committed against the NYTimes and anyone or anything connected to it (perhaps Bill should have consulted with his company's employees before deciding that he really didn't need to be concerned about the law or citizenship obligations).

It won't happen, of course, but it's really not that far out there (philosophically, at least), when you acknowledge that the actions of Keller and the NYTimes were deliberate acts done with in full knowledge of the likelihood that they would lead to deaths of Americans, either on a street in Iraq in an explosion of an IED or in a skyscraper collapsing following a fiery explosion following an airliner's impact, flying lessons, but not landing lessons, of course, for the "pilots" paid for with suddenly unmonitored SWIFT transferred funds. The arrogance of Keller's subsequent justification confirms that he really does want to be liberated from the law's requirements. Giving it to him would be just.

Sadly, though, outlaw status isn't really an option. Therefore, it's necessary that that Keller, Pinch and the Times take responsibility for what they've done. The legitimacy of government's exclusive claim of the right of retribution requires it.

Posted by: Angry Citizen at June 27, 2006 12:49 PM (pOCDI)

5 They're way too arrogant to think they ever do anything wrong. If there's a backlash, they'll just blame Bush for brainwashing the public.

Posted by: T. at June 27, 2006 12:49 PM (5YMbd)

6 I will fight you every step of the way, Ace. There is no way we should allow the left to remove the NYT led MSM albatross from around their necks. They have the NYT and now the left should be stuck permantently with the NYT. Surely you realize what a disaster the NYT is for the Democrats? Never does the NYT get rid of poor Democrat leadership, instead the NYT embraces it. Republicans would be infinitely worse off without the nitwits at the NYT driving the Democrats over the political cliff. It wouldbe like losing Ted Kennedy: an utter and complete loss for the Republicans. Think how many Millions of votes Ted has garnered for Republicans and conservatives. NO, NO, a thousanhd time NO. Do not prosecute the NYT. Rather the left should be required by law to follow the NYT's political advice.

Posted by: pendelton at June 27, 2006 12:50 PM (9VRIa)

7 pendleton's kung-fu is strong.

Posted by: krakatoa at June 27, 2006 12:53 PM (CX6Ok)

8 While pendleton makes an excellent point, I want to see the New York Times suffer, and suffer badly. Playing reckless politics with counterterrorism programs is no fucking joke; and those of us in public service who do our jobs are damn sick of career bureaucrats who think rules don't apply to them.

Posted by: UGAdawg at June 27, 2006 01:24 PM (alGm/)

9 I'm awfully defensive of journalists and I am nervous where this will go but in the last few years these guys have really crossed the line and must be reined back in.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at June 27, 2006 01:27 PM (Pwzb0)

10 The problem with journalists is that there are damn few of them. What we have instead are reporters with an agenda. It's all about gotcha reporting now and who can go far enough left to win a Pulitzer.

This is a clear cut case of the NYT pushing an anti-Bush agenda. For those who didn't read the NYT editorial from 9/14/06, the Times is now condeming and announcing to the world the very tactics they recommended.

There was a leak. It has done damage to the WOT. Frog march some of the fuckers out of the paper of record and the treasonous bastards in gov't who talked with them. Bring on the special prosecutor.

Posted by: JackStraw at June 27, 2006 01:38 PM (rnOZq)

11 Actually JS, journalists are allowed to have opinions. Its reporters that are supposed to just present the facts. That's why everyone in the press is a "journalist". Its all in the semantics with these jokers. So there are damn few reporters. Other than that, Right on Man.

I'm surprised the Times guys haven't been hit with Grand Jury subpoenas yet and made to reveal the leaker. That's who gotta go.

Posted by: Iblis at June 27, 2006 02:01 PM (9221z)

12 Was it the NYT that alerted the terrorists to the fact that we were monitoring their satalite phones?

Posted by: jayne at June 27, 2006 02:09 PM (m6+3x)

13 True, Iblis. I guess the term journalist is used so pervasively these days to describe anyone who owns a typewriter, I was guilty of doing the same thing.

I was trying to build on Christophers point about defending journalists. The writers who exposed this secret program are not journalists. They are reporters. Just because they work for a for profit organization that can't print a sports page without a partisan bent, they have no special right to commit treason in my mind.

Posted by: JackStraw at June 27, 2006 02:10 PM (rnOZq)

14 Was it the NYT that alerted the terrorists to the fact that we were monitoring their satalite phones?


No, it wasn't the NYT. Also, someone on Ace's show today misspoke when they attributed this breach to "the Clinton administration."

The culprit here is Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby. He should have been imprisoned, but the only penalty (so far) is that he lost his plum security-related committee assignments. He's one of several senators who've never been held to account for their egregious security lapses.

Posted by: Brett Bullington at June 27, 2006 02:36 PM (/QYGF)

15 Pendelton, I think you may be referring to the Golden Rule of politics: When your opponent is in the process of destroying themselves, step back and let them commit suicide. That's all well and good when it comes to politics but we're talking national security here. The NYT (in my opinion) has committed treason by revealing a secret program designed to keep us safe. I say we should haul the fucking cocksuckers off to prison and let them stay there until they reveal their source, who I believe should be imprisoned for a very long time.

We're in a fucking war. People seem to forget that.

Nothing personal, Pendelton. I just had to rant.

Posted by: ErikW at June 27, 2006 02:59 PM (YBHW4)

16 The New York Times to most far left news paper in the nation and ALL THE TOP SECRETS THATS FIT TO PRINT HANG THE NYTs

Posted by: spurwing plover at June 27, 2006 03:51 PM (bzZNq)

17 I think the biggest problem with the press today is that they want all the freedom and power with none of the responsibility and duty. They have a duty to their readers to tell the truth, they have a responsibility to think of their nation and the law, and they have a responsibility to consider that they ought not do something simply because they can. Certainly they shouldn't do anything they don't have the power to undo.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at June 27, 2006 04:10 PM (Pwzb0)

18 Regarding calls for prosecution...

If the NY Times and the LA Times had done anything for which they could be prosecuted, I expect that officials would have told them in advance.

However, any reporters who know the government source should go to jail until they give up the source.

Posted by: Steve O at June 27, 2006 04:19 PM (R0Csm)

19 The NYT is playing Richard Thornburg to Bushs' John McClane. If the keep this up, the country will instinctively want to see Thornburg get his lights punched out by McClane, it's just part of the American Charachter.

(Die Hard, in case you missed the ref.)

Posted by: Scott Free at June 27, 2006 04:25 PM (my9JA)

20 From the LA Times website:

If you have questions or concerns about The Times' journalistic standards and practices, or you believe we have made an error, you may contact:

Los Angeles Times Readers' Representative Office
E-mail: readers.rep@latimes.com
Telephone message line: (877) 554-4000
Fax: (213) 237-3535
Postal mail: 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Newspaper delivery hotline: (800) 252-9141

Posted by: Steve O at June 27, 2006 04:35 PM (R0Csm)

21 How to Contact the News Staff

Want to voice your opinion? Write to letters@nytimes.com to send a Letter to the Editor of The New York Times to have your comments considered for publication in the printed newspaper (please see our Letters to the Editor help page for details). Or visit our Forums to voice your view on the Web.

Need to contact NYTimes.com's editors? Please write to web-editor@nytimes.com and we'll get back to you if a followup is necessary.

Posted by: Steve O at June 27, 2006 04:38 PM (R0Csm)

22 Oops. Forgot one.

Public Editor: To reach Byron Calame, who represents the readers, e-mail public@nytimes.com.

Posted by: Steve O at June 27, 2006 04:39 PM (R0Csm)

23 Was it the NYT that alerted the terrorists to the fact that we were monitoring their satalite phones?

Bret / Jayne,

Your link Bret seems to be mere speculation. If I recall correctly, it was Orrin Hatch of Utah that blabbed about the satellite phone tracking of OBL.

You know what they say in the senate, don't count your Hatch until he's chickened.

Posted by: MC at June 27, 2006 04:47 PM (3bFaP)

24 MC,

It's true that no one officially nailed Shelby for it, but I think it's all but a foregone conclusion that he did it. There was talk of ejecting him from the Senate for it. Apparently, through an arrangement with the Senate leadership, he got to keep his seat but he lost his committee assignments. That may have been done in anticipation of possible legal action--I don't really know.

Posted by: Brett Bullington at June 27, 2006 04:56 PM (/QYGF)

25 If the NY Times and the LA Times had done anything for which they could be prosecuted, I expect that officials would have told them in advance.

I fail to see how publishing classified information in a newspaper does not violate the law. Given today's political climate and what they've gotten away with so far, why would the papers be worried about prosecution?

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at June 27, 2006 05:02 PM (Pwzb0)

26 I heard someone say that there is a requirement of "intent" in the espionage act, I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. However, I'm not positive, but treason doesn't require a time of war, even though we are, in fact, as defined by the word "war" in fact, involved in war, based on all of the language included in the use of force law that was passed whenever whenever.

Well, if we are, in fact, by the legal definition of what war is, in a situation of war (since the description of the unlimited use of force act/law, matches exactly with the definition of war, then we are in fact at war) then all it takes to be found guilty of "Treason" is either an admission by the traitor, or two witnesses, who can confirm it, right? Since it is the only constitutionaly defined crime, period.

Well, the NYT Admitted (confessed) that they acted counter to the desires of the executive (who are the exclusive arm of foreign policy, especially in a time of war, and since we are ACTUALLY at war, though the words of the declaration are technical) They have confessed to treason. Since the NYT contacted at least 3 former and current congresmen or officials, I believe, they have identified more than two witnesses, who can validate that the NYT acted in a treasonous way.

I don't know where this deconstruction of law though I'm not a lawyer, came from, but actually, by Kellers very own words in his description of the program basicaly is a confession with identifiable, and valiable witnesses, Keller admitted that he wasn't guilty under the espionage act, but rather under the constitutionaly defined crime of treason.

Is that as horrible an interpretation as I myself think?

If it is, then it should work, after all, Edwards is a multi-millionare because of a fucking POOL PUMP!

Posted by: Wickedpinto at June 27, 2006 06:02 PM (QTv8u)

27 Toss those reporters into jail and put me in charge, I can get 'em to reveal every stinkin' one of those sources in about an hour.


The "Dentist"

Posted by: The Machine at June 27, 2006 06:30 PM (L/jMX)

28 Late to the party, as usual, but... in my experience in the MSM (CBS and NBC so far), what Jack said was right on the money- it's no longer journalists, but agenda-driven reporters. The bottom line is that when a damaging story is going to be run, we give folks a good heads-up in advance... and if it's going to be really ugly, we make for damn sure we're legally untouchable. I don't think the NYT has done that in this case, and I hope we'll see the same thing that happened last time... the Judith Miller treatment.

At the local level, we can't get away with irresponsible journalism... I have a hard time understanding why the national level doesn't have the same rules.


Posted by: tmi3rd at June 27, 2006 06:41 PM (0I7rf)

29 Why all of you are so incensed about the NYT treachery is beyond me, Have you never read General Sherman's critque of the press during the Civil War (pardon me, The War of Northern Aggression)? During the Civil War newpapers by their reporting of the positions of the armies and movement of freight managed to kill THOUSANDS of troops. Reporters and Newspapers have always been traiters and always will be. Where did you get this foolish notion that there is honor or patriotism in journalism? Newspapers and journalists are like cock roaches. We'll never be rid of them, but that doesn't mean we have to admire, honor or like them. Journalists are on the same level as mass murderers and off key singers. And are way below murderers, rapists, child molesters and insurance salesmen. To ciminally prosecute Newspapers or reporters for traitorous activities would be the same as prosecuting fish for swimming or you and me for breathing. Skunks stink, reporters lie and Newspapers betray the armed forces. Always. Always. Always. Those government employees whose job it is to keep secrets secret should be fired and/or prosecuted for revealing secrets to the NYT or whoever else they've told in violation of their responsibilities.

Posted by: pendelton at June 27, 2006 08:20 PM (9VRIa)

30 I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.
William T. Sherman

Posted by: pendelton at June 27, 2006 10:32 PM (9VRIa)

31 By the way, my wife asks: "Shouldn't his name be Bill KILLER, not Bill Keller?" (NYT editor)

Posted by: pendelton at June 27, 2006 11:25 PM (9VRIa)

32 Plame never was indicted for espionage. Spain did just fine.

Most of our 'allies' and enemies at SWIFT are professional operations officers and probably won't be outed like Plame did when she admitted who she was at 'Vanity Fair.' No, no one counted the operations officers in Iraq, but, I guess, Spain and Japan would say that's okay.

The source for the leak is in the ne

Posted by: at June 28, 2006 05:33 AM (LdD6+)

33 What is it exactly that NYT has done to wrong anyone? The fact that the US Government was involved in with SWIFT has been public information since the beginning of the relationship. No less, there is a website dedicated to it:
I would only imagine that the same angry terrorists that have access to computers are the same angry terrorists that surf the internet and stumble upon sites like the above.
In sum, I can rest peacefully knowing that numerous people will attack me, as opposed to the mesage that I carry; this is because you can make only loud noises, but no sense at all.

Posted by: Messenger at June 29, 2006 04:21 AM (yUGOy)

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