Donald Luskin takes a close look at the New York Times’ justification for abetting terrorists by exposing the Treasury Department’s secret methods for tracking their money flow. Bill Keller, editor of the Times, wrote:
[T]he administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use it may be, is a matter of public interest.
Here’s Luskin’s response:
Note that he’s talking about “the administration’s” access to the data, not government’s access. In other words, if any story can colorably create the impression that this administration — this Republican administration — is abusing information on citizens, then the “public interest” in the Times making that argument overrides all other considerations of protecting the life and limb of those same citizens.
It makes me slightly sick to think of the administration pleading with left-wing editors, who fear the president more than they fear terrorists, to act in a manner that enables the government to protect public safety. Perhaps the day will come when Keller is pleading with the government for a favorable plea bargain. I doubt it, though. More importantly, so does Keller.