The LA Times is reporting this morning that the NY Times had the domestic surveillance story prior to the 2004 presidential election
The New York Times first debated publishing a story about secret eavesdropping on Americans as early as last fall, before the 2004 presidential election.
But the newspaper held the story for more than a year and only revealed the secret wiretaps last Friday, when it became apparent a book by one of its reporters was about to break the news, according to journalists familiar with the paper's internal discussions.
The NY Times was sitting on the biggest story of the year. The NY Times was sitting on the information that the President of the United States was illegally spying on citizens of this country. The NY Times knew that the administration was carrying on illegal surveillance of the American people before those very Americans were going to the polls to elect a president. Hmmmm.... It would have been kind of handy to have had that information on November 2, 2004, wouldn't it? As for why they held it? Care to explain, Bill Keller?
"The publication was not timed to the Iraqi election, the Patriot Act debate, Jim's forthcoming book or any other event," Keller said in a statement. "We published the story when we did because after much hard work it was fully reported, checked and ready, and because, after listening respectfully to the administration's objections, we were convinced there was no good reason not to publish it."
The newspaper had reported Friday that it held publication of the story for "a year" because the White House had argued that it "could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny."
So what national security issues were so paramount 14 months ago? If national security was so compromised then by this story becoming public, then why isn't it now? Why hasn't the administration cancelled the program now that it's been made public?
The New York Times owes all of us a much better explanation of this story than we've gotten so far. Hat tip to kossack KJD.
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