hard hitting reporting (a year late)

when i first read about this story, immediately i was struck by the fact that the new york times has known about bush’s warantless domestic spying for a year now, but has been sitting on the story because the white house asked them not to print it.

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.

i am sorry, but i am at a complete loss as to what compelling argument could be made that these revelations endanger ongoing investigations. plain and simple, i think there is a TON of horseshit being shoveled here. bush is acting as if somehow the fact that this has made it into the press is going to endanger national security. bullshit. and the classified legal opinions that “certified” that violating the constitution was acceptable? that also seems like complete horseshit. declassify those documents immediately and allow someone who is not white house counsel harriet miers or attorney general john ashcroft offer an opinion.
the new york times should, if it is to maintain any credibility (which has been severely damaged over the last few years) issue a statement that clearly documents what the white house asked of the paper, and why they sat on the story for a year. don’t hide behind “the terrorist threat”. it does not work in this instance. terrorists have to assume they are under surveillance, and they DON’T GIVE A FUCK whether their observers are doing so legally with a warrant or unconstitutionally without one.
we, the american people, however, do care about the constitution, and warrants and civil rights. we also expect that newspapers, the fourth estate, are independent and not controlled by the government.
the new york times owes its readers an explanation. well, if they want to continue to have readers they should attempt to justify this one. and if they can’t, fire a bunch of lower-level reporters and claim the problem is fixed.






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