[url=http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/linkframe.php?linkid=56147]Intimidating the Press
It's a case study in how the Bush administration intimidated the press after 9/11.
The publication of a new book by Eric Lichtblau, one of the two New York Times reporters who in late 2005 broke the story of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program, is calling attention to how the White House successfully persuaded the Times to suppress its expose in the fall of 2004 -- when it might have had a profound effect on President Bush's reelection hopes.
In an interview with Terry Gross that aired yesterday on NPR, Lichtblau spoke about the paper's decision.
"Why didn't it run then?" Gross asked.
Lichtblau: "Well, this was obviously a decision made by the top editors at the paper, and I think it was a very tough one. I think you got to remember, these were somewhat different times for the media in 2004. We were only, at that point, a couple of years after 9/11. I'm not sure, in hindsight, there were many newspapers that would've gone ahead and published that story, given the intense, intense pressure and the claims that were made by the White House. Our reporting had shown a lot of things about the cracks in the program, about the concerns about the legal foundations. The White House was armed and ready to refute every single one of those with what, in hindsight, turned out to be, I believe, misstatements about how every lawyer at the Justice Department, for instance, had found this program to be legal. We certainly know that now in hindsight not to be true.