Friday, June 30, 2006

“reality” check

Appearing on PRI’s To The Point earlier today, columnist Byron York scolded the press for three instances where they had shed light on illegal programs by the Bush Administration (secret overseas prisons, warrantless electronic surveillance, and unauthorized probes of financial records). When pushed on what damage these revelations, or “leaks,” had caused, York said they had brought about “very real damage.”

What is “real” damage to York? The White House correspondent for the National Review cited the revelation of CIA prisons in Poland and Rumania triggering domestic strife for the Polish government, and EU condemnation of the two countries. In other words, what constitutes “real damage” to York is what most of us would call “political damage.”

Is it that York and his allies can’t actually find any actual “real” damage caused by the three above-referenced revelations— that would be damage to the United States’ ability to protect itself from international terrorism? (To my mind, this is sort of a rhetorical question.) Or, given that these programs are of dubious value to the “war on terror,” is it that “real damage,” to the right, is, at its core, political damage?

Answering "both" will be accepted.


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