16 Mar 2004 Do As I Say, Not As I Do
NCPPR executive director David Almasi points out the selective secrecy of the liberals:
What exactly is the liberal policy on secrecy and propriety? From their actions, it appears to be “Do as I say, not as I do.”
When Clarence Thomas appeared to be a shoo-in for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, the liberals had no problem with the release of the classified files – allegedly leaked by an aide to then-Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) – that made Anita Hill a household name and nearly torpedoed the Thomas nomination. Likewise, the stolen “Pentagon Papers” of the Vietnam era were important enough for the Washington Post and New York Times to face off against the government for the right to print these classified files in their entirety.
When the shoe is on the other foot, things are different. Of late, it first was the discovery of a Senate Intelligence Committee memo – authored by liberal staffers – that laid out a plan to conduct an investigation on intelligence methods used in the war on terrorism and the justification for the liberation of Iraq in a manner that would be the most damaging to the Bush Administration as the President runs for re-election.
This outrage was largely forgotten when 13 memos leaked from the Senate Judiciary Committee were published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and the web site of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. The memos, written during the period when liberals ran the Committee, indicate that liberal special interests virtually controlled the judicial confirmation process during that time. In one memo, it’s implied the NAACP successfully delayed a confirmation in an attempt to influence the verdict in the University of Michigan affirmative action case. The allegation was made stronger since the head of the NAACP’s legal group resigned shortly after a complaint was filed against her with regard to the memo’s content.
The liberal reaction to the memos? It wasn’t shame or regret over the content, but anger and the thirst for revenge that they became public knowledge. Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) played into this strategy. He focused on the leak and not the content of the memos. Every time he and other Senate leaders gave into a demand, the liberals made a new one. The Senate sergeant-at-arms had his staff confiscate computers, interrogate Republican staffers and recently released a report on the findings.
The report was released last week, but the findings were less than damning on their main target: Manny Miranda. A former counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (R-TN), Miranda resigned at the insistence of Hatch. Since the report didn’t produce the hoped-for repercussions, the Senate liberals are asking for the Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation.
When the sergeant-at-arms’ report was released to the press, it was supposed to be edited to protect the identities of some staff members who were interviewed. An unedited version, however, was handed out. Those who question the impartiality of the sergeant-at-arms suggest the release was intentional so as to hurt the reputation of Republican staff members cited in the report. In the future, those staffers can harbor a lingering concern that their involvement in the investigation, as cited by the report, may keep them from getting a job even though they were not involved in any wrongdoing. Despite efforts to collect all of the unedited reports, copies still exist in the public domain.
This sets the stage for the newest case of liberal selective secrecy. The uncensored report is available online at the Calpundit blog. Blogger Ken Drum endorsed Democrat Wesley Clark for President, and his blog is rife with Democratic campaign links and liberal commentary. While he is appalled by the leak of the Judiciary Committee memos, he has no apparent problem with subverting the Senate’s desire to keep parts of their report secret. While an edited version of the report exists online (like the one we’ve linked to), Drum is contentedly spilling secrets.
Drum isn’t a high-profile figure like a U.S. senator and the unedited sergeant-at-arms’ report is not the Pentagon Papers, but Drum still functions as an important cog in the liberal political machinery. President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Frist and Chairman Hatch should keep him and his actions in mind the next time they consider giving in to another liberal demand for power on the judicial issue or anything else.