Mrs. Kravitz Teaches George a Few Things About Secrets

The United States has a long and varied history of successfully keeping secrets. Despite the massive size of the Manhattan Project - so big that entire towns were built in support of it - we managed to keep it a secret from the Germans. Ditto for D-Day, Area 51, and any number of other more modern secrets. Yet all the news lately is about how we apparently can't keep secrets anymore.

Skippy the Frat Boy and his housemother, Big Dick, have their boxers all in a twist over the "eastern media elites" reporting on the administration's numerous spy programs. It seems like every other week they take the media to task for cracking the very bedrock of democracy by reporting their secrets. There are enough accusations taking wing to keep Dick drunkenly firing away at them like quail for weeks. There's also plenty of self-flagellating hand-wringing on editorial pages to keep the reporters similarly occupied.

Just for a moment, let's give the Prez the benefit of the doubt and assume he's right about the reports damaging the country. Let's look past their rhetoric of people dying on the words of reporters and how bijillions have been squandered by uncovering spy programs that were supposed to be secrets. Let's assume the whole spying thing is legal. Let's assume that Congress isn't pissed off at the boys for not letting them in on the secrets. Let's pretend the programs actually are the vital components of American foreign and military policy the administration claims. Let's even assume the reports actually did crack the foundations of democracy.

Yet still, I don't get something.

If all the reports are as damaging as 007 George and Oddjob Dick claim, why are they after the reporters, who simply repeated what some administration hack told them. It seems like Spy Novel 101 that to silence a leak, you go after the leaker, not the person who reveals the actual leaker. The reporters didn't leak anything, someone from the administration did.

One of the cardinal rules of talking with a journalist is that you should always assume you're on the record. What kind of a boob - presumably a boob with a secret security clearance no less - would blab secrets to a reporter anyway? Doesn't it seem like common sense that if you have a secret the last two people in the world you should tell are a reporter and Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched?

Yet, they blabbed anyway.

We know they sometimes blab because political expediency outweighs national security - can we all say Valerie Plame. Given their collective IQs, I'm sure they sometimes blab because they are simply too stupid to keep their mouths shut. Throw in a few vindictive employees, maybe an honest mistake at the wrong cocktail party and pretty soon, you have a veil of secrecy about as tight as a screen door on a submarine.

It's true, loose lips do sink ships - and sometimes careers, administrations, and national policy. Nations have secrets because it's sometimes important to have them. The citizenry isn't stupid. They know that. They realize that everything can't be done with full openness lest we one day find Kim Jong Ill living secretly in Aunt Tillie's guestroom. People don't need to be hectored about how the media is out to get the poor Prez and his minions of ineptitude. They need a dash of truth.

George, fer chrissakes! The cat is out of the bag and all the reporters did was file a story saying so. How can you blame them for that. Not only is that their job, it's imprinted in their DNA. Don't you think it would be a little more productive if you found the louse who left the bag open and perhaps punished them?

If your administration leaks this much, something is waaaaay wrong - and it ain't the reporters' fault. You have about eleventy-seven-thousand secretaries, administrators, assistant secretaries, and under-assistant secretaries to the first secretaries charged with making sure our secrets don't get out. How is it that after six years in office our intelligence services are about as tight as a slipshod game of To Tell the Truth?

Mr. President, I think it's time you start cracking down on the leakers rather than the reporters of the leaks. I also think you should start by looking in the mirror and in that famous "undisclosed location", because you and Dick appear to have the loosest lips in a town full of loose lips.

Don't make me come down there and take your security clearance away.

Bring it On!

The Poobah appears Tues.
& Thurs. at Bring it On!

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, July 10, 2006

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