Friday, April 30, 2010

Looking forward, not backward (unless persecuting journalists who reveal government malfeasance)

Glenn Greenwald notes that the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, is attempting to force James Risen to reveal one of his sources for his excellent book State of War. The part of the book that Risen is being hounded because of disclosed nothing that damaged national security, but did reveal gross incompetence on the part of the CIA in stupidly giving Iran information that could help it develop a nuclear program. Indeed, what damages national security is such behavior being hidden from scrutiny and oversight.

Yet it is illegal warrantless surveillance, torture, kidnapping and imprisoning (sometimes to often) innocent persons and frauding the country into a war resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars lost (many of them given to political donors who recieved cost plus and no bid contracts) that gets the "Look forward, not backward" mantra no matter how damaging and deleterious to the nation such actions are, while whistle-blowing is de facto criminalized. As Greenwald put it

This subpoena is being issued in the wake of the Obama DOJ's disgusting indictment of NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake, who also exposed serious official ineptitude (along with corruption and illegality). Indeed, Holder has assigned the same Prosecutor in charge of that prosecution to Risen's Subpoena. Many of the key points write themselves. As John Cole says, this is yet another instance clarifying that Obama's Look Forward, Not Backward protective decree applies only to lawbreaking Bush officials, not to those who expose government wrongdoing or to anyone else (as Cole asks: "can't Risen just claim he tortured someone to get the information, but destroyed the tapes?"; he'd surely be granted immunity then).


malcontent said...

We have yet to see how this event contributes to the warmongers vying for battle with Iran. It sounds an awful lot like a possible banana peel that cannot be denied since it is a serious technology disclosure that gives hard evidence that the Iranians are able to make nukes.

Call me crazy but these incorrigible war drum bangers have had to endlessly make stuff up over the past 10 years. This is the first time they have a concrete example of capability to use.

Hume's Ghost said...

It's not a capability to use, just an example of an incident where the CIA's efforts were counterproductive (something that Legacy of Ashes demonstrated the agency has a long history of doing.) The book is several years old so I doubt the author being harassed legally would effect war mongers one way or the other.