If The Times Is Treason, We’re Heresy

The New York Times might be a left-wing propaganda machine hell-bent on sowing villainy and communism amongst the American populace, but treasonous? Well, that’s what the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says, and he wants to see The Old Gray Lady hang for its crimes against The State.

“We’re at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous,” Rep. King, R-N.Y, told The Associated Press.

In choosing to publish the materials, executive editor Bill Keller said The Times, “remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest.”

Especially within the context of the disclosure of phone records to the government, the allegations of secret AT&T wiretapping rooms, this comes down to protecting the ability free press to be just that, a free press. The vituperative response by whom this article may defame seems to bolster its right to be published. A doth protest too much is in order.

If free speech is treason, then the terrorists truly have won. If they win, the war is over. If there is no more war, then there is no crime of revealing state secrets in wartime. Therefore, there is no treason.

Specious, yes. Only as much so as the counterargument, but with the intent of proving a point, rather than silencing a voice.

Previously:
Mass Trolling of Banks Records Unavoidable
US Trolled Bank Records

Comments

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  1. Mr. Black says:

    Well, time to go read/watch “V for Vendetta” again…

  2. konstantConsumer says:

    so, they are mad that the ny times broke a story about a “perfectly legal” search. as i said after the original post, this isn’t the end.

    liars lie. end of story.

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..Oh, I love these stupid wars of words! If the New York Times powers that be were SO concerned about freedom of information, I WOULDN’T HAVE TO DIAL UP http://www.bugmenot.com EVERY TIME someone links to them!

  4. mikelite says:

    sorry AcidReign, you don’t make any sense. there is no connection there. try again, tho, this time use some logic.

  5. drsmith says:

    AcidReign is right. Having to register to get to an article on their site is contrary to the idea of freedom of speech. It’s not free speech if you must have knowledge of who receives and dissemintates the information. Next thing you know, everyone who reads the NYTimes will be rounded up and put in jail for being traitors by association.

    And I have to agree with Mr. Black – what the government is doing in their war on terror threatens all of our freedoms. How long will it be before we have people being arrested for the crime of simply knowing controversial information.

  6. Make sure you keep running into trees while the forest gets clearcut guys. Here’s a quick hint: get a bugmenot login, save it and go read the news. Fighting over logins, not so important.

  7. Morgan says:

    It is free, in that there is no charge to register. If you’re worried about your e-mail address being used against you, create a free yahoo account or two so that you won’t be associated with it.
    Bottom line, though, they have a right to charge people for seeing the info, because they spend time and money gathering it. If the press don’t make any money back through subscriptions or ads, they quickly become unable to provide us with any information at all.

  8. Paul says:

    Well, I certainly think that calling it treason is a bit much.

    That being said, I don’t think this really has anything to do with trying to abridge freedom of speech. Bill Keller claims that the press is granted special priveledges by the Constitution. This is ridiculous. The people are granted those powers, not the press.

    I’m a Marine. If I told anyone about classified troop movements, I could be convicted of a crime. If I described how classified communications systems work, I could be convicted of a crime. Nobody seems to dispute the legality of those laws, and there is NO DIFFERENCE between my “freedom of speech” and anybody who styles themself a “reporter.” They do not have any extra rights that I do not, and there is nothing in the Constitution saying otherwise.

    Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, making a phone call to place a bomb threat, extortion, blackmail, impersonating a police officer, threats of violence, fraud, false advertising, inciting a riot, improperly labeling prescription medication…these are all examples of “speech” that has been deemed unprotected due to concerns about the afety of the public.

    Illegally communicating information you know to be classified has also been a crime for nigh on forever in the country. To suddenly grant someone immunity from this law without granting them immunity from all the above mentioned infractions as well.

    Reporting illegal activity may be one thing, and I don’t have all the answers on that. But In this case, the New York Times compromised a program it considered to be legal, after being given extraordinary access to its inner workings and shown all of its safeguards.

    For the safety of the men and women trained to follow me into combat, I do not want the editorial board of the Times to decide which information is important enough to keep secret and which information is “of enough public interest” to overrule any such concerns. I did not elect them. I have elected representatives with the power to make troops movements, communications systems, and operations against the enemy a secret, with criminal penalties that have been in place since the early 1900s to enforce those rules.

    If the NYT published where my men and women would be tomorrow, would the arguments be the same?

    At the very least, the Times should be compelled to testify who gave them all this information. It is obvious Times reporters were present and witnessed crimes being committed when they received this information. Or do special priveledges give them extra rights there, too?

  9. SpecialK says:

    Paul is correct and Bill Keller is being either “clever” or unwittingly showing his complete misunderstanding of the Constitution. The founders granted THE PEOPLE the freedom of the press. They didn’t grant “the press” a damn thing. And the beast that became “the press” is subject to the same laws and rules that “the people” are–those applying to espionage and treason among them.

    Did the Times commit treason? I wouldn’t make that argument (and having someone like King make it makes me even less likely to make it). But from a purely Constitutional point of view, “the press” was never EVER given any special standing that makes it different from the rest of us. And, despite what they’d have you believe, a reporter does not have the same legal status (or protection) as a lawyer.

    There have been pushes to enact shield laws in the recent past, but part of the problem in getting them passed is the dubious constitutionality of it all.

  10. AcidReign – You are absolutely right.

    Paul and Special K, thank you for interjecting some much needed “logic” that others believe is missing from this debate.

    For my part, common sense would dictate that the NYTimes not run the story. Not only did the government plead and request that the story not be run, but as far as the “people having a right to know,” what difference does it make to the people?

    The only people who benefitted from this story going public were terrorists and mobsters/criminals. We may have a “right to know,” but we certainly don’t have a “need to know” unless we are up to something no good.

    I don’t think the NYTimes should be tried for treason, rather, I’d just like the government to release statistics showing the damage that was done by the story. Then the public can punish them with cancelled subscriptions and lagging newstand sales…oh wait…that’s already happening.