On Wednesday, after being rebuffed, The New York Times turned in a new editorial, calling the administration’s decision “indefensible.” The Los Angeles Times has not yet re-editorialized, but if they do, they could go a step further and encourage Congress to examine legislation (once co-sponsored by then-Senator Biden) that would limit broad applications of the state secrets privilege, by statute, no matter who the president is.
It’s a shame that Obama didn’t follow the course outlined in the earlier editorials. But it’s also too bad that no reporter thought to ask the President about his administration’s action at his debut press conference on Monday night. And the White House, presumably due to the President’s Florida trip, skipped Tuesday’s briefing with Robert Gibbs.
Before Monday’s events fade too far away, the press must get a high profile member of the administration on the record about this decision, in a way that probes and exposes the dangerous logic underlaying it. The anonymous sources quoted by The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder just won’t cut it. Luckily, today’s press conference presents a chance to do better.