June 25, 2012 · 1 Comments
By Beth Jacobs:
After reading the New York Times article “National Secrets and National Security” (6/17/12) by Arthur S. Brisbane, I decided to submit a letter to the author — who is also the Times Public Editor. I had read “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principals and Will,” the article that Brisbane defends, and I was horrified by it. Times Editors have published two of my past letters in their Arts and Leisure section. On this occasion I simply wrote a personal letter. Times Editors themselves suggested that they publish what I wrote. They put edits and suggestions before me, however, have now decided not to published my letter.
The Public Editor’s initial positive response to my letter is outlined below. Our correspondence that followed highlights the atrocities this country is carrying out and the casual mainstream media response to it.
My letter to Editor:
You know I placed in the rear window of my car a sign that reads “There is a seventeen year old girl on Obama’s kill list” If the president wants to drop a bomb on someone who: is a minor, female when women (let alone teenage girls) can’t fight on the front line for the USA in order to kill her without trial he deserves for the world to know it. I had assumed the CIA or some other very important person had leaked it to your paper because they felt conflicted (and rightly so) about the president carrying out such an un-American act.
The response of Public Editor Art Brisbane:
Ms. Jacobs: thanks for your message. May I have permission to publish it in a column of letters this Sunday?
That was all last Monday.
On Thursday I get this:
Ms. Jacobs: my copy editor got back to me with his observation that the Drone article never said the 17-year-old girl was actually targeted, just that the president reviewed a picture of her among other AL Qaeda suspects. The key point from my editor was: there is nothing to indicate the president decided to target her. Based on that, he argued that we should not publish your letter because it carries the clear statement that the 17-year-old was targeted. I confess that my original reading of the article was the same as yours-that the girl was targeted. But a close reading shows something short of that and I have to agree with the copy editor on this.
He apologizes and I reply:
Ask the writer of the article what they meant is it a list for death consideration or not? Is Obama deciding who lives and who dies or not? There is a wall of articles that see it the same way a seventeen year old on Obamas kill list whether it gets done or not and I am afraid it will.
I think it is very clear that Obama is making these decisions and he was being asked about this 17-year-old girl. The article only says she is under consideration, along with others under consideration. I think it is pretty clear that the targeting decisions are made by considering a large group of possible targets first. I am bound by the limits of what this particular article actually said., as my role is to comment on Times articles- as opposed to other publications’ articles or information that lies outside of what an article says.
He apologizes again about 8:30 Friday night. So I send this and to this I get no response at all:
You know if the president of the United states is considering a seventeen year old girl for inclusion in his kill list considering dropping a bomb on someone who: is a minor, female, when women (let alone teenage girls) can’t fight on the front line for the USA in order to kill her without trial he deserves for the world to know it. I assumed some very important person or the CIA had leaked it to the NY Times because they felt conflicted (and rightly so) about even the possibility of carrying out such an Un-American act.
***I wrote this all before I knew the President and cabinet watch the people try to run and hide and die on screen.