Newsweek’s hero, part 2

The current Newsweek cover story by Michael Isikoff identifies one of the major sources for the New York Times article blowing the government’s terrorist surveillance program. He is one Thomas Tamm. Newsweek asks: “Is he a hero or a criminal?”

As I wrote over the weekend, the perspective of the photograph accompanying the article — looking up at Tamm’s craggy face — leaves no doubt about where Newsweek stands. It’s a little like Monica’s accustomed perspective on Bill Clinton.


In “Newsweek’s hero,” I argued that Tamm was quite obviously a criminal. Other bloggers have done a good job rounding out the picture of Tamm. Patterico shows the less than inspirational poliitcal motivations that underlay Tamm’s misconduct. AJ Strata cuts to the chase in “Portrait of a Benedict Arnold.” He introduces his post with these reflections:

All traitors think they are on the side of right. All enemies of this country, big and small, think they are agents of divine providence. And so it is with the idiot who exposed the new NSA procedures that were changed after 9-11 when we learned internally that we were blind to terrorists within our midst due to arcane rules which did not protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but protected the movement and coordination of mass murderers.

This fool actually believed that to “believe in the US Constitution” meant he could (and should) break the laws under that Constitution based on the flimsiest of evidence and backed by a liberal personal bias against the policies in place. The story Newsweek has out on Thomas Tamm, a modern day Benedict Arnold, is not the story of a hero fighting an evil administration, like the liberal news media wants to portray. It is the story of rogue individual who created fantasies out of thin air and then used those fantasies to expose one of the most important defenses this nation has to terrorist attack – detecting these attacks before they can be executed. Defenses which, when exposed, can still be thwarted if you know what the defense is based on.

It’s all worth reading and very helpful in rounding out the portrait Newsweek paints. It should be recalled, however, that Tamm was only one of the “nearly a dozen” sources cited by the New York Times for its story blowing the NSA terrorist surveillance program. Russell Tice outed himself as a source soon after the publication of the Times story. One wonders why the government has brought no prosecution to date in connection with the incredibly damaging crimes committed by Tamm, Tice and the others. One also wonders whether such treachery will continue to be the subject of adulation in the age of Obama.

As I argued in “Exposure,” the New York Times is also subject to prosecution under the same espionage laws as Tamm, Tice and their brothers in crime. Michael Isikoff and his Newsweek colleagues are guilty only of being fools.

To comment on this post, go here.


Books to read from Power Line