POLITICS
07/02/2013 02:32 pm ET Updated Jul 02, 2013

Washington Post Editors Doing What They Can To Thwart Their Reporters From Covering NSA Story

AP

The Washington Post does some pretty great national security reporting.

It was on the pages of the Post that Dana Priest reported on the network of secret prisons being used as venues for the CIA's quasi-judicial interrogations. Its own Barton Gellman was one of the reporters who broke the Edward Snowden story. Its reporters continue to mine that story for interesting disclosures -- here's a story by Tom Hamburger and Zachary A. Goldfarb about how "the contractor that screened Edward Snowden for his top-secret clearance, repeatedly misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks."

It's all top-notch journalism, and apparently the editors at the Washington Post want it to stop, immediately. They lay out their case in an editorial in which they advise the government that it should take whatever means at its disposal to stop their paper from learning anything more about the NSA:

In fact, the first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations. Documents published so far by news organizations have shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate, such as whether a government agency should build a database of Americans’ phone records. But Mr. Snowden is reported to have stolen many more documents, encrypted copies of which may have been given to allies such as the WikiLeaks organization.

[...]

The best solution for both Mr. Snowden and the Obama administration would be his surrender to U.S. authorities, followed by a plea negotiation. It’s hard to believe that the results would leave the 30-year-old contractor worse off than living in permanent exile in an unfree country.

Yes, it's "hard to believe" that Snowden wouldn't be better off in United States custody, say the editors of the paper that won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the CIA's black sites.

I recommend everyone read Hamilton Nolan's thorough and hilarious carving-up of the Post's editors. Here is the filet mignon:

Take note, potential leakers and whistleblowers inside the U.S. government: the official stance of the Washington Post's editorial board is that you should shut up and go to jail. Would-be Washington Post sources may wish to take that information into consideration when choosing where to leak to.

Keep in mind that after this strategy of hobbling its own reporters and worsening its own journalism is completed, the Post is pretty sure that you will want to give it more money for all of this.

READ THE WHOLE THING
The Washington Post Is a Bitter, Jealous Little Newspaper [Gawker]

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