Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If the L.A. Times was a guard dog...

...they'd be showing the burglars where the silverware was.

From here:
Bush Says Times Article Revealed Data on Combating Bombs
From a Times Staff Writer (funny how nobody wants to admit to this)
March, 14 2006

WASHINGTON — During his speech about Iraq on Monday, President Bush criticized a newspaper article that he said revealed sensitive information about the Pentagon's effort to combat improvised explosive devices, the makeshift roadside bombs responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths. White House officials later said that Bush was referring to a Feb. 12 report in the Los Angeles Times.

"Within five days of the publication, using details from that article, the enemy had posted instructions for defeating this new technology on the Internet," Bush said. "We cannot let the enemy know how we're working to defeat them."

The Times article was about an internal Pentagon debate over a device called the Joint IED Neutralizer, or JIN. The article said that even though the device had passed a battery of military utility tests, and a prototype had destroyed about 90% of the improvised explosives laid in its path during testing, the neutralizer units had still not been sent to combat units in Iraq.

The delay had a\ngered some in the military, who noted that it had been 10 months since then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz recommended investing $30 million in research and immediately sending the neutralizer prototypes to Iraq for testing.

The article did not provide specific information about the technology, and The Times deliberately withheld some details about the neutralizers from its report. (Well, isn't that magnanimous of you?)

"We knew about some of the technical details of the program, but voluntarily omitted them because they were not germane to the story," Times Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus said. (Well.. thanks for letting the terrorists guess at least part of the technology)

The Times spoke to several Defense Department officials before the article appeared. None expressed concern that publication could endanger U.S. troops. (italicized comments mine)
Idiots. I wonder if the concept of "Loose lips sink ships" is ever mentioned in journalism school nowadays.

(Filed under the fifth column)