The public’s right to “no”

There is something especially perverse in the willful disclosure of highly classified information that directly undermines the security of the United States when juxtaposed with the administration’s unwillingness to declassify and release the Harmony documents on WMDs. Michael Ledeen writes at NRO’s Corner:

Keller et al have confirmed yet again that they don’t care about national security, at least in this war (sorry, the current circumstances; they don’t think we’re at war). What they really want is the defeat of George W Bush, and the devil take the consequences.

They have forgotten that the terrorists love to behead journalists. But Daniel Pearl, well, it’s such a long time ago, you know…

The next point is: Who leaks? The answer is, enemies of the president’s policies leak. His supporters don’t. That basic rule helps understand both the background and the current state of play regarding the classified document that Hoekstra and Santorum are trying to get declassified. The media reaction is twofold: First, to pooh-pooh its significance (the kind of stuff I might find under my sink, the drooling Jane Harman says). Second, to ignore it, to bury it in distant pages of the paper, to touch on it lightly in the evening news.

The NYT and its ilk pound their chests about the revelations of the successful search of financial data to catch terrorists. They declare they are acting because of the public’s right to know. But in the matter of WMDs found in Iraq, the public’s right to know is totally dissed. There is NO call for the declassification of that document, NO righteous indignation at Negroponte, Cambone and the others who quite improperly failed to inform Congressional oversight committees of the existence of this document, and are fighting its declassification and release, NO investigative action to discover why this information was suppressed, NO curiosity about how Hoekstra and Santorum found out it existed.

And above all, NO concern, despite the clear statement in the document itself, and despite the explicit statement from Rumsfeld yesterday, that these weapons are still out there, and constitute a very real threat to our soldiers.

These people are not acting like journalists at all. They are acting as a fourth branch of government, co-equal with the others. They arrogate to themselves the power to classify and declassify, to protect or reveal secrets and sources, as they see fit. Which is to say, according to their political ambitions.

They aren’t journalists at all, they’re pols. And they should be treated that way.

They are already treated with contempt by the American people; just look at the polls. But they are not yet being held accountable for their actions, as elected and appointed pols are. They should be. The other branches of government should fight them with every weapon in their arsenal, just as the ‘journalists’ wage war on the other three branches.

And we should demand they honor their calling, we should demand that the whole document be declassified and released, so that we can evaluate it ourselves, and decide how important it is or isn’t. Because we know that the fourth branch isn’t going to give us the facts, unless they fit their agenda.

Declassify the WMD document now. We’ll tell you what it means.

And while you’re at it, how about producing the other Iraq documents—the stuff from Saddam’s files—that you promised to give us? We haven’t seen much of that of late, have we? I wonder why…


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