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It's a start - But it won't be the end

From theThe Hill:

"House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records.

The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

The resolution comes as Republicans from the president on down condemn media organizations for reporting on the secret government program that tracked financial records overseas through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), an international banking cooperative.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), working independently from his leadership, began circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) during a late series of votes yesterday asking his leaders to revoke the Times’s congressional press credentials.

The Standing Committee decides which organizations and reporters can be accredited, according to the rules of both the House and Senate press galleries. Members of that committee are elected by accredited members of those galleries.

“Under no circumstances would we revoke anyone’s credentials simply because a government official is unhappy with what that correspondent’s newspaper has written,” said Susan Milligan, a reporter for the Boston Globe, which is owned by the Times, who also serves the standing chairwoman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents. “The rules say nothing about the stories a newspaper chooses to pursue, or the reaction those stories provoke. The Times clearly meets our standards for credentials.”

The Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal all reported the existence of the program on their websites last Thursday.

President Bush criticized the reports during a press event Monday, calling the disclosure “disgraceful” and a “great harm” to national security. Vice President Dick Cheney, who voiced support for the program over the weekend, followed Bush’s criticism with harsh words of his own.

In an open letter responding to these criticisms, Times Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote that a free press was the key check on government’s abuse of power."

Keller can try to stand on that baseless assertion, the fact is that in this case, as in others, it simply doesn't apply. There is no protection for leaking classified information during a time of war - period. Moreover, Keller has crowned himself and his rag as the "check".

The fact is that behind the scenes there is more than enough anger and action taking place and it's NOT slowing down. It's no secret that people in power have wanted to cream The Times for a long while, and now Keller in his arrogance has given them the perfect green light. Again, it's important to understand that that current investigation into the NSA leak is still ongoing with a fresh batch of polygraphs taking place this week. The key is to go after the leakers themselves and them twist them in the wind until they talk it up. Secondly, as the Times and other rags made it easy in the Plame Game, the DOJ moving forward CAN compell reporters to give up their sources or face jail - thus making it a bad day for all leakers and cohorts of Al Qaeda all around.

Keep the faith, this measure, while looking like a paper weight, is only the beginning. Senator Roberts has asked for a damage assessment and sources tell me that once that information comes in the appropriate referrrals will be made.

UPDATE: Linked to Michelle Malkin who gathered some of the advertisers of the NY Times. Like I said, hit 'em where it hurts right in the wallet.


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