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Monday, December 26, 2005

Flying blind
I had just read this post from Philomathean, MSM Blows the Cover on Terrorist Nuke Monitoring Program
Recent revelations by The New York Times and other members of the press regarding the CIA's secret prison system and the NSA's efforts to monitor terrorist communications have severely harmed national security. The mainstream media do not appear to care, as long as their stories hurt President Bush. Meanwhile, every "scoop" about the government's efforts to prevent a terrorist disaster make such a disaster more likely.

The press has always had broad discretion in what gets reported. But now they've gone too far. David Kaplan of U.S. News & World Report has just blown the cover on "a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities."
This is yet another instance where the press behaves as if we were not at war, while endangering all of us.

Philomathean’s post reminded me of a sermon I heard on September 11. On September 11 this year I listened to a church sermon where the person giving the sermon said that on 9/11/2001 the USA had “sand thrown in its eyes”.

Some sand. Six hundred and sixty-two people from NJ died at the WTC alone, out of a total 2,996 killed or missing on just one morning. That is not what I would call “sand in the eyes”, but the sermon giver’s outrage was placed elsewhere. His outrage was saved for the 2,000 soldiers who died in Iraq, because they were sent there by Bush. Buried under all the verbiage, the message was that the USA has no enemies, that there is not much in the way of danger, and that we’d all live in peace if only we’d turn our swords into plowshares. I kid you not. I fully expected him to introduce Peter, Paul and Mary, and break into chords of Kumbayah while we all held hands.

But the fact is, we are at war. Thousands of people around the world have died over several decades at the hands of Islamist fascists who want to impose their vision of a caliphate on everybody.

This is not a new war.

Yesterday I read in the Sunday NYT Magazine that Uli Derickson died this year. I had the privilege of briefly meeting Ms Derickson in the late 1980s, a few years after her ordeal. Ms Derickson was a woman of luminous beauty and tremendous courage. She saved the lives of the people of flight 847, which was kidnapped by Lebanese Shiite Muslims in 1985. The NYT obitiuary calls her, The Peacemaker of Flight 847, and justly so. Back then the terrorist kidnappers [*] were able to listen to her.

Four years ago the story changed; the last four American planes that were hijacked couldn’t be saved by the courage of a great woman. There was no more listening. The focus had changed from making hostage deals to simply killing.

The war that went unnoticed for so many years is now very much in front of our eyes, if we have our eyes open.

The press chooses to close their eyes, and, as Philomathean said, cash in on any "scoop" about the government's efforts to prevent a terrorist disaster, which makes such a disaster more likely – as long as it hurts Bush. Like the guy that gave the sermon, they’re flying blind.

[*] Update As a coda to this post, I attach a correction the NYT posted on its website (emphasis mine),
A Lives They Lived essay on Page 59 of The Times Magazine today about Uli Derickson, a flight attendant who negotiated with hijackers during a T.W.A. flight in 1985, includes an outdated reference to one of them. Mohammed Ali Hamadi, who was captured two years later and imprisoned in Germany, was released last week.
he flew home to Lebanon last Thursday, four days before a German hostage, Susanne Osthoff, was released from unnamed kidnappers in Iraq.

Other blogs and articles on leakers
Enlighten NJ What Are The Motives Of The Leakers and Their Media Enablers?
Ankle Biting Pundits states,
. If you can't see the difference between detecting drugs and detecting nuclear bombs then there's really no hope for you, as you are stuck in the September 10th world of fighting terrorism by using law enforcement techniques. And we all know how that worked.
The Volokh Conspiracy has a series of posts on the subject from the legal point of view.
The New York Times' Christmas Gift
The Paranoid Style In American Liberalism
The NY Times Strikes Again
Cassandra posts on the Fourth Branch of Government.
Update What They Did For "Love"

Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers!

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