Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Does the New York Times Wish the President Dead?

By Nicholas Stix
December 2, 2003
A Different Drummer/Toogood Reports

The New York Times is outraged that Pres. Bush failed to breach his own heavy security, and inform its reporters and editors in advance of his secret Thanksgiving trip to visit with American G.I.s in Baghdad.

The President also failed to inform the al Qaeda and Baathist leaderships, respectively, of his trip.

Security was so tight for the trip, since otherwise Saddam-loyalists and terrorists active in Iraq would surely have attempted to assassinate the President. On November 22, enemy fighters armed with shoulder-fired missiles hit an A-300 DHL Express freight plane in the left wing, as it took off from Baghdad Airport. Had they known that the President was expected, a battalion of such snipers would have assembled to kill the President of the United States, who would be arriving on Air Force One, likely the only 747 in the skies over Baghdad. Hence, the President decided that were security compromised at any point of the trip, he would order his pilot, Col. Mark Tillman, to immediately turn the plane around, and return to the U.S.

In order to maintain the ruse, in presidential spokeswoman Claire Buchan’s Thanksgiving Day briefing at the President’s Crawford ranch, she informed reporters the President would be spending the holiday on the ranch. Only five reporters were permitted to accompany the president on Air Force One, none of whom works for the Times. They were Fox’s Jim Angle, Steve Holland of Reuters, Richard Keil of Bloomberg Business News, Terence Hunt of the Associated Press, the Washington Post’s Mike Allen, one TV producer, two TV photographers and five still photographers. (Although many Reuters stories on the visit carried Larry Downing’s byline, a Reuters staffer told Toogood Reports that Steve Holland was on the plane. Terence Hunt was confirmed by an AP staffer. The other names came from news accounts.)

In Friday’s New York Times, Jacques Steinberg and Jim Rutenberg reported that, “To Philip Taubman, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, that briefing appeared to constitute ‘deliberate deception.’”

My question to Taubman is, “Did you mean that as a compliment or an insult?” Because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t constantly complain that the president is an imbecile, and then get angry, when President Gump fakes you out of your shoes.

(At Free Republic, FReeper “RansomOttawa” overdosed on irony, challenging Taubman, “What are you going to do about it? Rescind his [Bush’s] Pulitzer Prize?”)

It seems to me that a patriotic citizen would be happy that the president was able to have a safe trip, and overjoyed for the troops that got to see him. But what do I know?

Washington Post media reporter
Howard Kurtz wrote Friday
that Taubman told him “that 'in this day and age there should have been a way to take more reporters. People are perfectly capable of maintaining a confidence for security reasons. It's a bad precedent.’ Once White House officials ‘decided to do a stealth trip, they bought into a whole series of things that are questionable.’''

So, part of the real story – which Howard Kurtz refused to report – is Philip Taubman’s bitterness that no Timesmen were taken along for the ride.

Had the President not engaged in deliberate deception, you can bet that Taubman & Co. would immediately have called their Baghdad reporters and photographers, to alert them to cover the President’s landing. Any one of those staffers might have willfully compromised the President’s security, or inadvertently done so, by heading to the airport, with assassins on his tail. (Would Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. be willing to sacrifice one of his own reporters aboard Air Force One, for the chance to take down a Republican president? Read on.) And other assassins would have found out about the trip through the secret “intelligence” method of reading the Times’ web site.

On CNN, Howard Kurtz complained that the President’s trip was hardly a military operation, and thus did not merit such secrecy. In Kurtz’ column on Friday, he editorialized more subtly: “Although journalists routinely keep secret details of military operations, as they did during the war in Iraq, it is highly unusual for them not to reveal a major presidential trip overseas.”

Earth to Howard: This was not a diplomatic trip to Brussels, but a dangerous trip to a war zone.

There may yet be a job at the Times for Howard Kurtz. And there should surely be some sort of payoff in the offing for Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. According to Kurtz, Rosenstiel “criticized the White House correspondents who made the trip without spilling the secret. ‘That's just not kosher,’ he said. ‘Reporters are in the business of telling the truth. They can't decide it's okay to lie sometimes because it serves a larger truth or good cause.’”

So let me get this straight. According to Tom Rosenstiel, the reporters who were permitted to accompany the President were obliged to breach national security and put the President’s life (not to mention their own and the other people aboard Air Force One) in jeopardy. Their failure to breach security constituted a “lie.” Note that this lecture on journalistic morality comes from a leftist hack, who has no problem with reporters lying on behalf of the causes of socialism and black racism, and who attacked columnist Robert Novak for divulging the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, who was not an undercover agent, was in no physical danger, and who had colluded with her husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, in a deceptive operation designed to embarrass the administration.

After working so hard to impress upon the President that they cannot be trusted with the nation's security, Taubman and his comrades now complain, when the President merely shows that he has taken them seriously. This reminds me of '60s student radicals who would take over campus buildings, and then complain on the rare occasion that a school president took their threat seriously enough to call in the police to clear the buildings. You can't have it both ways.

Note that some journalists from an older generation did not expect the President to put himself and others in harm’s way. CBS’ chief Washington correspondent, Bob Schieffer, contended, "In this case, it's justified. It was extremely important for the president to demonstrate that he's willing to go where those young men and women he sent over there have gone." If they "were going with a military operation in Baghdad, they'd keep it off the record." In order to avoid attracting the notice of skimming readers, Howard Kurtz placed his criticism of Schieffer (that this was “a major presidential trip overseas,” and not a military operation) a few paragraphs after the Schieffer quote.

Time was, it was unheard of for a commander-in-chief to have to assume that, if given the chance, the nation’s most influential newspaper would compromise national security and risk his life. But since Watergate and All the President’s Men, young socialists have flocked to journalism school, with the dream of winning elections for Democrats, and failing that, taking down Republican presidents. And given the Times’ role as the house propaganda organ of the Democrat Party, which has sought, by any means necessary, 1. To steal the 2000 election; 2. To delegitimize the Bush presidency; and 3. Since 911, to destabilize a wartime government, it would be the height of recklessness for the President to do otherwise.

And recall that this is the same newspaper that on June 19, the fiftieth anniversary of the execution of two of America’s most notorious traitors, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, spoke of them as “victims” of “anti-communist hysteria” and “McCarthyism,” and called their case, including the execution of Julius, an “injustice.” (This regarding a couple that had passed on atomic bomb secrets to our Cold War archenemies, the Soviets.) At the Times, treason against America isn’t a serious crime.

Had the President informed the Times of his trip, and his plane been shot down, the Times would initially have “mourned” with the nation. But after a brief period, the Times editorial page would have pointed out the “reckless” nature of the President’s trip, which it would note helpfully, was ultimately just a “publicity stunt,” and point to the questions it raised about his “character” and “fundamental fitness for office.”

Not that everyone at the Times thinks that way. On the Charlie Rose Show a year or so ago, Times reporter Frank Bruni suggested that there are at least three levels of the President’s persona: The often clumsy public speaker who has trouble pronouncing words and getting his geography straight, a much smarter man in interviews away from the glare of the TV lights, and a man who is smarter still in private conversations, after he has you turn off your tape recorder. But Frank Bruni is not the New York Times.

At the Times, as in other socialist and communist bastions here and in Europe, most folks are obsessed with the idea that the President is a moron, while they are fonts of wisdom. I’d be willing to bet, however, that most Americans think the President is a pretty clever fellow, and that the people at the Times are the boobs.

At every step of the way, the Times has sought to cause America to lose the War on Terror.

Like our French enemies, the Times observed the requisite moment of sympathy after 911, but as soon as it thought it could get away with it, without seeming obvious (although it WAS obvious), it sought to give aid and comfort to the enemy, by undermining America’s war effort. Before we went into Afghanistan, Times hacks like R.W. “Johnny” Apple predicted (read: hoped for) the “quagmire” awaiting us there, and soon the whole house on West 43rd Street was Quagmire City.

The Times succeeded in slowing our entry into Iraq by the better part of a year. And yet, on the eve of the invasion, sounding like Johnnie Cochran, its writers shrieked that we were about to “rush to war.” The additional time gave Saddam Hussein ample opportunity to hide WMDs in Iraq and/or send them to Syria.

(The folks at the Times insist that the President ignores any voices not from his inner circle. Would that it were so. Unfortunately, Mr. Bush seems to defer overly much to the wishes of opponents who will not be placated by any accommodations he makes to them.)

Once we were in Baghdad, Times columnist Bob Herbert insisted that American G.I.s be passive in the face of Iraqi mobs, the way he insists that American police be passive in the face of racist, urban, American mobs. But when handcuffed U.S. troops then had trouble restoring order, the Times emphasized such problems, in the best tradition of “Heads we win, tails you lose.”

Since then, the Times has played the WMD card, as if the fact that coalition troops have yet to find the weapons of mass destruction that Hans Blix, the Democrats, and the Republicans all insisted were in Iraq, meant that the war had been launched based on a deception. The president’s opponents all apparently suffer from amnesia.

And now the Times is pressuring the President into ditching Iraq, so that it can then say that it was a mistake from the beginning -- another Vietnam. Like paranoid Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny, who ever after obsessed on the success of the “strawberries incident” early in his career, anytime a Republican president prosecutes a foreign war, the Times will be fighting Vietnam, all over again.

Most recently, in “Why We Need Gays in the Military,” the Times sought to “queer” the American military.

In a recent publicity stunt, some gay activists signed up to be trained as Army translators of Arabic. Soon enough, they were caught in flagrante in their rooms, and given the boot. Their real purpose in joining up was to break military regulations prohibiting openly gay (in this case, sexual) behavior, in attempting to shatter the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay personnel, to strengthen their “queer” bona fides for their post-service careers, and perhaps to corral book and movie deals for themselves.
In the hands of the gay activist writing for the Times (three-quarters of whose leading writers and editors, as Timesman Richard Berke has bragged, are openly gay), however, the incident became a case of the military sacrificing U.S. security for the sake of gay-bashing. The activist, Nathaniel Frank, somehow failed to mention the nine extremely qualified Jewish translators, all fluent in Arabic, whom the military recently rejected, in favor of less qualified people, lest it ruffle Muslim feathers. And so, we have Muslim security risks responsible for translating Arabic, instead of Jews whose loyalty we can rely on. But according to Nathaniel Frank, “we need gays in the military.”

Nathaniel Frank is “a senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara.” Translated out of the “Arabic,” national security is the last thing on his mind. The saying that “Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” is not always a metaphor.

As Annie Coulter will tell you, there’s a word for people who seek in wartime to aid and abet the enemy: Traitors. According to the Constitution, treason is still more serious than spitting on the sidewalk.

In contrast to Frank Bruni, Communist publisher Arthur (“Pinch”) Sulzberger Jr., whose father and namesake handed the paper over to him, IS the New York Times. The following story comes to us, courtesy of Harry Stein's book, How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace):

"Pinch was a political activist in the Sixties, and was twice arrested in anti-Vietnam protests. One day, the elder Sulzberger asked his son what Pinch calls, 'the dumbest question I've ever heard in my life.' If an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, which would you like to see get shot? Young Arthur answered, 'I would want to see the American get shot. It's the other guy's country.'”

And Sulzberger Jr. hasn’t changed one bit since. And as he would surely say, it’s the Iraqis’ country.

Does the New York Times wish the President dead? Arthur Sulzberger Jr. would probably call that the dumbest question he’s ever heard in his life.

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