2007/04/23

Freedom From The Press

Not like Democrats need more reasons to call for our current Attorney General's ouster, but what may turn out to be Gonzales' last gambit on behalf of the administration could be one of the most damaging to the Constitution.

Harper's Magazine has an extensive report on Gonzales' attempt to shut down our press by getting an Americanized version of the British Official Secrets Act enacted here. But...knowing that he'd never get such a law by Congress, the AG has decided to simply have an old law, the 1917 Espionage Act, reinterpreted to criminalize any release of classified information, even by persons having no obligation to protect the government's secrets. From Harper's:
Rather than approach Congress with a proposal to enact the British Official Secrets Act--a proposal which would certainly be defeated even in the prior Republican-led Congress--Gonzales decided to spin it from whole cloth. He would construe the Espionage Act of 1917 to include the essence of the Official Secrets Act, and he would try to get this interpretation ratified in the Bush Administration's “vest pocket” judicial districts—the Eastern District of Virginia and the Fourth Circuit. The key man for this project was to be Paul J. McNulty, the man he soon picked as his deputy.
Since the Bush administration has never had a problem with using classification as a means to hide its dirty laundry--and since the DoJ has already identified a test case, the AIPAC prosecution--we may soon have a ruling that would make press exposure of torture, rendition, and illegal surveillance prosecutable acts of espionage.

Many thanks to The Xsociate for the head's up.

12 Comments:

Thanks for the props.

X
Every rebublican's wet dream come true.
Thanks for the props.

My pleausre. It was a good catch. I even missed the WaPo article on the same subject last Friday.

Every rebublican's wet dream come true.

That it is, Aaron. In fact, it could be used against anyone: Bloggers, pundits, whistle-blowers...administration critics of all kinds.
Wow, that's disturbing to read. We may see the rise of anonymous pamphleteering if this becomes law.
Mr. Gonzales has had a free hand to do what he pleases. he has sacntioned torture, allowed unauthrised wire tapping, been responsible firing prosecutors for prosecuting Republicans. He had to face his come uppance some time. I guess he doesn't quite have nine lives after all!
Kathy... Considering what the DoJ has requested to prevent people being anonymous on the Internet, pamphleteering may be all that's left to us.

Ajaz... He's not quite gone yet. Soon, but not yet. We'll see if this measure departs with him.
It would be nice if the MSM STFU once in a while.
What? Can they DO that? Oh, of course, it's the Department of Injustice.
They already have a tight reign on the media, this would put a stranglehold on them and they wouldn't have to play nice-nice. The media would just get their stories directly from the Republican National Committee.
Jenn... Welcome to Blognonymous.

I must say that I'd be more pleased if the MSM would actually say something worth hearing once in a while.

Diva... Well not really. Any court worth it's robes would reject the argument as an infringement on Congress' law-making powers, but the Circuit they've targeted is very pliable and sympathetic to Bu$hCo nonsense.

Peacechick... I can see it now:

Today, the Bush administration did great things. Just trust us on this one.
"You-Know-Who did great things. Terrible, yes. But great"

J.K. Rowling


Voldemort Bush, Darth Cheney and Dr. Evil Rove.

What a trifecta of nasties!
Gee, and I was feeling pessimistic. Thanks for the cheer-up!

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