Keller: “Not all of them urged us not to publish.”

posted at 12:06 am on June 27, 2006 by Bryan

Hm. The Bush administration asked three prominent people outside the administration to contact the NYT and urge them not to publish the SWIFT story. Two of the three did urge the Times not to publish, but according to Times editor Bill Keller, “not all of them urged us not to publish.” A bit later in the CNN interview with Keller, we find out who the three Democrats are: Lee Hamilton (who was a conservative Democrat when he held office and a co-chair of the 9-11 Omission), Gov. Tom Kean (also from the 9-11 Omission) and Rep. Jack Murtha.

“Not all of them urged us not to publish,” says Keller. Which means one of them green-lighted the story, or at least didn’t go to bat for the administration. The boss has the definitive answer as to which two of the three did urge the Times not to publish: Hamilton and Kean, who were the co-chairs of the Omission. They’re identified by Treasure Secretary John Snow as having weighed in with the Times against publication.

Which leaves Murtha as the one who did not urge the Times not to publish the story. Murtha greenlighted it. That’s the same Jack Murtha who has been prejudging the Marines guilty of a massacre in Haditha and trying to get us out of Iraq quick enough so we can all watch the fledgling Iraqi government collapse rather than waiting until it can defend itself.

And it’s the same Jack Murtha who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1980 Abscam bust. Question for the White House: Whose idiotic idea was it to make Murtha your go-to guy with the Times? Who thought you could trust that senile buffoon?

(h/t moflicky)

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Is there a cell big enough to hold both Murtha’s and Keller’s egos???

Clark1 on June 27, 2006 at 12:08 AM

It depends on the size of the planet the prison is on.


GT on June 27, 2006 at 12:12 AM

Personal opinion: Murtha wasn’t asked, he volunteered. I don’t see the administration asking Murtha to do anything at all.

crosspatch on June 27, 2006 at 12:20 AM

Bryan, when I went to the “boss” link, it goes to Michelle Malkin’s site, where AJ Stata appears to state that Murtha was also opposed to the NYT exposing this story. What gives?

EFG on June 27, 2006 at 12:21 AM

Ok, Jack. Time to put the nice, shiny jacket on. Good boy. Now just walk along with us here, real slow like… everything will be fine.

What a POS. (spit)

wccawa on June 27, 2006 at 12:26 AM

Maybe Rep. Murtha sits on a committee which was briefed on the program, before he went ‘nuts’.

Excerpt from Secretary Snow’s letter to Mr. Keller:

Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times – from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.

From the names Mr. Keller listed in the CNN interview, and based on the exerpt, above, this leaves only Mr. Murtha to have been the one for publication of the program.

Entelechy on June 27, 2006 at 12:31 AM

There’s some confusion on that point, but ultimately I think AJ got it wrong. I think after carefully listening to the interview several times, that Murtha did not try to prevent the story’s publication.

It’s easy to see why there’s confusion. Keller at one point says “not all of them urged us not to publish,” but that’s before he’s willing to identify them. He says they all spoke to various Times reps including himself “in confidence.” Later on Wolf Blitzer sets up Keller to identify all three as having urged them not to publish, and he names Hamilton, Kean and Murtha. He doesn’t say which one didn’t urge the Times not to publish, but the Treasury Secy’s letter to Keller identifies Hamilton and Kean as having tried to persuade the Times not to publish. That letter doesn’t mention Murtha as having tried to help.

Therefore, Murtha is the lone man out, the one who did not urge the Times not to publish. And since the other two had already been identified to the public in Snow’s letter, it seems that Keller was hoping to hold Murtha’s betrayal of the administration in confidence. Blitzer unwittingly teased it out of Keller, and doesn’t seem to realize it during the interview.

Bryan on June 27, 2006 at 12:31 AM

Bryan, all you wrote is plausible. I do believe also that if Mr. Murtha would have been one of those who’d urged for holding the story, Mr. Snow would have found that significant for special mention in his letter.

Also, I believe that Wolff Blitzer wittingly got the information out of Mr. Keller. He was the nit-wit who, under the pressure of time, and not wanting to dig himself deeper, spit the 3 names out.

All in all, I believe Murtha will be exposed to be an even bigger morron. His constituents will get the real Murtha now. What one will try in the name of power, at that age! A retired Marine ‘sells’ his country!

Entelechy on June 27, 2006 at 12:40 AM

Did y’all know that Irey is Jamaican for “everything’s all right”?

see-dubya on June 27, 2006 at 12:55 AM

Irey’s come off as a borderline idiot every time I’ve seen her on TV.

Still hope she wins, though.

Allahpundit on June 27, 2006 at 1:31 AM

I’ve read enough DU to see that sending Murtha into the game has Coach Rove’s fingerprints all over it. Murtha either plays with the team or is used to chum the waters if he acts according to his nature.

Murtha is on the Appropriations Committee, which does not seem like a committee that would be briefed on terror related issues. Murtha also does not appear to be the senior ranking Dem on the committee either. Bringing Murtha on board does not seem to have any downside. He either pulls his weight or gets outed for sandbagging the team. Assuming that Murtha urged publishing the classified information, the only surprising part is that he was outed by the NYT, but Rove was probably responsible for that too.

rw on June 27, 2006 at 2:14 AM

Interesting take rw,but I think you just need to stand out of the way of guys like Mothra and they’ll take the plunge willingly.My dream is sending Keller,Murtha and anyone else involved in this down to Gitmo, imagine the fun that would be.It’s WWWhatever, time to take some decisive actions.

bbz123 on June 27, 2006 at 2:28 AM

And two nights from now, John Kerry’s sleeping subconscious mind will put it all together, causing him to wake up sobbing with the realization that Karl Rove views his 2008 Presidential aspirations to be such a harmless threat that Rove cannot even be bothered to set him up…

rw on June 27, 2006 at 2:30 AM

Maybe the Times themselves invited Murtha to comment. Seems like something they would do. Treasury sends two people, Times gets someone they know will take their side, they go with Murtha’s view, which is what they wanted all along.

If this were 20 years ago I would call for a demonstration. A few hundred people in a symbolic gesture marching on the NYT with pitchforks and torches in the middle of the night. But these days someone might get hurt and sue. People are, for the most part, too stupid these days to handle a pitchfork or a torch.

crosspatch on June 27, 2006 at 3:00 AM

Allah, could you post some evidence of why you think Irey is a “borderline idiot” in your view?

Capitalist Infidel on June 27, 2006 at 5:11 AM

Let’s suppose I know the home addresses of Keller, Lichtblau, and Risen, as well as where their children attend school. Since this is not in the interest of national security, it would be OK, by their standards, to publish this information, correct?

JammieWearingFool on June 27, 2006 at 7:25 AM

There is a difference between “coming off as”, and “is”, as it refers to Irey’s appearance of “borderline idiocy”. I wouldn’t have gone that far out myself, but having seen her on TV, I see where Allah and others might draw those conclusions. Irey does appear, however, to be a bit overhandled and uncomfortable spitting out talking points.

Given that she’s running against Murtha; and that a dog with a sign over his head would be a better option than the incumbent, Irey would be better served by hammering home the alternative, instead of relying on the script.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 27, 2006 at 8:49 AM

Actually Kid there really isn’t.

could you post some evidence of why you think Irey is a “borderline idiot” in your view?


could you post some evicence of why you think Ivey is “coming off as a boderline idiot.”

Other than the semantical difference I see absolutely no substantive difference. I’m curious, would you answer those two questions differently?

Capitalist Infidel on June 27, 2006 at 9:02 AM

CI — Because in three separate TV appearances that I’ve seen, she’s had nothing to say except (a) Murtha should resign, (b) we need to win this war, and (c) she’s gotten campaign contributions from troops stationed in Iraq.

I don’t mean those were her overarching points, either. I mean that’s literally all she had to say, in pretty much exactly those terms.

She’s going to lose because she comes off as a prop who’s mouthing talking points.

Allahpundit on June 27, 2006 at 9:07 AM

What a relief! To discover that Jack Murthafu*ker is probably responsible for giving Keller the greenlight to commit a treasonous act. Earlier reports had indicated that Murtha had tried to talk Keller out of it. This would be like Saddam giving relief aid to Kurdish refugees or Ted Kennedy feeling sorry for drowning a girl or Bill Clinton telling Monica to get down on her knees—in a church. It’s nice to know that a skunk is a skunk is a skunk.

MaiDee on June 27, 2006 at 9:07 AM


Semper Fi, Senator.

Why couldn’t you have been in the Air Force?

Professor Blather on June 27, 2006 at 9:10 AM

Allah, fair enough. I’ve only seen one interview and that’s pretty much what she said but she sounded fine to me.

Capitalist Infidel on June 27, 2006 at 9:12 AM

She’s going to lose because she comes off as a prop who’s mouthing talking points.

My point exactly. And now that we know that Murtha not only looked the other way while al-Times ran the SWIFT story, but could also well be the leaker, where is Irey this morning, and what is she saying? Her handlers are about as competent as the fat guardian angel in the Capital One ads. Maybe it’s time to roll out that dog with the sign.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 27, 2006 at 9:34 AM

Does anyone know who in Congress was briefed on the
SWIFT program? It would be a good place to begin the investigation as to who leaked.

JammieWearingFool on June 27, 2006 at 9:44 AM

I would rather have Irey – a borderline case – than Murtha who is a full fledged lunatic determined to have this nation attacked again.

Marvin on June 27, 2006 at 10:08 AM

Irey might need a strong conservative to take her under their wing. She seems a little new to this whole politics on TV thing.( I havent read any background on her at all) She does need to come out and convey where she stands on THE issues- in her own words. Her good looks could actually hurt her…as jealousy factors in.
But we need her, PA needs her, the Military needs her.
Only she can ruin her chances, IMO, if she doesn’t truly know whats what.

shooter on June 27, 2006 at 11:19 AM

She is a one issue candidate (anyone but Murtha, that strategy didn’t work for Kerry either). Also, looking at Murtha’s campaign donations, his outspoken blathering doesn’t seem to have cost him defense donations to his campaign. Maybe the big defense companies have him on “auto pay” or something.

crosspatch on June 27, 2006 at 3:24 PM