The Justice Department's recent actions towards the media is so disturbing because it represents a step backward to a much uglier time, with fewer legal protections for the press. There is a very fine line between targeting leaking and targeting the media who print the leaks.
Human rights activists have, correctly, defended the rights of terror suspects who have professed the most violent, anti-Semitic and misogynist views. They need now to defend those with whom they apparently disagree more--American citizens on the right.
The case of Jeremy Hammond is illustrative of a trend to target, overcharge and come down hard on those the state perceives as threatening. The supposed threats are due to their beliefs and/or actions toward information freedom and transparency.
We take for granted a loss of privacy for all manner of data generated by our connection to, and use of, the internet. But government's access, on a secret basis, to the content of my communications -- that is a difference in kind that is exponentially more "chilling."
Some weeks, not much happens in political news, and other weeks it seems like almost too much happens. This was one of the latter types of week.
The topic of sexuality is subject to the same principles of academic freedom as any other topic. Sexual harassment is wrong because it is harassment, not because it is sexual.
If he weren't president today, Professor Obama would be up in arms over the actions of President Obama and his administration. In fact, he was up in arms over similar things involving the administration of President Bush.
On the other end of the political spectrum from all of the foolishness in D.C. is a groundswell of terrific, on-the-ground activism and organizing work taking place across the country in just about every state, with tangible results.
Yesterday, homeowners who have been royally screwed over by big Wall Street banks risked not only arrest but worse in demonstrations at the Department of Justice demanding that they start prosecuting bankers rather than the people ripped off by them.
Hundreds of homeowners who have been playing by the rules while the big banks have cheated them are risking arrest at the Department of Justice to make an unmistakable statement: it is about time for the government to side with poor and middle class folks.
"You know you cannot trust them They know they can't trust you." -Steve Goodman (Jimmy Buffett) "Now Watergate does not bother me Does your conscien...
Unlimited exports of U.S. natural gas without restoring honest supply-and-demand-based markets worldwide will permit us to kiss goodbye to the jobs that would have been created, as gas prices will be pumped to artificially determined world levels, much to the glee of the 'oil patch.'
The week of May 17th, 2013 pits IRS scandals with phone hacking, Kanye West, stem cells, and David Beckham, leaving shocking news for every type of person.
I might suggest that we first take a deep breath and make an effort to put the events of the past week in some perspective, but I know it wouldn't do any good. There is blood in the water and in deeply partisan Washington, the struggle for advantage and power always trumps reality.
Critics of the Justice Dept.'s subpoena of AP telephone records have shamelessly mischaracterized the Dept.'s actions and the purposes for them. Any interference with the free press merits close scrutiny, but that scrutiny needs to consider just what the Dept. actually has done and why.
Three scandals have converged in the past week to preoccupy Congress and the press. Benghazi was the first to come, and it has surprised by its staying power. The abuse of power by the IRS may be, in the long run, the most damaging of these cases for the Obama presidency, but its outlines are only beginning to emerge. But the ugliest of the scandals has come from the revelation of the justice department's seizure of two months of phone calls by 100 AP reporters. This was done to investigate the leak of a thwarted terrorist plot which the government itself had already decided to disclose in public. Different as they are, the scandals all point to a single disorder that afflicts the Obama White House and the Holder justice department. The name of the disorder is paternalism, and its leading symptoms are suppression and secrecy.