David , there was nothing "abstract" about what The Times was doing. Are you saying that any possible harm to national security was negligible, or irrelevant?
I did not argue that The Times should not have disclosed the existence of the program, a question about which I have no opinion, having no access to the relevant facts. The question was whether The Times went about making its decision in a responsible way. Nothing in Lichtblau's account gives one confidence that it did. One ought, at least, to wonder whether the "unseemly competitive motive" of newspapers--you put it so much less heroically than Lichtblau does--should be expected to result in publication decisions that serve the national interest in the post 9/11 world. Let us examine the evidence rather than consult the oracles at the Columbia School of Journalism.