QUOTE(Amlord @ May 22 2006, 10:26 AM)
I guess I missed the part of the Constitution that exempts journalists from following the law. Of course they can be prosecuted. The government has refrained from doing so up until now out of a respect for the press.
I'm guessing here, but you aren't really serious when you write that this
government has refrained from prosecuting journalists "out of a respect for the press."
Not since The Nixon Administration has there been a presidency which has less regard and less respect for the role of the Fourth Estate than that of George W. Bush. This Administration is obsessed with secrecy, eroding the protections of the First Amendment and hiding the facts from the American public. You really kill me Amlord
with your trust that the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest of that cabal give a rat's butt about open government. No one disputes that the national security of the United States is important. But even national security is secondary
to protecting the Constitutional rights of the American public.
However, the press seems to be at at a nadir when it comes to respect for national security concerns. It seems only appropriate that they be reminded that there are laws regarding this issue.
The proper whistleblower procedure (there is one) is to report this to Congress, NOT to the New York Times.
Bush and the right-wing zealots don't want a free press. They want a compliant, obedient press like their cheerleaders at Faux News. They think that telling people about Gitmo, Abu Gharib, the wiretappings and data mining, the forced renditions of prisoners to other countries to be tortured and WORSE should be kept on the down low. This is all in the name of national security. We're being protected from the terrorists who want to destroy our way of life.
Please. Aren't we past the point where the boogie man of Osama bin Laden can endlessly be used to frighten us into stupidity? Apparently not for some of us.
If you think the likes of Denny Hastert, Bill Frist, Pat Roberts and the other Republican toadies who call themselves "leaders" in Congress are seriously going to challenge the increasingly imperial presidency of George W. Bush, you must be high, Amlord
. Congress has abdicated any responsibility of being the watchdogs of the Bush Adminstration. Lapdogs are their chosen role.
The Cato Institute, far from a bastion of liberalism, has issued a report about the president's lust for hoarding authority within the Executive Branch in a report entitled, Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush
From the summary: In recent judicial confirmation battles, President Bush has repeatedly—and correctly—stressed fidelity to the Constitution as the key qualification for service as a judge. It is also the key qualification for service as the nation's chief executive. On January 20, 2005, for the second time, Mr. Bush took the presidential oath of office set out in the Constitution, swearing to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." With five years of the Bush administration behind us, we have more than enough evidence to make an assessment about the president's commitment to our fundamental legal charter
Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power. In its official legal briefs and public actions, the Bush administration has advanced a view of federal power that is astonishingly broad, a view that includes
* a federal government empowered to regulate core political speech—and restrict it greatly when it counts the most: in the days before a federal election;
* a president who cannot be restrained, through validly enacted statutes, from pursuing any tactic he believes to be effective in the war on terror;
* a president who has the inherent constitutional authority to designate American citizens suspected of terrorist activity as "enemy combatants," strip them of any constitutional protection, and lock them up without charges for the duration of the war on terror— in other words, perhaps forever; and
* a federal government with the power to supervise virtually every aspect of American life, from kindergarten, to marriage, to the grave.
President Bush's constitutional vision is, in short, sharply at odds with the text, history, and structure of our Constitution, which authorizes a government of limited powers. http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6330
Even in it's present corporate-owned, entertainment obsessed, celebrity-worshipping, state of rot, it is primarily the free press that acts as one of the few agencies with the ability to force those in power to give an accounting of their actions to the American public. I shake my head at those myopic partisans who would throw away their right to hold their elected officials responsible for vague assurances that everything they do is done to keep them safe from harm.
In 1977, President Nixon said in an interview with David Frost, Well, if the President does it, it is not illegal.
In 2003, in response to a question about celebrities opposing the Iraq War, pop star Britney Spears said, Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.
The late Supreme Court justice Hugo Black said, Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.
The posters in this thread that would stifle and silence the press have more in common with Richard Nixon and Britney Spears than they do with Hugo Black.
It is NOT the job of the press to expose the secrets that keep us safe. It IS the job of the press to expose the lies behind the secrets that keep those that tell the lies safe. I don't think you understand that Amlord
. It's their job to keep the politicians and generals and bureaucrats sweating bullets and squirming under the pressure that the truth may find them out. It isn't the job of a free press to be the propaganda arm of the war machine.
Democracies die in dark places and there are few darker place than the hearts of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their ilk. The freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment. It isn't some toy for Alberto Gonzales to take away when he's ticked off at the Washington Post
. You sneered at Cruising Ram
for drawing comparisons with Nazi Germany, Amlord
, but what's so different from a minority of monied elites now who believe they and they alone can be trusted to know what is best for the masses, and the rag-tag gang of thugs, failures, psychopaths and killers that Hitler led to power then? We're not creeping toward a Nazi state. We're creeeping toward a fascist state.
I absolutely believe far more in the ability of a free press to tell us about what is truly being done in the name of national security than the pathological liars of the Bush Adminstration. The power to defend the ideas that make America worth saving rests with its people, not politicians. But first, they need to be aware of what is being done by those politicians in their name.