January 1, 2006

by Reb Yudel
These Times Demand the Times... Stonewall?

Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence - New York Times
THE New York Times's explanation of its decision to report, after what it said was a one-year delay, that the National Security Agency is eavesdropping domestically without court-approved warrants was woefully inadequate. And I have had unusual difficulty getting a better explanation for readers, despite the paper's repeated pledges of greater transparency.

For the first time since I became public editor, the executive editor and the publisher have declined to respond to my requests for information about news-related decision-making. My queries concerned the timing of the exclusive Dec. 16 article about President Bush's secret decision in the months after 9/11 to authorize the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans in the United States.

I e-mailed a list of 28 questions to Bill Keller, the executive editor, on Dec. 19, three days after the article appeared. He promptly declined to respond to them. I then sent the same questions to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, who also declined to respond. They held out no hope for a fuller explanation in the future.

Did the paper hold the story to protect sources? To protect the Bush Administration? Because it would have deep-sixed it forever except one of the reporters was writing a book? Because Bush, as Commander in Chief, claims the unilateral right to send death squads after newspaper publishers as long as the war on poverty drugs crime terror continues?

The Times ain't talking. And I'm not willing to give creationists the benefit of the doubt. TrackBack

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