Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Mickey Kaus buys into James Woolsey's spin that the media are damaging to the war on Terra because, for example, "U.S. intelligence figured out in the late 1990s how to intercept bin Laden's satellite telephone conversations, and then someone talked to the press about it; the source of course dried up."

But what Woolsey fails to tell us, and Kaus fails to catch, is that "someone" was none other than Senator Orrin Hatch , first to the Associated Press on Sep. 11 and then to ABCNews on Sep. 12 (found various sources through Google). This isn't a case of the irresponsible press pumping some irresponsible leaker in the intelligence community, this is our favorite self-important Senator from Utah babbling away for attention. While the press may have some responsibility to not report these leaks generally, or at least consider whether to, I imagine that when a U.S. Senator is doing the leaking they unsurprisingly don't stop to consider whether or not to report it. In this case, the responsibility is Hatch's, not the AP's, and definitely the fault of no one but him when televised live on ABCNews.