Bank Drama Continues

The New York Times reports that the House of Representatives “condemned” the “disclosure of a classified program to track financial transactions and called on the media to cooperate in keeping such efforts secret.”

The house resolution “expects the cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs.” It passed 227-to-183.

It is not surprising that the Wall Street Journal is trying to separate itself from the NYT backlash, outlining how they came to the decision to run the story:

“We recount all this because more than a few commentators have tried to link the Journal and Times at the hip. … Some argue that the Journal should have still declined to run the antiterror story. However, at no point did Treasury officials tell us not to publish the information. And while Journal editors knew the Times was about to publish the story, Treasury officials did not tell our editors they had urged the Times not to publish. What Journal editors did know is that they had senior government officials providing news they didn’t mind seeing in print. If this was a ‘leak,’ it was entirely authorized.”

National Journal’s William Powers offers one alternate ending for the saga: “Watching the story play out, I’ve found myself hoping that reasonable heads don’t prevail on this one, that the conflict will get hotter and uglier and eventually wind up in court, a la Plame only more dramatic. Why? Because this country needs to have a great, big, loud, come-to-Jesus argument about the role of the press in a time of war, terror, and secrecy.”