Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush's Speech Addressing the Media

A recent speech by Bush taking the media to task for revealing classified information hasn't gotten much attention, but I thought it worthwhile to give you some of the excerpts. To me, the speech seems measured and accurate, especially in light of what one could say about the NYT, which has arguably published things that are downright against the interests of our security, with the only potential upside, which they've now clearly achieved, being the weakening of President Bush.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.

. . . I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort, based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy.

This different type of war

requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions — by the government, by the people …and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

For the facts of the matter are that this nation’s foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery, or espionage; that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location, and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.

On many earlier occasions, I have said — and your newspapers have constantly said — that these are times that appeal to every citizen’s sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal. . . .. . . I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: “Is it news?” All I suggest is that you add the question: “Is it in the interest of the national security?”

12 Comments:

Anonymous Jim O said...

In my opinion, people tend to adhere to ideals like this when presented by someone respected, soemone who is viewed as adhering to the notion of cooperation, discipline, and sacrifice. In my opinion, the current administration has done nothing to engender this sort of regard with the press, or even with the public masses. The idea that the news organizations would ignore covert information in the interests of national security would be much more palatable if there was never the idea that the covert information was connected to corruption and incompetence associated with the administration.

In other words, if I was a news person and I received some covert information, the decision to publicize the information would be colored by the chance that the information concerned something other than national security. I think that chance is pretty high, given the track record of the current administration. They have done nothing to show us that they care more about completing the mission rather than consolidating power.

So now we have a democrat congress. Way to go, republicans.

Yer doin' a heckova job, Bushie. I can't wait till 2008

6:28 AM  
Blogger pbryon said...

Hey, no more e-mail notifications!?

Care to amend any of your comments at the beginnning of this post, given the way White House and press communications are being laid bare at the Libby trial?

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have all heard the stories about the press not reporting FDR was disabled for the good of the country. The difference between FDR and Bush is that the press liked FDR; and in the days post Clinton, of even the most intimate details of a sex scandal being published in the mainstream press, no matter how much restraint the press shows, someone is going to publish classified information.

For example, did you realize the NYT published the recipe for Chartreuse in an effort to bankrupt our monk friends?

4:21 AM  
Anonymous the_giant said...

Anybody out there?????????

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter Hatch? Too much Chartreuse?

4:23 AM  
Anonymous the_giant said...

Hatcher! Hatcher!! Hatcher!!! Hatcher!!!!

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Senior Senior Senior Guard John Hatch? The Superstar wants to know.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter Hatch? Out watching movies with Harry O?

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatch, have you left the stand? Tim "Mr. Potato Head" Wierman wants to know.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatch, do you want something to eat? The Levingoods want to know.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatch, did you cha yourself up? Elvis wants to know.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatchy-bay-bee...... What the fah... Where is you?!

8:37 AM  

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