New York: Leading US newspaper `The New
York Times` has justified withholding information that Raymond
Davis, accused of murdering two persons in Pakistan, has links
with the CIA, saying it was done "at the request of the Obama
administration" and the disclosure could`ve led to his death.
"The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold
information about Mr Davis`s ties to the agency at the request
of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure of
his specific job would put his life at risk.”
"Several foreign news organizations have disclosed
some aspects of Mr Davis`s work with the CIA," admitted the
daily in its story on Monday after "American officials lifted
their request to withhold publication".
The newspaper`s disclosure on Monday that it withheld
information about Davis`s connection to Central Intelligence
Agency has kicked up a powerful response.
In an attempt to justify its stand, the newspaper`s
Public Editor Arthur Brisbane has written an article, saying,
"As profoundly unpalatable as it is, I think the Times did the
only thing it could do."
He added, "Agreeing to the State Department`s request
was a decision bound to bring down an avalanche of criticism
and, even worse, impose serious constraints on The Times`s
journalism. The alternative, though, was to take the risk that
reporting the CIA connection would lead to Mr Davis`s death."
Brisbane said that in military affairs, there is a
calculus that balances the loss of life against the gain of an
objective; but in journalism, though, there is no equivalent.
"Editors don`t have the standing to make a judgment
that a story…any story…is worth a life. I find it hard
to second-guess the editors` assessment the State Department`s
warning was credible and that Mr Davis`s life was at risk in a
country seething with anti-American feeling," he said.