Apart from the day the New York Times goes out of business – and the stellar work Paul Krugman's column does twice a week helping people house-train their puppies – the newspaper has done the greatest thing it will ever do in its entire existence. (Calm down: No, the Times didn't hold an intervention for Frank Rich.)
Monday's Times carried a major expose on child molesters who use the Internet to lure their adolescent prey into performing sex acts for webcams. In the course of investigating the story, reporter Kurt Eichenwald broke open a massive network of pedophiles, rescued a young man who had been abused for years and led the Department of Justice to hundreds of child molesters.
I kept waiting for the catch, but apparently the Times does not yet believe pedophilia is covered by the "privacy right." They should stop covering politics and start covering more stories like this.
In order to report the story, the Times said it obtained:
Would that the Times allowed the Bush administration similar investigative powers for Islamofacists in America!
Which brings me to this week's scandal about No Such Agency spying on "Americans." I have difficulty ginning up much interest in this story inasmuch as I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.
But if we must engage in a national debate on half-measures: After 9-11, any president who was not spying on people calling phone numbers associated with terrorists should be impeached for being an inept commander in chief.
With a huge gaping hole in lower Manhattan, I'm not sure why we have to keep reminding people, but we are at war. (Perhaps it's because of the media blackout on images of the 9-11 attack. We're not allowed to see those because seeing planes plowing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon might make us feel angry and jingoistic.)
Among the things that war entails are: killing people (sometimes innocent), destroying buildings (sometimes innocent) and spying on people (sometimes innocent).