Monday, June 26, 2006

Will the N.Y. Times Face Prosecution in the SWIFT Program Affair?

Top bloggers are likely to have a field day with the fallout from the New York Times' disclosure of the SWIFT financial intelligence program. I put up a blog post about this yesterday. Now, over at Real Clear Politics, blogger Tom Bevan asks: "Should the NY Times be Prosecuted?" Bevan is referencing the call from U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) for a criminal investigation of NYT. Here are the key remarks from Congressman King, who is responding to Chris Wallace of FOX News:

Chris, I think the administration acted entirely appropriately. The 1976 U.S. Supreme Court case gives them, to me, the absolute right to do this. They're in full compliance with all statutes. To me, the real question here is the conduct of The New York Times. By disclosing this in time of war, they have compromised America's antiterrorist policies. This is a very effective policy. They have compromised it. This is the second time The New York Times has done this. And to me, nobody elected The New York Times to do anything. And The New York Times is putting its own arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda before the interests of the American people. And I'm calling on the attorney general to begin a criminal investigation and prosecution of The New York Times, its reporters, the editors that worked on this, and the publisher. We're in time of war, Chris, and what they've done here is absolutely disgraceful. I believe they violated the Espionage Act, the Comint Act. This is absolutely disgraceful. The time has come for the American people to realize and The New York Times to realize we're at war and they can't be just on their own deciding what to declassify, what to release. If Congress wants to work on this privately, that's one thing. But for them to, on their own — for them to decide — for the editor of The New York Times to say that he decides it's in the national interest — no one elected them to anything.
I first heard the news about this last night from the guys at Power Line Blog. For President Bush's denunciation of the Times this morning, check this post from Power Line as well.

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