When It Comes to Leaks, Media Know Best
Unsurprisingly, Keller makes no mention of the Valerie Plame Wilson matter, a scandal which his paper's news and editorial pages have overhyped since its inception. Instead, he focuses exclusively on leaks which he does find not only acceptable but praiseworthy, that is the disclosure that the U.S. may secretly be imprisoning suspected terrorists (leaked to the Washington Post), and that Americans said to be communicating internationally with terrorists are being spied on by the NSA (leaked to the New York Times).
Keller bristles at the Journal's suggestion that the Times's and Post's sources are partisans:
Your editorial posits a conspiracy between journalists and "a cabal of partisan bureaucrats" to undermine President Bush by sabotaging the war on terror. Among the suspects swept up and summarily convicted in your argument are: a) government officials who have disclosed secret doings of the government (with the exception of President Bush, whose leak-authorizing somehow escapes your notice); b) reporters and editors at the New York Times and Washington Post for reporting on these secret doings--notably the detention of terror suspects in CIA facilities in Europe and eavesdropping on Americans without warrants; and c) the Pulitzer Board, which honored both of those journalistic exploits last week.In other words, you shouldn't accept the Journal's charge that Bush-hating CIA and State Department bureaucrats leaked these stories because you don't know all the facts. And since we haven't revealed (and will not reveal) anything that might identify who our sources were, you should just sit back and let us do all the thinking for you. We know what's best.
I leave to others, including the court of public opinion, whether the government officials who spoke to reporters about secrets that troubled them were partisan evildoers, as the Journal contends, or conscientious public servants, or something more complicated. Since most of them, including the nearly a dozen who were cited in the first warrantless eavesdropping story, have not been publicly identified, it's hard to know how the Journal is so certain of their motives.