June 27, 2006

A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

Poor Glenn Greenwald. It seems that he has once and for all stepped away from the land of the credible, and his latest missive on reaction to the New York Times banking story blowback makes that painfully obvious:

Any doubts about whether the Bush administration intends to imprison unfriendly journalists (defined as "journalists who fail to obey the Bush administration's orders about what to publish") were completely dispelled this weekend. As I have noted many times before, one of the most significant dangers our country faces is the all-out war now being waged on our nation's media -- and thereby on the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press -- by the Bush administration and its supporters, who are furious that the media continues to expose controversial government policies and thereby subject them to democratic debate. After the unlimited outpouring of venomous attacks on the Times this weekend, I believe these attacks on our free press have become the country's most pressing political issue.

Any doubts have been dispelled, eh, Glenn? By this, I would be so bold as to infer that you have concrete proof of your allegation that the President has the intention to thrown journalists in jail. Certainly, you would not be so bold as to make such a wild accusation without so much as a shred of proof. Why, such a strong claim, without any evidentiary support whatsoever, would be absolutely Leopoldian.

Sadly, the condition seems degenerative:

Documenting the violent rhetoric and truly extremist calls for imprisonment against the Times is unnecessary for anyone paying even minimal attention the last few days. On every cable news show, pundits and even journalists talked openly about whether the editors and reporters of the Times were traitors deserving criminal punishment. The Weekly Standard, always a bellwether of Bush administration thinking, is now actively crusading for criminal prosecution against the Times. And dark insinuations that the Times ought to be physically attacked are no longer the exclusive province of best-selling right-wing author Ann Coulter, but -- as Hume's Ghost recently documented -- are now commonly expressed sentiments among all sorts of "mainstream" Bush supporters. Bush supporters are now engaged in all-out, unlimited warfare against journalists who are hostile to the administration and who fail to adhere to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief about what to print.

"All-out, unlimited warfare against journalists..." Well, that would certainly explain why the CNN Building in downtown Atlanta was just leveled by Tomahawk cruise missiles, and why Navy SEAL 13.5 (Documents and Records) are presently engaged in a fierce, close-quarters battle against the Times editorial staff in the brie cooler.

Oh wait... none of that is happening.

Greenwald's article presumably continues after that point, but I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would care.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 27, 2006 03:26 PM | TrackBack

The brie cooler. Nice one.

Posted by: see-dubya at June 27, 2006 04:10 PM

Quit worrying about what the press did. Lock up the reporters till they divulge the leaks then excute them.

Posted by: David Caskey at June 27, 2006 04:49 PM

The copius tears I shed for the poor widdle Times people should be proof enough that I am not at war with the media. Now, where did I put that shotgun and rope?

Posted by: MCPO Airdale at June 27, 2006 05:31 PM

The unauthorized disclosure of classified information bears consequences. If anyone is interested this is the US Code that applies.

Title 18, United States Code Section 798. Disclosure of classified information

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully ommunicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information--

(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government;

Shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

For a little more information check out:

  • This Link
  • CY, I apologize for that shameless plug, but there really is some good info over there (I know the author).

    Posted by: Old Soldier at June 27, 2006 05:50 PM

    The link failed, so cut and paste the following:

    Posted by: Old Soldier at June 27, 2006 05:52 PM

    As usual, the lefties revel in their delusions. I can't comprehend how people who live such safe, secure, and comfortable lives can be so utterly cynical and paranoid.

    Posted by: Zhombre at June 27, 2006 06:23 PM

    None of those that are attempting to excuse the NYT actions have come up with a credible reason why anyone should trust the NYT editorial board when it determines to run a story over an Administration that claims that running such a story would result in serious and ongoing harm to national security.

    So, where we stand right now has the NYT continuing to run stories from leakers who are providing the paper with classified information, an Administration that's trying to stop leakers, and a paper that refuses to work with the Administration.

    There's a story in there somewhere.

    Oh yes - it's called newspapers refusing to give up the names of those providing leaks of classified information. The failure to assist in any such investigation should result in criminal action against the editors as to contempt.

    The papers are playing high stakes poker, thinking that they can pull another Pentagon Papers case out of their hats, and further expand their power against any Administration.

    And yet I have some serious concerns about trying papers for treason or other criminal charges stemming from the leaks. Do we really want to turn what is already a bad relationship into a poisonous one? Does that actually help anyone, least of all this and future Presidents to communicate messages, deal with any and every crisis, etc.

    But Instapundit says it so much better than I.

    Posted by: lawhawk at June 27, 2006 09:00 PM

    I love it when the Bush administration gets so bent out of shape when the Times exposes their "questionable/grey area" programs. Yes...when you say "Times", you know it came from New York, city that is.... Black gold,Texas tea is responsible for this big Al-Qaeda boogieman debacle! As painful as it is for all my sexless friends, this is what makes our country great, the checks and balances of a free America. Remember...if the Bush administration begins to hunt down journalist for leaking sensitive information, they better start at Pennsylvania Ave first. The irony is so thick and the double standards so frequent, it is sometimes seems like a joke. As a spineless Massachusetts Factor guest today exclaimed..."What if France came into the U.S. and barged into our banks to sift thru our banking records in the name of French national security?" That would go over well wouldn't it boys?

    Posted by: Johnny at June 27, 2006 09:48 PM

    Johnny, perhaps you should actually read the NYT article and concentrate on the parts where they state the program is "legal" and that "congress was briefed" and that the program "is classified"; oh and don't forget the part about the program was working, too. When the "anonymous" tipper got to the part of "this is classified, so I want to remain anonymous", the "journalist" should have folded up his notebook and ended the interview. This is not a check in a check and balance system; this is deliberate disclosure of classified information. This act is not covered by the First Amendment; it is however covered by Title 18, United States Code Section 798. (You can read it in a prior comment if you're actually interested in reality.)

    Posted by: Old Soldier at June 28, 2006 07:07 AM

    Is that the famous of Johnny of "Why Johnny Can't Read"?

    Posted by: Zhombre at June 28, 2006 08:43 AM

    Congress was briefed? Harry Reid was quoted as saying he was briefed just a couple of weeks ago. The program has been running for years. They just now getting around to it? Admin officials also admitted the only reason why they briefed members of congress was because they knew the NYT was sniffing around asking questions about the program. The program itself maybe legal but the President refusing to allow the US Congress to have insight into those programs is the grey area.

    As far as Title 18 goes, when they prosecute Novak (and all the editors of the papers he is syndicated to that printed his article) for outing Plame, then they should go after NYT. Classified is classified whether its a program or a person's cover.

    Posted by: matt a at June 28, 2006 10:27 AM


    Plame wasn't outside the states within 5 years so wasn't covert.

    Section 606 terms and definitions, # 4 A

    Posted by: Retired Navy at June 28, 2006 11:42 AM

    matt a,

    For once...just once...try to get the facts right. No one has been arrested or indicted or officially accused of "outing" Plame. Why after so many years of investigation do you think that is? Could it possible be that NO LAW WAS BROKEN? Stop with your whining mantra. Plame was not "covert" and not "classified". Hadley at CIA told Novak she worked there when he was asked. Figure this out. These are not the same cases at all.

    Posted by: Specter at June 28, 2006 03:42 PM

    Navy - I googled plame and found this summary from WaPo ( - first link to come up). "Bob Woodward told Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on Nov. 14, 2005, that a senior government official talked to him about Plame and her covert status two years ago. This revelation cast doubt on allegations that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the first Bush administration official to out Plame. Woodward's testimony also raised questions about his decision to keep silent about the conversation during the past two years, despite an ongoing investigation into the affair."

    I'm not arguing whether she was in country or not, but her cover most certainly was classified. Reporter Miller got Plame's name from Libby, Reporter Cooper got it from Rove, Rove got it from Libby. Cheney heard it from Tenet but Tenet doesn't remember telling Cheney. The only one to get screwed here was Libby for trying to lie about where he heard it from (Tim Russert). We still don't know who Woodward talked to 2 years ago or how did Libby find out. If it was that simple as title and verse, why wouldn't someone just step up and say, "I did it"? Why the who's on first, what's on second routine?

    Spectre - Don't be nieve. In politics, laws don't matter. Nixon was never charged with a crime so I suppose under your interpretation, no laws were broken? US Rep. Cynthia McKinney didn't get charged with assaulting a police officer so I guess she didn't break a law either. Those are just 2 examples. Politicians get a way with breaking the law all the time. Its the exception to the rule to actually hold someone accountable. Amazing how conservatives want to hold a politican accountable for lying about an affair with an intern but not accountable for lying about giving classified information out. The NYT sure. The WSJ nope (they had the same story brewing as did LA Times and WaPo).

    Posted by: matt a at June 29, 2006 10:19 AM


    I don't get why you believe the Washington Post over the actual instruction that governs the situation.

    Plame came back in the states from her last covert assignment in 97. The instruction clearly states that to be deemed "covert", an agent is out CONUS or was within the last 5 years.

    Posted by: Retired Navy at June 29, 2006 10:24 AM

    I can pull a dozen similarly worded summaries about Valerie Plume and I don't have a problem with the summary from WaPo in this case because Woodward (you know, WaPo most famous reporter) is shown to be the administration's lap dog that he is. His words, that he knew she was classified 2 years ago and he got it from someone senior. Who was it? No one knows.

    You seem to be hung up on covert vs classified. Her cover was covert in that she was not in the "open" doing what she was doing oversees but even after she came back, her role still remains classified. For example, a US Navy SEAL could be inserted covertly and execute an operation, but his role in that operation and the fact that he participated is classified. Leaking the name of the Navy SEAL as being a covert operative when it was still classified would still be wrong.

    Again, I contend that if ANY of this was actually the case for Valerie Plume in terms of regulations and status, there wouldn't have been an investigation at all as someone should have stepped up and said she didn't have a classified status anymore. Didn't happen.

    Posted by: matt a at June 29, 2006 01:50 PM

    Whatsamatta matt a? Can't handle the fact the nobody you wanted to get charged did? Let's call the Wahhhhmmmmbulance. You sound like a little kid at times - and we can tell when you are angry because your spelling goes out the window.

    But really - are you actually following the story? There is an individual identified as UGO (Unidentified Government Official) who told Fitz in early 2004 that he was the one who told reporters. So far the individual's identity has been protected, but speculation is that it is Armitage. He was Woodward's source and it appears he was Cooper's first source. You can speculate all you want, but the case is basically done with and nobody is going to be charged - no laws broken. Now when Rocky gets hit for the NSA leak - we are going to have lots of fun.

    Posted by: Specter at June 29, 2006 02:18 PM


    Did you even read the statute? Not what you remember about it but what I actually pointed to. Your summation is completely off. Classified isn't even mentioned about an agent back in the states. Classification pertains to information or details of what an Agent had done, not the Agent themselves. They are either covert, or not. She was at one time, but wasn't since 97 so dosn't qualify anymore. It is that simple.

    Posted by: Retired Navy at June 29, 2006 02:29 PM