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Treason! At the NY Times!

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George Bush, as reported by the AP and widely reprinted, said, "For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America ... [and] makes it harder to win this war on terror."

Peter King, (Republican, NY), also speaking to the AP, said, "We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous."

"Some of the press, and particularly The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult by insisting on publishing detailed information about vital national security programs," Cheney said the day the story was published. (Toronto Star)

"Loose lips kill American people," said the Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
(Toronto Star)

"Running the story about the money-tracing program is a version of giving Anne Frank's address to the Nazis." Richard Valeriani (Huffington Post)

Wow! That's heavy stuff!

How many American people, I would like to ask House Speaker Hastert, have these loose lips killed?

In the days following the NY Times story, I bet Al Qaeda assassins immediately began targeting international financial auditors. That's why we've heard all those reports of slaughter in the streets of Brussels, Zurich and Berne! And we can safely blame the NY Times for each and every one of those deaths!

Oh? The rate of death by violence of CPAs has not risen significantly in the past few days? How can that be?

If the story was like giving Anne Frank's address to the Nazis, somebody must have been shipped off to a concentration camp or dead! Mr. Valeriani, the author of that metaphor, was an NBC reporter for 28 years, back when the "news was news." Some young Jewish girl must have been taken. Or a Christian girl. Or a banker's daughter. Somebody.

Well, alright, nobody died.

But surely it made it harder to pursue the war on terror! Surely! Dick Cheney said so.

Frankly, I'm in favor of following the money and finding out who backed Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. It's been almost five years. How come it's not been done? There's nothing shocking about the existence of the program. The only thing that's shocking is its failure to produce results.

But why should we imagine that the Bush administration is more competent in secret than it is in public?

This is the administration that went to war against Afghanistan to catch Osama bin Laden and his protector, Mullah Omar, but didn't get either.

A secondary purpose was to get rid of the Taliban and put in a Western friendly regime. The Taliban is making a comeback and opium production is back with a rush as well.

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LARRY BEINHART is the author of SALVATION BOULEVARD,  a major motion picture with Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Marissa Tomei, Ed Harris, and Jim Gaffigan, WAG THE DOG, The LibrarianFog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin  and HOW TO WRITE A (more...)

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