June 29, 2006

Media and Citizen Responsibility during Wartime

Carroll Andrew Morse

In response to the decision by the New York Times (and other newspapers) to reveal the details of the U.S. Government’s Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the House of Representatives will today debate the following resolution

Resolved, that the House of Representatives –

(1) supports efforts to identify, track, and pursue suspected foreign terrorists and their financial supporters by tracking terrorist money flows and uncovering terrorist networks here and abroad, including through the use of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program;

(2) finds that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program has been conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, that appropriate safeguards and reviews have been initiated to protect individual civil liberties, and that Congress has been appropriately informed and consulted for the duration of the Program and will continue its oversight of the Program;

(3) condemns the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by those persons responsible and expresses concern that the disclosure may endanger the lives of American citizens, including members of the Armed Forces, as well as individuals and organizations that support United States efforts; and

(4) expects the cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt, and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program.

Hugh Hewitt thinks the resolution is too vague
The House resolution that will be debated tomorrow may be accompanied by blunt words in the floor debate, but its language is the language of indecision and purposelessness. It doesn't name the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, so it isn't directed at them. It is a half-measure in a time when Americans in the military are asked to give their full measure. I don't think I could vote for it.

Tomorrow's vote is instead a choice on what the House might have said and what it did say. And what it proposes to say is a half measure. It should be defeated, and the leadership should bring forward a resolution that let's its "yes" be "yes" and its "no" be "no."

What do Anchor Rising’s readers think; too soft, too hard, or just right?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

This whole attack on the New York Times is ridiculous. Throwing red meat to the base is the only rationale for it - the American body politic is starting to see through these shameless attacks on the media.
Funny, this administration had no problem with the Times when it came to leaking to Judy Miller, or to leak things beneficial to the White House (or to punish individuals). Once the media stopped doing the White House's bidding (as was the case in the runup to and early months of the war in Iraq), it was time to go Stalin on some Times tuckus.
What I found most curious about this was Peter King being the frontman. He's usually one of the few voices of reason in the House on hot-button issues - somebody had to get him really worked up about this. Was he threatened with primary opposition?

Posted by: Rhody at June 29, 2006 4:05 PM