The title is not a reference to Operation Anaconda, but instead to the Anaconda Plan developed by General Winfield Scott as the strategy for fighting the Civil War. This strategy called for blockading Confederate ports to strangle trade, and a drive down the Mississippi River to divide the Confederacy in two.
OPLAN Anaconda approaches significant elements of the United States press corps--most notably the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times--as enemies to be destroyed. They have shown their hand by willfully exposing intelligence-gathering efforts to the public at large--which includes the terrorists.
These elements of the press are the enemy, just as surely as al-Qaeda and Islamist extremism are also our enemies. One is either with us, or with the terrorists.
Unfortunately, the more . . . ahem . . . direct approaches, such as Tomahawk strikes and Special Forces raids, are not available. Therefore, we must make do with what can be done.
So, let us look at the desired end state. With respect to these elements of the press, we should:
1. Crush our enemies
2. See them driven before us
3. Hear the lamentations of their women
The press lives and dies on one element: access. Deny that access, and victory is inevitable.
So, a modest proposal ensues, outlined as applicable to the New York Times:
1. All federal government press credentials currently issued to papers, radio stations, and television stations owned and operated by The New York Times Company will be revoked immediately. This includes the White House press corps, embedded reporters in military operations, State Department, Treasury Department, et cetera.
2. All federal government internet firewalls will be set to block traffic to and from domains owned and operated by The New York Times Company. This includes web and email traffic alike.
3. Block all telephonic access from federal government offices to New York Times Company-owned assets.
4. Pools, such as AP and UPI, will be given the choice of embargoing the New York Times, or forfeiting all access as outlined in steps 1-3 above.
5. Commence surveillance--visible, heavy-handed surveillance--of eateries and meeting spots preferred by those with access to classified information.
6. Commence a program of disinformation to those employees suspected or known to have passed classified information to reporters. Said disinformation should be of the sort that would be swallowed whole by left-wing extremists, starting with the plausible and gradually moving into Grade-A tinfoil-and-black-helicopter territory.
In a matter of weeks, the entire New York Times propaganda apparatus will be rendered a laughingstock; without access on a day-to-day basis, they will be reduced to second-hand reporting transcripts of White House press conferences from the White House website and whatever rumors they might cadge while trying to avoid (a) getting hammered by disinformation and (b) blowing their few remaining sources.
So, we will have accomplished crushing our enemies and seeing them driven before us. Ah, but how do we hear the lamentations of their women?
Simple: read a Maureen Dowd or Ellen Goodman column.