Saturday, March 11, 2006

Minimum Sanity

There are some things that are true, even if George Bush believes them. Tom Friedman, on "Imus in the Morning," 3/9/06

Sadly, there seems to be about 20% of the population whose BDS is so great that they cannot even reach this minimal level of sanity. How else to explain the knee-jerk assertion that if the White House says something is to be kept hidden for national security reasons, the NYT should tell us what it is?

3 comments:

The Good Reverend said...

"In my thirty-five years in foreign affairs, . . . the public disclosure of political measures or plans could [almost never] be truthfully said to jeopardize national security . . . . [O]nce [politicians] slip into the national security psychosis, they easily begin to equate . . . the nation's security with their own political power . . . ." - US Ambassador Charles Yost, Baltimore Sun, Nov. 3, 1973.

"Security is like liberty in that many are the crimes committed in its name." - Justice Jackson, United States ex rel. Knauff v. Shaughnessy (1950).

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I dunno, TGR. Winston Churchill noted "In wartime, the truth is so precious that it must be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies." Yet we have never operated in wartime with as much openness as Bush has done. To the journalists, it's never enough. I don't see any personal political advantage to W in any of these secrecy fights.

I think the key is Yost's use of the word "political." I agree that political information is less likely to be important. But technical and intelligence info has already been danerously compromised, according to even the Demnocrats on the intelligence committees. I don't get that the newspapers get to decide what should be kept secret.

Yost worked his whole career under Democrats plus the non-ideologue Eisenhower, finishing up under Nixon. That may have tweeaked his view a bit.

Burke said...

The problem seems to be that many Americans seem not to believe that USA is at war. Perhaps Iraq is not that much of an enemy, but Islam is: and that is the real enemy. But - as an alien who would like to see American supremacy last a long time - I fear that the worst enemy is the enemy within.