He “hopes” the story hasn’t endangered any lives and thinks it would be a “big, big stretch of the law” to apply the Espionage Act to journalists.
The real bombshell here, though, is his revelation of the three politicians from outside the administration who asked them not to run the story. John Snow outed two of them — Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton — in his letter today to Keller. You won’t believe who the third is. Yes, even he thinks the Times is in the wrong. Update: Maybe not. See below.
The boss e-mailed earlier wondering who it was who asked the mystery man to call the Times and make the case. I’d love to know myself.
Update: Hold the phone. INDC Bill e-mailed me to point out that Keller says, “Three people outside of the administration were asked by the administration to call us … all of them spoke, they thought in confidence, and I don’t think I’ll, I don’t think I’ll breach the confidence of what they said, um, uh, although I will say that not all of them urged us not to publish.” Snow said Kean and Hamilton urged them not to publish. Which means, by process of elimination…
that Murtha encouraged them to publish. Doesn’t it?