You can’t invent your own facts

I was stunned by the unintentional irony of your recent editorial excoriating the Obama administration’s apparent overreach while investigating national security leaks. Hyperbole is certainly not unusual in editorials, and the government since Sept. 11, 2001, has indeed been much too lax in protecting civil liberties in the face of potential terrorist threats.

It does little good, however, for the cause of press freedom to engage in blatant disregard of the undisputed facts. First, the Plame affair during the Bush term involved high administration officials deliberately revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent as political punishment and engaging in perjury to conceal such perfidy; it was not an effort to plug a leak threatening national security.

Regarding the recent AP revelations, your editorial inexplicably glided from the Justice Department’s subpoena of past phone records to concern about the “monitoring” and “wiretapping” of journalists’ conversations, which has not been alleged by anybody here.

Finally, you are surely aware that Attorney General Eric Holder had to recuse himself from the leak case because he was himself a subject questioned in the very same investigation.

You are entitled to express your own opinions, but you cannot invent your own facts. This editorial was simple hackery, or “farce,” in your own words.

Thomas Riordan

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