Wes Pruden on The New York Times' inviting the government lawyers in....
Readers, here are a few excerpts---in Pruden's usual dry wit---but, you will be well served to read the entire piece at the above link.
You will also see how the Grey Lady has given herself a blackened eye, name and reputation, all the while issuing an open invitation to the U.S. Dept. of Justice to come after her with the long barrels. President Bush's DOJ has obliged the NYT by accepting their invitation.
"Nobody could credibly accuse anyone at the New York Times, the severe, scolding nanny of the secular establishment, of praying. But the succession of national-security "scandals" that harassed the old gray lady in the year of our Lord 2005 demonstrates once more the risks of getting what you ask for.
No one panted in hotter pursuit of the "scandalous outing" of Valerie Plame quite like the New York Times, quivering for months with the anticipation of a spinster imagining noises downstairs at 3 o'clock in the morning. Karl Rove's days were numbered....
It was obvious to everyone that a special prosecutor, with the assistance of a congenial judge, was trying to justify enormous sums of money spent in pursuit of ... gossamer. How can you hiss a villain named "Scooter"?
Farce or not, egging on the D.A. when he's after George W. can be tons of fun, but both sides can play the special prosecutor game. Now the New York Times is about to be on the business end of a big stick in the hands of government lawyers.... ordered (to conduct) an investigation into the leak to the New York Times, exposing the government's tapping of telephone conversations of al Qaeda terrorists without a warrant.
"This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America, and I repeat -- limited," the president says. "It seems logical to me that if we know there's a phone number associated with al Qaeda or an al Qaeda affiliate, and they're making phone calls, it makes sense to find out why. I have a responsibility, obviously, to act within the law, which I am doing. It's a program reviewed constantly by Justice Department officials, a program to which the Congress has been briefed, and a program that is, in my judgment, necessary.... There's an enemy out there. They read newspapers, they read what you write, they listen to what you put on the air, and they react."
The president concedes that a lot of people worry about the slippery slope, that necessary programs can be easily abused. It's happened before. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson cut corners during World War I, and FDR did things to make ACLU lawyers retch and gag.
George W.'s critics, including the editors of the New York Times, provide useful oversight until they descend into sniping just to see a president bleed.
Nobody beyond the Beltway cared what the Plame game was about.... But the public understands when a president talks about the necessity of tuning in to catch terrorists before they blow up Kansas City.
Government lawyers are never welcome in anybody's newsroom, but the pomposities of the mainstream media should remember who invited them in this time...."