for when you don't know what else to say

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bush's Wire Tap Exit Strategy?

Bush can wiggle out of his latest controversy by...wait for it...prosecuting the whistleblowers and the press. Unbelievable. Harvey Silverglate of The Boston Phoenix wrote this article about Bush's potential strategy to out-Nixon Nixon himself. These paragraphs caught my eye.

"The DOJ announced on December 30 that it has opened a criminal-leak investigation. The announcement was greeted with only muted criticism from media and civil-liberties circles, perhaps because it looked like nothing more than a replay of the still-ongoing Valerie Plame–outing fiasco. Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, and Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, welcomed an investigation but suggested that the object should be the warrantless surveillance program, not those within the government who leaked it. Neither seemed to sense the threat to yet another target: the newspaper that published the story.

Those who don’t see the danger in the DOJ probe of the leaks underestimate how far zealous federal prosecutors can carry such an investigation. Prosecutors’ enormous discretionary latitude, derived from the extraordinary range of narrow, broad, and in some instances dangerously vague criminal statutes that control the disclosure of supposed national-security secrets, renders any such investigation dangerous to a free press.

Forget for a moment the fate of leakers who could be subject to prosecution for anything from disseminating stolen government property to mail and wire fraud, espionage, or even to the capital crime of treason. Instead, consider the lot of the paper that had the courage to spotlight the administration’s potentially criminal conduct: it now faces the prospect of criminal indictment. (When asked directly if the investigation extended to the publication of the information, a DOJ official remarked broadly to reporters that he could not comment on any aspect of the investigation.)

There is little reason to suppose that the administration would refrain from indicting the newspaper, its reporters, and its higher-ups unless the political downside was too substantial. Indeed, with undoubted additional deep and dark secrets not yet exposed, one assumes that the administration would like to go beyond terrorizing leakers and reach those who report leaks to the public. Historical and legal precedent that suggests the legal viability of such a prosecution has gone largely unnoticed in the public arena — though not likely at the DOJ."

Our Fourth Estate is pretty lame, but they have to be able to do their job. If Bush takes this route, maybe the people will finally rise up and say something about it. Don't wait for that to happen. We have to start making noise now. This is NOT OKAY and it IS NOT NECESSARY IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM. Don't listen to the Ann Coulters and Tucker Carlsons and Bill BLOWREILLYs of this world. They're all wrong about this.

Contact your Congressmen and Senators, regardless of their affiliation, and call for the impeachment of this absolute power-lovin' fiend before he does more damage to our constitution. Let them know that you take your rights very seriously, and that this administration is trampling on them. I know writing to people like Rick Santorum is like banging your head against a brick wall, but we've got to do it. As I pointed out to Messieurs Specter and Santorum in my latest missive, he's trying to cut them out of the process too. THEY SHOULD CARE ABOUT THIS. WE ALL SHOULD.


Post a Comment

<< Home