Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hooray for Newsweek

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:
The president was so desperate to kill The New York Times’ eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper’s editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security.


The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.

No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law.


  1. I generally have nothing but contempt for US print journalism, but in this one, finite instance, bravo for Newsweek.

  2. I like that Alter hasn't let the media bash make him bashful.

  3. He's a strong man.

  4. I hope they don't break him.

  5. I get the impression, generally, that Newsweek has stepped outside the circle. IIRC, that's part of te WaPo Borg. Could this be the tail wagging the dog? The first sign that WaPo collectively is searching for its testes?

    Let's wait and see.

    PS: these seven and eight letter anti-spam thingies are making me dizzy. I'm sure it's that, and not the meds, or the Bu$hCo full-court press to revive the Nuerenburg Laws.