Bad Timing: Today's NY Times Asks Why Is Cheney's Trip So Secretive?

This morning's tragic incident in Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gate of the U.S. military base where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying, seems to answer any questions regarding "excessive secrecy" of Cheney's trip to Pakistan and then Afghanistan.

But as of this morning, New York Times reporter David Sanger had his doubts. In his Tuesday morning print story, "Cheney Warns Pakistan To Act Against Terrorists," Sanger devoted a great deal of space to the "unusual secrecy" surrounding Cheney's trip.

"Mr. Cheney’s trip to Pakistan was shrouded in unusual secrecy. In trips to Pakistan last year, President Bush and Secretary State Condoleezza Rice announced their plans days in advance, and reporters filed articles on their visits as soon as they landed. But Mr. Cheney’s traveling press pool was sworn to secrecy, and allowed to report only the barest details just before he left.

"News organizations that knew of Mr. Cheney’s travels, including The New York Times, were asked to withhold any mention of the trip until he had left Pakistan. That appeared to be a reflection of growing concern about the strength of Qaeda and Taliban forces in the area, and continuing questions about the loyalties of Mr. Musharraf’s own intelligence services."

[...]

"American officials did not explain the extraordinary secrecy surrounding Mr. Cheney’s visit to Pakistan, a country the administration has cast as a stable nation moving gradually toward democracy. Mr. Cheney’s aides told The Times and other news organizations that the Secret Service had imposed the requirement that there be no mention of his trip until he had left Pakistan."

The lead to the story on the Times web site Tuesday morning:

"A suicide bomber blew himself up this morning outside the main gate of the United States military base at Bagram while Vice President Dick Cheney was inside the base. Mr. Cheney was not hurt in the attack."

Andy McCarthy at National Review Online wrote:

"One sobering result of the Taliban's attempt to murder Vice President Cheney in Afghanistan is that the New York Times has tamped down -- at least for a day -- its standard caricature of the dark, secretive Veep."

Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center . Read more: http://archive.newsbusters.org/bios/clay-waters.html#ixzz3CdgxLFgQ