Now on the big screen, Hollywood royalty Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep relive the glory days when American journalism fought for the public’s right to know. Those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end — until now.
The Washington Post made its bones by defying the Nixon Administration to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham went on to bring down their disliked president by exposing Watergate, sunshine being the best disinfectant. Let the people decide, that sort of thing.
Now the Post and its liberal cohorts are trying to bring down another disfavored president by demanding that information be withheld from the public.
The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN & Co. are in a lather that the Devin Nunes/Fusion GPS memo might be released so that Americans can judge for themselves whether the FBI abused its surveillance powers. Memo might undercut the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. As their hero of the hour, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, says, the public won’t be able to understand it. Not enough context. Nuance and all that.
Rachel Maddow last night (01-31-18) was in self-righteous beast mode with word that the FBI was objecting to its release. So there is your 180-degree pivot: the free press/news media of today covers for the government prosecutors it once sought to expose.
Questioning the FBI disrespects law enforcement?
Our liberal-progressive-socialists acquaintances who blame police for crime now demand respect for law enforcement, that being the secretive FBI. The Bill of Rights champions who once condemned an unaccountable J. Edgar Hoover now want no accountability to the elected representatives of the citizenry.
Buried deep into its news story is the NY Times acknowledgement that:
People who have read the 3½-page memo say it contends that officials from the FBI and the Justice Department were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance [FISA] Court judge in seeking the [search] warrant. It says the officials relied on information assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, without adequately explaining to the judge that Democrats had financed the research.
Republicans suspect the FBI whitewashed the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret e-mail server — remember the Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tête-a-tête on the tarmac? In the National Review, Andrew McCarthy writes:
The whitewash of the Hillary Clinton e-mails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. Obama, using a pseudonymous e-mail account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account. If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. … They would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges. That is why such an indictment of Hillary Clinton was never going to happen.
As an antidote, FBI agents bit on the Trump-Russian collusion theory advanced by Steele, the former British spook hired by a research firm (Fusion GPS), financed by the Democrats opposing Trump.
“It’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation [against Trump] during an American political campaign,” said Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes. “Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”
John Doe goes to Washington
What? An investigatory agency going rogue? Prosecutorial over-reach? Does that sound anything like John Doe 2 in Wisconsin?
The Wall Street Journal, heroic defender of the First Amendment in the John Doe, is at the ramparts of freedom on this one, too.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is making a last-ditch effort to block the release of a House Intelligence Committee memo detailing the bureau’s behavior during the 2016 election. This is all the more reason to let Americans see it.
The FBI knows what’s in the memo because it has long known what the House committee was seeking to examine. For months it refused to provide access to those documents until director Christopher Wray and the Justice Department faced a contempt of Congress vote. If they now object to the way the House construes the facts, they should have been more cooperative from the start.
Note the FBI’s language about “material omissions” rather than errors of fact. … Americans need to know if the country’s premier law enforcement agency abused its power to influence a presidential election. — “An unaccountable FBI“
Maybe some day they’ll make a movie about the Wall Street Journal, pre-dawn raids with battering rams and clandestine meetings on the tarmac. Tom Hanks could play Devin Nunes.