The Final Shot of Three Days of the Condor - NSA Considered
Yeah, um, did you hear the one about how The New York Times sat on the George W. Bush NSA Wiretapping story until AFTER the most important election in generations - why? Because the criminal exposed in the story was afraid of going to jail and losing an election if the crimes were revealed. The criminal? George W. Bush.
Did you catch that? As The Times tried to explain it:
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
So this story could have been published earlier. A story about how the President personally broke the law 30 times. He illegally wiretapped Americans. If the story did not unduly threaten national security in 2005, and it clearly didn't, it wouldn't have in 2004.
The Times delayed it for a year. One year before they published this, the country was conducting an election of some note. Did the NYT hold the story past the election on purpose, thereby depriving the public of information relevant to their choice for President? Maybe The Times didn't know there was an election going on. In what context did administration officials urge the NYT not to publish, and who did the urging?
The story says, not in answer to these questions:
Before the 2004 election, the official said, some N.S.A. personnel worried that the program might come under scrutiny by Congressional or criminal investigators if Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, was elected president.
No shit they were concerned.
Wait a minute. Is that actually, in fact, the answer to all my rhetorical questions?
After all, regarding this very case, President Bush was guilty of breaking the law 30 times. The Democrats in 2004 were in the minority, lacking subpoena power. That's how they wanted to keep it. "Out of Jail - style." Of course the Bush Administration feared what President Kerry would do about prosecuting the past crimes of the Bush Officials' abuse of FISA Court letters and the NSA. But why would the NYT help criminals stay out of jail? What's the word for that? Accessory I think. I do think an accessory to a crime is a felony too.
Once again, American filmmakers in the 1970s nailed it. Presented for your consideration, Sydney Pollack's 1975 film "Three Days of The Condor." In this clip, CIA Analyst Joseph Turner (Robert Redford) tells CIA Coup Member J. Higgins (Cliff Robertson) that he has blown the whistle on a secret cabal within the CIA which is manufacturing evidence and plotting to start a war in Iran in order to seize the oil in the region. Crazy. I know. Yeah, so, in this final scene, the two walk through Times Square so as to make tails and bugging difficult.
[Turner and Higgins stop in front of The New York Times.]
Turner: I told 'em a story. You play games; I told 'em a story.
Higgins: Oh, you... you poor, dumb son of a bitch. You've done more damage than you know.
Turner: I hope so. [Turns to leave] ...
Higgins: Hey Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk...but how far if they don't print it?
Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?
No they won't. Now we know. And now we also know how far Turner would get on a walk in the woods. And now, all these years later, we also know how opposition political parties in the United States operate when they are both owned by the same corporations. This country is broken.