On the topic of the NY Times leak of the NSA secret eavesdropping program, Clarice Feldman of The American Thinker notes that "In all probability,
gears are turning right now for a criminal investigation leading to a
possible a possible felony prosecution".
I agree - the Justice department released a letter today explaining the legal basis for the program, and it contained some pretty strong language (which I will reprint when my computer is de-glitched).
So, after all the drama of the Fitzgerald investigation, is it our official editorial position here at Just One Minute that turnabout is fair play? Should we toss a few Timesmen in jail, and see what we can learn about the NSA leak? Should we eagerly await a call from Chuck Schumer for a special prosecutor?
Don't rush me. As a vengeful partisan, I would welcome an opportunity to ridicule the hypocrisy of the left, which, on the basis of scant evidence beyond the bloviations of Joe Wilson and David Corn, insisted that the Plame leak was a desperate blow to national security.
However - waaay back when, in the summer of 2003, I noted a possible end game for a Plame investigation, and further noted that, by a large, leaks are a good thing in a free and democratic society.
My guess - the best course for annoyed righties (such as myself) would be to note vigorously the absurd double standard of the Fitzgerald prosecution, keep it in mind as one more justification for the pardon of Libby and others (if necessary), and move on.
UPDATE: However, if there is tobe an investigation, here is the way to do it - give everyone involved immunity from prosecution for leaking classified info, but keep them open to perjury charges.
Current officials who leaked can lie and risk jail, or 'fess up and resign (which is a reasonable consequense, if this program was so troubling to the leaker - resigning in protest has an honorable history).
Former officials will at least be identified.
MORE: I am shocked by this, from Howard Fineman:
As best I can tell — and this really isn’t my beat — the only people who knew about the NSA’s new (and now so controversial) warrant-less eavesdropping program early on were Bush, Cheney, NSA chief Michael Hayden, his top deputies, top leaders of the CIA, and lawyers at the Justice Department and the White House counsel’s office hurriedly called in to sprinkle holy water on it.
Huh? Not even Rice and Rumsfeld not in the loop? Well, he does say "early on" - it may be that by the time they left, Rand Beers and Richard Clarke were dialed in and available to leak.
As to Fineman's talk of impeachment - the first polls on this will send the Dem leadership scuttling back to wherever they were hiding for the first three years of this program.