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Stop the Press(es)

Few remember it and it hasn't gotten much play in light of all the other scandals that have emerged since then but it would appear that Attorney General Gonzales is going to proceed with his selective enforcement of the law. In this case, by clamping down on what the press can report.

From Harper's Magazine:
In June, a case is slated to go to trial in Northern Virginia that will mark a first step in a plan to silence press coverage of essential national security issues. The plan was hatched by Alberto Gonzales and his deputy, Paul J. McNulty—the two figures at the center of a growing scandal over the politicization of the prosecutorial process. This may in fact be the most audacious act of political prosecution yet. But so far, it has gained little attention and is poorly understood.

In the summer of 2005, Alberto Gonzales paid a visit to British Attorney General Peter Goldsmith. A British civil servant who attended told me “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.” Appalled, he added, “but not surprised.”

The article goes on to say that instead of following the usual legislative process of sending Congress a bill that would ratify an Americanized version of the OSA, Gonzo is going to do more of that "unique interpretation" he's so good at.
Rather than approach Congress with a proposal to enact the British Official Secrets Act—a proposal which would certainly be defeated even in the prior Republican-led Congress—Gonzales decided to spin it from whole cloth. He would reconstrue the Espionage Act of 1917 to include the essence of the Official Secrets Act, and he would try to get this interpretation ratified in the Bush Administration’s “vest pocket” judicial districts—the Eastern District of Virginia and the Fourth Circuit. The key man for this project was to be Paul J. McNulty, the man he soon picked as his deputy.

As the piece which should be read in full warns, a win "would be a dream world for Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales".

The sign post up ahead reads "Welcome To Bushworld. Leave your civil liberties at the border."

More from GTL and Don Q.

(Filed at State of the Day)

That is a truly chilling notion but totally in character for Gonzo and his cabal.

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