Saturday, April 21, 2007

remember another alberto plot

When not firing US attorneys for failing to support the Rove "voter fraud" initiative or finding ways to justify torture, remember that de facto Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is busily seeking ways to stop the US media from publishing anything the administration doesn't want them to publish, in particular with respect to terror.

Scott Horton at Harper's notes that Alberto went to Britain a couple of years ago and spoke to his British counterpart about the UK's Official Secrets Act. From a British official in the meeting:
“it was quite amazing really. Gonzales was obsessed with the Official Secrets Act. In particular, he wanted to know exactly how it was used to block newspapers and broadcasters from running news stories derived from official secrets and how it could be used to criminalise persons who had no formal duty to maintain secrets. He saw it as a panacea for his problems: silence the press. Then you can torture and abuse prisoners and what you will—without fear of political repercussions. It was the easy route to dealing with the Guantánamo dilemma. Don't close down Guantánamo. Close down the press. We were appalled by it. But not surprised.”
As Horton notes, it is so much easier to torture and rendition and lock up people without trial if the pesky media just wouldn't write about it. I'm sure it would be easier to rig elections too, if revealing the activity were automatically a crime. Things like the Official Secrets Act are the reason we LEFT the British Empire. Really, this sort of thing isn't just a plot against the first amendment, as Horton called it. It is more accurately a plot against a democratic form of government. Or would you like a media as subservient to power* as they have in Putin's Russia?

*I mean, more subservient than Fox News or the Drudge Report even.


Post a Comment

<< Home