- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The New York Times continues to showcase WikiLeaks on its front page, and will continue for the next six days. But observant critics want to know: Why didn’t the newspaper give the same star treatment to the infamous leaked Climate-gate e-mails of a year ago? Those communiques revealed that climate scientists manipulated weather data to suit an eco-alarmist agenda. The Times explained at the time that the e-mails were “private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they wont be posted here.”

But classified State Department cables? Fair game, apparently. “For the Times to ignore this material would be to deny its own readers the careful reporting and thoughtful analysis they expect,” executive editor William Keller explains. Oh, but of course. Max Boot of Commentary Magazine, Scott Hinderaker of Powerline and Clay Waters of the Media Research Center were among those mulling the Gray Lady’s delicate double standards. Mr. Boot now suggests that Mr. Keller and Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger “release to the world all their private e-mails and memos concerning WikiLeaks.” And more.

The Times should share with the world all its internal correspondence going back years. That would include, of course, memos that disclose the identity of anonymous sources, including sources who may have risked their lives to reveal information to Times reporters,” Mr. Boot says. “We would give the Times the privilege of redacting a few names and facts — at least in a few of the versions that are published on the Internet. My suspicion — call it a hunch — is that the Times wont accept my modest suggestion. Their position, in effect, is ‘secrecy for me but not for thee.’ “

THE THEORIES

“Is WikiLeaks a terrorist organization?” (The Atlantic)

“Is WikiLeaks a Dick Cheney front?” (BigJournalism.com)

“Could WikiLeaks cause World War III or the end of the world?” (ZDNet.com)

Lady Gaga made WikiLeaks national security scandal possible?” (LA Weekly)

“Could U.S. military take WikiLeaks offline?” (The Independent)

THE GEE MAN

Gee, Gordon Liddy. Amazing. G. Gordon Liddy has turned 80. The Watergate icon, TV star, talk radio king and devoted family man is vibrant, his moustache still a-bristle. Naturally, his staff gave him a birthday cake — velvety lemon butter — from the Watergate Pastry, a source says. Competitive Enterprise Institute founder Fred L. Smith Jr. and National Rifle AssociationExecutive Vice President Wayne LaPierre are among the luminaries who bid him a most happy day. Many happy returns, sir.

SCANNING TSA

The hubbub over perilous pat-downs and X-rated body scans is not over. Some say the Transportation Security Administration “politically manipulated” the situation by deactivating scanners at many airports during the Thanksgiving holiday travel days to defuse plans by civil activist groups to “opt out” of security measures. That in mind, former congressman Bob Barr — now chairman of the grass-roots group Liberty Guard — has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency, demanding TSA’s internal communication about patting and scanning.

“We’d like to think that the TSA has been listening to citizens concerned about being given a choice between naked imaging or pat-down searches of people’s private parts,” observes Mr. Barr. “It’s far more likely the reason was political and we think the public should be made aware of the motivations of our country’s security chiefs.”

OO-RAH

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican, and Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, are among many lawmakers and military brass gathering Wednesday at the Library of Congress to laud a hefty donation with Hollywood roots. Newmans Own Foundation — as in the late Paul Newman — will award $2.5 million to nine nonprofits that support U.S. service members and their families — including Fisher House, the Armed Services YMCA, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation and Outward Bound for veterans. On the menu: “Kickin’ Crab Dip and Teriyaki Sliders, made with Newman’s Own ingredients,” a source notes.

ON THE TRAIL

Yes, presidential hopefuls are already trudging around Iowa. And here is fare for the political junkies who follow their every move, released Wednesday: “The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event, Third Edition,” from the University of Iowa Press, by Hugh Winebrenner and Dennis J. Goldford — who say they “explain the political phenomenon that may well propel the careers of some political hopefuls and crush the dreams of others in 2012.”

The authors promise they’ve added new goodies from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 election seasons to the “tried-and-true tome.” See the tome’s tried-and-true information at www.uiowapress.org/books/2010-fall/iowa-precinct-caucuses.htm.

POLL DU JOUR

- 63 percent of adults in military families say Congress should not overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” act.

- 61 percent of Army family members and 62 percent of Navy family members agree.

- 68 percent of Marine Corps family members and 66 percent of Air Force family members agree.

- 77 percent of those who support the “tea party” agree.

- 70 percent overall support “traditional marriage,” 62 percent are pro-life.

- 50 percent oppose requiring military medical facilities to provide elective abortions.

Source: A Family Research Council/Center for Security Policy survey of 10,528 adults in military families that include active duty members or veterans, conducted Nov. 22 to 27.

Polite applause and big noise to jharper@washingtontimes.com.