Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
The New York Times editors, publishers and reporters (Risen & Lichtblau) published the NSA story and this is the federal law that makes the disclosures on which the story is based a crime. An investigation should be launched and the law breakers should be sent to jail. This is a much bigger First Amendment showdown than the Plame/Wilson/Miller fiasco.
Which is more important, potential crimes that provide information that AIDS our enemies or information which REVEALS our enemies?
As for Abramoff, the bottom line is that he is a reflection and a result of only one thing: excessive government. As government becomes more expansive and legislators impose more rules, restrictions and regulations, EVERYONE becomes a special interest; perhaps several special interests. Special interests such as, individual taxpayer, union worker, gun owner, small business owner, feminist, ethnic minority, tribe, religious devotee, senior citizen, college student, illegal immigrant, etc. etc. etc. The natural reaction as Congress 'does its magic' is the special interests look to either avoid unfair treatment, or, gain special treatment. That's how it all starts. It will only ease when government is smaller and less 'active'.
I actually had this thought a few days ago when the Abramoff plea was announced. One of my favorite writers put the same idea in much better words than I can.
If you want to read one of the most alarming articles laying out some interesting details about the enemy we face and the GWOT, you will find it here. This is the first sentence to seed your curiosity,
"Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries."