The Crazy Write Winger

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Saturday, February 08, 2003

This whole furor over the so-called "Patriot II" act got me thinking.

Accordidng to Bill Moyers at PBS, the whole thing started when someone from inside the Justice Department telephoned The Center for Public Integrity. This certain someone no doubt also mailed a CONFIDENTIAL copy of the draft legislation to CPI.

What gets me is all the (quite understandable) fuss over "secret government." Journalists would defend the leak as "the public's right to know," then turn right around and claim the identity of the source is protected information.

Well, doesn't the public have "the right to know" about the identities of leakers and informants? This could change the public's perception of a well-intentioned whistle blower into that of a political hack bent on a smear campaign when they don't get their way.

It could well be the leak came from a Clinton-era holdover dispensing copies of legislation that would never have gone before Congress in order to embarrass the Bush administration. It could very well be the drafts were given to Speaker Hastert and Vice-president Cheney, either one of whom could have told the Justice Department verbally that it was unaccepatable in present form.

On the other hand, it could be someone genuinely concerned about civil rights protection.

But we'll never know, will we?

"Today's report confirms that, despite White House scare tactics, Social Security remains sound for decades to come.."

-? Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) upon hearing reports that the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds will go bankrupt even earlier than predicted.

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