Yesterday, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau received well-deserved Pulitzer Prizes for "national reporting" based on their (year-long-delayed) disclosure of the President's illegal NSA eavesdropping program. That award has unleashed a slew of bitter commentary from Bush supporters, including (former Regan cabinet member Bill) Bennett, proclaiming that Risen and Lichtblau belong in prison. On his radio show this morning, the great free press crusader Bennett said: "I think what they did is worthy of jail."
Here is more of what Bennett said:
We had reporters from The New York Times -- Risen and Lichtblau -- and a reporter from The Washington Post, Dana Priest -- took classified information, secret information, published it in their newspapers, against the wishes of the president, against the request of the president and others, that they not release it. They not only released it, they publicized it. They put it on the front page, and it damaged us, it hurt us. How do we know it damaged us? Well, it revealed the existence of the surveillance program, so people are going to stop making calls. Since they are now aware of this, they're going to adjust their behavior.
On the secret sites, the CIA sites, we embarrassed our allies, who were hospitable enough to offer up their countries for these sites. We probably closed up other possibilities for doing this in other places. And by her own admission, Dana Priest said the story is boomeranging around Europe. And so, it hurt us there and, of course, led more and more people to condemn the CIA -- makes it harder for them to do their work. As a result, are they punished? Are they in shame? Are they embarrassed? Are they arrested? No, they win Pulitzer Prizes. They win Pulitzer Prizes. I don't think what they did is worthy of an award. I think what they did is worthy of jail, and I think this investigation needs to -- needs to go forward.
Today, Giant of Journalism Wolf Blitzer had a chance to go at Bennett on CNN but passed, instead giving Bennett a platform for more of his spew.
Oh, and here is one of the nutbars over at the totally whacked ain't-this-a-lovely-war-on-terrorism Power Line. (Emphasis mine)
Following in the footsteps of the AP last year, New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won the Pulitzer Prize today for their treasonous contribution to the undermining of the highly classified National Security Agency surveillance program of al Qaeda-related terrorists.
Oh yeah. Like terrorists wouldn't know that they might be spied upon.
Isn't it treason by the preznit when he blithely ignores peoples' civil rights?