Carol Platt Liebau: Cormint-y Fresh?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cormint-y Fresh?

Writing in The Weekly Standard, Heather McDonnell clearly explains why The New York Times is "a national security risk".

And Gabriel Schoenfeld argues that there's a statute -- the Cormint statute -- under which The New York Times could be prosecuted, if not for the financial piece, for the NSA story.

Of course, in light of the First Amendment, it is profoundly disturbing to think of newspapers being prosecuted -- even when they're as breathtakingly irresponsible as the New York & LA Times. But in constitutional interpretation, there's such a thing as trying to construe a statute so as to avoid raising a constitutional question -- and here, I'd argue that the same prudential principles apply . . .

The New York Times and The LA Times shouldn't be pushing the envelope so far that, simply to protect national security, the government is almost compelled to put an unwelcome precedent of prosecuting a newspaper on the books.

Perhaps an interstitial step, as Hugh Hewitt has noted, would be for Congress to hold hearings on the pieces and their impact on national security. After all, if the "Big Oil" companies can be summoned repeatedly to the Hill under specious charges of "price gauging," it seems appropriate for the newspaper companies to explain why they believe they can substitute their national security judgment for that of the federal government in the middle of a war. After all, what they've done is far more damaging to the national security, and potentially to Americans as a whole, than any price gauging could be.

7 Comments:

Blogger Dittohead said...

Signs of fascism.....

The Bush administration has worked with cable television companies to obtain records of everyone in the United States who has watched World Cup games, the Miami Herald reported today. The Miami Herald is continuing to investigate as yet unsubstantiated allegations that the administration, working with regulatory and intelligence agencies globally, has actually obtained records worldwide of every person watching the World Cup.

In a sweeping program, the Bush administration has been collecting information on individuals in the United States who purchase halal meat or hummus, the New Jersey Star-Ledger has learned. Johanns said "It's really government at its best.”

The Bush administration has been secretly collecting data on persons who rent or purchase pornographic movies, the Los Angeles Times has learned. "This is a reasonable proxy for finding terrorists," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in an interview last night. Administration officials said there was a potential benefit to the program unrelated to terrorism. "This might help us identify future Supreme Court nominees," said an official who would speak only without attribution.

The Bush administration has entered into a pilot program with Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to maintain a database of voters who cast their ballots for Democrats, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has learned. Attorney General said, “There are real threats to national security that we must address. We're not monitoring everyone's votes, just those who vote Democratic."

Senator George Allen said, “The Democrats cut-and-run approach would embolden our enemies and show a weakened resolve. So, anyone who is supporting the Democrats is, at best, questionably committed to the war against terror."

11:29 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Perhaps we should just pass a constitutional amendment making it illegal to criticize or reveal anything the Bush administration does. Would that make Carol happy?

1:30 PM  
Blogger amber said...

No, what might make Carol happy, though, is if the "press" reported the facts and if they were Americans first before they were "reporters". For a reporter to sit down and have a nice meal with Bin Laden and his friends so they can sell a story, but notnotify the military of their whereabouts because they would be divulging a source, shows their alliances lie not with this country. They seek to make money at any cost necessary. When the President asked them to not run the story because it is a secret program aimed t protecting this country, they should have listed, but instead they saw dollar signs. I know the freedom of the press is in the constitution, I believe in that freedom. I just think the definition of "press" needs to be clarified. I think their needs to be serious repercussions for stories that proove to be false, and potentially loosing their staus as "press" and the freedoms which go with that designation. Newsweek should now be a tabloid with no freedoms after the Koran story they pulld, CBS should face similar sanctions for the Bush story they pulled and numerous others like Gore won the presidency. I also think that if we did this, news organizations would be more careful and the content would be more trusted. Now all of you libs out there aresaying "facist dictator!" that is not what I am saying. Those stories were obviously false and should not have been run, they should face criminal charges for them. They undermined our efforts here and abroad to make us safe, the Newsweek story resulted in the deaths of many innocent people. It is no wonder internet news sites have taken over the nightly news.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

"It is no wonder internet news sites have taken over the nightly news."

No, Amber, it is because they fulfill your desire to be told only what you want to "hear," lest the fragile house of cards you and others here call reality doesn't disintegrate with a puff of the truth.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Amber writes, "I think their needs to be serious repercussions for stories that proove to be false, and potentially loosing their staus as 'press' and the freedoms which go with that designation"

Amber, would you also apply these same rules to blogs? I'm just curious, because without "stories that proove to be false," Carol wouldn't have very much to post on at all.

6:41 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

as yet unsubstantiated allegations

So the newspaper reports outright rumors now? Great.

7:42 AM  
Blogger amber said...

Yes, I would place the same standards on news sites. Carol's, probably not, but other sites like www.newsbusters.org I would. I do not necessarily consider Carol's page a press web site because she is taking other people's reports and linking them here, she makes comments on their reports, but she is not reporting anything herself. sorry I did not see your question before.

9:31 PM  

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