Rep. Peter King (R-New York) went on CNN yesterday for a two-minute paean to unfettered executive power:
Every politician and commentator and citizen who mouths King-like denunciations of Edward Snowden's leaks needs to run, not walk, to this great Reuters column on the topic by Jack Shafer. Excerpt:
[E]ven as the insults pile up and the amateur psychoanalysis intensifies, keep in mind that Snowden's leak has more in common with the standard Washington leak than should make the likes of [David] Brooks, [David] Simon and [Richard] Cohen comfortable. Without defending Snowden for breaking his vow to safeguard secrets, he's only done in the macro what the national security establishment does in the micro every day of the week to manage, manipulate and influence ongoing policy debates. [...]
Secrets are sacrosanct in Washington until officials find political expediency in either declassifying them or leaking them selectively. [...] For instance, President George W. Bush's administration declassified or leaked whole barrels of intelligence, raw and otherwise, to convince the public and Congress making war on Iraq was a good idea. Bush himself ordered the release of classified prewar intelligence about Iraq through Vice President Dick Cheney and Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to New York Times reporter Judith Miller in July 2003.
Sometimes the index finger of government has no idea of what the thumb is up to. In 2007, Vice President Cheney went directly to Bush with his complaint about what he considered to be a damaging national security leak in a column by the Washington Post's David Ignatius. "Whoever is leaking information like this to the press is doing a real disservice, Mr. President," Cheney said. Later, Bush's national security adviser paid a visit to Cheney to explain that Bush, um, had authorized him to make the leak to Ignatius.
In 2010, NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff detailed similar secrecy machinations by the Obama administration[.]
Please do read the whole thing.