Thursday, January 05, 2006

Risen Shines—NOT

Interesting post on Power Line this morning, discussing a Washington Times story on at least one former NSA official who seems to be "singing" these days, perhaps to the lyrics of a treasonous tune. We'll stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Scott Johnson goes on to explore the condescension of reporter James Risen who seems to think that career bureaucracts get to overrule the directives of elected officials if they don't like them:
In his interview with Katie Couric earlier this week, James Risen sympathetically described the motives of the "nearly a dozen" leakers who discussed the NSA program with him roughly as follows:

"The checks and balances that normally keep American foreign policy and national security policy toward the center kind of broke down. You had more of a radicalization, in which the career professionals were not really given a chance to forge a consensus within the administration. The principals -- Rumsfeld, Cheney Tenet and Rice -- were meeting constantly, setting policy and never allowing the experts, the people who understand the region to have a say."
Scott draws his own logical conclusions:
According to Risen and his sources, national security policy is to be set by "career professionals" rather than by the elected and appointed officials to whom he refers. When the elcted and appointed officials assert the prerogatives of their office, "career professionals" will take the law into their hands and work together with the New York Times to set things right. (Thanks to reader Charles McFarling for the rough transcript of the Risen quote.)
This is precisely the kind of sneering, supercilious condescension that has become rampant in the upper echelons of State and the intelligence communities. The futureworld of the Terminator flicks is a blasted planet being destroyed by highly intelligent warrior robots who are out to exterminate their creators. That nightmare vision may already be operational in the higher reaches of the Federal government. The Bushies are onto these leftist, world-government snobs. That's why this unelected, treasonous cadre is trying to set a scenario where Bush will have to depart Washington prematurely, like Nixon on his last helicopter trip.

We'll place our bets on Chimpy McHitler and the attorney general who are already starting to make their move against these dead-enders.


Left of Center said...

We have laws on the books that ALLOW intelligence operatives the ability to whistleblow. It's a good thing to. never know when Some loose cannon will declare executive privilige, and trample the constitution. Dont by into the "I'm trying to protect you" line. If the Bush White house wanted to protect us we would close our borders and make sure everyone had health care. Risen is a couragious man, and a true Patriot.

Wonker said...

Welcome, left!

Indeed, we do have laws that allow whistleblowing. But you fail to distinguish between whistleblowing and treasonous activity as defined in the Constitution and undertaken here by the so-called whistleblowers and their accomplices in the Fourth Estate. Al Quaeda is already adapting its communications strategies as a result of the detailed info provided to them from our "patriotic" leakers via Risen et. al. Ergo, these leakers are arguably treasonous operatives, not whistleblowers.

The left seems to regard treason as some kind of quaint, antiquated notion, but it's still right there in the Constitution and hadn't been amended out last time I looked. Of course, the Marxist-Leninists of the American left doctrinally don't believe in the legitimacy of the U.S. government anyway. Thus, they transmogrify the very notion of treason into a theoretical impossibility. A nice dialectical trick, but its sun is rapidly setting as people in all political spectra catch on to the language slights-of-hand that are a crucial part of the left's astonishingly successful propaganda toolbag.

In the intelligence community, operatives are free to contact Congressional oversight committees to share their concerns if they feel someone is going awry. The only intent of the current leakers in running to the NYT as opposed to the legitimate path afforded them by Congressional oversight was to damage this administration, not to protect civil liberties. As I am sure you know, one's stated intent and one's actual intent can and often are at variance.

I am not certain how closing our borders and assuring health care have anything to do with "protecting" us from the kind of guys who blow up skyscrapers or lie awake nights trying to figure out how to drop a dirty bomb on the Superbowl. However, I'm sure no one on the left is in favor of running a fence along our border with Mexico, right? But this diversion is a nice way of changing the argument.

Risen, a patriot? Please. The Rosenbergs were "patriots," too, just exercising their "constitutional right" of free speech to transfer U.S. nuclear secrets to their benevolent comrades in Moscow. This and related Marxist-inspired verbal arabesques are getting a little old. The "patriot" dodge is a time-honored trick frequently employed by my friends on the hard left to smudge the already indistinct dividing line between First Amendment rights on one hand, and treason and sedition on the other. It's not working any more.