The Washington Post did a snap poll Thursday night to determine if Americans are upset about the president and the National Security Agency keeping a data bank of our phone records — what number was used to call what other number.
The short story: Americans are overwhelming OK with it.
But The Post was asking the wrong question.
In this case, it also needs to be asked:
Are you OK with someone at the NSA leaking this information to reporters?
Are you OK with secret methods being used to try to catch Al Qaeda being revealed not only to the American public, but also to Al Qaeda themselves?
Are you OK with NSA employees being so ticked off at the president they would release information that helps the very people who are trying to kill you?
Are you OK with national security issues being treated as the raw material for Pulitzer prizes for ambitious reporters?
Are you OK with Al Qaeda only having to subscribe to The New York Times and The Washington Post to learn how America's spies are trying to track them down?
Are you OK with reporters being more concerned about Pulitzer prizes than whether you or I blow up?
Background for those who have forgotten: Dana Priest of The Washington Post got a Pulitzer for revealing the CIA had a series of secret prisons where they questioned Al Qaeda members. I say had because the revelation forced the closure of the secret prisons. After all, they weren't secret anymore.
James Risen hasn't gotten his Pulitzer yet, but just wait. He will. He revealed the secret NSA program to listen to Al Qaeda calls coming into or out of this country.
That one really frosts me. Risen calls the leaker a whistleblower. The leaker is not a whistleblower because a National Security Agency employee who wants to be a whistleblower has to report his secrets to Congress.
If he calls a reporter, he's a leaker. And by law he should go to jail.
Don't forget: Risen tipped off Al Qaeda we can and do listen to their phone calls.
Think that helped Al Qaeda? Have you noticed Al Qaeda saying they don't want to kill Americans recently? No, you haven't because, in fact, they still do want to kill Americans.
Leakers of this sort are criminals who should be in jail. And the reporters who use secrets to win Pulitzers are putting our lives in danger.
Remember: These are the same people who want someone in jail for outing Valerie Plame. Where are they now?
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