A fellow named Greenwald is having some fun with my post about the NY Times photos of Cheney's and Rumsfeld's vacation homes, which included Rumsfeld's security camera. I pointed out that this exposure came shortly after the flap over the Times second divulging of a classified security project designed to protect Americans from terrorists and seemed like a retaliation for the Administration's expression of concern. Lots of lefties, including Tom Tomorrow have joined in Greenwald's fun which discounts any possible adverse consequences of the Times' actionsin this matter and in matters of national security generally.
The critics of my blog make several points. The location of presidential retreats is generally known from Kennebunkport to Crawford. Bill and Hillary’s home in New York has been frequently photographed and identified. The Cheney and Rumsfeld. homes have been identified in the press before. Both homes are protected by the Secret Service. Besides Rumsfeld gave permission to the photographer to take the picture. Finally, al-Qaeda found the World Trade Center; it can find Cheney and Rumsfeld.
My answer to these critics is as follows. These are not presidential retreats which are indeed frequently featured in the news. We are in the midst of two wars – a war with fanatical religious terrorists (I know it’s hard for lefties to relate to this) and a domestic political war more savage than in any comparable context since the American Civil War – worse by far than Vietnam because the paranoia and hate directed at this Administration comes from leaders of the Democratic Party and the “establishment” media not just crackpots. It is in the context of this hatred directed among others at Rumsfeld and Cheney that the Times action has to be assessed.
I included al-Qaeda not because I thought the organized terrorists would have a hard time locating these homes, but to link this particular act by the Times with its ongoing willingness to provide al-Qaeda with America’s national security secrets, specifically classified information that is immensely helpful to the religious fanatics who want to kill us. The casual (and unnecessary) publication of the pictures of Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s homes seemed to me of a piece with this ongoing recklessness and lack of care for the safety of Americans . This lack of care for Americans' safety and for the well-being of America’s leaders by an institution like the Times is unprecedented in the history of this country.
Finally, the fact that Rumsfeld responded to the Times request to take the pictures means what? What else could he say? He lives under conditions of danger that go with waging a war in behalf of this country, intensified by what magnitude one can only guess th the divisive and hate-filled propaganda of the left and antiwar liberals. Yes he is protected by the Secret Service so for him it’s just a marginally greater risk of the job. My point, however, wasn’t the magnitude of the increased risk, but the magnitude of the Times disregard for common decencies, and what should be common concerns. If Rumsfeld had said "no" to the Times' request, that would merely have confirmed their view of this administration as secretive and repressive (though by any objective standard the Clinton Administration, in peacetime was both far more secretive in regard to information and more aggressive in attacking its domestic enemies). Does this mean that when the Rumsfeld family goes to town now their risks are not heightened? Hardly.
The main security concern in my mind in writing the piece was not al-Qaeda but deranged cranks whipped into a frenzy by the reckless hatred directed at the Bush Administration by the left from Michael Moore and Huffington Post to Ted Kennedy and Al Gore. Anyone remember John Muhammad, the DC sniper? So far as we know, he a lone individual ginned up on the passions of the times. For those who don’t catch my meaning, consider this email I received today – one among many that I receive virtually every day:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 10:40 PM
Subject: Blog Comment
Comment submitted by TheAZCowBoy in regards to blog entry: Anti-Bush
Pentagon officials leak military secrets to Iran---------------------------------------
When you cannot trust your government, an entity made up of NeoCon
hardcore liars and half truther`s who call the esposure of their Gestapo
style racist polices and the support of terorist states like apartheid
Israel "traitors" your name must be David Whore-o-witz, huh guys?
Israel`s terrorism and its murder of 30+ innocent Palestinian men, women
and 6 children over the past two weeks in Gaza has shown the world that
the ZioNazi ethnic cleansers of Israel are unworthy of the title
"Democracy" and are as much a "Light unto the nations," as Melosevic`s`
Serbia was a few years back.
Let us pray that Ahmadinjad can make good on his promise to "annihilate"
the parasites if Israel.