In Sunday’s New York Times, there is an Op/Ed piece entitled “This Call May Be Monitored,” discussing the implications of a hot-button article the newspaper ran on Friday. The Friday piece essentially reveals that, for the last few years (with the approval of the White House), the National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly monitoring Americans’ phone calls and email messages in an effort to prevent terrorist acts. As the original piece details, the U.S. government asked the Times to back off, and they did… for a year. But, now, the word is out.
So what does this mean? At the minimum, The White House isn’t too pleased with The New York Times, but what else is new? But, isn’t it “the pot calling the kettle black,” when George W. Bush criticizes the newspaper for monitoring security changes and reporting them? Aren’t they just doing their job? “President Bush took aim at the messenger Saturday, saying that a newspaper jeopardized national security by revealing that he authorized wiretaps on U.S. citizens after September 11,” reports CNN.
Beyond a battle with the media, this next week will surely tell what full impact this will have. In an effort to continue the discussion, the newspaper published the aforementioned Op/Ed piece, which includes these thoughts:
“The mass murders of 9/11 revealed deadly gaps in United States intelligence that needed to be closed. Most of those involved failure of performance, not legal barriers. Nevertheless, Americans expected some reasonable and carefully measured trade-offs between security and civil liberties. They trusted their elected leaders to follow long-established democratic and legal principles and to make any changes in the light of day. But President Bush had other ideas. He secretly and recklessly expanded the government’s powers in dangerous and unnecessary ways that eroded civil liberties and may also have violated the law.”