Media

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Charlie Savage reports:

The creatures outside looked from Democrat to Republican, and from Republican to Democrat, and from Democrat to Republican again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

The author, James Risen, who is a reporter for The New York Times, received a subpoena on Monday requiring him to provide documents and to testify May 4 before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., about his sources for a chapter of his book, "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration." The chapter largely focuses on problems with a covert C.I.A. effort to disrupt alleged Iranian nuclear weapons research.

Mr. Risen referred questions to his lawyer, Joel Kurtzberg, a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel L.L.P., who said that Mr. Risen would not comply with the demand and would ask a judge to quash the subpoena.

The lead prosecutor in the case is William Welch II, the same man heading up the prosecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake for another set of Bush-era leaks. So I'll just quote the same Julian Sanchez post that I cited when Drake was the case du jour:

the contrast [with] the non-reaction to other forms of lawbreaking makes the standard in effect for Bush-era misdeeds clear: If you illegally gathered information on members of the public, Obama's DOJ would rather let sleeping dogs lie. If you illegally tried to get information to the public, you'd better lawyer up. From Main Justice to Fort Meade, message received.

NEXT: Another Awesome Week for Free Speech

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  1. http://apnews.myway.com/articl…..D8I00.html

    Reason ought to be following this case as well.

  2. a remarkably good pic.

    1. a remarkably good CREEPY pic.

      It will haunt my dreams.

      1. Dreams? It’s going to be the source of nightmares.

        1. That’s one of the best political pics I’ve ever seen.

          It is really disturbing. Just like it should be. And you can’t even blame it on Republicans… Who’s it demonizing?

          It’s like a really effective political cartoon for the interweb age.

          And the post is great too!

          1. I agree. That picture is pretty darned cool.

      2. I can’t wait to have my wet dream.

      3. I thought it was pretty damn creepy too. I don’t know what it is, but that picture freaks me out.

  3. John: Your link didn’t work. Could you repost it, or maybe email it to me?

    1. http://apnews.myway.com/articl…..D8I00.html

      Try this. It is about the circus fed versus militia case in Michigan.

      And check this one out to about the FBI agent on the stand.

      http://www.toledoblade.com/art…..343/-1/rss

      1. http://apnews.myway.com/articl…..D8I00.html

        Don’t know if this is the same one.

    2. I can’t get the link to work. It is a short article. Here

      By ED WHITE

      DETROIT (AP) – A federal judge challenged prosecutors Wednesday to show that nine members of a Michigan militia accused of plotting war against the government had done more than just talk and should remain locked up.

      U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts heard nearly 10 hours of testimony and arguments over two days. She did not make a decision about whether the nine will remain in custody, saying only that a ruling would come soon.

      The members of a southern Michigan group called Hutaree have been in custody for a month. An indictment accuses them of weapons violations and a rare crime: conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the government by first killing police officers.

      Prosecutors say the public would be at risk if the nine are released. But defense lawyers claim the government has overreached with a criminal case based mostly on hateful speech.

      An undercover agent infiltrated the group and secretly made recordings that have been played in court. While there is talk about killing police, it’s not specific. In one conversation, there are many people talking over each other and laughing.

      Roberts pressed that point more than once as Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet argued in favor of keeping the nine in jail. The judge suggested she didn’t hear or read in the transcripts any indication that violence was imminent.

      “Mere presence where a crime may be planned is not a crime. … How does this add up to seditious conspiracy?” Roberts said.

      Waterstreet said the government is not required to show all its evidence at this early stage of the case. He referred to the words of militia leader David Stone, 44, of Clayton, Mich., who was recorded by the undercover agent while they drove to Kentucky earlier this year.

      “It’s now time to strike and take our nation back so that we may be free again from tyranny. Time is up,” Waterstreet said, quoting a transcript.

      Later, putting the transcript aside, the prosecutor said: “The theme is the brotherhood is the enemy – all law enforcement.”

      Defense lawyers urged the judge to look at each defendant individually. Although all are charged with conspiracy, they were not always together during critical meetings cited by the government.

      “‘What if’ is not the standard. … None of these words are an instruction to anyone to commit a crime,” said Stone’s attorney, William Swor, as held up a stack of transcripts.

      Arthur Weiss, a lawyer for Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind., said disgust with the government as recorded by the undercover agent is similar to what’s said daily by radio and TV talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

      “Millions of people” are talking about “taking our country back,” Weiss said.

      The judge also heard from relatives of some of the defendants who pledged to be responsible for them if they were released from jail.

      1. Waterstreet said the government is not required to show all its evidence at this early stage of the case.

        True, but the govt IS required to show (or at least identify the existence of) enough evidence to justify holding these people.

      2. Thanks, John. I’m following the Hutaree case and will probably write something about it down the road.

      3. Heh, the “undercover agent” is probably the one who brought up killing police.

        I know it’s wrong, but I confess I would like to see the judge grant bail just to see Rachel Maddow’s head explode.

      4. In the Obama age, conspiring to reinstate the Constitution is a serious crime.

  4. So, TEAM BLUE dipshits…care to defend this? Not a good day for you, is it.

    1. So I can never remember which is “Team Red” and which is “Team Blue,” and it just occurred to me that it may be my subconscious telling me it doesn’t really matter.

  5. *sigh*

    Before the election I confidently predicted that Obama would be better on civil liberties than McCain.

    I’ve got egg all over my face.

    1. You really thought that? Seriously? Were you on a stupid prescription when you thought that? I am really surprised that you thought that. But good for you for admitting it.

    2. I thought that unlikely, because not only does the office have institutional power that all Presidents try to maintain, but it was guaranteed that there would be a Democratic Congress and a compliant press. McCain would at least be likely to back down on something like this in the face of Congressional and press opposition.

      Speaking of which, I’m not even sure that Bush ever tried prosecuting someone for something like this– they may have liked to, but the press furor would have been severe.

      1. It does appear in the article that the Bush Administration obtained a subpoena, but Risen fought it and never complied, and the Administration let it expire rather than jailing him. There was a lot more outrage at that time, of course.

      2. The Executive branch always gets rolled with perhaps the exception of Johnson when there’s a single party in charge.

    3. When looking at the two candidates side by side, I actually thought Obama would be better on civil liberties too. J sub D didn’t day ‘GOOD’ on civil liberties, just ‘BETTER’ than McCain.

      In any case, I am with you J sub D.

      1. When looking at the two candidates side by side, I actually thought Obama would be better on civil liberties too. J sub D didn’t day ‘GOOD’ on civil liberties, just ‘BETTER’ than McCain.

        Yes, and that was absurd IMO, and I said so. The Executive, without exception (except maybe Gerald Ford and Calvin Coolidge), favors Executive Branch Power. The only thing that makes the Executive “better” is Congressional and Press opposition. The Courts are secondary.

        I argued this before the election.

        1. There’s no way to know that this is not better than McCain. That’s the folly of “lesser evil” arguments.

    4. me too. I didn’t think he’d be tons better, but a little bit at least. If for no other reason than I thought we’d get a benign neglect on the WOD instead of exact continuation.

      1. I admit that that I thought that the War on Drugs was the best hope for some benign neglect.

  6. But, but, they make me uncomfortable! I mean other people shouldn’t be able to exercise their rights if it makes me scared. Right?

  7. That picture is gonna leave a scar. Thanks, Reason!! 🙂

  8. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is now formally in open defiance of congressional subpoenas related to the Fort Hood jihadi massacre that took place almost six months ago.

    Remember how irate media liberals (justifiably) were when Bush administration officials like Karl Rove refused to comply with subpoenas? I can’t wait to hear their criticism of Obama now!

  9. Also, I’d like to note that the New York Times is full of morons. They were the ones who were so loud in pushing for the DoJ to expose the leakers in the Valarie Plame affair. Of course the only reliable way to find leakers is to subpoena the one person you know who spoke to them, the journalist. And of course the government, being granted that power, is going to use it against embarrassing leaks instead of pro-government spin leaks.

    What’s the proper metaphor for the opposite of begging to be thrown in the briar patch?

    1. Also, I’d like to note that the New York Times is full of morons.

      In other news, the zoo is full of animals.

    2. “”Also, I’d like to note that the New York Times is full of morons. They were the ones who were so loud in pushing for the DoJ to expose the leakers in the Valarie Plame affair””

      Not Judith Miller.

      1. But the editors sure were.

        The government always had the power to get subpoenas. The only thing restraining it was tradition and the opprobrium of the press and Congress. Then the press started slamming the government to investigate leaks. What did the editors think would happen?

  10. Wow thats incredible. Sad but very true.

    Lou
    http://www.post-anonymously.us.tc

  11. Add a Hitler mustache to the pic and it would be perfect.

  12. Best alt-tag ever !

    1. It was pretty good.

  13. Now, just put those Palin glasses on “him”, and put “him” in a leather skirt, and the nightmare will be complete.

  14. How many nut-kick articles are we gonna have today? I’m starting to get numb.

    1. “”How many nut-kick articles are we gonna have today? I’m starting to get numb.””

      Just work on your iron egg technique.

  15. That picture is so racist. It’s like putting Obama into Bush-face. Or Bush into Obama-face.

  16. Man, that pic is just weird and disconcerting.

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