First, consider the definition
Main Entry: pique
: a transient feeling of wounded vanity
Then the headline in today's New York Times:
Senators Left Out of Loop Make Their Pique Known
The message of this article seems to be that the senators who asked pointed questions about the NSA's domestic spying program weren't concerned about its legality or of the potential infringement on civil liberties...they were merely engaging in a "temper tantrum" because they hadn't been briefed.
Rarely has an article on an issue of such vital importance been so utterly lacking in substance...
If you were wondering how General Hayden answered the questions during his confirmation hearing yesterday, this is what you would learn from the New York Times
front page article:
"If you want people with the craft, you've got to put them on the manifest."
"Sir, it was not my decision. I briefed fully whatever audience was in front of me, and I wouldn't attempt to explain the administration's decision."
"I am delighted to go into great detail in closed session."
"I will give you just a touch more granularity in the closed session."
"Senator, I simply have no way of answering that question. I don't know."
Perhaps it would have been more informative to read about the man who created and implemented the warrantless, domestic spy program testifying under oath about something that is patently false:
"Had this been in place prior to the attacks [9/11], the two hijackers who were in San Diego, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, almost certainly would have been identified as who they were, what they were and, most importantly, where they were."
It might be important for the reader to know that Senator Wyden pointed out that:
...Hayden had not kept Congress fully informed of the eavesdropping program and had made misleading statements in previous appearances before Congress.
"General, having evaluated your words, I now have a difficult time with your credibility."
But instead this article was dismissive:
There were two types of senators at Thursday's confirmation hearing for Gen. Michael V. Hayden: the briefed, and the briefed-nots.
The former were mostly polite. The latter, especially Democrats, threw the Congressional equivalent of a temper tantrum.
It was snide:
If there's one thing senators can't stand, it's being left out of the loop by the White House. And if there's another thing they can't stand, it's reading about how they have been left out of the loop in their morning newspaper.
Heck, they even threw in a little psychoanalysis:
In a sense, the hearing tapped into a Congressional inferiority complex that has been particularly acute under Mr. Bush, who has taken a muscular approach to expanding the executive branch's authority. Lawmakers like to say Congress is a "co-equal branch" of government; nothing irks them more than when the White House punctures that balloon.
The senators were piqued, throwing temper tantrums and bitter, all apparently due to an inferiority complex...but in short supply was any exploration into why and what concerns the senators may have had about General Hayden and the domestic spying program.
To be fair, the article did contain this bit of breaking news from Senator Pat "I'll get to Phase II when I feel like it" Roberts:
"I am independent. And I asked very tough questions."
Indeed, I have complete confidence in Senator Robert's ability to be tough...after all, in his opening remarks he said:
I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties. But you have no civil liberties if you are dead.
A pitiful offering from the New York Times.