from Glen Greenwald @ Salon.com:
The New York Times similarly documented: “the Obama administration is proving more aggressive than the Bush administration in seeking to punish unauthorized leaks.” The Obama DOJ has launched nothing less thana full-on war against whistleblowers; its magnanimous “Look Forward, Not Backward” decree used to shield high-level Bush criminals from investigations is manifestly tossed to the side when it comes to those who reveal such criminality. And they even revitalized an abandoned Bush-era subpoena issued to The New York Times‘ James Risen, demanding that he disclose his source for an article in which he revealed an embarrassingly botched attempt to infiltrate and sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.
But if current reports are correct — that the Obama DOJ has now convened a Grand Jury to indict WikiLeaks and Julian Assange — this will constitute a far greater assault on press freedom than anything George W. Bush managed, or even attempted. Put simply, there is no intellectually coherent way to distinguish what WikiLeaks has done with these diplomatic cables with what newspapers around the world did in this case and what they do constantly: namely, receive and then publish classified information without authorization. And as much justifiable outrage as the Bush DOJ’s prosecution of the AIPAC officials provoked, at least the actions there resembled “espionage” far more than anything Assange has done, as those AIPAC officials actually passed U.S. secrets to a foreign government, not published them as WikiLeaks has done.
I knew that President Obama would need time to deal with the economy after decades of looting, overspending, trade imbalances, NAFTA and the collapse of manufacturing. That doesn’t bother me.
What I find baffling, depressing, discouraging and disheartening is the vigor his administration shows in keeping the war going, allowing war criminals to go free, keeping Guantanamo and rendition in place and going after whistleblowers. Where is this kind of fortitude when dealing with Republican obstinance?
The administration’s knee jerk reaction to Shirley Sherrod and even earlier refusals “to release White House visitor logs that detail meetings between members of the new administration and health-care industry insiders” (Cincinnati Beacon) seems to have fossilized into policy with respect to WikiLeaks and other whistleblowers.
This behavior is beyond sad. This will leave a legacy of shame.
If there is a hat trick or explanation, the rabbit should be pulled out of the hat … now.
And to think Vice President Cheney called this.
I can forgive but I cannot and will not defend it.