Indicting Treason

The New York Times apparently sees nothing wrong with disclosing the existence of two vital national security programs, but deems the non—outing of a non—undercover CIA agent a grievous threat to this nation's survival. So much so that in the minds of its editors it merits indicting everyone from Dick Cheney on down.

Although their hopes ultimately proved groundless, the left still managed to make hay out the Valerie Plame affair. They even succeeded in destabilizing the administration for a time by hamstringing some of its most capable operatives. It would, however, be short—sighted not to see that the trouble was entirely of the administration's own making.

To begin with, the investigation should have never been allowed to proceed in the first place. If you remember, Patrick Fitzgerald obtained his mandate only after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself citing a potential conflict of interest. Rather than this being an act of magisterial uprightness, it was in fact a dereliction of duty. We are at war and at this critical time the attorney general has no business of stepping aside when spurious charges are being leveled against the administration.

Rather than giving a free hand to the detractors, Mr. Ashcroft should have launched a probe into the apparent attempts in some government agencies to undermine this nation's war effort. As far as the matter of Ms. Plame was concerned, Mr. Ashcroft should have looked into it himself and had he seen any reason for concern appoint an honest man to conduct an inquiry. But instead he fumbled and the ball was snatched by Patrick Fitzgerald whose sham investigation kept distracting the administration from the pressing task of fighting the war whose issue will decide our future.

In a more peaceful period it may have been entertaining to watch liberals quivering with hope at the prospect of Fitzmas only to be bitterly disappointed when if failed to arrive. But these are very serious times and there should be no place for people like Mr. Fitzgerald to be conducting inquiries occasioned by nothing more than specious partisan accusations.

President Bush clearly relishes his role of a gracious Texas gentleman who is ever ready to overlook his detractors' mischief no matter how egregious it may be. This is certainly at least part of the reason why he left unanswered the New York Times' disclosure of the CIA secret flight operation and, more importantly, of the NSA surveillance program last December. Mr. Bush needs to realize, however, that more is at stake here than his reputation as an amiable man. By disclosing those programs the New York Times seriously compromised our national security. Emboldened by the administration's blasť attitude, it last week revealed the existence of yet another vital anti—terrorism operation.

George Bush was not elected to shower his enemies with magnanimity, particularly when they imperil America's security. Neither was he elected to nominate wavering attorneys general who step aside or blink confusedly when confronted with treasonous acts. Mr. Bush has been entrusted with office primarily on the strength of his pledge to uncompromisingly prosecute the war on terror. And dealing with domestic subversives is a crucial component of this effort, especially when they commit indictable offenses.

We must insist that the president do his duty and prosecute those who have so badly undermined our national security. Failure to do so would be a betrayal of the Constitution which expressly mandates the executive branch to act in such situations. To honor its constitutionally assigned duties, the administration must spring into action and launch a criminal probe. We are in the midst of a war whose outcome will decide whether we survive as a nation, and this president needs to come to terms with the obvious fact that there are traitors among us. This is not unusual, for there are traitors in every war. But whereas in the wars past they were dealt with just severity, today they are given a free pass. So brazen have they become that they even award themselves the Pulitzer prize for their acts of treason.

Those at the New York Times have shown complete disregard for this country's national security and by disclosing vital programs seriously diminished our ability to persecute the war on terror. The vast majority of Americans cannot but be enraged by these acts of treachery. It is time for the president to do his duty and bring to justice those responsible. Once he begins this work, the nation will cheer him on.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He welcomes feedback.

The New York Times apparently sees nothing wrong with disclosing the existence of two vital national security programs, but deems the non—outing of a non—undercover CIA agent a grievous threat to this nation's survival. So much so that in the minds of its editors it merits indicting everyone from Dick Cheney on down.

Although their hopes ultimately proved groundless, the left still managed to make hay out the Valerie Plame affair. They even succeeded in destabilizing the administration for a time by hamstringing some of its most capable operatives. It would, however, be short—sighted not to see that the trouble was entirely of the administration's own making.

To begin with, the investigation should have never been allowed to proceed in the first place. If you remember, Patrick Fitzgerald obtained his mandate only after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself citing a potential conflict of interest. Rather than this being an act of magisterial uprightness, it was in fact a dereliction of duty. We are at war and at this critical time the attorney general has no business of stepping aside when spurious charges are being leveled against the administration.

Rather than giving a free hand to the detractors, Mr. Ashcroft should have launched a probe into the apparent attempts in some government agencies to undermine this nation's war effort. As far as the matter of Ms. Plame was concerned, Mr. Ashcroft should have looked into it himself and had he seen any reason for concern appoint an honest man to conduct an inquiry. But instead he fumbled and the ball was snatched by Patrick Fitzgerald whose sham investigation kept distracting the administration from the pressing task of fighting the war whose issue will decide our future.

In a more peaceful period it may have been entertaining to watch liberals quivering with hope at the prospect of Fitzmas only to be bitterly disappointed when if failed to arrive. But these are very serious times and there should be no place for people like Mr. Fitzgerald to be conducting inquiries occasioned by nothing more than specious partisan accusations.

President Bush clearly relishes his role of a gracious Texas gentleman who is ever ready to overlook his detractors' mischief no matter how egregious it may be. This is certainly at least part of the reason why he left unanswered the New York Times' disclosure of the CIA secret flight operation and, more importantly, of the NSA surveillance program last December. Mr. Bush needs to realize, however, that more is at stake here than his reputation as an amiable man. By disclosing those programs the New York Times seriously compromised our national security. Emboldened by the administration's blasť attitude, it last week revealed the existence of yet another vital anti—terrorism operation.

George Bush was not elected to shower his enemies with magnanimity, particularly when they imperil America's security. Neither was he elected to nominate wavering attorneys general who step aside or blink confusedly when confronted with treasonous acts. Mr. Bush has been entrusted with office primarily on the strength of his pledge to uncompromisingly prosecute the war on terror. And dealing with domestic subversives is a crucial component of this effort, especially when they commit indictable offenses.

We must insist that the president do his duty and prosecute those who have so badly undermined our national security. Failure to do so would be a betrayal of the Constitution which expressly mandates the executive branch to act in such situations. To honor its constitutionally assigned duties, the administration must spring into action and launch a criminal probe. We are in the midst of a war whose outcome will decide whether we survive as a nation, and this president needs to come to terms with the obvious fact that there are traitors among us. This is not unusual, for there are traitors in every war. But whereas in the wars past they were dealt with just severity, today they are given a free pass. So brazen have they become that they even award themselves the Pulitzer prize for their acts of treason.

Those at the New York Times have shown complete disregard for this country's national security and by disclosing vital programs seriously diminished our ability to persecute the war on terror. The vast majority of Americans cannot but be enraged by these acts of treachery. It is time for the president to do his duty and bring to justice those responsible. Once he begins this work, the nation will cheer him on.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He welcomes feedback.