Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Everything You Thought You Knew is [REDACTED]

Sheesh, it just keeps getting worse and worse, scarier and scarier.

F.B.I. Is Seeking to Search Papers of Dead Reporter

WASHINGTON, April 18 — The F.B.I. is seeking to go through the files of the late newspaper columnist Jack Anderson to remove classified material he may have accumulated in four decades of muckraking Washington journalism.

Mr. Anderson's family has refused to allow a search of 188 boxes, the files of a well-known reporter who had long feuded with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and had exposed plans by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Fidel Castro, the machinations of the Iran-contra affair and the misdemeanors of generations of congressmen.
. . .

But the F.B.I.'s quest for secret material leaked years ago to a now-dead journalist, first reported Tuesday in the Chronicle of Higher Education, seems unprecedented, said several people with long experience in First Amendment law.
. . .

Kevin Anderson said said F.B.I. agents first approached his mother, Olivia, early this year.

"They talked about the Aipac case and that they thought Dad had some classified documents and they wanted to take fingerprints from them" to identify possible sources, he recalled. "But they said they wanted to look at all 200 boxes and if they found anything classified they'd be duty-bound to take them."

Both Kevin Anderson and Mr. Feldstein, the journalism professor, said they did not think the columnist ever wrote about Aipac.

Mr. Anderson said he thought the Aipac case was a pretext for a broader search, a conclusion shared by others, including Thomas S. Blanton, who oversees the National Security Archive, a collection of historic documents at George Washington.

"Recovery of leaked C.I.A. and White House documents that Jack Anderson got back in the 70's has been on the F.B.I.'s wanted list for decades," Mr. Blanton said.

Mr. Carter of the F.B.I. declined to comment on any connection to the Aipac case or to say how the bureau learned that classified documents were in the Anderson files.

I can't even think of a way to comment on this. It's just chilling. The horse is out of the barn, boys. You have bigger things to worry about today.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

God and Country

Garry Wills has an interesting op-ed in the New York Times today, "Christ Among the Partisans."
THERE is no such thing as a "Christian politics." If it is a politics, it cannot be Christian.

. . .

The Romans did not believe Jesus when he said he had no political ambitions. That is why the soldiers mocked him as a failed king, giving him a robe and scepter and bowing in fake obedience (John 19:1-3). Those who today say that they are creating or following a "Christian politics" continue the work of those soldiers, disregarding the words of Jesus that his reign is not of this order.

Some people want to display and honor the Ten Commandments as a political commitment enjoined by the religion of Jesus. That very act is a violation of the First and Second Commandments. By erecting a false religion — imposing a reign of Jesus in this order — they are worshiping a false god. They commit idolatry. They also take the Lord's name in vain.

It will, of course, be ignored by everyone on both sides.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's Only A Matter of Time

So "Scooter" Libby says that President Bush authorized the release of classified information to reporters.

How much do you want to bet that next week, Libby retracts that statement and instead insists that, "Raymond Shaw George W. Bush is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Bonus questions: Who in the Libby family will Karl Rove have threatened to have hurt in order to clinch the retraction? What will he have threatened to have done?

The really big question, though, is this: If it wasn't a leak because the president authorized it, and it wasn't classified because the president has the authority to declassify any intelligence information he sees fit, then why have we spent close to three years hunting down "the leaker"?

I suppose it's because this is really a separate incident from the divulgence of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent that started the whole investigation. They are connected, though, and the current of classified information being passed from the White House to select reporters (and one has to wonder what pillow talk Jeff Gannon was privy to, and whose head was on the other pillow) means that the president is going to have a more difficult time distancing himself from the Plame affair. Indeed, the question may now be: What did the president know and when did he know it?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Aiiiieeee!!!


Wow! Who decided that that was the best picture for Andrea Mitchell to use for the cover of her book? Not the author photo in the little box on the inside flap, but the full on front cover?

I guess I'm a little late to this, considering that the book apparently came out last year, but I stumbled across it in a bookstore this afternoon and just had to marvel. It's either incredibly daring or immensely deluded.

I think it's the mouth. There's something unnatural about it.



(Joker image found here.)