Readers may recall the strange controversy that broke out in mid-2006 about then Lt. Tom Cotton. At that time, Tom was in charge of a unit that patrolled in Baghdad. He wrote a letter to the New York Times (which we printed) chastising it for disclosing the U.S. government’s highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program. He stated:
You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion — or next time I feel it — I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.
[H]aving graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others — laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law.
Portions of the left-side of the blogoshere and its readership reacted immediately. We were flooded with messages questioning the existence of (in the words of one fool) “the uncannily pat spokesman for the Conservative reaction to the NYT SWIFT Financial Surveillance Program; Lt. Tom Cotton, Lt., Infantry, USAR, Harvard Law Grad, exposed to constant danger of grievous injury or death while serving his country on the front-line in Iraq.”