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Knowing when it's time to shut up

You know they know that they are in trouble - big trouble.

Bill Keller and now editor of the La Times, Dean Baquet, continue to bloviate their inexcusable printing of classified information. Now if they were totally comfortable with their decision, then there wouldn't be the need for "further explainations."

"SINCE Sept. 11, 2001, newspaper editors have faced excruciating choices in covering the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents. Each of us has, on a number of occasions, withheld information because we were convinced that publishing it could put lives at risk. On other occasions, each of us has decided to publish classified information over strong objections from our government.

Last week our newspapers disclosed a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions. We did so after appeals from senior administration officials to hold the story. Our reports — like earlier press disclosures of secret measures to combat terrorism — revived an emotional national debate, featuring angry calls of "treason" and proposals that journalists be jailed along with much genuine concern and confusion about the role of the press in times like these."

.....notice the sinister "secret Bush administration program".....hint Bill and Dean - "Secret", as in Top Secret, as in Time of War.

"In recent years our papers have brought you a great deal of information the White House never intended for you to know — classified secrets about the questionable intelligence that led the country to war in Iraq, about the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the transfer of suspects to countries that are not squeamish about using torture, about eavesdropping without warrants.

As Robert G. Kaiser, associate editor of The Washington Post, asked recently in the pages of that newspaper: "You may have been shocked by these revelations, or not at all disturbed by them, but would you have preferred not to know them at all? If a war is being waged in America's name, shouldn't Americans understand how it is being waged?"

Government officials, understandably, want it both ways. They want us to protect their secrets, and they want us to trumpet their successes. A few days ago, Treasury Secretary John Snow said he was scandalized by our decision to report on the bank-monitoring program. But in September 2003 the same Secretary Snow invited a group of reporters from our papers, The Wall Street Journal and others to travel with him and his aides on a military aircraft for a six-day tour to show off the department's efforts to track terrorist financing. The secretary's team discussed many sensitive details of their monitoring efforts, hoping they would appear in print and demonstrate the administration's relentlessness against the terrorist threat." these guy's lawyers know that they are refusing their right to "remain silent".

Want it both ways. Well guys, if Secretary Snow showed you guys around the program in 2003, then why all the "secret reporting" here in 2006? How then could this be - as you call it - "news"? You're assertion that Snow "hoped it would appear in print", is a blatent lie as I know and have talked with someone on that "team", and you were asked not to devulge it, and you agreed and now - and only now - prior the 2006 midterms and especially when the tide (politically) for Bush as turned to the positive, you publish it.

This wasn't a "gut wrenching decision", it was a calculated move - one of many stories which both of your declining newspapers have written over the last few years - that were designed from the ground up to extract political damage on the White House. Nothing more, nothing less.

That fact is proven in that in not one instance of the NSA program, or the Banking program has anyone (other than the terrorist) been harmed. The only thing that has been harmed is our ability to keep this country safe. Therefore your position of printing to inform and protect the American people is - in a word - crap.

The whole idea of having a Top Secret or Classified document, program, information, is that each is NOT for public consumption, but for "EYES ONLY". The President, Vice President, and a few others have complete authority to de-classify such information. Editors of newspapers do not. You do not have a constititution right or authority to give away our secrets under ANY circumstance and that's why our laws to prosecute such leakers as yourselves were written, and I believe will be ulitimately used.

If I were you two, I would take the advice of remaining silent. You're only digging your own grave at this point.

UPDATE: I guess publishing the" maps and specific street names and photographs of the private (not anymore) homes where the Vice President and Defense Secretary and their families spend their vacations?" (h/t Michelle Malkin). Would you guys like a blind fold?

By the way, for readers, which one of these, is Bill Keller's home phone number? Personally, I'm interested in his cell phone records and who he talks to on a daily basis. Perhaps I'll spend the weekend seeing how I may get access to them, you know, so the public can be more informed.

UPDATE II: John at Powerline:

"While I don't believe that the Times is actually encouraging assassination, there is one thing I just can't explain: why in the world does the article feature, prominently, this photograph of Rumsfeld's driveway, with the gratuitous explanation that "There is a lens in the birdhouse..."?

That one baffles me.

Maybe the Times would say that the jihadis already knew about the lens in the birdhouse, since it's well known that high-ranking government officials take security precautions.

UPDATE III: For whom the bell tolls. Additionally Allah Pundit tells of us of the overwhelming public support for prosecuting the media.

UPDATE IV: Michelle Malkin with additional bloviating, this time from the NY Times ombudsman Byron Calame, who has the same old defense of the indefensible. Basically more of the whiny, "Hey! EVERYBODY knew about it, so why you all picking on us??....snif, snif*"

Well again Byron, note my question to your editor, if EVERYBODY knew about it, why PUBLISH it NOW? Unless you DESIGNED it that way to have a SPECIFIC IMPACT on the President at a SPECIFIC TIME frame before the NOVEMBER ELECTION. Too bad it backfired eh Byron?

UPDATE V: Don't miss the first draft of Keller's letter via Iowa Hawk. Hilarious!

UPDATE VI: I was wondering about when "The Plumber" Schumer would come out (again) on the wrong side of National Security. Again Chucky, if not so secret, why the rush? Again, Democrats have referred to Al Qaeda as a "primative people", wow! You mean they have DSL in caves?

Noteworthy is that everytime Keller talks he speaks his TRUE agenda:

"I mean, it’s an election year. Beating up on The New York Times is red meat for the conservative base,” Keller said. “But I don’t think this is all politics. I think the administration is a little embarrassed. This is the most secretive White House we’ve had since the Nixon White House.”

Yeah Bill......Nixon.....Watergate.....we get it's has nothing to do with "the people", but with YOUR personal political bias. Got cha.


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