New York Times Editor Bill Keller was on Face the Nation, stuttering through a defense of his newspaper's decision to publish the Swift report. I am sympathetic to press freedoms, but Keller is beginning to get on my nerves, not because I think that he is a closet commie/Islamist sympathizer but because he is an over-preening ass.
Two comments went unchallenged by Bob Schieffer. The first was Keller's assertion that the Constitution invested "amateurs, meaning, journalists" with the power to inquire and challenge government. This is preposterous. The Constitution empowers the People to lobby and provoke their government. The people are granted the freedom to use the press. Keller's formulation is either sloppy or willfully misstated.
Secondly, Keller told Schieffer that (as in the editorial yesterday) that journalists (and how he can speak for all journalists, I don't know. Was there a vote?) "are not neutral in the struggle against terrorism." Fine, we should take Mr Keller at his word. But what Keller didn't elaborate on, at what Schieffer did not follow up on, is exactly, then, what side is Keller and the journalists that he claims to speak for on?
That might seem like an accusation, but I think that this is a legitimate question to ask, and one I trust Mr Keller and his colleagues would answer honestly and forcefully. And hopefully, he'd pick the right side.
On the charge of treason, I think that we should beware of this latest push by the Administration. If there was a crime, isn't it possible that the person or persons leaking the information are those doing the committing?
On the other side, in the aftermath of Hamdan, it might be useful to actually look at what the Supreme Court has ruled. It seems to me that the Court was requesting that the Administration seek Congressional approval for commissions. Isn't it about time that the president do this? We are, after all, coming up on five years since September 11.
That day did not grant the Executive, any executive, with absolute power to decide the fate of the nation, nor towards the prosecution of war. While the presidency is invested with the power to direct war, it is Congress' prerogative to control the money, and in its fiscal role, to influence and check the impulse of presidents to grab power for the office.
Unlike many others, while I am terribly disappointed and frustrated with this president, I do not believe him to be the Coming Dictator. There is a certain arrogance that comes with a person who has convinced himself that he alone stands against the wind of world destruction. Yet, I am not so sure that a President Gore or Kerry would not have ended up as put upon as Bush. Maybe not, but to speculate would be useless. I suppose that you go to war with the president you have.