Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kitty Genovese and the NYT

Isn't it incredible how the Bush Administration has wiped out all the 1970's reforms that came out of the soul searching in the wake of Watergate? It isn't a surprise that they would do this, but it's somewhat unnerving that it was all so easy. A decade of cleaning up the excesses of the CIA, the FBI, and the White House itself has been completely destroyed on the basis of Executive Privilege (with the help of compliant legal opinions and advice of one very handy lawyer named John Yoo). Bush has the same idea that Nixon had, which is that he isn't bound by any laws whatsoever, including the Constitution, all because he is the President. He has more power than an absolute monarch.

One other thing on the New York Times. Relying on some 'war on terror' balderdash from the Bush Administration, they delayed publishing on the NSA abuses for one year, a year during which most of the abuses occurred. In other words, by not publishing, the New York Times is essentially a party to the unconstitutional searches by the NSA. It is not dissimilar from watching a murder occur and failing to try to stop it. Everyone who read the article was instantly outraged by its contents, except, apparently, the editors and publishers of the New York Times. If it wasn't for the Judith Miller scandal, you might think this was just one instance of bad judgment. Given Miller, it is clearly part of an ongoing pattern of gross violation of journalistic ethics.