Friday, April 21, 2006

Pulitzers no prize for us

The Pulitzer Prize choices this year were deeply disturbing and obviously ideological. Much has already been written on the blagosphere, including the thoroughly researched Power Line post, The Pulitzer for Treason. Power Line last year reported on the dubious Pulitzer given last year to an AP contract photographer who may have been colluding with terrorists.
Today, a Washington Times columnist laments the choices.

Dana Priest of The Washington Post, won the best reporting award for revealing that the CIA was using secret prisons in Easter Europe to interrogate terrorists.
In other words, they gave an award to a reporter who got a tip from a government worker who betrayed his or her country by revealing top-secret information. The reporter and The Post, in an effort to become the darlings of left, then splashed said top secret information all over the front page. Who benefited from this "Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporting?" Terrorists who mean to kill everyone in the United States.
Next, you have the New York Times winning a Pulitzer Prize for announcing President Bush's "domestic eavesdropping program." Again, a proudly left-of-center newspaper is given a prestigious award for revealing top secret information that can only bring aid and comfort to al Qaeda and other terrorists who mean to destroy us and our allies.

What galls me most is the NY Times "domestic surveillance" story. When all the rhetoric is stripped away, the story served very little useful purpose and almost assuredly harmed our security.

The overwhelming weight of evidence is that the program is legal. And the NY Times and other big media have been exposed as consistently misrepresenting the facts in their reporting. All the Democrat critics say the program is useful, only that it ought to go through the special FISA court. Those critics have largely shut up after polls showed the overwhelming number of Americans would like the government to monitor al Queda related communications with Americans. Duh. Even a liberal like Joe Klein said this recently:

It would have been a scandal if the NSA had not been using these tools to track down the bad guys. There is evidence that the information harvested helped foil several plots and disrupt al-Qaeda operations.

There is also evidence, according to U.S. intelligence officials, that since the New York Times broke the story, the terrorists have modified their behavior, hampering our efforts to keep track of them–but also, on the plus side, hampering their ability to communicate with one another.

So, just what was the point of the story other than to reveal national security secrets and attack the Bush administration? I thought the Pulitzers were supposed to honor journalism that serves some larger public interest.

UPDATE: The CIA fired the woman who leaked the prison story to Dana Priest at the Washington Post.

The leak pertained to stories on the CIA's rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.

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