A trend is developing whereby reporters for the New York Times let their
hair down, drop any pretense of objectivity, and ream the Bush Administration.
First it was Linda Greenhouse, the Times Supreme Court reporter. Now it’s James
Risen, the Times reporter who revealed the administration’s highly classified
NSA terrorist-surveillance program.
Speaking at Brown University, as reported
by the college paper, Risen assailed the administration for creating a “climate
of fear” within government agencies. The paper said, “Risen said the
administration of President George W. Bush has limited press freedom more than
any administration since former President Richard Nixon’s, adding that
government officials are scared to talk to reporters.” Risen was quoted as
saying, “(The fear) is palpable. It’s been frightening to
government officials should be scared of disclosing information that can cost
paper added that “Risen said Times editors delayed publishing the NSA story
because the Bush administration pressured them to scrap the piece. In an Oval
Office meeting, Bush told Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger that if the story’s
publication curbed anti-terrorism efforts and terrorists struck again, the paper
would have ‘blood on its hands.’”
to say, this didn’t stop the paper from publishing the story. And,
unfortunately, the administration hasn’t initiated a prosecution of the Times
for violating a law against disclosing classified communications intelligence
information. So Risen should be thanking the stars he’s not in prison right
called Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation announcement “the best
thing to happen in a long time,” the paper said.
In a follow-up
interview, Risen was asked if he ever feels like “a pawn.” He said “that’s
the hard part¯to try to avoid getting used.”
Risen was used in that NSA story by government officials, who could have been
traitors or al-Qaeda agents, in order to damage one of the government’s most
effective counter-terrorism programs.
and if the terrorists hit America again, it will be hard for
Risen to argue that he does not have blood on his hands.
and his family live just outside Washington, D.C. His paper is based in New York City. Both
locations are prime terrorist targets.
blood may be your own¯or that of your colleagues.
Cliff Kincaid is the editor of Accuracy in Media’s AIM Report.