Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An Apology To America’s Psychopaths

On Sunday, Depleted Uranium erroneously placed America’s psychopaths in the same category as the employees of the New York Times. It has since been brought to our attention that the latter individuals are merely stupid. We unreservedly apologize to America’s psychopaths for the public contempt that we have brought upon them.

Following our post, the perpetrators published their defense of their publication of state secrets, and that was demolished here. That demolition needs no improvement, but the argumentative tricks used in the defense reveal the minds at the NYT to be second-rate, not psychopathic. Here are their ploys.

Ad Hominem

“Conservative bloggers”, “TV and radio pundits”, “elementary”.

False Assertion
“It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press.”
The founders gave the press the same freedoms as the American people:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Straw Men

This refutes arguments that have not been made - there are three straw man infractions in their defense.

Selective Example

The defense implies that since the Bay of Pigs might have been avoided given prior publicity, all leaking of military secrets is justifiable. But then two US newspapers triggered Nazi Germany prematurely to declare war on the US in 1941, causing the deaths of many Americans.

Inconsistency

The NYT did censor an earlier Swift story. In that one, the wartime comrades of a presidential candidate said they considered him a liar, coward and a traitor. This had news value – whether true or false – but the NYT suppressed the story.

Passive Voice
"A secondary argument against publishing the banking story was that publication would lead terrorists to change tactics. But that argument was made in a half-hearted way.”
Undermining Qualification

Leaking the NSA surveillance of al Qaeda’s international phone calls did no harm because:
...to the best of our knowledge the eavesdropping program continues to operate much as it did before”.
I wouldn't hire anyone displaying these mediocre talents.