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Thursday, June 29, 2006


You've certainly heard the Bush Administration's response regarding the NY Times "revealing" the financial database tool they were using. One example, by President Bush, "There can be no excuse for anyone entrusted with vital intelligence to leak it — and no excuse for any newspaper to print it." (Unless your name is Karl Rove)

I would encourage people to read the Original article as well as Bill Keller's Response I have my opinions on this issue, which I will mention briefly, but the reason for this post is that I think it's important for people to understand the reasons used by the Times in deciding to publish that information. Then if you still feel they were wrong, that's least it's an informed decision. And make no mistake, I agree with Mr. Keller that it was an extremely difficult decision to make for very obvious reasons.

My take in watered down form, as I changed my mind from writing this solely as an emotional, fact-based piece to a plea for people to be informed. This administration does not believe in the Fourth Estate as part of the oversight of government (I think they barely believe in the Second Estate, when you examine the measures taken to weaken congressional power and strengthen presidential power). The Fourth Estate is the eyes and mouth of the people; and in this time where we have a very secretive administration, a congress that's been unable and unwilling to stand up for us, who do we then rely on for oversight, information and most importantly a counter-balance? The toothless, ineffective, follow-the-breeze Democrats? Negative. The Republicans who hold a majority in both houses of congress? No reply necessary. The Bush Administration themselves? Just look at the abusive use of signing statements for your answer.

The Administration's premise regarding its position on this issue is a good one, but this program is not and has not been a secret. In the NYT todayThe President on several occasions has referred to it. Swift has taken no measures to keep it a secret, quite the opposite. And when you have an administration who leaks secret information when it suits them (see Karl Rove vis a vis Valerie Plame), they have no leg to stand on, except the leg of fear-based patriotism.

You should also refresh your memory regarding the NY Times reporting of the Clinton Administration before you rally around the liberal media flag, as well as the fact that many people in this country feel the "liberal" press and the NY Times generally did not do their job of oversight for many months after 9/11. We'll call it the 9/11 honeymoon. This was certainly not a liberal press that questioned every move of a conservative government.

Given the constant string of mistakes, miscalculations, secrets, arrogance, lack of planning, ineptitude, deceptions and deceipts, I for one am thankful to know that someone is paying attention and willing to make difficult decisions that are intentioned in our best interest.

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