Saturday, July 01, 2006


This inquiry comes from Diana Irey for congress regarding John Murtha's supposed urging of the New York times to not publish the infamous Swift story. There seems to be some question as to whether or not this in fact is true.

Because we don't know, Jack...*
DIANA IREY ◊ U.S. CONGRESS :: News: "Last weekend, it was widely reported, Jack Murtha was one of a handful of political leaders who called senior officials of the New York Times to urge them not to publish the story. But in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday, June 25, New York Times editor Bill Keller seemed to suggest that Jack Murtha had NOT, in fact, urged the newspaper not to publish.

So the following day –- Tuesday, June 26 -– we asked Jack Murtha a simple question: Did you or did you not urge senior officials of the New York Times not to publish the offensive article?

We have yet to receive a response.

On Thursday, June 29, the U.S. House of Representatives considered H. Res. 895, a resolution 'supporting intelligence and law enforcement programs to track terrorists and terrorist finances conducted consistent with Federal law and with appropriate Congressional consultation and specifically condemning the disclosure and publication of classified information that impairs the international fight against terrorism and needlessly exposes Americans to the threat of further terror attacks by revealing a crucial method by which terrorists are traced through their finances.'

In other words, this was a resolution that would put the House on record in the matter of sensitive leaks of national security information regarding financial tracking of terrorist activities. A "YES" vote in support of the resolution would be an indication that a Member thought the decision of the New York Times editors to publish their article was the wrong thing to do.

Surely, a political leader who had called a senior official of the New York Times to urge him not to publish a sensitive article based on illegal leaks of highly classified material would vote in support of such a resolution, wouldn’t he?

And yet … and yet Jack Murtha voted "NO" on the resolution (which, despite his "NO" vote, passed by a 227-183 margin –- with 17 Democrats voting in the affirmative).

Today’s question for Jack Murtha:

If you DID urge senior officials of the New York Times not to publish an article based on illegal leaks of highly classified material, why would you vote "NO" on H. Res. 895?