Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2006

New York Times Prints More Classified Information Helpful to the Terrorists

Filed under: Media Bias,Scum,Terrorism — Patterico @ 10:55 pm

The New York Times continues its proud legacy of printing classified information helpful to the terrorist enemy, with this story detailing a secret U.S. plan to sharply reduce our military presence in Iraq by the end of 2007.

The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say.

According to a classified briefing at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007.

. . . .

General Casey’s briefing has remained a closely held secret, and it was described by American officials who agreed to discuss the details only on condition of anonymity.

I guess it’s not a “closely held secret” any more!

Got that, Al Qaeda? Just hold out another year and a half or so, and you’re home free! No, don’t thank me. Thank your pals at the New York Times.

Every time I think I can’t get angrier, I look at the New York Times web site — and I get angrier. These people are addicted to printing classified information that harms our country’s vital national security interests. What do we have to do to make them stop?

FLASHBACK: From the July 7, 2005 New York Times:

Responsible journalists recognize that press freedoms are not absolute and must be exercised responsibly. This newspaper will not, for example, print the details of American troop movements in advance of a battle, because publication would endanger lives and national security.

The linked story doesn’t provide “the details of American troop movements in advance of a battle,” but it does provide details about anticipated troop levels in the middle of a war. There is no question that Al Qaeda takes comfort in knowing that there are official plans to slash troop levels in Iraq by the end of 2007. The folks at the New York Times think they’re staying on the right side of the line, but in reality, they have crossed it.

There has to be some sort of consequence for this pattern of behavior.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey appears to suspect that this may have been a deliberate leak by the Pentagon. If the President authorized the declassification of the information, then obviously there is no issue of releasing classified information — but then the story is inaccurate, because it terms the information “classified.” If the information was indeed classified, as the story says, then I don’t care whether the leaker’s motive was to help Bush or harm him. Nor does the law.

P.S. If Bush declassified information for a crassly political purpose, the voters have a remedy: they can vote for Democrats next time around. But if the information was properly classified, and was published by a newspaper without authorization, the voters have no recourse. This is why classification is left up to the government and not the newspapers.

Patterico Cancels his Subscription to the L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:33 am

I cancelled my subscription to the Los Angeles Times this morning.

I explained to the person who answered the phone that I was cancelling because I am outraged that the newspaper revealed classified details of a successful anti-terror operation.

They put me on with a “specialist,” and I repeated the reason for the cancellation. He said they were sorry to lose me as a subscriber. “I’m sorry, too,” I said. And I am. I’ve had my differences with the paper — plenty of them — but I’ve been subscribing since 1993. That’s thirteen years.

He said: “Of course, different people have different opinions about what’s written in the newspaper . . .”

I told him that this has nothing to do with disagreeing with what I read in the newspaper. I disagree with the newspaper all the time. This is different. The newspaper made a deliberate choice to print classified details of an anti-terror operation that, by all accounts, was effective and legal. Key members of Congress had been briefed on it and had no problem with it. Strict controls were in place to prevent abuse, and those controls appear to have been effective.

Moreover, the program had been successful. The government had used it to capture the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali nightclub. That bombing killed 202 people, I said. I felt myself getting angry all over again as I continued the explanation. That’s more people than died in the Oklahoma City bombing. It’s the equivalent of catching Timothy McVeigh.

I told the man that officials from the Bush Administration had begged the newspaper’s editors not to print this story, but the editors ran the story anyway. I told him that I think publishing the story was completely irresponsible, totally lacking in any justification, and has posed a threat to the safety of our country. And I just can’t continue to subscribe to a newspaper that would do such a thing.

He didn’t argue with me after that.

UPDATE: Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger cancelled his subscription as well. Although Marc and I speak often, we hadn’t discussed this. We just independently came to the decision that we can’t fund a newspaper that would do something like this.

I hope this becomes a trend.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Instapundit, Power Line, and Hugh Hewitt for the links. And thanks to Power Line for making this blog its “Blog of the Week.” I hope new readers bookmark the site and return often.

L.A. Times Thug Henry Weinstein Repeats Vicious Slanders Against Federal Judge for the Umpteenth Time

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 12:57 am

Back in June 2004, I laid out extensive evidence that L.A. Times staff writer Henry Weinstein never, ever passes up an opportunity to repeat the nasty and false things that Stephen Yagman has said about Judge William D. Keller, for whom I clerked from 1995 to 1996.

Read the post for the details. Suffice it to say that Yagman said plenty of nasty things about Judge Keller. All were untrue. Yagman has since apologized. Yet Henry Weinstein never tires of repeating these defamatory statements.

By my count, The Times, virtually always in articles by Weinstein, repeated Yagman’s vicious slanders against Judge Keller sixteen times over the course of five years. It didn’t matter that the falsehoods were frequently irrelevant to the story. It didn’t matter that Yagman, hardly a guy prone to glib contrition, later apologized to Keller for the slanders. Most fundamentally, it didn’t matter that Yagman never produced evidence for outrageous statements such as his accusation that Keller was “drunk on the bench.”

Weinstein just likes repeating Yagman’s smears, because he doesn’t like Judge Keller. So, with the utter arrogance characteristic of journalists drunk on their own power, Weinstein repeated the spurious charges — again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

Read through the block quotes in the post linked above. They are all set out — all sixteen of them — by date. Just scan them quickly. You’ll see what I mean. This thug Weinstein just absolutely revels in the opportunity to take a shot at Judge Keller — every chance he gets.

Today’s article on Yagman’s indictment gives Weinstein a chance to repeat the slanders, and of course, he does not disappoint:

In 1994, a special disciplinary committee of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles suspended him from practicing in the federal courts for two years for accusing U.S. District Judge William D. Keller of being anti-Semitic. Yagman also called Keller “dishonest … a bully and one of the worst judges in the United States.”

Why repeat that now? Doing so is completely unnecessary and a total cheap shot. In other words, classic Henry Weinstein.

The real bully in this story is hardly Judge Keller. The real bully is Henry Weinstein, who misuses the power of his position to repeat baseless calumny, because it so evidently gives him a cheap thrill to do so. Why else quote this slime so often?

He must really be smarting over the fact that his hero Yagman is facing an indictment.


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