Sunday, March 05, 2006
Last summer, it seemed around every corner (or newspaper op-ed) some Republican or media bigwig was denouncing the First Amendment onslaught by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald against poor Judy Miller and reporter privilege.
But they are remarkably silent on the subject in 2006. Where are you Bob Woodward? Tom Brokaw? Richard Lugar? Mike Pence? Bob Dole?!?
The Washington Post reported yesterday that CIA investigators are aggresively trying to learn who leaked information about such illegal activities as spying on Americans to the press.
Oh yes, the war on terror, the justification for trampling our rights, trashing our constitution, breaking international treaties and outing a CIA operative. Perhaps one can now fully appreciate why Bush wanted party loyalist Porter Goss as his new CIA director.
The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.
In a little-noticed case in California, FBI agents from Los Angeles have already contacted reporters at the Sacramento Bee about stories published in July that were based on sealed court documents related to a terrorism case in Lodi, according to the newspaper.
"We need to protect the right to free speech and the First Amendment, and the president is doing that," said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. "But, at the same time, we do need to protect classified information which helps fight the war on terror."
Well, here are a few of Bob Dole's crocodile tears from last August, applicable ever so much to the "leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrentless domestic surveillance program" than to the case he was decrying in his propaganda piece.
To go after journalists "ignores the dozens of whistle-blowers who would not share information about government wrongdoing with the press unless they felt reporters could protect their identities. This is why the attorneys general of 34 states filed an amicus brief in May asking the Supreme Court to recognize a federal reporter's privilege."