David , there was nothing “abstract” about what The Times was doing. Are you saying that any possible harm to national security was negligible, or irrelevant?
I did not argue that The Times should not have disclosed the existence of the program, a question about which I have no opinion, having no access to the relevant facts. The question was whether The Times went about making its decision in a responsible way. Nothing in Lichtblau’s account gives one confidence that it did. One ought, at least, to wonder whether the “unseemly competitive motive” of newspapers–you put it so much less heroically than Lichtblau does–should be expected to result in publication decisions that serve the national interest in the post 9/11 world. Let us examine the evidence rather than consult the oracles at the Columbia School of Journalism.