Dirty work done dirt cheap
Calame says that his intial support came from an impulse to protect journalism from the “vicious criticism” of the Bush administration. “Vicious”? I’d like Calame to define that. The administration rightly condemned the Times for risking their ability to track terrorist financing, but I don’t recall the administration calling anyone “traitorous”, for instance, although plenty of bloggers did.
Of course it’s not like George Bush or Dick Cheney are going to come right out and say “traitor, traitor, traitor”. That is either implied or left to other bomb throwers:
George Bush, as reported by the AP and widely reprinted, said, “For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America â€¦ [and] makes it harder to win this war on terror.”
Peter King, (Republican, NY), also speaking to the AP, said, “We’re at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous.”
“Some of the press, and particularly The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult by insisting on publishing detailed information about vital national security programs,” Cheney said the day the story was published. (Toronto Star)
“Loose lips kill American people,” said the Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
“Running the story about the money-tracing program is a version of giving Anne Frankâ€™s address to the Nazis.” Richard Valeriani (Huffington Post)
…as well as others farther down the Wingnut Welfare food chain:
* Melanie Morgan, radio talk show host: “I see it as treason, plain and simple, and my advice to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at this point in time is chop-chop, hurry up, let’s get these prosecutors fired up and get the subpoenas served, get the indictments going, and get these guys [Keller and The New York Times] behind jail.” [MSNBC’s Hardball, 6/26/06]
* Ann Coulter, right-wing pundit: [R]evealing a classified program, which no one thinks violates any laws … that has led to the capture of various terrorists, and to various terrorist money-laundering operations. If that is not treason, then we’re not prosecuting anymore.” [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 6/26/06]
* William Kristol, editor, The Weekly Standard: “I think the Justice Department has an obligation to consider prosecution. … This isn’t a partisan thing of the Bush administration. This is a U.S. government secret program in a time of war, willfully exposed for no good reason by The New York Times.” [Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, 6/25/06]
You see George Bush is not only the Decider, he’s also the Delegator.
Meanwhile Patterico thinks, in light of Calame’s decision to offer up a mea culpa, that he should resign because publicly admitting to an error in judgement is just not enough.
Yes. The irony is killing me.