This issue of the DOJ and its investigation of reporters, whether Fox News or the AP, comes down to whether you call whistle-blowers heroes or dastardly leakers. The term whistle-blower is meant to sound positive, but what if you are telling secrets that jeopardize national security? What if the President calls some people “leakers” and other people call the same people “whistle-blowers”? Who is correct? Is this like “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” or is there an absolute rubric for deciding who is a whistle-blower and who is a leaker? Some of this seems quite subjective and depends on which side you favor. Some of this inability to differentiate between these groups can be blamed on the current collision of a post-9/11 world with a traditional view of freedom of the press. In fact, the dilution of many of our former freedoms, can be traced to the Bush Administration Patriot Acts.
Some of this depends on how you view President Obama. Is he the mild-mannered Clark Kent, undercover wimp, is he Superman, or is he a super-villain?
Did he call “whistle-blowers” “leakers” to cover up dark deeds that were about to be exposed to the light of day? Did these journalists really “leak” secrets which jeopardized national security? Did the DOJ act alone or at the behest of Obama and/or one or more of his cronies/appointees (you see the role of semantics in all of this)?
A lot of people are throwing around an awful lot of speculative charges against the President and chances are we will eventually learn the truth about whether or not there were actual leaks or whether this administration is hunting down innocent and courageous journalists who are just trying to expose wrong-doing. I suspect it must be brutal out there in the 24/7 news cycle to keep coming up with stunning new material.
I like to hold on to my belief that Barack Obama is a good man but I may learn that he has been corrupted by a toxic Washington culture just like most of our other politicians. We must remember that, for the most part, he has been elected as a leader, prevented from exercising the powers of his office, and then labeled weak and ineffective for not exercising his powers. I can see how it certainly might be tempting to pull strings behind the scenes, to protect himself against those who intrigue against him, and to perhaps even overstep in his use of the few powers still available to him. Just because it is tempting, does not mean that Obama has done that. However, as they say, “we will (probably) get to the bottom of this” if there is anything to be worried about.