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.