The New York Times has held articles that, if published, might have jeopardized efforts to protect vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear material, and articles about highly sensitive counterterrorism initiatives that are still in operation. In April, the Los Angeles Times withheld information about American espionage and surveillance activities in Afghanistan discovered on computer drives purchased by reporters in an Afghan bazaar.
All four papers note USA Today's partial retraction of a national-security story from May 15. That story reported the existence of a National Security Agency database of all domestic phone calls made by customers of most of the country's major telecoms. The companies participated voluntarily, and the database did not include the content of the calls. (TP's summary of the May 15 story is here.) In Friday's edition, USAT editors confirmed the gist of the story—the NSA does have a gargantuan database of calls—but reported that Bell South and Verizon did not participate in the program, as originally reported. AT&T and MCI, a Verizon subsidiary, do participate. Most of the paper's new information came from members of Senate and House intelligence committees.
Think Washington D.C.'s emergency response system has gotten any better since the Jan. 6 death of former NYT reporter David Rosenbaum? According to Post columnist Colbert King, the Rosenbaum snafu is the tip of the iceberg.
The Post and NYT front a photo of the debonair Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister of Japan, doing an Elvis impersonation at Graceland as an amused but slightly uncomfortable President Bush looks on. (Bush halted Koizumi's rendition of "Love Me Tender" before it could get out of hand.) The NYT's piece links to a wonderfully surreal audio slide show.