[...] So it's hard to figure out just what is going on here, except these guys [e.g. the administration] try to do in secret what they can't get away with once it's publicly exposed. In other words, asking the Times not to publish was for the administration a matter of convenience, not national security. The Bush administration didn't want the bother to have to argue in public its belief that it had the legal right to authorize warrantless surveillance of US persons. Which is not a national security argument at all, it is an argument about executive privilege. Which brings us back to the question, why did the Times hold this for so long?
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