April 21, 2006

Spin Spin Sugar

Remember when people were just furious about 'leaks' in general? Ah, those were the good ol' days. Then we find out we have a Leaker-In-Chief, and suddenly...oh dear me, speciation of leaks. To wit, count the number of times the careful placement of the descriptor illegal appears in the following rant from a Michigan Republican from TIME's website, concerning the recent firing of a CIA employee found to have disclosed information about 'extraordinary rendition' flights:
A spokesman for House intelligence committee chairman Peter Hoekstra applauded the break branding the former employee's unauthorized disclosure an illegal leak and calling for its prosecution. Jamal Ware said Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, "applauds the diligent and hard work done by the CIA to identify this person who took it upon themselves to illegally leak our nation's secrets. Chairman Hoekstra is fully supportive of any and all efforts to prosecute this person and anyone else who illegally discloses our national secrets." Ware called the rare identification of a leaker "a solid victory in the effort to halt illegal leaks."
Note: This isn't just a 'leak.' It's an illegal leak. This person must be hunted down. This is different from what the President did, of course. For one thing, it's different because the President said it's different, and what he says, goes; for another, this person leaked information about a practice that is deeply unsettling to the principles on which this nation purports to be founded, whereas the President directed the disclosure of apparently known false information in order to discredit an opposing point of view.

Um.

Note: I'm not saying the CIA employee should get a pass. They did, indeed, sign a form saying they wouldn't do this. They did it in full knowledge of the penalties that applied, and those penalties are appropriately levied here. I'm just saying that it's fascinating how quickly certain parties are trying so very hard to distinguish this from a much, much weaker case in which no penalties whatsoever are even being discussed.

Posted by jbz at April 21, 2006 8:54 PM | TrackBack

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