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New York Times Leaks U.S. Nuclear Missiles' Launch Codes



NEW YORK — The New York Times has defended its leak of the launch codes to the U.S. nuclear missile system, insisting that it was right to leak this information.

"First of all, it was a secret," said Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the pint-sized publisher who inherited his position because of his forebears, "and here at The Times we believe we have a duty to reveal government secrets so that our readers are fully informed.

"True, there was no illegality here " except on the part of the leaker, but we don't think the public needs to fully informed about his identity " and it is true that the nuclear shield has been working well as an effective deterrent. But there has been limited Congressional oversight of the launch codes " nobody on the Hill was told them " and nobody knew the secret password for internet access to the launch system. Everybody does now.

"Thirdly, it was generally known that there were secret launch codes, and a few trusted military experts knew them, so the information was out there, and therefore it wasn't really news, so there is no harm done! The fact that this non-news story was on page one may strike you as odd, if it wasn't news, but it was a slow news day that day. And what is news anyway? They say that history is written by the victors, and at The Times the news is written by us!

"Our circulation has been declining, but one bright spot has been our growing readership in the Middle East, including a very active subscription to our internet site, the subscriber reaching us by satellite phone from somewhere in the remote hills of Pakistan. We want to keep all our readers fully informed, and we need all the subscribers we can get!"

Emma Dubin
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Read these related stories:

How the Sub-Editors at The New York Times Do Their Work (25-May-05)

Economy Doing Well, But Not to The New York Times (11-Jan-06)

New York Times Revises Policy on Bylines (4-Jun-03)

New York Times Wins 'Foolitzer' Prize After Reporter Found to Have Made Up Stories (14-May-03)

Time Magazine Hands Over Reporter's Notes, New York Times Stages Sit-In (6-Jul-05)




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