For some reason, the FBI thinks Jack Anderson, despite Parkinson's disease, had some papers involving two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who have been criminally charged with receiving classified information. That case is a crock in itself, and to use it to dig through Anderson's archived stuff is just ludicrous.
Among Anderson's targets of old was the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself -- gee, still worried he might have photos of J. Edgar Hoover in a dress after all these years?
Anderson was a hardworking investigative reporter. Among his scoops was exposing the CIA's plots to kill Fidel Castro and breaking details of the Iran-Contra affair. I always liked him because he was so un-Establishment, a Mormon with nine kids. Anderson never had time for the Washington dinner party circuit and never gave a damn about it.
Even some other journalists looked down on him -- he was never part of D.C.'s "cool" in-group. But the proof was in the work, and although he made a few memorable mistakes, he was consistently so far ahead of the pack he made his detractors look like the lazy snobs they were.
Anderson's son Kevin said family members are willing to go to jail rather than let Anderson's papers be confiscated. "It's my father's legacy," he told The New York Times. "The government has always, and continues to this day, to abuse the secrecy stamp. My father's view was that the public is the employer of these government employees and has the right to know what they're up to."
Meanwhile, the Bush administration is so hopelessly confounded by the problems of secrecy, it has now fired a CIA agent for allegedly leaking the truth concerning a gulag of "black site" prisons we keep in Eastern Europe (remember when only the Soviets did that?). And of course Bush claims he has the right to instantly declassify anything in order to back up a phony charge against a political opponent. How lovely.
I listened to that pompous self-righteous blowhard Bill Bennett saying the other day that several reporters who won Pulitzers this year should be in jail. I guess the responsibility of being the Virtue Czar has finally driven Bennett daffy. If he can't see that the problem is an administration that runs torture programs, gulags and illegal domestic spying programs, rather than reporters who find out about these programs and print the truth, then I say it's time for a new Virtue Czar.
Jack Anderson was right: The people in government work for us. What they do is our responsibility because they do it in our name and with our money -- that's why we have a right to know about it.
The other day I heard a young man say, "I have an issue with torture." Turns out he was offended by some scenes in a movie he'd been to. I have an issue with torture, too. I get upset when it's real and it's my country doing it. I guess I wouldn't make a good Virtue Czar.
© Creators Syndicate
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April 28, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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