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If the Administration were really serious about showing that it has not engaged in leaks of high-level classified information for political gain, Attorney General Holder would not make such obtuse statements like:

I was getting hammered by the left for that [bringing more leaks cases than any other administration] only two weeks ago, and now I'm getting hammered by the right for potentially not going after leaks. It makes for an interesting dynamic.
I'll give Holder the benefit of the doubt for being smart enough to know how intellectually dishonest such a statement is.

But in case he is truly confused, I will explain below.

With due respect General Holder, you were getting hammered by the left for bringing more "leak" prosecutions than all previous administrations combined, using the heavy-handed Espionage Act to go after people who, more often than not, are whistleblowers.

What you are getting hammered for now by both Democrats and Republicans is the myriad "authorized leaks" by the Executive branch--including but not limited to the bin Laden raid, foiled undie-bomber 2.0 plot, the Stuxnet virus to disrupt Iran's nuclear program, and the "Kill List"--for apparent political gain.

In case you forgot, the whistleblowers (some of them my clients) you have pursued criminally include:

Shamai Leibowitz - FBI translator who disclosed information to a blogger because of his all-too-real fear that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move his saw as potentially disastrous.

Tom Drake - NSA senior executive who disclosed what turned out to be (contrary to the government's assertions) unclassified information about a failed and wasteful multi-billion dollar NSA domestic spying program that compromised Americans' privacy.

Steven Kim - State Department arms expert accused of disclosing that North Korea was planning to respond to a U.N. Security Council resolution by setting off a nuclear test.

Jeff Sterling - CIA officer who accused of revealing a bothched program in which we gave flawed nuclear design information to Iran.  But the flaw was so obvious, Iran detected the ruse, and in the process we turned over actual useful nuclear secrets.

John Kiriakou - CIA officer who disclosed that torture was a policy and not a rogue improvisation, and that waterboarding is torture. He's accused of revealing to Gitmo detainee lawyers the identity of one of the officers who tortured the detainees.

Bradley Manning - Army private who allegedly revealed what he thought (and no one has disagreed that the "Collateral Murder" video showed) were war crimes.

This blog is not about debating the merits of these cases.  That is happening in the courts. Rather, I submit, that if the Administration is serious about quelling the leak mania, it doesn't need to launch MORE leak investigations.

I said this loud and clear on DEMOCRACY NOW! here:

Instead, it needs to do a serious, critical, self-examination about what information the public has a right to know--both good and bad, both laudatory and embarrassing, both intentional or mistaken--in order to have the kind of informed and meaningful public debate essential to a functioning democracy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think he's truly confused either (4+ / 0-)

    I think it's calculated cynicism about who is going to be covering the story of his testimony.

    This administration leaks. It can say that it doesn't, but it does, and an individual would have to choose to live in utter denial to think otherwise. The only thing about leaking is to the degree of proportions of strategic premeditated leaks approved by the administration to random unsanctioned leaks let out by inside individuals with their own reasons, considerations, and agendas.

    Eric Holder has been in town long enough to understand that the DC beltway media, and especially much of it's punditry class, simply loves "both sides do it" false equivalencies and fake balance, and by offering it up it's likely to be a top-shelf part of the media narrative about his testimony. Should the GOP continue to keep getting their Issa on, and it's likely that getting their Issa on will be a non-stop matter for the rest of Obama's time in office, that 'we are being picked on unfairly' background meme makes it easier for the administration to spin later.

    We are doing our jobs, and getting 'unfairly' hammered all over from all sides for it.

    I posted this in Bob Swern's diary the other day, but I think it bears repeating, and relates to administration calculations going forward: they know the mediocre ref that is the traditional media, they know the red meat wing of the GOP, and they know their voters have other considerations besides their anger and outrage at things the administration does that they don't personally approve of, but they can't afford another W. in the White House in these dark times.

    This is hard to say, but. I believe that the large amount of silence on the Democratic side when the current administration does things that many would not accept from a Republican administration has moved beyond the Rox vs. Sux dynamic and into a new area. I think it reflects a growing, and probably very realistic, fear that due to circumstances beyond anybodies control in this country as it is, Obama could lose to Romney. This is going to be one of the most expensive, as well as one of the dirtiest, Presidential campaign in history, and this ain't Dole v. Clinton in '96 where the outcome is a foregone conclusion. A crisis in Europe that Obama can do nothing about could sink him as it is. That has, and I am not saying that this is right or a good thing, made a lot of Democratic voters, and pols, wary of voicing their objections to things they find objectionable out of fear of doing anything that ends up helping the GOP take the White House back.

    I find a lot of people who don't believe in, or who profoundly dislike, the administration's Drone policy muting themselves either by biting their lips, or tongues, or both, because this is going to be a rough election and the outcome being uncertain is messing with people's heads and hearts.

    There has been a background meme in the Democratic ranks for a while now that, especially when it comes to Obama, that overwhelming people power on the ground could outperform Citizen's United bullshit tsunamis on the air, and Wisconsin may have fundamentally struck that comforting background belief from a lot of people that believed in the idea pretty strongly before.

    The cynic's, or the realist's, cold calculation being made is that there are enough torpedos and bullets being sent Obama's way from the Right that even if Obama does something infuriating, wrong, or backtracking in the time he has left in his first term, the worst of Obama is better than the best of Romney. The calculus being that while Obama might do something bad, Mitt Romney will do nothing but nonstop worse or much worse.

    I think it's fair to say that the administration leaks, as every administration does inevitably, when the information that is leaked is something that benefits/suits them. This White House has a lot of its own dedication to the idea of the Imperial Presidency in it when it comes to Presidential power.

    I'm a supporter of the President, will vote for him in November, but I'm not going to look the other way or stay silent about things it does that I believe are wrong. I loathe the administration's drone policy, it's war on whistleblowers, and, thankfully thought it has just profoundly changed it's direction to a better place, it's being the cold-hearted deportation champion of record.

    The closer we get to November the more and more of a minority opinion this is likely to get, and I don't believe that reality is lost one bit on this White House, anymore than understanding how the beltway media really thinks and acts is lost on this White House when moments like Holder's statement comes up in public testimony.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 07:28:38 AM PDT

    •  All administrations leak including (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, gerrilea

      the infamous BushCo. Now the thing about leaks is that they benefit somebody and not always  the "enemy". They give us, the ruled, some insight into our rulers. But the GOP is very disingenuous here with their whining. And they never have given a shite about us, the ruled, either.

      But yeah, that has been our dilemma - how do we affect change in this administration without giving more ammo to the opposition.  I think it is becoming clear that our beefs are not the GOP's beefs so we CAN rant all we want and they won't cudgel the administration over it. Especially security issues where the GOP wants just as many draconian things as does the administration. Unless it is about jobs and here the GOP has a giant weakness and could be shafted with the same rhetorical arrows.

      To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

      by glitterscale on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:39:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shaft the GOPigs with rhetorical arrows? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, gerrilea, blueoasis

               "A man must make his own arrows." - Winnebago Indian Proverb
                    Why not make our own arrows to shaft them with?

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:24:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. We know some things about them (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, joe wobblie, blueoasis

          They don't mind being incompetent or corrupt or loyal to cronyism, but they do hate being viewed as cowardly. They might be skewered quite properly if we could point out they have not exercised true conservative principles because of their cowardlyness. True conservatives would not throw us into indebtedness to kill the government on Grover Norquist's say so. That is just plain stupid and cowardly. They are too cowardly to stand up to Norquist and to Rush Limbo. They are too spineless to stand up and do their proper duty as representatives.

          And greedy, they are too greedy to let go of corporate slush funds and tell the SCOTUS that corporations are not people. McCain actually did that. Are they less than McCain?

          To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

          by glitterscale on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 01:37:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Holder has been hammered from the (8+ / 0-)

    left for not prosecuting enough white collar criminals, but that has never bothered him or anyone in this administration. While the people who caused this terrible financial crisis are treated like rock stars, American citizens at the bottom rung of the ladder are getting hammered for the smallest of infractions, and too many U.S. citizens are dying at the hands of police officers.

    There's not very many reasons to be proud of our judicial system these days.

  •  And we blame people for voting to cut taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    When people lose faith in government they stop supporting it.  

  •  Jesselyn, thanks for the update and the link (4+ / 0-)

    to your interview, great as always.

    Do you really believe anything needs to be explained to Mr. Holder?

    I find that idea at odds when he claims this:

    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.
    I have a "what if":

    What if the administration finds out "x" news outlet is going to release info given to them that reveals "y"...Does this mean if they (any administration) claim it's a national security issue, all it would take is for someone to sign off on having the leaker(s) assassinated? Or worse the editor of "x" news outlet?

    Sounds like it to me...the words Mr. Holder uses are chosen very well and his actions speaks volumes.

    How do you shut down a free and open society?

    He's made clear his position(s), he's now following through with it.

    National security does not trump the Constitution or over 200 yrs of judicial "due process".

    What's to stop any future administration from deciding that heck we don't need anyone to "sign off" on anything, "it's national security", the agent in the fields word is good enough?

    Does this not now equate to his definition of "due process", that being anything they decide it to be, today, tomorrow or next year????

    Jesselyn, we all should be very frightened but I'm truly grateful for you making a stand against all this.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:59:06 PM PDT

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