Bush-era Leaks Were Dangerous After All

by John Hindrake
October 31, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday invoked the state secrets privilege in connection with a case titled Shubert, et al. v. Barack Obama, et al.. The Shubert case is pending in federal district court in San Francisco. Assuming the court agrees with the Obama administration’s position, the case will be dismissed on the ground that it cannot proceed without a danger that vitally important national security secrets will be revealed.

Many commentators have noted that this is one more instance where the Obama administration, now that it is in possession of the facts and charged with responsibility for the nation’s security, has acted in full concert with much-reviled policies of the Bush administration. That’s a valid point, and Holder’s press release on the subject, which you can read here, is almost humorous in its labored attempt to create the impression that use of the state secrets privilege by the Obama administration is somehow different from the identical use of the identical privilege by the previous administration. Holder even invokes “transparency,” which seems ludicrous in light of the broader record of the Obama administration and the nature of the privilege itself. Actually, the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss based on the state secrets privilege is a renewal of a motion the Bush administration originally brought in 2007…

…We and many others denounced that leak, and the Times’ decision to publish information about the Terrorist Surveillance Program, on the grounds that they were illegal and were dangerous to national security. Sadly, neither the leakers nor the Times reporters and editors who blew the program’s secrecy ever went to jail. On the contrary, Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won a Pulitzer Prize for disclosing the existence and nature of the Terrorist Surveillance Program to our enemies…

The complete article is at PowerlineBlog.

Comments are closed.