Monday, June 26, 2006

Is the Wall Street Journal Equally Responsible for the SWIFT Disclosure?

There are some interesting posts up at Patterico's Pontifications, especially this one on whether The Wall Street Journal is equally responsible for the disclosure of the government's financial intelligence program. Patterico's main contention: "The Wall Street Journal simply printed a story using on-the-record interviews with named government officials who knew the East and West Coast Timeses were going to print the story anyway." See this related post from Patterico as well.

Patterico cancelled his LAT subscription over the paper's role in the SWIFT program affair. I'd like to think, though, that perhaps the WSJ might have done better to wait until the Monday's edition to run a marquee story on the whole affair. In any case, the Los Angeles Times, as liberal as it is, regularly runs very centrist commentaries on its editorial page, for example, on the threat coming out of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, as well as this editorial in today' paper on the likely liabilities the Democratic Party may face coming out of last week's debate on an early Iraq withdrawal. Here's an excerpt:

IT'S UNDERSTANDABLE THAT DEMOCRATS in the U.S. Senate would use the war in Iraq to send a political message to the party faithful, as some did last week in voting for doomed resolutions to fast-track the withdrawal (or "redeployment") of U.S. forces from that country. Trouble is, the message sent to the rest of the country may be that Democrats who are more liberal can't be trusted when it comes to national security. That message is likely to stick even if the Bush administration decides on its own to draw down the U.S. presence. Over the weekend, an administration official confirmed reports that Army Gen. George W. Casey has devised plans that could produce sharp reductions in U.S. forces as early as September and cut the number of combat brigades by nearly two-thirds by late 2007. But if President Bush follows that advice, he can say that he is simply living up to his oft-stated promise to defer to the judgment of battlefield commanders rather than play politics with troop levels. Playing politics is, unfortunately, an apt description of last week's Senate debate. It was mostly election-year posturing — on both sides. The debate gave Republicans an opportunity to warn their red-state base that Democrats wanted to "cut and run."

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