Friday, June 23, 2006

New York Times Leaks Another National Security Secret

The media arm of Al Qaeda has once again disclosed a classified terrorist surveillance tool vital to our National Security:

The Bush administration and The New York Times are again at odds over national security, this time with new reports of a broad government effort to track global financial transfers.

The newspaper, which in December broke news of an effort by the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' telephone calls and e- mails, declined a White House request not to publish a story about the government's inspection of monies flowing in and out of the country.

The Los Angeles Times also reported on the issue Thursday night on its Web site, against the Bush administration's wishes. The Wall Street Journal said it received no request to hold its report of the surveillance.

Administration officials were concerned that news reports of the program would diminish its effectiveness and could harm overall national security. [...]

In its story, The New York Times said it carefully weighed the administration's arguments for withholding the information and gave them "the most serious and respectful consideration."

"We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use it may be, is a matter of public interest," said Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor. [...]

I suppose survival isn't a matter of public interest in the eyes of the New York Times? Apparently, there was more "serious and respectful consideration" given to exactly when the press room should be alerted to run with the story than to any National Security concerns cited by the administration.

If and when the next terrorist attack occurs that may have been prevented by one of the classified programs revealed by The New York Times, what will they say of the public interest then?

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