Saturday, June 12, 2010

A short note on the Obama administration's aggressive prosecution of leakers 

Every now and then a strange paragraph slips by the editors of the New York Times. Today, the dead-tree paper features a story on its front page about the Obama administration's surprisingly aggressive prosecution of people who leak government secrets. Right there, only six paragraphs down:

In 17 months in office, President Obama has already outdone every previous president in pursuing leak prosecutions. His administration has taken actions that might have provoked sharp political criticism for his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was often in public fights with the press.

Sometimes the truth is too obvious to ignore.

Much as one might welcome the Obama administration's new concern for national security, one is almost forced to point out the Machiavellian angle: The article leads with the case of Thomas A. Drake, who leaked a good part of the "NSA wiretapping" story that did so much to energize the media and the left against the Republicans. In other words, President Obama is aggressively prosecuting somebody who made an important contribution to his own election. We doubt that he has failed to consider the collateral political benefit, that he will deter "dissenters" in his own government from leaking against him.

Read the whole thing.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Jun 12, 10:37:00 AM:

Doubtless, Mr. Obama (or whatever his real name is) has more to hide than Mr. Bush...and graver consequences if discovered.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jun 12, 10:51:00 AM:

The sentence you highlighted says it all:

His administration has taken actions that might have provoked sharp political criticism for his predecessor, George W. Bush ...

Is there a story about Obama where that sentence wouldn't fit?  

By Anonymous CaptDMO, at Sat Jun 12, 12:04:00 PM:

How does this dovetail into the black
congressional league's efforts to submarine the Congressional Ethics folks in light of the astonishing number of investigations examining the activities of the black congressional league(sic)?

Ms. Pelosi...? Mr. Ried...?
Is that swampland still for sale after all?
Mr. Olberman...?
Ms. Maddows...? Ed...? (oops, sorry, wrong pay grade)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jun 12, 01:17:00 PM:

Its the hold double-standard.

With the full backing of the press, Obama *CAN* prosecute leakers, while Bush never could. . .

Or he couldn't without paying a massive political price for it.

You might consider this opposite of that old saw about only Nixon being able to go to China.

Only an extremely leftist President can prosecute leftist leakers.  

By Anonymous danielle@israel, at Sat Jun 12, 02:02:00 PM:

for sure obama's policy cant be called transparent. sometimes i can not really understand if his action is a resalt of his lack of experience or he is anti-american  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jun 12, 02:16:00 PM:

Worst President ever. You work for us Obama. Oversight and whistleblowing in a giant unresponsive bureaucracy where the Boss doesn't even know who resigned or was fired is essential to keeping them honest.

The "most ethical administration and congress ever" is in fact full of tax cheats, corruption, influence peddling and manipulation (Sestak) and among the very very least open of my lifetime.

Whistleblowers need to be protected in this environment. And Obama needs to be taken down 10 notches so he cannot threaten people and get away with it as he has for the last 3 years from a compliant media not doing their jobs.

With so few in the Administration having ever worked in real jobs this adminisration is in a Bubble. When you confiscate property rights from Chrysler bondholders your prolong the recession. Who is going to lend in this environment when the rule of Precedent and laws is thrown out to rewrd Obama's political supporters. Or the country is levered up in a 787 billion "Stimulus" that has gone largely to reward contributors and supporters. The whistles should be blowing loudly and Obama knows it. He can't afford for the Truth to come out.

If the media is more interested in Obama tongue baths than getting the truth out then whistleblowers play an even more important role than ever.  

By Blogger Ray, at Sat Jun 12, 04:33:00 PM:

Comment: Drake did not leak the NSA wiretapping story. The stories he leaked were to Siobhan Gorman of the Baltimore Sun, and were mostly about waste, mismanagement, and catastrophically failed projects at NSA. There's no excuse for betraying his oath, but his motives at least were classical whistleblower and apolitical. Which is, perhaps, why he's the one who gets prosecuted.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Sat Jun 12, 07:11:00 PM:

Well, Ray, you're right. He comes across as a humorless jealot betrayed by his impatience and his morality. But I notice the NYT was utterly silent on the NSA wiretapping and on the SWIFT leak, which latter arguably was an honest-to-Jesus act of sedition and really did cause damage. Perhaps they have a little laffer curve of their own, and have figured that they will be extinguished as a paper and an economic entity before they have a serious risk of jail.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jun 12, 08:06:00 PM:

It would nice to see the traitors at the NYT swinging from the gibbet.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jun 13, 07:38:00 AM:

"but his motives at least were classical whistleblower and apolitical."

Bull. Channels exist for that kind of 'whisteblowing' that protect classified information. Going to the f'ing press was distinctly political and a deliberate crime.  

By Anonymous Lycidas, at Sun Jun 13, 10:24:00 PM:

This is laughable NYTimes sucking up.


Remember the prosecution of Scooter Libby, Counsel to the Veep????

No wonder I don't read the Times anymore. I can barely stand to look at its headlines. Like the New Yorker, a must-read for only those who feel like they want to travel in certain social sets in the Northeast.

Gag me. Please.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jun 19, 01:24:00 AM:

Well, he had to get the Bush whistleblower to give his guys some practice before they get his actual enemies.  

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