NY Times Publishes Op-Ed Supporting The Justice Dept. Going After Reporters

Most in the press are taking a position similar to Brit Hume’s

(Mediaite) “That places this administration in the position of saying normal news gathering activities are criminal. That is chilling.”

Juan Williams, who likes to tick off both sides, said something earlier on Fox News about 20 minutes ago. Others are saying similar things. Former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs says Team Obama needs to explain this (they won’t. Expect them to engage in their typical behavior, circling the wagons, obfuscation, denial, deflection, and casting blame. Oh, and their newest one “we don’t know”). Even Chris Matthew, Mr. Thrilling Up My Leg, has lost patience.

But not the NY Times, which publishes an op-ed by William P. Barr, Jamie “wall between law and intelligence” Gorelick, and Kenneth L. Wainstein

Stop The Leaks

FOLLOWING the disclosure that the Justice Department obtained the telephone records of Associated Press journalists, The A.P. and other news organizations have sharply criticized the action as investigative overreaching and unwarranted interference with the ability of journalists to report on government operations.

As former Justice Department officials who served in the three administrations preceding President Obama’s, we are worried that the criticism of the decision to subpoena telephone toll records of A.P. journalists in an important leak investigation sends the wrong message to the government officials who are responsible for our national security.

Oh, noes, those poor gubmint officials!!!! How are they going to do their jobs with that pesky 1st Amendment in their way. Hitler, Staling, Chavez, and many other dictators would be proud of these three nincompoops.

While we cannot know all of the facts and considerations that went into the department’s decision, we do know that prosecutors were right to try to find out who gave this damaging information to The A.P. They were right to pursue the investigation with “alternative investigative steps” for eight months first. And ultimately, they were right to take it to the next stage when they still needed more to make a case against the leaker. If the Justice Department had not done so, it would have defaulted on its obligation to protect the American people.

So, these three do not have any facts, but, hey, let’s investigate the Press, which was doing its job. Which is funny, considering that the NY Times was all for publishing serious national security information and programs when Bush was president and protecting reporters. Remember what they called “domestic wiretapping” (which wasn’t)? How about the monitoring of Islamist bank data? The White House begged the Times not to publish this program, as it would cause serious problems and endanger people. And leaking the name of a CIA interrogator. Running the stolen Wikileaks information. And many, many others. The Times loved the Abu Ghraib story, which wasn’t really secret, the DoD just hadn’t released information on what happened because they were engaged in an on-going criminal investigation. The Times found out through a leak.

It was just May 9 that another op-ed contributor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote about the danger of suppressing the leaks. Now, Gorelick et all say something different. They do have a point, that government should protect against leaks. True. But the Government should not attack the 1st Amendment and the Press because the government is incompetent. This op-ed essentially calls for trashing the 1st Amendment because government has “acted stupidly”.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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