A short note on the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers


Every now and then a strange paragraph slips by the editors of the New York Times. Today, the dead-tree paper features a story on its front page about the Obama administration’s surprisingly aggressive prosecution of people who leak government secrets. Right there, only six paragraphs down:

In 17 months in office, President Obama has already outdone every previous president in pursuing leak prosecutions. His administration has taken actions that might have provoked sharp political criticism for his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was often in public fights with the press.

Sometimes the truth is too obvious to ignore.

Much as one might welcome the Obama administration’s new concern for national security, one is almost forced to point out the Machiavellian angle: The article leads with the case of Thomas A. Drake, who leaked a good part of the “NSA wiretapping” story that did so much to energize the media and the left against the Republicans. In other words, President Obama is aggressively prosecuting somebody who made an important contribution to his own election. We doubt that he has failed to consider the collateral political benefit, that he will deter “dissenters” in his own government from leaking against him.

Read the whole thing.

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