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Four Years Ago: Iraq, and who's responsible for national security, anyway?

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On December 17, 2005, I posted:

I've been trying hard to avoid politics lately--it's gotten so bitter and silly that it's much more fun to simply go on a cruise or two and watch some college basketball.

But, in the interim, a couple of things have happened.

First, Iraq elected a parliament. Now, we don't know who won yet, but the fact remains that for the first time in history, an Arab nation has elected a fully representative government.

Of course, to the extent that this remarkable achievement has been reported in Old Media, it's been spun largely as "what will go wrong now and how it will hurt Bush."


Next, we have the New York Times story on government monitoring of communications between terror suspects in foreign countries and those in the U.S. It is an open question as to what the story really is. Is it "domestic spying" as the Old Media is largely spinning it, or is it the illegal leaking of intelligence information as the Administration asserts?

Or maybe a bit of both?

Certainly we need to be concerned whenever the government monitors U.S. citizens' communications. But should we also be concerned that an intelligence operation, maybe an ongoing one, was (by admission of the New York Times) illegally leaked to them?

Old Media keeps trying to re-live their successes with the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.

But have they, in their zeal to "get" a sitting Administration, gone too far?

We are in the curious position, it seems, of allowing (unelected and therefore fundamentally undemocratic) major media outlets to decide whether national security will be harmed by revealing secret information.

Despite the libertarian/anarchical notion that "information should be free," I'd suggest that this is, generally, not a good idea.

Hopefully a court will decide who, if anyone, should go to prison for a long, long, long, long time in this affair.