From Pentagon Papers to NSA Wiretapping: NYT and Freedom of the Press,
“Speaking Freely” is an extraordinary book that documents, over and over again, why our national security lies not only in force of arms but also in, quoting Judge Murray Gurfein (June 1971), a “cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitious press (that) must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.”
The Cheney-Bush Administration is moving toward totalitarianism, and appears seriously stupid (another of those ideological fantasies) in believing that they can cover up their ineptitude by censoring the press.
See my reviews of The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11; How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok and The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office to better understand what other authorities are saying about the lunacy of this position. These two guys are a combination of impeachable (mostly Cheney) and laughingstock (mostly Bush) who have leveraged the extremist Republican machine to steal two presidential elections and violate so many international and domestic laws as to be richly eligible for a public tarring and feathering.
This book, “Speaking Freely,” is a massive vaccination for the public against the disease of “state secrecy” that is used to cover up incompetence, inpropriety, and high crimes and misdemeanors richly deserving of impeachment.
Please note that the law suit of the New York Times for “blowing” NSA's capabilities is actually a cover-up for the fact that we are going deaf and blind because Al Qaeda is not stupid–they have been moving “offline” since 9-11, and the Administration is preparing to pretend that their failure to be effective against Al Qaeda is the fault of the New York Times.
Floyd Abrams may well be one of the most valuable Americans in modern history. He defended the NYT in the Pentagon Papers, and won. Today, the NYT should rely on the sensibility of the people to defend them. Deep in his book, Counselor Abrams makes the point that journalists MUST have the freedom to listen to sources “off the record,” and he places the burden for protecting secrets on those who choose to leak them for whatever reason.
I am reminded that the incumbent President is the “leaker in chief” who seems to make the law suit his needs. As one Constitutional lawyer has stated, he has the power neither to interpret the law nor make the law. It is George Bush, and his string puller Dick Cheney, who are “out of bounds” and richly deserving of impeachment.
For additional perspective:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back