The NY Times--Your Source for All Classified Information
In publishing details of current military plans for troop reductions and redeployments in Iraq the paper admitted that the briefing from which the information was taken was a "classified briefing."
Why then, does the NY Times feel that it has the right to publish the details of that "classified briefing?" Doesn't "classified" mean, "keep it to yourselves, folks . . . we don't want the 'bad guys' to know about this"?
Well, it appears that the "bad guys" did find out about the briefing and they published it.
The Times states that
General Casey's briefing has remained a closely held secret, and it was described by American officials who agreed to discuss the details only on condition of anonymity.I note that the paper did not use the phrase, "administration officials," but the oddly vague phrase, "American officials." I'm not sure what this imprecision means but it does raise questions about who these "American officials" might be.
Whoever they are, these folks had clearance to have either attended the classified briefing or to have received a detailed summary of it.
Their security clearance presumes that they will not go around telling major national newspapers classified information that they may come across while supposedly doing their jobs.
It is curious that the Times writer states that those who revealed this information to him were plural in number: "American officials."
Personally, I don't believe this. If it is one source then it is a leak. If it is more than one it is a conspiracy.
Maybe I'm naive, but if someone handed me a copy of "classified government information" I would head straight for the FBI and have the person arrested and charged with espionage, treason or both.
Apparently the NY Times does not consider their publishing of this classified material to be in any way "aiding and abetting" the dissemination of information obtained illegally from criminal felons.
I suppose that this just simply goes to prove the old adage that, "A man (or newspaper) is known for the company he (it) keeps."
From where I sit, I should hope that those responsible for publishing this information at the NY Times will have the opportunity to enjoy the company of their sources for many years inside a Federal penitentiary.