The arrests of terrorists who wanted to destroy our economy by taking out tunnels and bridges into Manhattan have taken place and another strike has been stopped. But, I have had it with the media's constant undermining of the efforts by our government to track terrorists before they strike again. Why do they reveal material before it is appropriate? I think there are several reasons and I want to explore them here.
First, I think competition is a part of the challenge. Make no mistake, there is a lot of competition today in the media. From print (newspapers and magazines) to radio and from TV to blogs, the sources for news have expanded more than the sources for advertising revenues, As a result, in my opinion, standards have slipped. For example, can you imagine reporting in World War II that we had broken the German-Japanese secret codes? I doubt it. And that fact was never revealed during the War.
Another factor has to be displeasure or even disrespect for President George W. Bush. Revealing secrets is part of the "First Amendment." The media can print anything it wants to with immunity. The bitterness in politics today adds to the "get even" with Bush approach.
The challenge is that Bush baiters lose sight of where we are in today's world. Remember that over 3,000 of us lost their lives on September 11. And do not forget the attacks in Madrid and London. The terrorists have no regard for human lives and, in most cases, they have no regard for their own lives.
The revealing of government secrets relating to tracking down terrorists is as evil as the acts of the terrorists. Also, remember that the secrets could not have been revealed by the media if there were no "leakers."
Somewhere in the government, there is a person, or probably several people, who have broken the law by telling the media about wiretapping programs, the tracking of financial transactions and even about incidents like the recent revelations dealing with attacks planned for New York City tunnels and bridges. Why has there not been more of an effort to track down those criminals, prosecute them and set an example. You cannot reveal government secrets with immunity.
Frankly, I do not care who listens to my phone calls. I could care less if the government is tracking my financial transactions. What I do care about is preventing other terrorist attacks in this country and around the world. Disruption of our economy could be devastating. While recovery and backup plans are fully in place for business systems, do you have any idea what an attack on our transportation system would mean to Wall Street?
Thank goodness we have surveillance systems and eavesdropping in place to head off another attack. If only the media would learn to use better judgment.