We received many emails from readers who were incensed about this article in the Travel section of the New York Times, which obligingly tells terrorists and cranks how to find the weekend homes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in St. Michaels, Maryland. I didn’t write anything about the article initially, because, frankly, it strikes me as over-the-top to believe that even the Times wants Rumsfeld and Cheney assassinated. I think they would be content with an electoral victory for their party in November.
Michelle Malkin covers the controversy, with some broader thoughts on invasion of privacy as a tactic that is increasingly finding favor on the left.
While I don’t believe that the Times is actually encouraging assassination, there is one thing I just can’t explain: why in the world does the article feature, prominently, this photograph of Rumsfeld’s driveway, with the gratuitous explanation that “There is a lens in the birdhouse…”? That one baffles me.
Maybe the Times would say that the jihadis already knew about the lens in the birdhouse, since it’s well known that high-ranking government officials take security precautions.
UPDATE: Blog of the Week Patterico’s Pontifications offers another explanation, that applies to the St. Michaels story as well as the finance tracking story: the Times thought the article was only available through Times Select! Which would, I guess, make it a well-kept secret.
FURTHER UPDATE: Several lib sites have criticized this and similar posts by others on the ground that Rumsfeld gave the Times photographer permission to photograph his house, and a Secret Service spokesman said the article was not a security threat. As usual, the libs offer weak arguments while missing the point. Did Rumsfeld give permission to point out the lens in the birdhouse? Is there any good reason why the Times had to virtually give directions to Rumsfeld’s and Cheney’s homes? Has security at those locations been increased since the Times article appeared? (I’ve been told that the answer is Yes.) And, of course, the libs quote but fail to acknowledge this statement by the Secret Service:
As you can imagine, we would prefer less information than more in that regard. However, we take necessary steps to provide security wherever one of our protectees lives, and do our best to be as unobtrusive as possible to neighbors and the general public.
I don’t think this story is a big deal, but it appears to show, once again, a lack of understanding on the part of both the Times and the left generally of the reality and importance of security concerns, especially given the psychotic levels of hate that the liberals have drummed up, in some quarters, against Cheney and Rumsfeld, among others. The threat that was needlessly increased by the Times’ article, in my view, is not the threat from trained terrorist assassins, who certainly could figure out where government officials live, but rather the threat from unstable lefties.