Ooh, it’s such fun to watch New York Times editor Bill Keller and Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet skitter hither and thither like cockroaches under a Raid shower as they desperately try to find some “public interest” served by their outing–and hence ruining–a legal and highly effective Treasury Department program for monitoring the foreign banking transactions of suspected terrorists.
Especially since that Fox Poll (here it is in PDF) last week reported that 66 percent of Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats!) think that news outfits whose disclosures of secret government information enable terrorism ought to be criminally prosecuted. That means you in Club Fed, Bill!
“Seventy percent, including 58% of Democrats, say they support ‘the U.S. Treasury Department tracking suspected terrorist financing through a secret program that looks at money transfers.’ Among Republicans, 65% think media sources who publish national security secrets are guilty of treason; 55% of Democrats disagree. There’s widespread support for punishing the leakers themselves – 87% agree to that.”
Reader W.W. e-mails to say that the White House shouldn’t have bothered to plead with the New York Times not to publish the story:
“Instead of pleading with Keller, [White House spokesman Tony] Snow should have told him that if he published, he would be in jail before the ink was dry.”
Yeah! See The Other Charlotte’s post yesterday on Billy and Deanie’s Excellent Adventure.
Reader K.H. e-mails with a correction for my piece on new government programs designed to prevent people with HIV and STD’s from feeling bad by running expensive tests on–and providing expensive vaccines gratis to–everyone in the universe. (See my “It’s OK for Little Girls to Have Sex–As Long as They’re Vaccinated!,” June 30.)
“Charlotte writes that [the District of Columbia] is trying to ‘force’ residents to be tested for AIDS. In fact, D.C. has started a campaign to test everyone between 18 and 84–but no force whatsoever is involved. Government overreach, to be sure–but there’s a big difference between coerced and voluntary testing.”
Well, yes, I admit that I exaggerated a bit for rhetorical effect. But when a program aims to make something universal–to test “everyone”–there are going to be plenty of holdouts and plenty of people who just don’t care one way or other, and sooner or later, I predict that a coercive element to the program will arise. Watch the public schools and other public-assistance programs get involved. Then there’s going to be an awfully fine line between forcing people to take the test and making it quite unpleasant for those who don’t.
And reader Pope2 has evidently never heard of Jonathan Swift:
‘”It’s OK for Little Girls to Have Sex–As Long As They’re Vaccinated.’….How many 9-year-old girls (and up) are thinking they would love to have sex? None, that’s how many? Nine-year-olds happy to engage in sex! My God! Fundamentalists are filthy sick perverts of the highest order. If you can believe children want to have sex that means you see CHILDREN as potential sex partners, which in turn makes you all pedophiles. You make my skin crawl, you filthy perverse cretins.”
Cool your jets, Pope2, and read the article again.