Sunday, May 21, 2006

GONZALEZ: REPORTERS CAN BE PROSECUTED FOR PUBLISHING CLASSIFIED LEAKS

Alberto Gonzalez, the attorney general, drew his line in the sand on Sunday, telling ABC's "This Week" program:
"There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility," Gonzales said, when asked if the government could prosecute journalists for publishing classified information.
The Justice Department is probing a leak last December to The New York Times; the resulting Page One story about the Bush Administration's domestic spying program has created an uproar.

More from the Reuter's story:
Gonzales did not rule out prosecuting the Times or its reporters for publishing the leak.

"We are engaged now in an investigation about what would be the appropriate course of action in that particular case, so I'm not going to talk about it specifically," Gonzales said.

"But as we do in every case, it's a case-by-case evaluation about what the evidence shows us, our interpretation of the law. We have an obligation to enforce the law and to prosecute those who engage in criminal activity," he said.
Gonzalez saved the really scary stuff for his riff on the importance of the First Amendment:
"I will say that I understand very much the role that the press plays in our society, the protection under the First Amendment we want to promote and respect, the right of the press. But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity."
A real right -- freedom of speech -- is trumped by an imaginary right in Gonzalez's wishful world. Benito, Francisco, meet Alberto.

2 comments:

A.McSholty said...

Once again the Neo-Cons have mistaken the Constitution for Charmin.

Sigh.

DocLarry said...

And where is the outrage from the main stream media on Gonzalez's comments? Or any of the other threats the Bush administration has tossed toward journalists? It's tough to defend journalists when they won't defend themselves.