NY Times Can Keep A Secret After All

June 20th, 2009 4:19 PM

By now, you may have actually believed the typical NY Times line that they have to disclose everything, secret prisons, NSA tactics, interrogation tactics, because the public has the right to know everything and information has to be free, despite the risks it puts on our military or citizens.

What you probably didn't know is that David Rohde, a NY Times reporter, had been held by kidnappers in Kabul for the last seven months. Fortunately he was able to escape. Bill Keller wrote in a memo today "the consensus of experts we consulted -- and the judgment of the family -- was that a storm of publicity would at best prolong David's captivity by increasing his apparent value, and could well put him in imminent danger." Somehow I think that's a lesson that will be forgotten as soon as someone in a uniform faces the same fate. The Times withheld this information along with at least 40 other news outlets. No, the media never conspires together in the dark.

Keller continues: "I expect we will be besieged by understandable questions about who did what to make this happen. I hope that if any of you are probed on the subject you'll keep in mind that anything we say about our efforts to get David out -- whether authoritative or speculative -- risks becoming part of the playbook for future kidnappers." You've already given the terrorists every other playbook we have, Bill, why prude up now? Was the decision to keep quiet the right one? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But how do the rest of us get the same treatment as journalists?