Treasury Secretary Snow is not half hearted in his condemnation of Keller and the NY Times
...It appears the NY Times tried to mislead the public about the efforts to keep them from publishing the story on the terrorist financing. For those who have been hopful that the adminsitration would indict the Times and its people responsible for publishing the story, I am not optomistic. I heard Paul W. Smith, substituting for Rush Limbaugh, interview Attorney General Gonzales today and when he asked him the question after playing a clip from
Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were "half-hearted" is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.
Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing "half-hearted" about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror.
Congressman King, Gonzales hedged but strongly suggested that he was not going to take on the Times. It is still possible that the administration could require the Times to give up their sources so that they could be prosecuted.