When will the New York Times not report “all the news that’s fit to print”? When it involves one of their own. Over the weekend, it was revealed that the Times withheld the publishing of a report that one of their reporters, David Rohde, was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. What is even more amazing is that they held the information privately for seven months.
It may have been the correct decision to keep quiet because if the report did go public, it could have caused a ransom situation or a ruthless murder that would have used as Taliban propaganda. Said executive editor Bill Keller; “All along, we were told by people that probably the wisest course for David’s safety was to keep it quiet.”
Obviously, the reporter’s safety is important to his family and friends at the Times, and to compassionate human beings, however, this situation illustrates a double standard that only liberals could adhere to.
As the executive editor, Keller is the ultimate authority on decision making and what news is published. I find it ironic, actually outrageous, that as “leader” of the newspaper, he found it appropriate to conceal information to protect one of his staff, however, it was his decision to reveal secret information regarding the NSA warrantless surveillance and the terrorist finance tracking program because his job is “to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf and at what price.”
Reading Keller’s quotes I wish he felt this way before publishing information that is detrimental to our government’s job to keep our country safe. “It was an agonizing position that we revisited over and over again, but I also have a responsibility for the people who work for me. I send a lot of people out into dangerous places and their security is also part of my job.”
It was agonizing for Mr. Bush to try and keep information private for the security for our country, because like Mr. Keller, he had a responsibility too, an even bigger one, to keep our citizens and soldiers safe in those same dangerous places while battling critics, such as the Times, who tried in vain to ruin him.
“Rohde was abducted Nov. 10… The Times kept the kidnapping quiet out of concern for the men’s safety, and other media outlets, including The Associated Press, followed suit at the Times’ request.” Seeing that this first occurred while President Bush was still in office, would it have provided him the same morose joy, that it provided the Times, to release this information as retribution for their betrayals? Of course not.
For the future, I hope Keller practices what he preaches because the release of sensitive information allows terrorists to be more aware of what our government is doing to protect us and ways of circumventing those measures. “The more you talk about who did what … the more you’re writing a playbook for the next kidnapping.” Couldn’t say it any better myself, Mr. Keller.