Monday, October 5, 2009

Shh, it's a SECRET!

I wish I could divulve my sources for this particular blog post, but my discussions with them are sensitive, confidential -- and in some cases downright classified! LOL. In protecting these sources, I am continuing a long-standing American journalistic tradition.

President Obama suggested recently to New York State Governor Paterson that he drop his campaign for election. How do we know? New York Times reporters spoke to administration officials and a Democratic operative who "spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions with the governor were intended to be confidential" (NY Times, 9/20/09, p. A1).

Former Senator John Edwards (as of 9/20/09) might or might not announce that he is the father of his mistress' child, but "Mrs. Edwards has yet to be brought around," said one family friend, who like others spoke about the situation on the condition of anonymity, pointing to the complicated and delicate nature of the issue (NY Times, p. A1).

A terror probe appeared to be concentrated in the New York area, according to the New York Times (9/22/09), according to a federal law enforcement official and others, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the high level of secrecy surrounding the investigation.

According to the New York Times, (9/23/09, p. A1), New York police have been using an immam for intelligence purposes: "Several officials -- all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because much of the investigation is classified -- have said that the inquiry, which had been under way for several months, could well have continued, tracking communications, meetings, plans and associates of the suspect." Unfortunately, the imam betrayed the police.

According to the New York Times (9/23/09, p. A9), President Obama had a meeting in the situation room with his top advisors. "They reached no consensus, so three or four more such meetings are being scheduled. 'There are a lot of competing views,' said one official, who, like the others in this article, requested anonymity to discuss internal administration deliberations."

Here are my thoughts: Whatever happened to ethics? If people are privy to documents and discussions that are legally classified, family conversations intended to be confidential, law enforcement operations that are secret, and the like, what motivates them to talk about such details to reporters? Is it really appropriate, even for a newspaper dedicated to printing "all the news that's fit to print," to utilize anonymous sources so frequently, on such delicate subjects?

I don't have answers, folks, just questions. Do YOU have answers?

**Note: did you miss me last week? Sorry, I was out of town the entire weekend and returned exhausted. And how much are paying to read this blog anyway? (Haha, just kidding.)

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