Carol Platt Liebau: Hypocritical Concerns

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hypocritical Concerns

Not so amazingly, this New York Times story worries that people who are only "talking" about terrorist actions -- perhaps not even having "intent" to commit them -- are being unfairly arrested (poor things).

Of course, part of a conspiracy charge often involves the commission of one "overt step" in furtherance of the underlying act around which the conspiracy centers (whether the "overt step" is one of the necessary elements to proving the crime is a legislative choice in federal law). And it's certainly much easier to prove that a crime is being committed (or planned) if there are secret programs in place to track terrorist activities -- the "overt steps" that prove intent without a doubt.

In fact, as this American Spectator story notes, the Bush Administration has now been forced to "bust" suspected terrorists prematurely, taking down just one rather than being able to wait as the suspect reveals more of the terrorist network to which he belongs.

Why? Because, the piece suggests, of The New York Times' revelations about formerly secret classified programs. Terrorists have learned of them, and as a result, the government has lost hitherto-effective ways to keep track of what the terrorist is doing -- terrorists switch techniques, and those tracking them lose evidence of their actions that manifest intent to commit illegal acts.

In light of its role in the matter -- the fact that it's responsible in part for the great difficulty the Administration faces in proving what terrorists are doing or intend to do -- The New York Times' concerns over "preemptive" arrests seems a little hypocritical, doesn't it?


Blogger LQ said...

The TIMES is not being hypocritical. These stories share a common theme: the TIMES feels the Bush administration is trampling on individual rights in its fight against terrorism.

What is unfortunate is that many of these stories are based on classified information that the TIMES has no legal right to possess and that unelected editors substitute their views of what’s in the national interest for the views of our elected leaders.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Since you have been ripping into NYT for quite some time. Because it seems excessive given all of the other more important stories. I wonder if you should be disclosing that your husband invests his client's money in News Corp which owns the New York Post, that competes against NYT.

9:52 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

In the spirit of total honesty - back in 1962 - while in High School in NYC - I delivered the NY Telegram and Sun, a competitor to the Times. Therefore any comments that I make about the Times must be taken with that fact in mind.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Nice try. If there are tens of millions of dollars invested, that could create a conflict and prevent objectivity, we should simply be aware of it.

9:40 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Carol has finally convinced. It's time we changed the law so that we can start arresting people for thinking bad thoughts. That won't interfere with our freedom -- as long as we donate lots of money to the Republican Party, the cops won't bother us.

Ah, how sweet it is to bring freedom to the world!

Just look how well it's worked out for the Wall Street Journal - they publish the same information as the New York Times, but because their editorial page slavishly supports Bush, they're not traitors and they shouldn't be executed.

So let's all follow Carol's example. If you see someone thinking a bad thought, call the government. Unless he's got a W on his car.

9:49 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Oh, and let's not forget the real reason the administration is "forced" to bust "terrorists" when they're nothing but losers talking -- the same reason we used to get orange alerts during six months of evenly numbered years. The administration will do anything to keep power, and that includes phony "terrorist busts" to prove how efficient they are.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Who are the insurgents?

The American soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl and then murdering her and her family may have provoked an insurgent revenge plot in which two of their comrades were abducted and beheaded.

Residents claim that insurgents have vowed to kidnap and kill another eight American troops to exact a 10-to-one revenge for the rape and murder of the girl.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

Yes, Carol! We all know you are some combination of:
1) mind-numbed robot who is incapable of reasoning for herself, so is controlled by her husband into doing his bidding.
2) rich Republican who is willing to print things she doesn't believe simply to make another fast buck at the expense of "the Poor" (e.g., the Sulzberger family and New York Times stockholders).
3) female Svengali.
4) modern day Circe who turns all readers of her column into swine, except for a few "deep thinkers" who come daily to trash her and, thus, prove their ability to withstand her wiles and charms.
5)female Pied Piper leading the stupid, ignorant rats (conservative readers) to their inevitable drowning in the River of Conservatism.
6. etc., etc., etc.

'Scuze me while I send for a complete listing of every investment my retirement fund manager has bought, so I can file a disclaimer anytime I deign to comment in the future.

And since a commenter has raised the issue, let's expect to see such disclaimers in all his/her future posts, as well. Because without them how are we stupid, ignorant, easily led, racist, bigoted, mind-numbed swine to know those posts are completely untainted by bias?

Heavens! (S)he may even have been reading the New York Times itself (or Daily Kos or Huffington Post) and been bitten by a rabid, hydra-headed "Liberal Bug."

2:47 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


When you calm down and can think clearly perhaps you can explain why Carol takes the position that it is good policy for Bush and his administration to broadcast US survellence programs but, when NYT questions the legality and oversite of these programs it is harmful.

7:59 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

"Bachbone said...

Yes, Carol! We all know you are some combination of: "

Yada Yada Yada, critique of the analyst is boring. LQ actually commented on the analysis. Now that's interesting, and helpful. And right on the money.

8:55 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

I have no interest at all (financial or otherwise) in the NY Post or Sun, and I still haven't taken the NY Times seriously for some time.

Anyway to the Times, we have lots of instances where we already regulate speech. (Divulgence of classified information is one of them.)

Talking about something that would become a crime, especially an act of war, in many contexts is itself a crime.

And incidentally LQ, why should we care about what the Times "feels" on a page other than the Opinion page?

Also LQ, exactly what right is the Times intent upon preserving? The right to have conversations about dangerous events -- for jollies?

10:35 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

House of Sin said:

"Also LQ, exactly what right is the Times intent upon preserving? The right to have conversations about dangerous events -- for jollies? "

LQ -- are you saying that we should no longer have the right to have conversations about "dangerous events"? If so, who do you believe should be allowed to define which conversation topics are allowed, and which will send a citizen to a black cell with no due process rights? The President? Should he be allowed to share that power with others in the government? And if a Democrat takes the White House in 08, should he have the same power?

And how should we treat First Amendment, written to prevent exactly this?

1:27 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

I read the comments on LQs analysis and have no idea what the commentators are talking about. Talk about taking something simple and twisting it in agonizing detail.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

So the NYT divulges secrets that alert the terrorists and help them elude detection; then they criticize the administration for even trying to catch the terrorists.

Just whose side is the NYT on?

7:33 AM  

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