I've learned that Congressman JD Hayworth is preparing to send (or has sent) the following letter to Speaker Hastert, requesting that he rescind the Congressional press credentials of the New York Times, in response to the Times' revelation of classified details about US surveillance programs:
The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
We are writing to ask you to use your authority to rescind the congressional press credentials of the New York Times. This request does not come lightly, but in response to the Times’ decision to repeatedly publish information detrimental to our national security.
Most recently the Times revealed the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program ["Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror." 06.23.06], an aggressive and classified effort to track terrorist networks through the use of international financial records. The Times published critical information regarding this program, instituted following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, despite numerous requests from the Bush Administration and Members of Congress not to go forward.
Each of us swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes the power of a free press. We also believe that this power comes with great responsibility, especially in wartime when the lives of millions of Americans are at stake. We believe that this power was abused by the New York Times for the most cynical of reasons: to end American involvement in Iraq no matter the long term cost in lives and national security.
Times Editor Bill Keller called the decision to reveal the existence of the terrorist tracking program a “hard call,” but went ahead and made it anyway. We disagree. It was not a “hard call” – it was the wrong call and the Times should be penalized for it.
The Honorable JD Hayworth
JDHayworth is not one to stick his finger into the air to see which way the wind blows before taking an action like this one. But at the same time, you have to figure that given the fact that he faces a serious Democratic challenge this fall, he's joined others in the determination that the GOP is on the 'right' side of this issue, politically.
Update: The House on Wednesday will consider a resolution criticizing the New York Times.
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