Jewish World Review July 3, 2006 / 7 Tamuz 5766

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Do you want to know a secret?

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Just one day after outing yet another secret intelligence program designed to catch terrorists, the New York Times editorialized: "When government agencies are involved in continuing investigations that might infringe on Americans' privacy, it is important that some outside entity is keeping track of what is going on."


And that "outside entity," of course, is the New York Times.


But the paper's belief that any investigation that might infringe on privacy is fair game for exposure is dangerous. By that measure, there are no government probes the Times would not consider publishing because all investigations might lead to privacy violations. Investigations, by their very nature, are trying to find out something that is not public. Therefore the Times' rationalization is not only harmful to an America fighting a terror war, it is also incredibly dopey.


By all accounts the Bush administration obeyed the rules in tracking the transfer of money to suspected terrorists overseas. Even the New York Times admits that. So why blow the covert program when the president specifically asked the Times not to? The answer to that question is the key to unlocking the war currently going on within the USA.


The New York Times and other committed liberal entities believe the Bush administration is damaging the country and is using the war on terror to do it. Therefore, the Times uses its power and constitutional protections to actively work against the administration's anti-terror strategies. Just look at the record. The committed left believes the Bush administration encourages torture, illegally intrudes on the private phone conversations, routinely violates the Geneva Convention and commits a host of other mortal sins.


So the battle lines have been drawn. Just about anything the Bush administration does to combat terror will be opposed and sometimes actively undermined by the Times and other liberal media. Also, the ACLU has allied itself with this left-wing media jihad to challenge the Bush administration's anti-terror measures in court.


Does all that make you feel safer?


This strategy has deeply angered some right-leaning Americans who believe national security should trump ideological struggles. Former Under-Secretary of Defense Jeb Babbin said on my TV program that the publisher and editor of the New York Times should be charged with crimes. The debate is obviously intense.


But the truth is that the Bush administration has brought some of this on itself. The president knows the left despises him, yet he does not cover his rear flank. For example, the NSA has 72 hours after it listens to suspicious phone calls to secure a legal warrant — surely that could and should be done. The administration claims its NSA program is legal, but why bother with the debate when you can have your tap and hear it with a little effort?


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There is no question that some media and politicians are playing politics with the security of the American people. There's no reason on earth that folks need to know how the CIA is legally tracking the money flow to suspected terrorists. And nobody is being tortured at Guantanamo Bay, either. The International Red Cross has an office located a few yards from the prisoners' cells. Most of the hysteria generated by the "civil rights" crowd is nonsense, designed to marginalize an administration it can't stand.


Well, I think that's garbage and I resent it. Almost five years after 9/11, the United States has escaped another murderous attack on its soil. That's a good thing even if you're on the left, right? But what this really comes down to is simple: Who do you trust to keep you safe — The New York Times or the Bush administration? You make the call.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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