ABC news’ story on the covert plan to destabilize the Iranian government is either a big pile of nonsense or a serious breach of national security. Either way it does no credit to ABC.
Mitt Romney made a statement on ABC’s conduct today:
“First of all, I woke up this morning, and I was shocked to see the ABC News report regarding covert action in Iran. I was not shocked because of the covert action. I was shocked because a news organization with such a renowned reputation as ABC News would deem it appropriate to publish information about a covert action existing, and publish that not only to America but to the entire world. The reporting has the potential of jeopardizing our national security. Stated quite plainly, it has the potential of affecting human life. We may never know.
“As you know, Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. Iran sponsors terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran’s President has denied the Holocaust. Its leadership has incited to genocide. Its leadership has suggested the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, the spread of nuclear terror – nuclear proliferation – is certainly the most threatening of all the prospects on the planet today. And Iran is the most noted perpetrator of this nuclear proliferation. And Iran is supplying weapons and expertise that kill American soldiers in Iraq.
“And with all those things in mind and despite those factors, ABC News published classified information that warns Iran and that has the potential of putting Americans at risk. Now no one wants in a country like ours any form of censorship, but the media has a responsibility to police itself. And in the last little while, we’ve seen two examples of a failure in this responsibility. One by The New York Times with regards to reporting on the electronic eavesdropping on potential terrorists and the other is this report by ABC News. Responsible policing I just don’t think happened on their part. Responsible policy-making happened on their part.
“And I think it’s important to recognize that we have a global war on terror which continues. It’s a global war against violent jihad. We’ve seen six years of this. It’s not about to disappear anytime soon. With that in mind, I think it’s time for leadership in the media to consider and adopt voluntary rules of responsible reporting with regards to matters of national security. Of course, we have a First Amendment which we cherish and value. It provides for freedom of the press but with this freedom goes the responsibility of the press. I’m not looking, as I said, for government censorship. I’m looking for corporate responsibility.”
Romney is correct to note that media irresponsibility in an era of terror is a huge issue int he campaign, and one on which large majorities of Americans will agree with him.