Thursday, November 10, 2005

Well, Duh...

Republican leaders have been getting their knickers in a frist a lot lately over investigations over leaks of 'classified' information, especially information of governmental misbehavior. Either they downplay the need for and importance of such investigations (the Plame Affair, the regime's misuse of the intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq), or they squeal with righteous indignation when the source of the leak appears to be a whistleblower from across the aisle.

The latest kerfuffle has to do with a Washington Post article that reports the existence of 'ghost' prisons outside the US which the CIA maintains to interrogate people with less than legal methods. An editorial in today's NY Times makes a rather obvious, but too often unstated point about the Republican reaction.

In the last couple of days, the Republican leaders of Congress have been piously demanding a full investigation into the sources of a Washington Post article about the Central Intelligence Agency's chain of secret prison camps. These same leaders have spent 18 months crushing any serious look at the actual abuse of prisoners at those camps, and at camps run by the American military. And for more than two years, they have expressed no interest in whether the White House leaked the name of a covert C.I.A. operative to punish a critic of the Iraq war.

So why did they jump on last week's article in The Post before you could say "double standard"? The answer is painfully obvious: G.O.P. leaders, doing the White House's bidding, are trying to shut down discussion of the policies that led to the horrors of Abu Ghraib and the C.I.A.'s "black site" prisons. They are also delivering an oblique warning to the Democrats who want the Senate to say more than the White House wants to be said about another sensitive intelligence matter: whether President Bush and his team hyped Iraq's weapons programs.

...The current talk of leaks is utterly different. The Post article provided powerful details that expand what we know about the camps and the abhorrent practices there. The administration and its allies in Congress want to suppress this information merely because they don't want a full accounting of how American soldiers and intelligence agents have been turned into torturers, and because the administration wants to go on abusing prisoners.

...The truth is that the damage is caused by the administration's underlying acts and policies, not by the news media's disclosures, which serve only to hold officials accountable for their actions. It is the secret camps themselves and the abuse and torture of prisoners that smear America's image and jeopardize Americans serving their country, not newspaper articles.
[Emphasis added]

While the editorial writer unnecessarily put in some self-justifying for their backing of Judith Miller's refusal to name her sources when it was clear that her primary source was not a whistleblower but an administration official anxious to slime a critic in the meanest way possible, at least the editorial itself pointed out what the role of a free press is.

Now if the media would just start exercising that role a little more robustly, we might be able to turn this regime out and turn this nation around.


Blogger MnMnM said...

Now posted at: Karl Rove Says Who Leaked First

The Times They Should Be A-Changin

Bloggers Request:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the Times should be a-changin'.

Good Bye Sulzberger, Keller, and Miller!

Fitzgerald's response:

Come politician's, journalists
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For more indictments they are a-comin'.

--Bob Dylan

Judy plans to write a book.
Now that's a novel idea.
It certainly won't be based on facts

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