Curious “fair and balanced” minds at Fox News want to know if the “liberal media” is aiding and abetting terrorists. “LIBERAL MEDIA HELPING TERRORISTS?” a large graphic on the screen asked during Fox & Friends Monday.
“Do media outlets like The New York Times aid and abet terrorists by leaking national security secrets,” Fox News host Brian Kilmeade wondered.
“Some say, ‘Oh, they do that.’ Including helping the Times Square bomber plan his attack without being detected,” suggested Kilmeade.
Gabriel Schoenfeld of the right-leaning Hudson Institute joined the morning show to discuss why the “liberal media” was endangering the country with national security reporting. Schoenfeld is the author of the new book “Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law.”
“It’s interesting to note how [the Times Square bomber] communicated, how he moved his money. Communicated by disposable cell phones. Why is that? Is it because The New York Times broadcast to the world our methods of intercepting telephone communicates?” Schoenfeld posed.
In December of 2005, New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau revealed to the world that the Bush administration was intercepting foreign phone calls without a warrant even if those calls originated in the United States.
Writing for The Washington Post blog Political Bookworm, the Hudson Institute’s senior fellow expanded upon his thesis.
The first is the so-called warrantless wiretapping of international calls by the National Security Agency. The New York Times disclosed critical details of the program in December 2005, alerting al Qaeda to our ability to monitor a high volume of phone calls and emails, not only from points in the United States to points abroad or vice versa, but also between foreign cities. Even calls or emails from a city like, say, Karachi to Islamabad might in some instances be vulnerable, the terrorists learned, to NSA interception. Would it be at all surprising, in light of the attention the New York Times brought to our surveillance capabilities, if a significant fraction of al Qaeda email and telephone communication dried up?
Schoenfeld wasn’t done. He claimed to have more evidence of The Times indirect support of terrorism.
“They struck again with another story in June of 2006 revealing the details of our financial tracking of terrorists so the suspect here was moving his money with a courier,” he said.
In that story, reporters Risen and Lichtblau described how the Bush administration had obtained access to “a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States.”
“Would it be surprising, once again, if, in light of the attention drawn to U.S. financial monitoring capabilities, al Qaeda began to move money in ways less likely to be caught in our surveillance sieve?” Schoenfeld asked in his column at The Post.
“[A] press that regards the First Amendment as a suicide pact and recklessly divulges operational counterterrorism secrets takes a very difficult problem and makes it far worse, placing us all at risk,” concluded Schoenfeld.
This video is from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast May 10, 2010.