Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HuffPo Conflates "Journalism" and "Treason."

Article 3, Section 3 of the United States Constitution says, "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort..."

In recent weeks, we have seen a host of articles from the mainstream press which, if they do not cross that line, get very very close too it.  Very sensitive information, information which can hinder us and our allies while assisting (giving them Aid) our enemies.  This has always been treated very seriously; beyond even the invaluable lives of our brave men and women in uniform, this kind of thing is a very real and direct threat to National Security.

So, of course, Administrations and Congress take it very seriously when it seems that such information is being leaked from sources within the government.  After all, it's one thing if a journalist just puts the pieces together from publicly available information; it's far different if General So-and-So told them.

Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post doesn't seem to understand that.  In fact, he doesn't seem to understand the qualitative difference between "outing" someone who wasn't covert to begin with (he makes frequent reference to Valerie Plame) and outing entire covert operations, such as Drone operations and whether or not the US or Israel were behind Suxtnet.

Let's take a look at some of his more obvious errors before you click over and get a good chuckle at his expense.

"Criminally investigating the kinds of leaks that are the bread and butter of national security investigative reporting is a noxious overreaction by hyper-controlling government officials who don't want us to know what's being done in our name."

That's the very first paragraph.  See that?  "Hyper controlling government officials," you know, like the ones who are responsible for our National Security.  Oh, and they "don't want us to know what's being done in our name."  No, you putz, we don't want our enemies to know it's us doing it.  Are you even capable of understanding the difference?

"There is such a thing as a criminal leak -- for instance, when an administration official intentionally outs a covert CIA operative in an attempt to discredit an administration critic." 

Obviously a reference to Valerie Plame- who was not a covert operative and the release of whose name was not a crime.  If it were a crime, there would have been far worse charges than a mere Perjury charge against "Scooter" Libby.

"In this case, part of the pressure for an investigation came from Congress -- from Sen. John McCain, who accused the Obama administration of leaking for political gain, and from the bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, whose most righteous anger seems to be reserved not for violations of international law, torture statutes or civil liberties, but for those occasions when the public, thanks to aggressive reporting by journalists, knows more than they do about something."

See there!  It's John McCain's fault!  Really, Dan?  And now on to "whose most righteous anger seems to be reserved not for violations of international law, torture statutes, or civil liberties..."  Wow, there's almost too much to deconstruct there.  First: there have been no non-corrected violations of international law.  Perhaps more importantly, "international law" is either (depending on whether you are referencing the World Court or the Geneva Convention) a chimerical fraud or not applicable to non-uniformed combatants.  Second, your liberal crying notwithstanding, the United States has not tortured anyone while combating the Global War on Terror.  Find me someone with bamboo under his fingernails or whose toenails have been pulled out with pliers, then we'll talk.  Finally, there has never been a war waged that was more concerned with civil liberties.  Take a look at the nice vacation spa that is "Club Gitmo."  We treat terrorists better than their own allies.

Now, however, we get to the schadenfreude:

"The six previous times the Obama administration has charged government officials who leaked to the press with Espionage Act violations -- more than all previous presidents combined -- have already sent a chilling message to investigative reporters and the whistleblowers they depend on."

Wow.  Six times he's charged people who violated the law with... wait for it... violating the law.  "But, but, but, he's supposed to be our President!  Not like that mean George Bush!"

"That is ultimately not a good thing for our democracy. And one would have hoped that a president ostensibly devoted to transparency would recognize that."

First off, nitwit, we don't live in a democracy.  We live in a representative republic.  Though, again, I'm not sure you're clever enough to understand the difference.  Second, what's "ultimately not a good thing for our democracy" is a nuclear Iran.  That would ruin your freedom of the press right quick.

Again, you should go read the whole thing, just to laugh at the lib-tears, but it's clear that Mr. Froomkin is yet another media liberal who believes that Freedom of the Press trumps "Freedom not to get nuked."

So let me clear this up for you, Mr. Froomkin, nice and concisely:  These recent leaks are dangerous.  They are dangerous to our men and women in uniform; they are dangerous to our allies.  They are dangerous to our very security.  Congress has not only the authority to investigate this, however much it may "chill" your freedom of the press, they have the duty to do so.  So does the President.  So does the Department of Justice.  I recommend you check your priorities.

4 comments:

  1. MWR, Proud Tea(rrorist) Party HobbitJune 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    "Oh, and they "don't want us to know what's being done in our name." No, you putz, we don't want our enemies to know it's us doing it. "

    CLASSIC.

    The progs must be completely devastated that their Messiah is actually pretending to care about national security now that his administration has been called on the carpet by left and right alike for the quantity and sensitivity of confidential information leaking from their loose lips. "B-b-but, we're on his side! Why is he treating us like we're criminals? All we're doing is publishing national secrets to make him look good! Doesn't he love us anymore?"

    No, he doesn't. Prog Journos, meet the Obama Bus.

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  2. I'll start with the obvious, HuffPo is populated with idiots, and this article doesn't help them on that front.
    However, for the sake of decent discussion, I'll conceed this: it's complicated. The role of the press is of course to keep the government honest to a point. Abuse of government power (which is very possible especially with regards to the use of classification to aid a cover up) is something we all need to be vigilant against.
    The classic example is Watergate. Watergate wasn't exactly great, there was an attempt to use government power to cover it up, and the press twarted that attempt via whistleblowers.
    Of course we're really not dealing with whistleblowers in this case, we're dealing with "football spikers." Which likely renders that discussion moot (and that's where HuffPo gets all turned around.) It is possible to desire and encourage one (whistleblowers) without wanting and also stopping the other (football spikers).

    Interesting note however, as a critique of his use of Obama's prosecuting of people under the Espionage act. From my understanding, may of those are actual whistleblowers, people leaking questionable actions (like executive kill lists) that make the administration look bad. So they aren't "Security actions" they're "reelection actions." (Or we'd already know who was leaking the positive information.)

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    Replies
    1. And if he'd stuck to "you have to be careful with this use of power, because there's a fine line between investigative journalism and leaking sensitive information," I might have left it alone.

      But he believes that the "outing" of Valerie Plame was somehow worse than admitting we were behind Suxtnet, or that we have covert drones killing bad guys. And that could not be allowed to stand.

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