The New York Times countered blog posts about its late May story “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will.”
According to the Times, several claims, including that a teenager was on the CIA and Defense Department’s “kill list,” were wrongly made by bloggers. “Bloggers misconstrued what The Times reported and their errors raced across the Web,” the Times wrote, explaining:
“What the article actually said was that Mr. Obama was shown an intelligence document at a Tuesday counterterrorism meeting in January 2010 with the names and photographs of the Qaeda suspects, including some Americans and a 17-year-old girl. The article said Mr. Obama knew that he might be asked to add such terrorism suspects to the kill list — but it did not say he had been asked to do so in this case. Nor did it say that he had done so.”
The Times‘ reporting also prompted “calls for a special counsel to investigate leaks to classified information by Obama administration officials,” as the New York Times reporteditself June 7.
The White House has denied OK’ing leaks but defended against the calls. Pres. Obama said at a press conference that he has “zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks and speculation” and that it’s “offensive” and “wrong” that to suggest “my White House would purposely release classified national security information.”
However, the AP reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder “announced that two U.S. attorneys will lead a pair of criminal investigations already under way into possible” leaks.
The New York Times‘ managing editor, Dean Baquet, weighed in on the reaction to the leaks, the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone reported. Baquet said about the Times’ reporting: “That’s our job. That’s our primary job, to report things that should be part of the national discussion.” Further, he is quoted as saying: “We can’t edit a paper for our critics.”
Hat Tip: William Smith