Friday, December 30, 2005

Getting Around To Adult Supervision

With all the leaks about previously secret and classified programs designed to gather intel on terrorist operations worldwide and those that may have contacts in the US, someone ought to lay down the law against these leakers.

Who do they think they are? Are they above the law? The leakers certainly think that's the case.

Someone better disabuse them of this notion, and quick.

Before lives are lost in a terrorist attack that could have easily been prevented had the programs not been exposed and the terrorists altered their methods accordingly.

And another question that ought to be asked is what exactly was the purpose for these leaks in the first place? Was it to discredit and undermine a President and his Administration for political gain? Were there truly legal concerns that outweigh even the war effort? From what I've read of FISA, the applicable law, and the legal arguments, unless the leaker was a legal scholar and intimately knowledgable in all the applicable law, it is not a slam dunk case of illegal actions despite the media claims to the contrary. For every expert trotted forth by the media, there are others who can provide cogent analysis showing that the Administration was well within its legal rights to take these actions. Or, was it because the leakers thought that they could become the Ellsberg of this generation and gain the notoriety that comes with exposing secret efforts to prosecute and win a war?

After all, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, which quickly undermined Nixon's war effort and became an instant hero to the Left despite the fact that the documents themselves catalogued the extent to which Lyndon Johnson prosecuted and expanded the war despite his claims to the contrary. It showed the levels to which the US and the Pentagon went to prosecute the war in Vietnam - including escalating the conflict to include incursions into Laos and Cambodia.

The release of those documents - and published in the New York Times (which was later sued and became the seminal case New York Times Co. v. US. The S.Ct. held in a 6-3 decision that the injunctions to cease publication were unconstitutional prior restraints and that the government had not met the heavy burden of proof required for prior restraint. Expect the Times to reiterate the same arguments in its defense of publication and of the journalists themselves.

This is sure to be one of the hot topic bloggings of the early new year. And be sure to read AJ Strata (who should be a daily read - and on some days, hourly), Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, Powerline (who wonders about the political overtones of these revelations), and Big Lizards (another daily read). Others blogging the subject: Ace of Spades, The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, Atlas Shrugs, Prawfsblawg, NewsHog, PunditGuy, Blackfive, MacsMind (who is another in the know source), and Flopping Aces.

Still more bloggers covering the NSA leak investigation: Sister Toldjah, Baldilocks, Don Singleton, The Political Pit Bull, Mark Tapscott, Outside the Beltway, Jeff Goldstein (a must read - and has links to Clinton era program that did substantially the same as Bush is now accused of doing illegally), Enlighten NJ, Small Town Veteran, Cassandra at Tigerhawk provides a history lesson, and Gateway Pundit.

Posted to Basil's Blog, Adam's Blog, Conservative Cat, and Don Surber, and TMH Bacon Bits.

UPDATE 12/31/2005:
Submitted to Wizbang's Carnival of Trackbacks.

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