February 15, 2006

Witch-hunting the Whistle-blowers

Insight calls Bush's massive search for whistleblowers in government "the largest crackdown in decades". That could be an understatement. One Bush official (why won't these bastards ever give their names?) says:
The evidence shows that national security leaks have been fully exploited by al Qaeda.
Oh really??? I guess that sort of thinking makes sense if you subscribe to Bush's "with us or with the terrorists" logic, but only if you accept that "us" means the narrow ideological cabal of the Bush administration, rather than the USA as a whole, or even the civilized world.

Another nameless official says:
Obviously, we are not going after every leaker. But if the leaker comes from State, the Pentagon or the intelligence community, we will be ruthless.
So if the leaker is Karl Rove, blowing a CIA agent's cover, that's OK. But if the leaker is Sibel Edmonds, blowing the lid on administration lies over 9/11, it's not OK. Never mind who is the real patriot, never mind whose leak is serving the national interest. Never mind truth. Never mind honour. Never mind Rule Of Law and the US Constitution.

Now take a deep breath. OK?

Then check out this news from Walter Pincus, a classic example of Bush cabal doublethink:
The former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy helped write a memorandum of law calling for dismissal of Espionage Act charges against two pro-Israel lobbyists, arguing that, in receiving leaked classified information and relaying it to others, they were doing what reporters, think-tank experts and congressional staffers "do perhaps hundreds of times every day."

Viet D. Dinh, who helped draft the USA Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has joined with lawyers defending Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), who last year became the first non-U.S. government employees to be indicted for allegedly violating provisions of the Espionage Act.

"Never has a lobbyist, reporter, or any other non-government employee been charged . . . for receiving oral information the government alleges to be national defense material as part of that person's normal First Amendment protected activities," the defense memorandum states.
So leaking confidential information to Israel is OK, in fact it happens all the time. Just don't tell the press about it!

How to stop this madness? Former spy Ray McGovern says more whistle-blowers need to come forward NOW:
With no perceptible demurral from inside the government, George W. Bush launched a war of aggression, defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal as “the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”—like torture, for example.

If this doesn’t qualify for whistle blowing, what does?
By openly defying both international and domestic US laws time and again, George W. Bush has silently declared war on US Democracy. It's time to stand up and be counted. Otherwise Bush's job will soon be a "heck of a lot easier".

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