.... before his nomination was formally announced, the White House chose Bill Kristol to announce his selection and, in a lengthy article, to vouch to conservatives for what a fine AG Mukasey would make.Right. No free press, no real journalism, no ability for checks and balances over the worst administration ever. Thanks.
Mukasey was a long-time supporter of the neocons' favorite candidate, Rudy Giuliani and, prior to becoming Attorney General, was part of the Giuliani campaign. And it was Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer -- both with neoconservative leanings (war supporters both, among other things) -- who jointly enabled Mukasey's confirmation by becoming the only Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote in his favor.
Although there are still facts missing -- such as whether this Subpoena was actually approved by Mukasey rather than Gonzales -- it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the Grand Jury Subpoena was done at least with Mukasey's assent. It seems rather clearly to signify the intent of his Justice Department to more aggressively pursue reporters who disclose information embarrassing to the President.
It's hard to overstate how threatening this behavior is. The Bush administration has erected an unprecedented wall of secrecy around everything it does. Beyond illegal spying, if one looks at the instances where we learned of lawbreaking and other forms of lawless radicalism -- CIA black sites, rendition programs, torture, Abu Ghraib, pre-war distortion of intelligence, destruction of CIA torture videos -- it is, in every case, the by-product of two forces: government whistleblowers and reporters willing to expose it.Grand Jury Subpoenas such as the one issued to Risen have as their principal purpose shutting off that avenue of learning about government wrongdoing -- the sole remaining avenue for a country plagued by a supine, slothful, vapid press and an indescribably submissive Congress. Mukasey has quickly demonstrated that he has no interest in investigating and pursuing lawbreaking by high government officials, but now, he (or at least the DOJ he leads) seems to be demonstrating something even worse: a burgeoning interest in investigating and pursuing those who expose such governmental lawbreaking and turning those whistleblowers and investigative journalists into criminals.
And tell us again how waterboarding is not torture, Mukasey. That one is always good for a laugh.
Update: Glenn Greenwald links to Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent:
The Justice Department is going after New York Times reporter Jim Risen for the non-crime of revealing President Bush’s illegal domestic surveillance program. It’s pathetic and unsurprising—a fixture of Bush Justice—that the activity DOJ pursues isn’t the blatant illegality of Bush violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but instead the fact that government sources blew the whistle to a great investigative reporter. The right response from the press, and the public, is to put one arm around Risen and, with the other arm, extend a single finger in the direction of the Justice Department.