NY Times Expands Espionage Operations

The New York Times has a long and successful history of obtaining highly classified information that would make LeCarré's  George Smiley envious —— and exposing it to the public regardless of legal barriers, damage to national security, or chilling effects on necessary secrecy in certain government activities or international diplomacy.

From the Pentagon Papers of decades ago to the more recent publication of highly secret information regarding the electronic surveillance of terrorist communications and the CIA's covert air transport operations, the Times has become the nation's number one go—to  media outlet for disgruntled government employees who seek to satisfy their personal piques by revealing classified secrets, sure in the knowledge that the Times will bring them to the light of day in its pages, especially if the information appears damaging to political figures disfavored by the Grey Lady.

Today, the Times enters new territory by outing deep secrets of the German Parliament. In a front—page article, secret intelligence exchanges between the governments of the United States and Germany in the period preceding the Invasion of Iraq, are unconscionably revealed —— much to the embarrassment of both sides, and undoubtedly with a deleterious effect on the future trust between out top diplomatic and military personnel and our allies over vital clandestine cooperation.

Making no bones either about the sneaky methods used in obtaining the information, nor the knowledge of its highly secretive nature, reporters Richard Bernstein and Michael R. Gordon write from Berlin:

"A copy of the secret version of the parliamentary report was made available for viewing by a journalist in Germany to a New York Times reporter who read the text into a tape recorder so it could be transcribed and translated. The cover page had the seal of the German Parliament." 

Full details of the "systematic exchange between American intelligence officials and the Germans," a Times revelation extremely embarrassing to the German government, are included in the piece. The German government of Schroeder overtly opposed the coalition invasion of Iraq while simultaneously cooperating covertly with America in exchanging intelligence of importance to both countries' interests. The story occupies two—thirds of a column of page A1 and a substantial amount of additional lineage in the continuation on page A12.

Richard N. Weltz   3 02 06

The New York Times has a long and successful history of obtaining highly classified information that would make LeCarré's  George Smiley envious —— and exposing it to the public regardless of legal barriers, damage to national security, or chilling effects on necessary secrecy in certain government activities or international diplomacy.

From the Pentagon Papers of decades ago to the more recent publication of highly secret information regarding the electronic surveillance of terrorist communications and the CIA's covert air transport operations, the Times has become the nation's number one go—to  media outlet for disgruntled government employees who seek to satisfy their personal piques by revealing classified secrets, sure in the knowledge that the Times will bring them to the light of day in its pages, especially if the information appears damaging to political figures disfavored by the Grey Lady.

Today, the Times enters new territory by outing deep secrets of the German Parliament. In a front—page article, secret intelligence exchanges between the governments of the United States and Germany in the period preceding the Invasion of Iraq, are unconscionably revealed —— much to the embarrassment of both sides, and undoubtedly with a deleterious effect on the future trust between out top diplomatic and military personnel and our allies over vital clandestine cooperation.

Making no bones either about the sneaky methods used in obtaining the information, nor the knowledge of its highly secretive nature, reporters Richard Bernstein and Michael R. Gordon write from Berlin:

"A copy of the secret version of the parliamentary report was made available for viewing by a journalist in Germany to a New York Times reporter who read the text into a tape recorder so it could be transcribed and translated. The cover page had the seal of the German Parliament." 

Full details of the "systematic exchange between American intelligence officials and the Germans," a Times revelation extremely embarrassing to the German government, are included in the piece. The German government of Schroeder overtly opposed the coalition invasion of Iraq while simultaneously cooperating covertly with America in exchanging intelligence of importance to both countries' interests. The story occupies two—thirds of a column of page A1 and a substantial amount of additional lineage in the continuation on page A12.

Richard N. Weltz   3 02 06