Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Rule of Holes

The first rule of holes is, if you find yourself in one, "Stop Digging". Sounds simple and easy doesn't it? As simple as it is, is seems that it is not that easy. First, lets look at the main house organ of the Democratic Party i.e. The New York Times. The Gray Lady seems to think that the outing of a minor employee of the CIA, who hasn't been covert or overseas in over five years is a major story that demands investigation and is more worthy of the who, what, where and why of the leak than its most recent revelations. The leaker or leakers in that case should be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law for the damage done to national security. Yet in some of the recent revelations brought to our attention through the use of leaks from within the intelligence community of truly secret national security issues, the leakers should be treated as "whistle blowers". They even defend the Washington Post for its reporting of the CIA rendering and detention centers. All of this in just today's editorial.

One possibly legitimate distinction between the two groups is that the Plame leakers may not have known that there was anything secret about Valerie Plame's CIA employment--prosecutor Fitzgerald apparently concluded that she was not a covert agent--while there is no doubt that the NSA leakers were well aware that they were compromising highly classified intelligence operations.

In any event, under the governing law, the leakers' motivations are irrelevant. They committed a crime, and should be prosecuted and jailed.

The Times continues its meme of "warrantless domestic wiretapping" which it knows full well (if its editors would read their own paper) is about the NSA monitoring international communications. Somehow that little distinction has been lost and they have decided that an outright fabrication about domestic surveillance adds much more spice. Plus the fact that it is being swallowed and continually regurgitated as truth by the rest of the media.

Scott Johnson at Powerline had this to say:

1. References to the NSA eavesdropping program as "domestic spying." See, for example, the Times story on the investigation of the leaks underlying the story: "Justice Dept. Inquiry into leak of domestic spying." Contrary to the language used by the Times, the program is one of foreign intelligence surveillance; it is not a domestic spying program. Like the authorities in Oceania, the Times seeks to dictate the politically correct attitude to the subject.

2. Implications that the "nearly a dozen current and former government officials" who leaked the highly classified information on which the Risen/Lichtblau stories are based are "whistle-blowers." The linked Times story quotes Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project: "The whole reason we have whistle-blower laws is so that government workers can act as the public's eyes and ears to expose illegality or abuse of power." Yet no whistle-blower law authorizes government employees to report allegedly illegal conduct to the New York Times.

On the contrary, federal law (18 U.S.C § 798) precisely prohibits leaks of the type of classified information in which the Times articles on the NSA program trade. The Times articles themselves involve an epidemic of lawbreaking among current and former government officials -- a fact the Times conceals from its readers by failing to disclose the applicable law. Now why would it overlook such a critical piece of information even when reporting on the opening of a criminal investigation of the leaks?

Stay tuned for more on the Rule of Holes. Also coming soon is my call for a bipartisan hanging re Abramoff and friends, both Republican and Democrat.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin as usual is all over this with an excellent (as usual) post about the double standard of the Old Gray Lady. So does Rick Moran. His conclusion:

If ever one needed proof that the liberal worldview (if ever its adherents were voted back into power) would be dangerous to the safety and security of the United States then this editorial should put all doubts to rest. Simply put, this editorial proves once and for all that liberals would prefer that terrorists succeed in attacking us rather than do what is necessary to protect us. The key word here is “necessary,” of course. And the fact is that the Times definition of “necessary” seems to be so limited and constricting that, if left up to them, the terrorists would have a gigantic head start and a leg up in trying to kill as many of us as they can. Any possible defense that they are serious about national security can therefore be ignored.

Cassandra at Tigerhawk has another super post on this two-faced view of the NYT with lots of links.

Tom Maguire probably has the most extensive post and links to this latest kerfuffle that I have seen. The position of the NYT toward the leaks and its editorial has seemed to have the opposite effect it wanted. Out of the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.