Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bush Administration Investigates Leakers When It Should Look At Its Own Misdeeds

The fruits of the pointless and unconstitutional inquisition into the press in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case are now seen in the announcement by the Justice Department that it is undertaking a second leak investigation into the recent New York Times report of warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency under the orders of President Bush.

What we see here is that the Bush Administration is quite willing to see the jailing of Judith Miller and accept the special prosecutor's attempt to crack down on freedom of the press, but it is unwilling to investigate its own illegal acts.

The President lied when he said he was seeking a warrant, as required by law, for all wiretapping. Now, his Justice Department and personal flunkey, the Attorney General, are going after not him, for these critical violations of the Constitution, but the press for writing about them.

The situation grows more and more disagraceful, especially since we have learned the NSA wiretapping has not been confined to al Queda suspects, but is much more broadranging, delving into international communications of many innocent American citizens who have nothing to do with al Queda. But Congress clearly subjected even al Queda wiretapping to approval by a special court, so the al Queda wiretapping too has been illegal.

This Administration has sunk into such a morass of illegality that it has put the whole War on Terror, which I have always felt is necessary under the circumstances, under a terrible cloud. By forfeiting public confidence, the President has compromised his own efforts amd further imperiled the country. He has sacrificed his own integrity.

This follows the weakness of such liberal media writers as Tim Rutten and Jim Rainey of the L.A. Times, who were critical of Judith Miller and hot to endorse the Plame investigation without realizing that it would set the stage for an even more devastating attack on freedom of the press.

The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights says no law shall be made to restrict the press, yet more and more it is becoming clear that under this Administration, supported by many appointees in the corrupt U.S. court system, freedom of the press is directly threatened.

It is a sorry spectacle when freedom of the press, an essential foundation of other American liberties, is compromised by the weakness of many journalists themselves, unwilling to stand up for press freedoms, not realizing that freedom to publish must be accompanied by the use of confidential sources and the delving into government impropriety on all levels when it is found to occur.

Even Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, failed in the end to stand by Miller, his own heroic reporter. Now, he may personally reap the reward of his own weakness in dismissing her after she had stood so gallantly by the paper.

The press must stand up for its own rights under this Administration. Under the circumstances, it cannot cooperate with the new investigation, no matter what the cost.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Edward D. Padgett said...

Ken,
Here's wishing you a Happy New Year.

Ed

12/31/2005 7:12 PM  

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