Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a March 20 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid was in high dudgeon about "the illegal leak of classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen about the NSA surveillance program into planned al-Qaeda operations on U.S. soil." Kincaid added that at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), "[m]any applauded when I called for Risen to be prosecuted for publishing information benefiting al Qaeda."
First, Kincaid offered no evidence that disclosure of the NSA surveillance program benefited al Queda. Second, Kincaid's AIM colleagues were much less concerned about the possible illegality of another disclosure: the leaking of Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee memos in 2004, which conservatives pounced on as alleged evidence that Democrats colluded with special interest groups to block conservative judicial nominees. In three AIM articles by Notra Trulock on the case, on March 9, March 12 and April 27, 2004, the leak's legality is never discussed, despite the fact that the disclosure of the leaked documents resulted in the resignation of the person most prominently linked to the stolen memos, Manuel Miranda, from the staff of Sen. Bill Frist and a number of investigations into the theft, including one by the Justice Department. In fact, Trulock complained on March 12 that "[s]uch an investigation is unprecedented" and asserted that "these memos are only the tip of the iceberg."
Where was Kincaid's concern when these memos were leaked under questionable legal circumstances?