Skip to comments.(Vanity) It Just Isn't Cricket, or, The Sound of Silence
Posted on 11/26/2006 10:00:07 PM PST by grey_whiskers
Recently, the New York Times went to the United States Supreme Court, asking them to prevent investigators from looking at certain reporters phone records. The records are being sought in connection with a leak of government plans in 2001 to freeze the assets of two Islamic charities on the grounds that they were supporting terrorist organizations. Pondering on the many absurdities and ironies in this case has provided much food for thought.
First of all, consider the timing. This was *before* the NSA intercept program was made publicunless of course that was leaked to the Times along with this information. So we have hear a track record established, of the New York Times being the source of choice for anonymous core dumps of classified information.
Secondly, speaking of the NSA intercept program, the public argument was that the danger by that program was that there was no oversight, the decisions would in effect be made in a Star Chamber. So what is happening in this case? There was no tapping of the phones in a clandestine fashion; the investigators went through the normal channels to obtain the information about the Times. So why then is the Times so upset? Due process is being followed, isnt it? It begins to look like what is desired is not freedom from arbitrary snooping, but freedom from consequences.
Let us try a counterexample. Suppose for the sake of argument that there was an anti-Mafia sweep happening in the Big Apple, and that some of the corrupt policemen who were under investigation from Internal Affairs wanted to get the new, crusading, squeaky clean chief removed from office. Well, they could go to the press and leak details of several sting operations to the Times, resulting in the needless deaths of fellow officers. Well, its all in the job, right? Drug raids and the like are risky. And as for the press, well of course they have to protect their sources. The first amendment is the most cherished freedom we have and protecting it is a sacred duty!
Except that in such an example, the First Amendment is being misused, not as a beacon to reveal roaches scurrying about, but by the roaches themselves, in order to blind their pursuers.
And so we have it here. If it were anyone but a journalist, a person revealing such classified information would immediately become liable as an accessory after the fact; or in danger of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Orto put it another wayconsider the video of Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings saying that even if they had news of an upcoming ambush of American troops, they would not inform the troops, since they have a higher calling as journalists. Glad we got that straight! The Constitution is such a sacred instrument that they must be allowed to hide behind it when attacking our government; but when others attack our governmentin fact, those same people who would feed the Constitution into a paper shredderthey have a higher calling than mere sectarian allegiance.
Or to phrase it another way: You might not agree with anything I say, but you must defend to your death MY right to say it.
But there is another consideration here, once we have brought up the tiresome liberal cliché. How have the major press organs, how have the liberals worldwide reacted when faced with actual, personal consequences for their speech and actions? Daniel Pearl was beheaded on videotape. Yet the pen is mightier than the sword, we are told. So where were all the fearless legions of the press, fighting to the death for Pearls right to speak?
Theo Van Gogh, brutally killed by a Muslim. Shot eight times, throat slashed; and with a knife containing a five-page note of his crimes pinned to his body.
Fast forward to the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoon flap. The heroic New York Times leads the charge! Here is an article from the
Old Grey Mare Grey Lady which details the outrage from the Muslim World.
Crickets on steroids.
The next time a journalist, or a liberal, starts telling you about how he may disagree with you, but he will defend to the death your right to say it, offer him one-way tickets to Baghdad or Islamabad.
And look out for crickets.
An amended version might be, "When the MSM loves the truth as much as they hate Western Civilization, there will be peace."
NO cheers, unfortunately.
D-word-ed straight, Grey Whiskers.
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