If Dirt Were $$$$
I’m on a tear here. Two rants in four days…
I have been thinking -- ok, fuming -- about this most recent New York Times infringement and self-serving proclamation that the reporter and editor of some yellow fringed newspaper has a greater authority than the President and people in the government we elected to decide things like what is necessary for the national security.
To Bill Keller and the New York Times: JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??
Who died and left you, um, President? You hold no elected or appointed office that allows you to “oversee” anything. It’s why the constitution grants the powers to the PRESIDENT… and the Congress… and the Judiciary. Here's news for you, Bill: newspaper editor is not among those we count on or elect to protect our security.
You (Keller) have this grossly inflated image and idea that you are somehow above the law and would have us all believe that you and your paper are “guardians” for the American people and that you are there to protect the average American by "exposing" these programs. If anyone is buying this malarkey, I have a bridge to sell them. And, Bill, I have more news for you: you are a no one. You are a citizen just like me. You have no higher right or authority -- implicit or explicit -- to be the arbiter of what is or is not in the interest of national security than any of the rest of us. I don’t get to make that determination and neither do you. In actuality, because you have the power of the press, I hold you to an even greater standard to err on the side of caution in cases of national security and to not use the newspaper as a pulpit to push your own personal agenda. And like the Emperor and his clothes, some may pat you on the back and “oooh” and “ahhhh” over your position, but I’m here to tell you, Bill, that you are naked as a blue jay.
The program you chose to “expose” was a program to review records of OVERSEAS money exchanges (SWIFT records): a program useful in our country’s attempts to secure our national protection. This was a constitutionally crafted, well run, well-monitored INTERNATIONAL program executed with the full knowledge and cooperation of the United States Congress and international banking authorities WITH THE SOLE AIM OF TRACING AND STOPPING THE FLOW OF MONEY TO TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS.
Was the NYT exposing abuses? No. Was this program crafted in the dead of night without Congressional action? No. Was the program hidden from Congressional oversight? No. No. No. The only reason this even made the pages of the New York Times is because you, Bill Keller, wanted to make yourself feel more important than the President (who actually does get to determine what is in the interest of national security)… oh... and you have a hard on for the Bush administration. Oh. And you want to sell newspapers.
So, Bill, the next time a group of terrorists drives a few vans of C4 into a building in Iraq and tries to kill my son and the other soldiers in his unit, I’m going to call you up and ask you who paid for the explosives. The next time an IED blows up under a Bradley or a HUMVV and kills the soldiers inside, I’m going to call you and remind you that the money that paid for the bomb might have been stopped had it not been for your shitty little attempt to bolster your newspaper’s sagging circulation numbers. You should be made to attend the funeral of every U.S. service member killed from now on in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bill, and know that you might have prevented their deaths by NOT publishing the details of secret programs meant to intercept information between the terrorists. You should be made to hear the sobbing of the mothers and wives and families of the service members who are out there putting it on the line protecting your right to write the crap you do and know that perhaps the one transaction that was not seen because of your “exposé” bought the bullets that killed their son or husband.
This is the real world, Bill: terrorists are trying to kill us. They’re trying to kill Americans, Bill. And killing Americans, Bill, costs money. Bullets, bombs, vehicles, explosives, vests, airplanes (to fly into buildings) cost money, Bill. They cost money in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon. They don’t give the stuff to terrorists for free, Bill. The only thing they don't apparently have to pay for is editorials and anti-American "reporting" in your paper, Bill. Otherwise, everything they use against us costs money. They need money and they need to coordinate attacks, Bill. And frankly, Bill, I WANT someone tracking phone calls to known or suspected terrorists. I WANT someone looking at the money going to these organizations and the individuals in them, Bill. When we can stop the phone calls and the money, Bill, we will actually have protected Americans.
I am hoping that they start prosecuting your a$$ and stop these attempts to undermine this war on terror. I resent your thinking that we’re stupid enough to believe your little horseshit speeches about “I did it for you.” Mostly, I resent -- I highly resent -- your even taking the chance that your charade of being a “good citizen” might cost my son or any other soldier their life. If your child were at war Bill (now there’s a thought) -- would you take that chance, Bill? Would your child’s life be worth the price of a few newspapers? Would it be worth feeling like the BMOC? Well, my son’s life is worth a hell of a lot more than that, Bill, and I think that it’s high time you stop hiding behind the skirts of the First Amendment and that we start holding you and your paper accountable.