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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Conservative pundits reveal murderous plot by the Travel Section of the NYT!

(updated below - updated again)

I learned today from Michelle Malkin, Powerline's John Hinderaker, Red State, and David Horowitz, among others, that The New York Times not only wants to help Al Qaeda launch terrorist attacks on the United States, but that newspaper also want to do everything possible to enable The Terrorists to assassinate Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. That is the conclusion which these sober leaders of "conservative" punditry drew after reading this article in the Times' Travel section, which features the tiny, charming village of St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where both Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes.

Darkly lurking beneath the rustic, playful tone of the NYT Travel article is a homicidal plot on the part of the reporters and editors of the Times to provide a roadmap to their Al Qaeda allies so that they find Cheney and Rumsfeld (and maybe even Mrs. Rumsfeld) and murder them. As Malkin astutely inquires:

Why publish maps and specific street names and photographs of the private (not anymore) homes where the Vice President and Defense Secretary and their families spend their vacations?

Why?

Because blabbermouth Bill Keller feels like it, right? (Interesting timing, no?) . . . .

And because al Qaeda already must have an inkling that Rumsfeld and Cheney live somewhere in the greater Washington, D.C. area, right? So what's the harm in handing them all the details, right?

This is not the first manifestation of this plot either. Rather, Malkin's investigation reveals that this is merely the latest prong in the liberal/Al Qaeda plot of intimidation to expose the location of conservatives' residences:

There is a concerted, organized effort to dig up and publicize the private home information of prominent conservatives in the media and blogosphere to intimidate them.

Michelle says she learned of this murderous plot from Front Page Magazine, to which she courteously provided a "hat tip." That Front Page article is authored by David Horowitz, and is headlined:

"The NY Times points cranks, radicals, al-Qaeda operatives and would be assassins to the summer homes of Cheney and Rumsfeld"

Supporting that announcement, Horowitz proclaims:

In an apparent retaliation for criticism of its disclosure of classified intelligence to America's enemies, the New York Times June 30th edition has printed huge color photos of the vacation residences of Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, identifying the small Maryland town where they live, showing the front driveway and in Rumsfeld's case actually pointing out the hidden security camera in case any hostile intruders should get careless . . .

Make no mistake about it, there is a war going on in this country. The aggressors in this war are Democrats, liberals and leftists who began a scorched earth campaign against President Bush before the initiation of hostilities in Iraq.

The initiators of this war were Al Gore and Jimmy Carter who attacked the president's attempt to rally the world against Saddam's defiance of international law in September 2002 just after his appeal to the UN General Assembly.

Michelle also provided a "hat tip" to NewsMax for its coverage of the Times' Travel Section assassination plot. The NewsMax article is headlined "New York Times retaliates against Cheney, Rumsfeld," and in its very first sentence warned, with no irony at all:

Beware of travel feature stories posing as invitations to terror. . . .

Times Travel section writer Peter Kilborn even makes sure enemies of the two men will know such details as where Mrs. Rumsfeld shops in the eastern shore town of St. Michaels, Md. where the two administration officials have weekend retreats.

He even lets the curious know what street the Cheneys and Rumsfelds have to use to get to their own road.

It's all part of the war against President Bush, Horowitz charges.

Hinderaker's post is entitled "A GPS for Assassins?," and begins by admitting, apparently with no shame, that he received "many emails from readers who were incensed" by the Times article, because it "obligingly tells terrorists and cranks how to find the weekend homes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in St. Michaels, Maryland." Although Hinderaker tells us that it "strikes [him] as over-the-top to believe that even the Times wants Rumsfeld and Cheney assassinated," he nonetheless links to and recommends Malkin's post on what he labels "the controversy," and then further fuels the insinuations of murderous intent which he claims to reject:

[T]here is one thing I just can't explain: why in the world does the article feature, prominently, this photograph of Rumsfeld's driveway, with the gratuitous explanation that "There is a lens in the birdhouse..."? That one baffles me.

Maybe the Times would say that the jihadis already knew about the lens in the birdhouse, since it's well known that high-ranking government officials take security precautions.

So, to recap - America is currently at war and its enemies are domestic liberals and The New York Times. This war was started by Al Gore and Jimmy Carter when they opposed the invasion of Iraq. The New York Times is allied with Al Qaeda and their latest plot against America is to provide their terrorist friends with a roadmap to the vacation homes of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld so that they can be assassinated. That is what is being reported today by three of the largest "conservative" blogs on the Internet, along with Horowitz, the leader of the conservative effort to wipe out anti-conservative bias on college campuses.

Being an ardent admirer of such investigative journalism, I wanted to add to this scoop. On June 8, 2003, the same New York Times published a lengthy article entitled "The Ex-President Next Door," which provided every possible detail one would ever want to know, and then many more beyond that, about Bill and Hillary Clinton's new home in Chappaqua, New York and the lives they lead there. The article contained numerous photographs of their home, and all sorts of information about where they eat, recreate and jog. The article is, I believe, behind Times Select, so here is the list of the photographs which accompanied the article:

Photos: Bill Clinton signs autographs for students after a speech at Horace Greeley High School. At Memorial Day ceremonies in Chappaqua, Hillary Rodham Clinton greeted Vietnam veterans. The Clintons' home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua. (Photographs by James Estrin/The New York Times); (Richard L. Harbus for the New York Times)(pg. 1); Bill Clinton is showing up all over Westchester, including at the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, left, where he is a member. Some of his favorite places to eat include Crabtree Kittle House, below left, and Lange's Deli, below right, both in Chappaqua. Mr. Clinton says he likes to run in Rockefeller State Park Preserve.

The article also reported:

When Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton moved here in January 2000, news media coverage was so extensive that a national newspaper ran an article on how large a tip Mr. Clinton left at a local coffee shop (it was big: 32 percent) and photographers stood on chairs to capture the couple eating omelets.

The article essentially provided a daily roadmap of Bill Clinton's day. But that was completely different, because everyone knows that the Clintons are good friends of Al Qaeda's and have nothing to worry about. When The Times publishes extensive photographs of the Clintons' private home and reports on their daily activities, that's done with the purpose of glorifying them. But when The Times publishes an article on the town where Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes, and includes a photograph of the mailbox of Rumsfeld's house, it's all part of a nefarious plot to tyrannize prominent conservatives and send Al Qaeda hit squads to get them.

This would be amusing in the most perverse way possible if it weren't for the fact that these are the people who are shaping our national political discourse. We have spent the last week hearing people on every major news station accuse The New York Times of treason, and some have called for the execution of Bill Keller and Jim Risen. More people read Malkin's blog than most newspapers in this country, and that does not count those who are exposed to her when she appears on Fox or from her new venture, Hot Air. Powerline, of course, was crowned Blog of the Year by Time Magazine and has a readership not much smaller than Malkin's. Top Bush officials such as John Bolton submit to interviews with them. These are among the leaders of conservative opinion-making in this country.

And they really believe -- or at least they are telling their readers -- that the article in the weekend NYT Travel Section is in retaliation for criticisms of the Times, is designed to tell Al Qaeda where they can find Cheney and Rumsfeld so that they can kill them, and is yet another plot in the war on America being waged by "liberals" and The New York Times. Shouldn't there be some level of irrationality which, once displayed, disqualifies someone from being taken seriously in our mainstream political dialogue? The most minimal standards in that regard would immediately rid the pro-Bush contingent of their best-selling author along with many, if not most, of their most widely-read bloggers and talk radio hosts.

UPDATE: Red State also believes that the Travel Section article is designed to help assassins of Cheney and Rumsfeld (h/t Phillybits). This led several of their commenters to draw conclusions such as: "they know precisely what they are doing and are doing it 'malice aforethought.' . . . Sulzberger and Company have long since decided that this is an illegitimate administration and that have the right, no the responsibility, to destroy it" and:

Disclosing national secrets is a criminal offense. The AG and the US Attorneys should not only consider charges, but file charges against the individuals who participated in the publication of stories - the government employees that told the reporters, the reporters, the editors, and even Pinch himself.

And:

since we've so civilized ourselves that it's highly unlikely that an angry mob with torches will show up on the NYT's doorstep.

Pity, that.

One of the commenters there pointed out (as did Phillybits) that the location of their vacation homes was about as secret as the SWIFT tracking program -- which is to say, not secret at all - but that hasn't stopped the Red State lynch mob from demanding the criminal prosecution of the Times for their involvement in this transparent murder plot of high U.S. officials.

UPDATE II: The outright derangement generated by this madness has now led one of the imbeciles who likely read Malkin and Powerline's blog to post the home address and telephone number of the Times photographers on his website. NOTE: After leaving the photographer's home address up for roughly 24 hours, he has deleted the page (a screen shot before its deletion is here) and now warns:

The post has served its purpose--we got your attention over the NY Times' lack of consideration for everyday Americans, (who its principals have utter contempt for), our soldiers (who they despise) and our President (who they have a seething hatred of). Subsequent posts will concentrate on the Times's reporters, editors and executives.

He then -- with more unintended irony than I thought possible -- pouted that the comments he received were "getting pretty nasty" and decried the "common ploy of the Left: destroy the messenger when he or she hits home with a good point, instead of discussing or arguing the merits of that point."

UPDATE III: Another upstanding, patriotic blogger -- after linking to the blog which posted the address of the Times photographer -- has now posted this:

So, in the school of what's good for the goose is good for the gander, we are providing this link so YOU may help the blogosphere in locating the homes (perhaps with photos?) of the editors and reporters of the New York Times.

Let's start with the following New York Times reporters and editors: Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. , Bill Keller, Eric Lichtblau, and James Risen. Do you have an idea where they live?

Go hunt them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above. This is your chance to be famous - grab for the golden ring.

He's urging people to find the names and addresses of New York Times editors and reporters in order to "hunt them down and do America a favor." And he said that right after he posted the link to the address of the Times photographer. And this is just the beginning of this syndrome, not the end. (NOTE: This brave blogger, after being told in his Comments section that his post had been reported to law enforcement officials for soliciting violence against the NYT, announced that he had replaced the word "hunt" in his post with the word "track"- so that he is now merely urging that NYT editors and reporters be tracked down, rather than hunted down).

UPDATE IV: As Gary Farber documents, that Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes in St. Michaels has long been publicly known. Gary himself wrote a post about this fact back in September, 2005 in response to a puff piece on St. Michaels in The Washington Post which identified the precise house which Cheney was about to purchase, identified the precise house Rumsfeld already purchased, and is almost identical in every respect to the treasonous Travel Section article published by the Times this weekend.

To recap, the Times clearly published this weekend's article disguised as a feature about vacation homes but with the intent to "retaliate" against and endanger Bush officials, even though: (a) the Times published a far more revealing article about the Clintons' private home in Chappaqua two years ago, completely with all sorts of identifying pictures, and (b) the secret, dangerous information which the Times revealed about Cheney and Rumsfeld's homes in order to encourage assassins was already disclosed in full months ago in an almost identical article published by that small, obscure newspaper called The Washington Post.

There has been substantial media coverage recently about the crazed, fringe radicals who fuel the "liberal blogosphere" (apparently, some use curse words in their posts and like Russ Feingold!). Just for a change of pace, if for no other reason, the Times might want to consider examining the dynamic in the right-wing blogosphere that causes the home addresses of their photographers to be published on the Internet along with calls that their reporters and editors and their children be "hunted down." None of this is aberrational; quite the contrary.

UPDATE V: NewsMax, one of the sources on which Malkin relied in accusing the Times of evil-doing for having published the whereabouts of Cheney and Rumsfeld's vacation homes, itself published this article more than 9 months ago, entitled "Cheneys Head to Maryland Shore" (h/t Agitprop):

Vice President Cheney is buying a house in posh St. Michaels, Maryland - he is, that is, if you believe the rumors swirling around this Eastern Shore community on the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay. Then again he and his wife may not be in the process of buying a luxurious $2.9 million mansion thought to have been built by one of Thomas Edison's daughters back in 1930.

According to the Washington Post, it's set amidst nine lush bayfront acres and includes extensive gardens, ornamental pools and spectacular views of the bay behind it - and it boasts among its neighbors Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

In September, 2005, NewsMax published details about the location and identity of Rumsfeld and Cheney's vacation homes. Yesterday, it said that the Times 'publication of the same information, 9 months later, is "all part of the war against President Bush."

UPDATE VI: Most unbelievably of all, it turns out that the treasonous photographs of Rumsfeld's home were taken with his full permission.

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