Tuesday, June 27, 2006


No not that gray lady!

That's the one!

Anywho, in honor of the release of "Superman Returns," I would like for us all to take a trip to "Bizzaro World."

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, "Bizzaro World" is an alternate dimension from the Superman comic books in which everything is the opposite of how it is in the real world.

In "Bizzaro World," the exit polls were correct and John Kerry was elected president after RFK Jr. swept into Ohio on election day and single handedly defeated hoards of evil robots, manufactured by the Diebold corporation and controlled by Kenneth Blackwell, who ordered them to hold African-American voters at gunpoint until they cast their vote for George W. Bush, or just gave up and went home.

After saving the day, Kennedy waved goodbye, got into his hybrid vehicle and in keeping with the Kennedy tradition, crashed into a hot dog cart.

It is a year-and-a-half into the Kerry presidency, and his approval ratings have fallen to an all time low after Kerry pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq opening the door for Iran to take over the entire region.

Once the U.S. was gone, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proceeded to turn Israel into a huge holocaust themed amusement park called Little Satan Capitalist Pig-Dog Land. (9/11 Flight Simulator and Teacup Ride opening fall 2007)

In addition to this, based on the recommendation of Secretary of State George Soros, Kerry has fired Saddam Hussein’s defense team and replaced them with Vice President John Edwards.

President Kerry is hopping mad and not just because his wife is still allowed out in public, but also due to the horrible treatment which he has endured from the media since he came into office.

Kerry doesn't mind cable news leader MSNBC. They seem pretty fair and are absolutely destroying the competition with a stellar lineup, the centerpiece of which is the number one show on all of cable news "The Olbermann Factor."

It's that Fox News Channel that Kerry can't stand. He has loathed the network ever since they ran a story a few days before the election which claimed that Kerry had never actually been in Vietnam at all, but was instead in Paris, smoking a fatty with Jane Fonda.

FOX deserved the humiliation which befell the network when it was discovered that they had run with the story even though it was based on information which had been scribbled in purple Crayon on a paper placemat from Shoney’s.

It was later discovered that the scribbler was FNC's own Sean Hannity and what's worse...he hadn’t even completed the maze on the back, leading Shoney Bear to his pudding.

After this, FOX had falsely reported that guards at the prison at Guantánamo Bay had flushed pages of the Koran down the toilet in order to intimidate and anger Muslim detainees.

Kerry had actually bought into that one and used it as an excuse to close down the prison, apologize to the detainees, return their jackets strapped with dynamite and send them back to Afghanistan.

And now FOX had gone too far.

The network had received information on a top secret, perfectly legal government program which was being undertaken with appropriate congressional oversight.

FNC had learned that The White House had been tracking the finances of the terrorists so they could stop the flow of money going to people who use that money to blow up children and behead civilians.

Kerry had asked FOX not to broadcast the story. He simply assumed that the networks desire to defeat America's enemies outweighed their compulsive/primal urge to destroy his presidency.

Guess again. FOX went ahead with the story anyway letting the terrorists know exactly what Kerry and the terror-warriors in the White House, who are sworn to protect the United States were up to, and rendering this incredibly beneficial and effective program obsolete.

After all The FOX News Channel knew that it was the Kerry administration, not those Islamo-fascist who enjoy setting things on fire when they don't like a comic strip, who were really the greatest threat to national security and "Bizzaro World" peace.

And besides, if the policy came out of the Kerry White House there must be something nefarious going down, right? Even if there was no evidence whatsoever of illegal activity, something will come out eventually. The same way that it eventually came out that Kerry's main political advisor, Rarl Kove had intentionally leaked the name of that CIA agent. Man, thank God he got indicted.

John Kerry was so angry that he was turning orange and he hadn't even used the tan-in-a-can spray since the campaign.

To the delight of his supporters Kerry publicly scolded the FOX News Channel, lambasting them for undermining the War on Terror.

Liberal activists and Kerry supporters didn't stop there.

"Air America" radio, which in "Bizzaro World" was thriving financially and laying the groundwork for the nation's emerging ultra-liberal majority, described what FOX had done as "treasonous" and called for the imprisonment of Rupert Murdoch and Shepard Smith.

"Daily Kos" and the other liberal bloggers called out conservatives who had been denying for years that FOX had a right-wing bias, but those hypocritical right-wing nut-jobs just pretended as if nothing had happened. Some even defended FNC's right to go ahead with the story, claiming that freedom of the press gave FOX the right....no the duty, to go ahead with the story and let the public know, even if it did give an advantage to those who indiscriminately kill Americans, and fly planes into buildings in the name of Allah.

Groups like Move-On.org and Code Pink organized marches all over the country to protest FOX and John Gibson was burned in effigy throughout the streets of San Francisco.

The New York Herald, the paper or record in "Bizarro" America expressed it outrage at FOX News on it's editorial page, saying that the program was essential to national security and that FNC should be ashamed of itself for putting it's own political agenda before the safety of the American people.

When word got out about what FOX had done, “Bizzaro” America decided that enough was enough. News watchers all over the nation called and demanded that their cable and satellite providers drop The FOX News Channel from their line-up.

With its credibility destroyed and it's anti-Kerry bias completely exposed, The FOX News Channel was forced to make a public apology and beg the nation's forgiveness for their irresponsible behavior.

Thus, President Kerry was given a bit more wiggle room to do what he needed to do in order to fight The War on Terror.

He then proceeded to change his mind and asked all former Gitmo prisoners to return to Guantánamo Bay and turn themselves in.

Ok folks back to reality!

Fortunately, we don't live in "Bizzaro World." John Kerry is not president and never will be and a sizable portion of the population still gets its news from The Fox News Channel, which despite constant criticism from the left, has yet to do anything nearly as atrocious, or show as clear a bias against a sitting commander-in-chief or any politician for that matter, as the New York Times did this week, and has since Bush was elected.

Bush was absolutely right to rip into the Times as he did, just as a President Kerry would be justified in his outrage if FOX had done something similar.

The New York Times needs to be held accountable for its behavior. I don't think that they need to be brought up on charges of treason, but cancelled subscriptions and a shakeup in the staff-room would be a good start.

Furthermore, if this level of irresponsibility and disregard for national security among the left-leaning media is to remain as prevalent as it is, then the Bush Administration must become more secretive with information regarding The War on Terror, and not the opposite as some have suggested.

Openness in government be damned. When the stakes are as high as they are, the government has every right to withhold certain information from the public and keep those who seek to expose that information quiet. It's known in legal circles as prior restraint and the Bush Administration should not be afraid to assert it if necessary.

Much has been made of late as to the idea that the Bush Administration has become intimidated by the antagonistic left-wing press. Hopefully, the shot across the bow of the New York Times which the president fired on Monday will serve as a clear message that the administration will no longer stand idly by while a large portion of the media undermines The War on Terror.

This may also serve to restore faith in Bush among his base, who have been waiting for him to give certain media types a good talking to for a long time. It may help those poll numbers keep ticking up as well.

In conclusion:

The New York Times - SLAP!

Whoever leaked the information about the program in the first place - SLAP! SLAP!

and just for good measure:

John Kerry - SLAP!

Stay out of "Bizzaro World" people.

Sphere: Related Content


rational open-minded thinker said...

you're a fucking idiot.
you're not part of the solution to this nation's bipartisan crisis.
you're part of the problem.
you're an absolute fucking idiot who only seems capable to regurgitate right-leaning news reports.
call me when you've actually got a perspective and opinion of your own, you fucking fascist.

VE said...


This is flapjack and you're smart enough to know it.
This whole NYT "bitch slapping" - just like the sudden "immigration debate" - reeks of typical election-year attempts on behalf of politicians to control what is and isn't a story.
It's no secret that most Republicans have it in for the NYT. But then most Republicans have it in for The Truth, too. And The Other. Those two forces are very inconvenient for them. They don't like perspectives other than their own getting out there.
That aside - The conservative Wall Street Journal reported the same story.
That aside - It isn't a story. It's. Not. A. Story.
It isn't a "threat to national security." Just because you're being told it's a threat doesn't make it so. Who are these evil-doers that they didn't think we might be monitoring global financial exchanges? Are they idiots? Did anyone NOT think this was already happening? Are the terrorists that dumb that because of the NYT and the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, they now know our "secrets?" If so, why haven't we rounded up every single one of them and taken them off to be tortured real nice and slow like?
(This isn't the same thing as say - outing an undercover CIA official.)
This whole "treasonous scandal" is a really sad attempt by the conservative machine to spin events in their favor, to get people talking about anything other than their constant screw ups. It's a sad attempt to divert from the fact that the Supreme Court just ruled that Bush overstepped his bounds with Guantanamo.
And yeah - "liberals" (who do you think these people are? You use that word a little too... liberally, if you will) might be saying the same thing in your little bizarro world. And I'd still be calling bullshit.

"Most people still get their news from the Fox News Channel."

And most American graduating high-schoolers couldn't find Washington DC and other world capitals on a globe. Does that make it something to brag to the world about?

Falling Panda said...

Bart I seriously think you're letting you're ideology color you're commentary.

You are honestly saying that if this whole situatiion hadn't happened in the "Bizzaro World" scenario which I depicted in my article that you and all of the left-leaning bloggers in your circle wouldn't be screaming bloody murder?

I think..no, I know you would be.

You're perspective on the topic is one which I defined in the article. When FNC or The White House is involved in something that could potentially be unacceptable political behavior it's the end of the world, when it's the New York Times or some Democratic politico, it's not a big deal.

Seriously man, I have a lot of respect for you and even some of the others who I occasionally spar with on your blog.

I don't want to see you turn into the kind of guy whose comments preceeded yours on this blog.

VE said...

All I did was refute your statements, bud. In the spirit of debate. Don't worry. No one's screaming bloody murder.

I may lean a little to the left, but I make up my own mind based on the particulars of a situation. I don't play the party game. I have almost as little love for most Democratic politicans as I do for Republicans. I think Republicans are brutal and Democrats are aimless. If we get another Democrat in the office anytime soon, you'll get a chance to see me exercise that assertion.

But like I said earlier - I just don't even see how this is even a story. I think the White House has been looking a long time for an excuse to try to intimidate any media outlet that doesn't agree with them. They found one. The problem is - in this particular case - the actions on the part of the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times just weren't really "treasonous." The report doesn't truly "endanger our national security."

Matthew said...

Come on Dan. I thought you were above cheap muckraking like this bizarro scenario. Are you seriously trying to get people to look at a situation in a different light or is this just a cheap right-wing masturbation piece?

How much do lines like "After saving the day, Kennedy waved goodbye, got into his hybrid vehicle and in keeping with the Kennedy tradition, crashed into a hot dog cart" add to the debate.

It just makes you look as petty and narrow-minded as those that you're attacking.

And come on, "and just for good measure:

John Kerry - SLAP!"

You won the election. You control both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court is 7-2 in terms of Republican appointees.

Why are you still obsessed with slapping John Kerry around? Even a large majority of Democrats are disgusted with him. There's no chance he's going to win the nomination again.

Now if you want to slap around Hillary for blatantly trying to pander to both conservatives and liberals, and doing neither successfully then feel free, but that's really so 1994.

Falling Panda said...

Let's clear something up here. Yes the Journal and the LA Times ran the story, but only after The New York Times did. The damage had already been done.

I don't see any reason to believe that either of those publications would have exposed the story without the Times having done it first.

Next, the government has pointed to numerous examples of how this program has lead to the capture of various terrorists around the globe. So either some of those terrorists are really stupid, as you assert or this program was part of an efficient way of tracking them, which they now know more about now than they did before.

The program was classified and members of both parties and the chairman of the 9/11 commision had urged the press not to expose the program.

The exposure of the program, despite it's effectiveness should be a big deal to anyone who is concerned about national security. It was legal and congress was briefed as to the goings on of the program itself.

So why did the Times go forward with it?

If there was nothing illegal about the program, why was it a secret?

Was this a big ploy by the administration to trick the Times into going ahead with the story so they could bash left-leaning media outlets?

Some have argued that since the administration had touted similar programs in the past, than the exposure of this particular program made no difference.

Forget the fact that this was entirely different and as of yet undisclosed program. But if that argument stands and everyone was aware of what the administration was doing in the first place, why did the Times feel it necessary to print the story on page-one above the fold, and make a huge deal out of it? The paper cannot have it both ways.

No matter how strongly you believe in the first amendment, it does not give anyone in the media the right to expose secret government programs, despite how much distrust they have of a particular administration.

Once again when its the Republicans complaining about a secret program being exposed, it's am election year ploy. When it's the Democrats asserting that administration officials intentionally leaked the name of a covert CIA agent, even when no evidence exists to back up that claim and those who were under suspicion have been cleared after extensive investigation. ( not that any of this matters to those on the left who will keep alluding to their guilt as fact anyway) Rather than being political THIS is a somehow MORE worthy of criticism than what happened last week?

The administration has a job to do and whether you agree with their methods or not, they have a mandate from the people to accomplish their tasks in the manner which they see fit as long as it complies with the law.

The media does not have the right to undermine that ability in the fashion that the New York Times did last week.

VE said...

So if the New York Times jumped off a cliff would the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times jump off a cliff too?

First of all - I can't debate this if it's going to keep being liberals and conservatives and democrats and republicans. I am undyingly loyal to none of these groups. If that's what you're upset about, fine. (I actually brought up the CIA thing as a joke, though. Damn internet. So hard to tell tone.)

What bugs me is that the administration is trying to villainize ANY media outlet. If it were Fox News, guess what? I'd be defending them. I know you may not believe that, but it's true.

Falling Panda said...

The administration has as much right to defend itself against what they view as unjustified attacks or against what they see as an impediment to doing their job as the media has to criticize the administration.

I like many others who see a overwhelming left-leaning bias in the media wish that Bush and his collegues in Congress would have done this sooner and would do it with more frequency.

If the media wants to be "the fourth estate" then the government gets to apply a system of checks and balances on them as well, and expose their misdeeds if necessary.

VE said...

So.... the government can control the papers? Sounds like communist Prague to me.

From NYT today:

When Do We Publish a Secret?

By DEAN BAQUET, editor, The Los Angeles Times, and BILL KELLER, executive editor, The New York Times

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.

We are rivals. Our newspapers compete on a hundred fronts every day. We apply the principles of journalism individually as editors of independent newspapers. We agree, however, on some basics about the immense responsibility the press has been given by the inventors of the country.

Make no mistake, journalists have a large and personal stake in the country's security. We live and work in cities that have been tragically marked as terrorist targets. Reporters and photographers from both our papers braved the collapsing towers to convey the horror to the world.

We have correspondents today alongside troops on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others risk their lives in a quest to understand the terrorist threat; Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal was murdered on such a mission. We, and the people who work for us, are not neutral in the struggle against terrorism.

But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.

Thirty-five years ago yesterday, in the Supreme Court ruling that stopped the government from suppressing the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers, Justice Hugo Black wrote: "The government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people."

As that sliver of judicial history reminds us, the conflict between the government's passion for secrecy and the press's drive to reveal is not of recent origin. This did not begin with the Bush administration, although the polarization of the electorate and the daunting challenge of terrorism have made the tension between press and government as clamorous as at any time since Justice Black wrote.

Our job, especially in times like these, is to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf, and at what price.

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.

How do we, as editors, reconcile the obligation to inform with the instinct to protect?

Sometimes the judgments are easy. Our reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, take great care not to divulge operational intelligence in their news reports, knowing that in this wired age it could be seen and used by insurgents.

Often the judgments are painfully hard. In those cases, we cool our competitive jets and begin an intensive deliberative process.

The process begins with reporting. Sensitive stories do not fall into our hands. They may begin with a tip from a source who has a grievance or a guilty conscience, but those tips are just the beginning of long, painstaking work. Reporters operate without security clearances, without subpoena powers, without spy technology. They work, rather, with sources who may be scared, who may know only part of the story, who may have their own agendas that need to be discovered and taken into account. We double-check and triple-check. We seek out sources with different points of view. We challenge our sources when contradictory information emerges.

Then we listen. No article on a classified program gets published until the responsible officials have been given a fair opportunity to comment. And if they want to argue that publication represents a danger to national security, we put things on hold and give them a respectful hearing. Often, we agree to participate in off-the-record conversations with officials, so they can make their case without fear of spilling more secrets onto our front pages.

Finally, we weigh the merits of publishing against the risks of publishing. There is no magic formula, no neat metric for either the public's interest or the dangers of publishing sensitive information. We make our best judgment.

When we come down in favor of publishing, of course, everyone hears about it. Few people are aware when we decide to hold an article. But each of us, in the past few years, has had the experience of withholding or delaying articles when the administration convinced us that the risk of publication outweighed the benefits. Probably the most discussed instance was The New York Times's decision to hold its article on telephone eavesdropping for more than a year, until editors felt that further reporting had whittled away the administration's case for secrecy.

But there are other examples. The New York Times has held articles that, if published, might have jeopardized efforts to protect vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear material, and articles about highly sensitive counterterrorism initiatives that are still in operation. In April, The Los Angeles Times withheld information about American espionage and surveillance activities in Afghanistan discovered on computer drives purchased by reporters in an Afghan bazaar.

It is not always a matter of publishing an article or killing it. Sometimes we deal with the security concerns by editing out gratuitous detail that lends little to public understanding but might be useful to the targets of surveillance. The Washington Post, at the administration's request, agreed not to name the specific countries that had secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons, deeming that information not essential for American readers. The New York Times, in its article on National Security Agency eavesdropping, left out some technical details.

Even the banking articles, which the president and vice president have condemned, did not dwell on the operational or technical aspects of the program, but on its sweep, the questions about its legal basis and the issues of oversight.

We understand that honorable people may disagree with any of these choices — to publish or not to publish. But making those decisions is the responsibility that falls to editors, a corollary to the great gift of our independence. It is not a responsibility we take lightly. And it is not one we can surrender to the government.

— DEAN BAQUET, editor, The Los Angeles Times, and BILL KELLER, executive editor, The New York Times

Falling Panda said...

Oh and by the way did you notice that "rational open-minded thinker" said "you're an absolute fucking idiot who only seems capable to regurgitate right-leaning news reports.
call me when you've actually got a perspective and opinion of your own, you fucking fascist."

Once again this type of commentators hypocrisy is front and center as he plays right into my hypothosis that this type of statement regarding the origonality of conservative thinkers is the most overused and regurgitated talking point among those who disagree with them.


VE said...

Lightweight, indeed.
And downright mean.

VE said...

Not you.

Falling Panda said...

"Douchebag" is such a great word. I feel that the word has truley come into it's prime as of late, in part due to bloggers like ourselves, but also because of the evolution of human kind as a species over the last 30 years.

Falling Panda said...

I think that Keller's argument is pretty weak, especially the part concerning the Pentagon Papers.

The Pentagon Papers were deemed by the supreme court to not have an impact on national security, because the things revealed in the Pentagon papers were a matter of historical fact.

In other words it simply contained things which had already happened and had no effect on our policy in Vietnam.

This time The Times has exposed a program which is still being used by our government.

It's apples and oranges.

And no, I'm not advocating that the government control the papers, but the Supreme Court has always asserted that they can force the press to withold certain information if it poses a threat to national security.
Some personal responsiblity and some sense of nationalism (especially faced with an enemy like Islamo-facism) is of course not required but it would be nice.

This seems as though it would be a perfect example of a situtation where prior-restraint could have been asserted.

VE said...

Given the direction our debate has gone, I'm going to have to concede. But only on principle. Because I'm still not entirely convinced that this particular "leak" poses a threat to our national secutiry.
And the idea of the government chastizing media makes me nervous. I wonder - in a different Bizzaro world - if FNC had broken the story, would Bush and Cheney speak out against them?
Then again, perhaps FNC wouldn't break the story to begin with.

Still - I think there's something in Keller's argument about the governement wanting it both ways.

I requote -

"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."

Now - on to more important matters - Douchebag is, indeed, a great word.

matthew said...

"the Supreme Court has always asserted that they can force the press to withhold certain information if it poses a threat to national security."

So if the stories on this program were so vital to national security then why didn't the administration use their power to suppress it on those grounds?

I'm being serious. I actually want to know. The administration was well briefed on the story and when it was going to run. If we are to believe as some would like us to now that the exposure of this program has seriously hurt our ability to track terrorist financing then why didn't the administration use their veto power over the Time.

Also to point out a fact the WJ and the NYT went with the story on the same day. Mainly because the WSJ was brought in by the Treasury department to give what they believed would be a more accurate representation of the program.

Dan, you've repeatedly ridiculed all aspects of the Valerie Plame affair. Are you really so surprised that people are now making light of this disclosure?

On the other hand I also concur that douchebag is a fine word. Indeed it is one of my favourite insults to hurl about.

Falling Panda said...

I want to know why prior-restraint was not put into effect in this situation as well. I do not know the answer to that question.

If they could have and they did not, they should have. But again I don't know.

The fact remains that The Times Broke the Story and reported it first on their web-site. If all three had the story and were holding it, it only makes sense that once the NYT decided to run it and published it, that the other outlets would not have wanted to be left behind and would have run the story as well.

Would the Journal and LA Times have gone forward and printed it anyway if the Times hadn't done so first? Again, I don't know, but I doubt it.

As far as Plame goes, let's treat this situation the same way as we did the Plame case. Let's put a special prosecuter in charge and see if someone needs to be held legally responsible. Let's look at the law and see if someone needs to be held accountable. I supported the investigation into the Plame outing and I would support this one as well.

VE said...

I agree with you on that.
I think the situation should be investigated. The public shoiuld know how and why such a revelation is considered a threat to national security.
And if someone really did screw up, they should be held accountable. More than just The Times, though - Who leaked this shit? Why isn't that high on the list of things to look into?


The idea of the govt slapping the hand of the media. It still makes me nervous.

Anonymous said...

Dan's little satire here may obscure his real point which is a valid one. The problem here is that the Times has set itself up as an arbiter of which national intelligence matters need to be kept from public view and which don't. I am sorry, but we can't have it this way in this dangerous world. No one elected the Times and its editorial staff is not briefed in on all of the considerations of the government's efforts to stop terrorism.

Any reasoning person should at least conclude that when the Times uncovered its "blockbuster" scoop about the program, it could have placed it in the hands of the minority members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example. If they chose to disclose it (and I doubt that they would have been so irresponsible) at least, they would have been answerable for their conduct at the next election cycle. Who elected the Times to manage our national security?