September 18, 2006
Congressman McDermott Has Interesting Associates
The FBI just raided
Life for Relief and Development, an Islamic charity in the Detroit area. (They have a
pleasant name, I must say.)
Debbie Schlussel is
pleased because she believes they have strong links to a variety of terrorists.
And LIFE, as Schlussel calls it, also has a link to Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott.
In 2002, LIFE led the Saddam Hussein propaganda trip that U.S. Democratic Congressmen David Bonior, Jim
McDermott, and Mike Thompson, which was also funded by Iraqi oil-for-food scam artist Shakir
Alkhafaji--who is living, free, in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, despite $70 million in earnings
he obtained from doing business with Saddam.
If Schlussel is right, then treason charges may be in order against some of the officers of LIFE
(Hint to "mainstream" journalists: Why not call up Congressman McDermott and ask him about
this raid — and his association with the organization, which sounds quite unsavory?
Here's an uninformative
on the raid, if you are wondering what "mainstream" reporters are saying about it.)
Posted by Jim Miller at September 18, 2006
05:05 PM | Email This
McDermott took not only the trip paid for by Shakir Alkhafaji, but accepted a donation from him too. From the Weekly Standard:
Editor's note, 1/30/04: On January 25, 2004, a daily newspaper in Iraq called al Mada published a list of individuals and organizations who it says received oil from the now-deposed regime. Among those listed is Shakir al Khafaji, an Iraqi-American from Detroit, who ran "Expatriate Conferences" for the regime in Baghdad. Al Khafaji also contributed $400,000 to the production of Scott Ritter's film "In Shifting Sands." Finally, al Khafaji arranged travel and financing for the "Baghdad Democrats"--Jim McDermott, Mike Thompson and David Bonior--last fall. Following the trip, al Khafaji contributed $5,000 to McDermott's Legal Defense Fund. THE WEEKLY STANDARD has contacted McDermott's office about returning the contribution. McDermott spokesman Mike Decesare said this morning that he had not yet spoken with McDermott, since it's three hours earlier on the West Coast. Asked about the contribution and the subsequent allegations about al Khafaji and oil, Decesare said, "I don't know anything about it." THE WEEKLY STANDARD will post a response from McDermott's office as soon as we get one. In the meantime, it's worth taking a second look at "Saddam's Cash."
Anyone know if McDermott returned the $5K?
3. After reading Baghdad Jim's comments about our troops none of this comes as any surprise to me. My only question is do you think the MSM will even cover this or will they just cover this up?
4. Dudes!- you've got a perfectly good Republican candidate running against the tyrannical traitor McDermott- why arden't you working your hearts out for him (Or is it 'her?') Do you even know his/her name? Nobody else does either. You R's have given up- where's your famous positive, go-get-tem entrepreneurial spirit for retail politics? Or is it just too easy to sit around and bitch about how martyred you are making a good living and enjoying the creature comforts of this liberal hell?
Anyone really surprised?
After McDimwitt is the one who said the Iraq regime should be taken at "face value" while GWB would lie to the American.
His choice in "friends" has been suspect for awhile.
6. Satre #4 Yes I know about Steven Beren and have actually helped him out (even though I live way down in Thurston County). I had written him a letter to let him know that the troops did not believe in Baghdad Jim's assesmnet of us and he liked it so much he asked if he could quote it. I still try to help him out as much as I can, but I have been quite busy helping out another great canidate(the R's have quite a great bunch this election cycle)Michael Messmore who is running for the 3rd CD.
Obviously you know nothing of local politics if you even have to ask. An (R) cannot get elected to the House seat on the 7th district. An (R) who does a great job of campaigning and is a viable candidate - like McKenna and Rossi - will still only get about 35% of the vote in the 7th.
Jim McDermott routinely gets 80% of the vote in our district, both from the people who know that he's been convicted of a felony, and from those who don't bother to find out. Sadly, this will be the case regardless who runs against him - unless it's in the Democratic Primary.
So your question reflects more upon the voters in the 7th District than upon the folks here at Sound Politics.
Ask yourself why liberals and Democrats would vote for someone who believes that terrorists have the right to privacy, but the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives does not?
8. you've cut and run, and ceded this great city to us. thanks!
comfort to the enemy. McD is lucky this is not 1941. how can a nation survive with pompous double-agents like Jim in office?
do they think this is just a game? birds of a feather flock together. this guy cares not about HIS safety--fine--but he pulls WA & us with him into his reckless "friendships."
wake up libs--sarin or anthrax does not care about blue or red states. all are equal in its eyes. you trust McDermott to protect our state & ports? sheeeeyatt!
10. ..and YET they still vote this guy in time after time.
WHAT are they thinking???? Another example of why you truly can't take dems seriously on national defense.
11. Dems like Sartre are similar to those partying on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. Enjoying the hedonism Seattle Style, all the way down.
12. And nothing short of rape or murder would be enough to get McDermott out of office. His constituents love him visting dictators and hanging with corrupt UN beneficiaries. He'll always be one of the Hate America First brigade.
13. If Mr. Hugo Chavez from Venezuela was on the ballot he would win in the 7th Congressional district. In fact he might not be worse than having representation by McDermott.
Name-calling remains the highest form of modern conservative 'argument', and so you call him "Baghdad Jim." Thanks for reminding us what he said in that city: "I believe that the President would mislead the American people." And lo, President Bush did then claim Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy uranium from Niger-- a claim which was proven to be false shortly after Mr. Bush said it. Was the President ignorant, or was he lying? Either way, "Baghdad Jim" was right, and all of his critics were-- and are-- wrong. (Thousands of our brave soldiers have died for that false statement.)
How many more friends of Jack Abramoff will be hauled away by the FBI in coming months? (The author of "Freedom Fries" got nailed just last week!) How many more Republican congressmen will serve time? Will Rep. Boehner's frivilous lawsuit be dismissed on First Amendment grounds, or will he plead guilty to taking Jack Abramoff's bribes first?
What else do we in Seattle know that the rest of you don't?
15. Paddy, if you want to stick up for McDermott, a guy who associates with and takes money from killer dictators and terrorists, go right ahead. Just don't expect the rest of us to do same. And don't expect anyone to think you know a good guy from a bad one. In other words, this continues to bolster the notion that Dems can't be put in charge of national security.
Don't you pay attention? The "claim" that was "proven to be false" has now been proven to be a lie by Joe Wilson, both in terms of what he "debunked" and in terms of who outted his wife.
But I guess that can't be right since the Washington Post is nothing but a mouthpiece of the Bush Administration, right?
Hey Paddy, you gotta get outta that liberal feed-back loop. Didn’t ya hear? That "buy uranium from Niger-- a claim which was proven to be false shortly after Mr. Bush said it . . . . blah, blah, blah." dog stopped huntin' a quite some time ago. Wilson has been totally discredited as either a liar or a moron (or both). Just because you didn't read it the P.I. or Pravda doesn't mean it's not true bunky. (May I suggest the following for you “open minded” liberals: http://www.slate.com/id/2103795/)
Get your facts straight before *you* start calling others on the carpet. Oh yeah Diddy Mac, Valerie never was covert either.
So what else don't you know?
18. Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or did all of our brave soldiers die for a lie?
Al Qaeda grew while Monica blew...
Al Qaeda struck while our prez was a schmuck
Damn, I guess the 500 tons of uranium our troops found at Tuwaitha really were
for making dental x-ray machines... including the two tons that were enriched.
Just because a document that says the sun rises in the east is proven to be a forgery doesn't mean the sun rises anywhere else. And someone who believed that forgery -- along with everyone else on both sides of the aisle -- was not, and is not wrong about where the sun rises.
22. The dems would keep electing McDermutt even if accused of rape or murder. They love Bill Clinton (accused of rape) and Teddy Kennydrunk (killed a woman).
Most of the cannisters of nerve agent, which Saddam was supposed to have destroyed, were shipped back for analysis when they were discovered. Just because MSM and general public refuse to acknowledge the violations of several UN resolutions, doesn't make it not so.
BTW, I was in Iraq last year as we were discovering these cannisters. We were not dying for a lie. Thanks for your support.
Paddy Mac: I can easily tell you where they are. The Bakkah Valley of Lebanon, escorted out of Iraq in trucks, brought through Syria, and parked in that valley. Bashir Al-Assad has them now, thanks to ye and the United Nations.
Georges Sada, an Iraqi captain, has mentioned this. Members of Mossad have mentioned this. The only people who haven't mentioned this are the media and leftist morons like Jim McDermott ("Baghdad Jim McDimwit").
Al Qaeda struck while our prez was a schmuck
Posted by CplFlagg
oh yeah I forgot President Bush was supposed to have done more to stop 9/11 during his 8 months of office than Clinton could do in his whole 8 years. At least President Bush IS keeping us safe. No attacks in 5 years, your boy Clinton couldn't claim that in his whole Presidency.
Congressmen are all on the take! They've forgotten their oaths of office! Too many Conbgressmen do not care about the American Middle Class, which is being destroyed. They violate the 9th and 10th Amendments every week.
Soldier, you got me. I thought you were going to mention the alQeda attacks during the previous administration.
As for Bush being in office that long, don't forget that the election was held in November and Bush didn't get the nod till around Christmas and wasn't able to get things in shape. Also, keep in mind the malicious vandalism in the White House that occured as the previous administraiton walked out the door.
28. True, Swatter, and even after that, remember all the obstructionism in approving Bush's cabinet nominations? That administration, thanks to Dem refusal to even let him appoint a cabinet without unending hassle, wasn't up and running smoothly for months.
To sartre: Seattle is not a "great" city, despite your characterization.
It is a large bloated slug of a city, more akin to a 40-something male still living with his parents and sponging off them while spending hours net surfing.
30. You know what is sad, people like Paddy Mac actually believe the $#!7 they spew. Facts won't get in the way of their agenda. Let me give a hint to paddy and the like... when you have to use lies, distortions and selective memory to support your position, your position is not worth supporting. Try letting them stand on the facts and your positions crumble. Will the fact that the truth has been presented to you change your mind, of course not because you are not interested in truth, you are only interested in your agenda and your hatred for Bush and the Republicans. Pretty sad that you are so caught up in hatred that you have compromised yourselves and will do or say anything to appear right and to make republicans appear wrong.
31. mercifurious #30. Try turning in anything that says that Islamic Radicals commit terrorist attacks and you migh end up with a failing grade.
32. Try turning in anything that calls them radicals instead of "insurgents" and youmay get a failing grade.
33. Merc. at 30--always call the throat-cutters "isolated incidents by operatives out of the mainstream" by "fringes--acting alone" and you'll pass cum laude. (sheer numbers & patterns be damned)
34. Politically UNcorrect terms for "Radical Islamists" are: Islamofascists and (my favorite) Koran-imals.
is a picture of McDermott meeting Saddam Husein.
I think that that picture definately shows how such an association can taint an entire government.
Clearly an official who would go to Saddam's Bagdad cannot tell enemies from friends.
36. The point you all miss in this whole argument about Iraq and pre-war intelligence, etc. is that we are there and we have important decisions to make. What we are doing right now as a military strategy is not working. We must re-analyize our military strategy and re-work our plan. We should consider sending more troops or possibly working out a "off-shore" positioning (Murtha)from outside the border as a kick-in-the-butt to the Iraqis to get off their butts. While I am not in the military, I have a very close friend who just returned from his second tour. He agree with the argument for going into war, but venimently disagrees how it has been conducted ever since the initial invasion. Forget all that past crap for now. What are we going to do today to have a better working military plan on the ground?
McDermott has interesting "associates," of course - and he also has "interesting" positions across the board (not just foreign policy).
New page on www.berenforcongress.com - check out http://www.berenforcongress.com/compare.html
Here is an interesting photo from 1983.
betraying and undermining your own country;
McD reminds me of cruelly ridiculing your spouse at a cocktail party just for a cheap laugh; tells all around you reams abut your character and integrity; what a putz;
and--whose payroll is he on? ours? guess loyality is relative; sell out your country and troops and call it "discourse" or "free speech" or "constructive criticism" so you can sleep at night. libs will surely be our collective death;
I just checked out your compare section. How do you plan to pay for everything that you want to 'increase funding' for while 'greatly decreasing taxes'? are you a fiscal conservative? What happened to the fiscal conservative in the party.
For fiscal conservatism, see the entire questionnaire at http://www.vote-smart.org/npat.php?can_id=MWA33582#1 and in particular the part named "Budgetary, Spending, and Tax Issues, Part 1."
Also, per the additional comment under "Budgetary, Spending, and Tax Issues, Part 3,":
"There should be across-the-board spending cuts in almost every program, with rare exceptions such as defense, homeland security, and emergency preparedness. No program should ever be increased without a dollar-for-dollar decrease elsewhere in the budget."
Compare McDermott's responses to all these questions. McDermott plans to pay for everything he wants to increase funding for by decreasing defense spending, raising taxes, and limiting deductions.
42. You compared to McDermott is mute. I want to ensure that those representing my party are true fiscal conservatives. I usual dont expect that of liberals. I am just frustrated with people not willing to make sacrifices to pay for this global struggle were in. You said you would cut funding in everyting except for "defense, homeland security, and emergency preparedness", but the problem is Steve is those are extremely costly and will be for years to come. This struggle we are in isn't just a cake walk. If we are to have a strong and balanced economy and pay for the war on terror, your argument doesn't match up.
43. I have a grand solution for ending the imported terrorist problem in Iraq and dealing with all the rest of them worldwide, and it's really very cheap. We just need to announce that we have three or four ICBM'S pointed at Mecca. At the next Islamic terrorist attack, anywhere in the world, Mecca will cease to exist. I think you would find that suddenly even Wahabism would become rather unpopular.
44. Here it is- finally- the Steve Beren campaign! waged in the comments threads of a right-wing blog. thanks for joining us Steve- are you just the sacrificial lamb for the Party or did you think you could actually win? Why doesn't the GOP nominate someone viable and spend some money instead of letting a nebbisher vanity candidate like Beren be the party standard? McDermott is a hack past his expiration date. But instead of fighting him, R's just whine and call him names. You don't have any candidates, nor ideas on governing. You deserve Bellevue and Bellevue deserves you. You deserve George Bush and George Bush deserves you. What a bunch of losers!
Why cant we ever Recruit GOOD candidates to run against the 'liberal bashton" on this side of the mountains. Steve Beren was once part of the %$#@&ing Socialist Workers Party in the 1990s,
Details: Seattle Times Article
Why cant we ever Recruit GOOD candidates to run against the 'liberal bashton" on this side of the mountains. Steve Beren was part of the %$#@&ing Socialist Workers Party in the 1990s,
Details: Seattle Times Article
sartre #45 ...You deserve Bellevue and Bellevue deserves you. You deserve George Bush and George Bush deserves you...
sartre, you say that like it's a bad thing. Glad I live on the east side and I am proud to have GWB in the White House. I was born in Seattle and can tell you that for all that counts, Bellevue is superior to Seattle in every way except restaurants.
It is hard for me to be proud of someone who isn't really a conservative. We need fiscal conservation or we will leave our country bankrupt for our children. there is no more important conservative ideal than this and Bush has ignored it completely. what makes Bush a conservative?
49. Of Jim McDermott's leech-like hold on Seattle's 7th Congressional District: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!
50. You got it on the restaurants, Jeffro. but that's changing too- you're getting some good ones over there and what we love is that the reddish tinge is turning blue on the Bellevue voter's rolls... You're going to have to move to the east side again, mofo- this time to the EASTSIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS!
"Paddy Mac: I can easily tell you where they are. The Bakkah Valley of Lebanon, escorted out of Iraq in trucks, brought through Syria, and parked in that valley. Bashir Al-Assad has them now, thanks to ye and the United Nations.
"Georges Sada, an Iraqi captain, has mentioned this. Members of Mossad have mentioned this. The only people who haven't mentioned this are the media and leftist morons like Jim McDermott ("Baghdad Jim McDimwit"). "
Got any proof of that? Like, maybe a chemical trace or two? (Trucking dangerous chemicals vast distances through a war zone should leave some evidence, no?)
McDermott said it, and President Bush then made it true. McDermott's critics, in refusing to admit reality, simply testify to their own howling lack of character. (As if their name-calling hadn't already proven that point!)
52. Delusional as always, eh patti whack...
Paddy Mac - You are a Dhimmitude - look up that word. You bring up mute points all of the time to justify your support of the laughing stock of Congress - who owes about $700K for breaking the law in 1996. Name one piece of decent legislation that he has sponsored in the last 6 years. He is a washed up geezer who is amoral and seditious - supportive of totalitarian dictators.
You are consumed by apathy and disinformation - who undoubtedly supports the agenda of George Soros and embraces the hammer and sickle. I question if you really care about the future of this country.
"Clearly an official who would go to Saddam's Bagdad cannot tell enemies from friends."
Yes, that image of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand -- one of the most frequently downloaded pictures on the internet-- shows what a fool President Reagan really was. (Mr. Rumsfeld works only for administrations which are unable to craft a foreign policy worthy of our great country.)
"Get your facts straight before *you* start calling others on the carpet. Oh yeah Diddy Mac, Valerie never was covert either."
Of course she wasn't. That's why President Bush never promised to fire any White House official who had revealed her identity. He never appointed a Special Prosecutor to find those officials. That Prosecutor never indicted a senior White House offical for lying to said inquiry. What great knowledge of current events you conservatives have!
Do you two enjoy making it this easy for us liberals?
Jim McDermott knew well the character of the man he criticized. He knew that a person of such low character would ignite a war on false pretenses, and he said so. We who fully support Rep. McDermott will always be proud of his efforts to stop this needless war.
"Just because a document that says the sun rises in the east is proven to be a forgery doesn't mean the sun rises anywhere else."
Thank you for having the character to admit that President Bush cited a forged document during his 2003 State of the Union Address. (One of the many events which fulfilled Rep. McDermott's prophecy.) I wish that more modern-day 'conservatives' could speak to facts, instead of reflexively resorting to name-calling.
But, to continue your analogy: why would a reputable scientist used faked data, if he or she had plenty of real data to support a theory about solar movement? Does that not imply a certain failure of character? Any scientist who published fake data would, upon getting caught, be drummed out of his or her field. (Even if such lies did not cost a single American life.) The scientists who discovered the fakery would receive accolades. Thus, Dr. McDermott continues to receive support from Seattle's electorate.
"Jim McDermott routinely gets 80% of the vote in our district, both from the people who know that he's been convicted of a felony, and from those who don't bother to find out."
Actually, he normally gets about 75%, without running a single campaign advertisement. After the first attack by Rep. Boehner, Jim received 88% of the vote. (He publicly stated that if the attacks continued in such force, he'd receive "99%".)
As for the supposed "felony", which grand jury indicted him? Which jury convicted him? Who pronounced the sentence? Perhaps you could inform us ignorant citizens of the 7th District of these "facts".
Of course, it could just have been a frivilous, civil lawsuit, filed by an unethical "leader" who can't stand having his immorality revealed. Just maybe.
57. Gosh, Paddy, then I guess Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame should be hearing the sound of drums about now, huh?
Ah, yes, Paddy Mac, I was incorrect. Jim McDermott wasn't convicted of a felony. He did something even worse.
Both a US District Court and a Federal Appeals Court found that McDermott violated Federal law.
Here are the articles, since I'm sure you didn't bother to read them in the first place:
October 29, 2004
In a harshly worded decision received by attorneys this week, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan said McDermott's "willful and knowing misconduct rises to the level of malice in this case."
In August, Judge Hogan determined McDermott "participated in an illegal transaction" when he accepted the tape from the Florida couple, and his actions weren't protected by the First Amendment.
"The Court finds that (McDermott's) conduct was malicious in that he intentionally disclosed the tape to the national media in an attempt to politically harm the participants through an invasion of their privacy," Hogan wrote.
March 28, 2006:
A federal appeals court ruled today that Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.
Paddy Mac, you're welcome to skip your morning lattes and contribute to Jim McDermott's legal defense fund! Who knows, maybe he'll take his appeal up to the Supreme Court of the United States! I wonder what John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and the rest of those fine justices will think of his Federal crime?
Thanks for pointing out my error.
Do you walk right into punches all the time, or only when trying to prove a point? :)
P.S. Paddy Mac,
You're welcome to provide your rationale as to why two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have no right to privacy when talking to each other on cellphones, while a person placing a phone call to a known terrorist in a foreign country does have a right to privacy.
But regardless of your rationale, I'm quite certain that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman would disagree with you.
P.P.S. Paddy Mac,
I'll repeat my inquiries from a different thread, since you popped up here:
Please tell me, Paddy Mac - what has Jim McDermott done for you? I live in his district. He's brought home negligable, if any, federal funding, he's considered a pariah on Capitol Hill (even among many members of his own party) so he'll continue to bring home nothing.
If you vote for him only because he calls President Bush a liar - why is he any more qualified than you or anyone else who votes for him?
You call President Bush a liar; and you (I hope) HAVEN'T been found guilty of violating a federal law, with knowing misconduct that rises to the level of malice, by participating in an illegal transaction in an attempt to harm other people.
How is Jim McDermott more qualified for the office than YOU, Paddy Mac? I'd say he's probably less qualified - shouldn't you hold him to a higher standard than yourself?
I encourage you to read this interview with Wall Street Journal writer and lawyer, Ted Boutrous:
and if you want a some real meat on the court case look at this WALL STREET JOURNAL article:
First Amendment on Trial
Wall Street Journal - August 19, 2006
By Teodore J. Boutrous, Jr.
While the subpoenas and contempt orders that came out of the Valerie Plame leak investigation sent a shiver through journalists and other champions of a free press, an equally chilling lawsuit between two congressmen slowly plodded through the courts, barely noticed. No longer. Now, the D.C. Circuit has made a ruling in this dispute that, if it stands, will blow a hole through the First Amendment.
The strange case of Boehner v. McDermott began with a conference call between GOP leaders in December 1996, to decide how to deal with the ethics charges against then-Speaker Newt Gingrich. Rep. (now House Majority Leader) John Boehner participated by cell phone.
A Florida couple intercepted the call on a police scanner and taped it, in violation of federal wiretapping laws. They gave a copy of the tape to Jim McDermott, a Democratic member of the House ethics committee, who gave it to the press, which widely reported on it. Mr. Boehner sued, claiming that Mr. McDermott had invaded his right to privacy and violated federal wiretapping laws.
A few years later, as Mr. Boehner's lawsuit progressed, the Supreme Court decided in Bartnicki v. Vopper that it would violate "the core purposes of the First Amendment" to use the wiretapping statute to punish defendants who had "lawfully" obtained and broadcast a tape of a telephone call that had been illegally recorded by someone else. Such punishment, it said, would impose "sanctions on the publication of truthful information of public concern."
Nevertheless, in March of this year a panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld a $60,000 judgment for statutory and punitive damages against Mr. McDermott. (Mr. Boehner is now claiming an additional $500,000 in attorney's fees.) Since Mr. McDermott supposedly knew that the tape had been illegally recorded when he received it, the court ruled that he got it "unlawfully" and could be punished, like someone who "is guilty of receiving stolen property."
Judge David Sentelle dissented, emphasizing the rule's potentially sweeping ramifications: "No one in the United States could communicate on this topic of public interest" because -- just like Mr. McDermott -- everyone, including the journalists who wrote about the tape and "every reader of the information in the newspapers," knew that it had been illegally recorded.
The full en banc D.C. Circuit has now agreed to rehear the case, and it is imperative that the court reject the panel's ruling. While Mr. Boehner claimed that his right to privacy trumped Mr. McDermott's First Amendment rights, the Supreme Court in Bartnicki declared: "Privacy concerns give way when balanced against the interest in publishing matters of public importance. . . . The risk of this exposure is an essential incident of life in a society which places a primary value on freedom of speech and of press."
The high court has made clear over and over again -- usually in cases involving the press -- that, absent the most extraordinary and compelling circumstances, as long as a citizen breaks no law in obtaining truthful information of public concern, he cannot be punished for publishing it, even if he knew that his source broke the law. A "receipt of stolen property" exception would overturn this important First Amendment doctrine, threatening the ability of the press to obtain and disseminate news.
As a matter of history, tradition and ordinary newsgathering, the press sometimes obtains vital, highly newsworthy information from sources who may have broken the law, or some legal duty while providing it. Indeed, many of the most significant news stories have been based on information that the source may have acquired or communicated illegally, including the Pentagon Papers case, Watergate, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, stories about the health hazards of tobacco and, more recently, articles about CIA secret prisons in Europe and the NSA surveillance program.
Nevertheless, under Boehner, a reporter who obtains important information could be subjected to punishment, simply because he knew or suspected that the source had broken the law in giving it to him. Such a doctrine would severely hamper traditional newsgathering and reporting activities, and it would inject significant uncertainty into the reporting process.
Unless overturned, Boehner v. McDermott will embolden the government and private citizens to be even more aggressive in taking legal actions that aim to punish and deter truthful speech. This is already happening: The Department of Justice has cited Boehner as "especially instructive" in justifying its prosecution of two former lobbyists of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for receiving and then discussing with reporters national defense information, in alleged violation of the Espionage Act. Those same prosecutors, as well as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, have refused to rule out the possibility that the government could launch similar criminal charges against journalists who receive and publish classified information.
It can be extremely tempting to scale back on traditional First Amendment freedoms in the area of national security during war time. The government does have the right to protect information in the name of national security and other compelling interests, and to impose secrecy obligations on government officials to avoid harmful disclosures. But the First Amendment, as a check on government power and an instrument of self-government, tasks the press with ferreting out information that the government wants to keep secret.
That information, after all, really belongs to the people, who have delegated the power to govern to elected officials. Sometimes the only way the public can learn about government wrongdoing, or questionable government policies, is through leaks. The late Yale law professor Alexander Bickel famously called this built-in constitutional tension the "unruly contest" between the press and the government. Boehner v. McDermott would stack the deck in this contest between government secrecy and free speech. It should be rejected. The interests at stake involve all Americans -- not just two feuding congressmen.
Mr. Boutrous has filed a friend-of-the court brief in the Boehner case for 18 news organizations, including Dow Jones, publisher of this newspaper.
Used with premission - Copyright 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
ole - yah, fer sure OK?
"Paddy Mac, you're welcome to skip your morning lattes and contribute to Jim McDermott's legal defense fund! Who knows, maybe he'll take his appeal up to the Supreme Court of the United States! I wonder what John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and the rest of those fine justices will think of his Federal crime?"
(I don't drink coffee.) The Wall Street Journal, and more than a dozen other news organizations, have supported Rep. McDermott because of the novel legal theory behind Rep. Boehner's suit. If the courts uphold his logic, then NO ONE will ever legally discuss the contents of that telephone conversation (besides the persons who participated in it). Therefore, if Rep. Boehner wins, he might sue YOU, for your quotes! How do you feel about your conservative hero now? (Say the right thing, or he may drag you into court!)
Yes, the recent additions to our Supreme Court may indeed discard centuries of legal our precedent, just to hand victory to a political opportunist. This was one of many reasons that I opposed their nominations. If they act as you've implied, then they are NOT conservatives, but radicals of the most unstable kind. I can't see any citizen welcoming that result.
"You're welcome to provide your rationale as to why two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have no right to privacy when talking to each other on cellphones..."
Thank you for pointing this out! The persons talking were all elected officials, discussing public policy. (Specifically, how to undermine the ethical foundation of our House.) How then could they have any expectation of privacy? If a group of King County Records & Elections officials discussed how best to respond to critics, and later claimed a right to privacy, how do you think SoundPolitics (and real news outfits) would respond?
BTW, if they had been discussing some non-public business, like Newt Gingrich screwing Callista Bisek whilst pimping his "family values'" to the "values voters", then some expectation of privacy might exist. (Then again, maybe not: Bisek was a House Republican staffer at the time. OK, let's say the congressmen were having a generic conversation, about how stupid and clueless those "values voters" are, and how easily Gingrich had swindled these Bible-banging rubes out of their votes. That would definitely have been protected.)
"Please tell me, Paddy Mac - what has Jim McDermott done for you? I live in his district. He's brought home negligable, if any, federal funding, he's considered a pariah on Capitol Hill (even among many members of his own party) so he'll continue to bring home nothing."
Interesting, how a conservative now defines pork-barrel spending as success. It shows how thoroughly power has corrupted modern conservatism. That fact alone justifies voting for a liberal.
As for what he's done for me, well, he's done plenty. He sponsored the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which opened new markets for American products overseas. For most of the time he has represented the 7th district, I have worked at companies which realized half or more of their income from foreign trade. Of the 50 states, Washington's economy depends most upon foreign trade.
BTW, McDermott did not call Bush a liar in Baghdad. He said that he believed that Bush would mislead the American people. The fulfillment of that prediction has come many times, and only the most die-hard supporters of this president now believe otherwise.
68. It isn't surprising that a POS like patti-whack could defend much less support a COMPLETE POS like McDimwitt...
Here's Paddy Mac, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
"If a group of King County Records & Elections officials discussed how best to respond to critics, and later claimed a right to privacy, how do you think SoundPolitics (and real news outfits) would respond?"
If said elections officials, even Ron Sims and Dean Logan, were discussing this in a private phone call while Stefan Sharkansky chased one of them down the highway at 60 mph recording the phone call across multiple cell phone towers - I'd call Stefan and anyone else who spread that news on the carpet. Wouldn't you? Apparently not. Apparently you think it would be okay for Stefan to eavesdrop on and record a private conversation and then publish that recording as 'news.' Bully for you. Can I assume that you think the same thing about recording cell phone calls to known terrorists overseas?
"Therefore, if Rep. Boehner wins, he might sue YOU, for your quotes!"
Oh, no. Not that. I'm shaking in my shoes. I'm terrified. You've turned my whole values system upside down. Not.
"Interesting, how a conservative now defines pork-barrel spending as success."
Hmmmm...pork barrel spending? I'd think that some federal assistance to our ports and to our transportation infrastructure would be a GOOD thing. I think it's in the best interest of our nation that Seattle and Tacoma have adequate security and can maintain a consistent flow of goods and services to our northwest inland empire. However, you and I both know that Jim McDermott will never be able to gain traction on these issues in Congress, because he's made himself an outcast. Apparently you think that federal assistance to critical Seattle/Washington/Pacific Northwest initiatives that help our nation would be 'pork barrel spending'. You're welcome to that opinion, but don't expect many people to share it with you.
"As for what he's done for me, well, he's done plenty. He sponsored the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act"
Jim McDermott has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years, and you can name one legislative action that he's sponsored. You've just DAMNED him with FAINT PRAISE, Paddy Mac.
Eighteen years in Congress, and you referenced legislation from his 12th year in Congress, and nothing from the last 5 years?? What's he been doing? Oh, I remember, he's been glad-handing vicious dictators while impugning the integrity of our President. Hah. You just proved my point. As I asked before - do you always walk right into punches, or only while you're trying to prove a point?
Even though I agree with alphabet soup, I'll call neither you nor Jim McDermott a POS, Paddy Mac. I'll merely point out that you came to Jim McDermott's defense without any ammunition whatsoever.
We'll have to agree to disagree on these points, Paddy Mac. It's been fun pointing out how little you think Jim has done for you.
I suggest a new name: Jim McDerMOOT.
What's the definition of (Jim McDer)MOOT? So hypothetical as to be meaningless.
By the way, I did ask why Jim McDerMOOT is more qualified than YOU. You didn't answer, and that's an answer unto itself.
I've met Jim McDerMOOT while getting my morning coffee on Queen Anne Avenue. You know what I said to him? He looked at me and said 'Hello.' I said 'Hello! Good morning!' He said 'Good morning to you.' I ordered my coffee, while he walked home.
Even though I think the man is a reprehensible person and politician, I didn't denigrate myself by verbally attacking him.
I certainly hope that you could maintain the same sense of dignity and decorum if you ever met President (or Former President) George W Bush while getting your morning...whatever you drink.
"If said elections officials, even Ron Sims and Dean Logan, were discussing this in a private phone call while Stefan Sharkansky..."
Then he committed the crime that the original eaversdroppers did. They pled guilty. (Would Mr. S.?)
The legal point, as the long article from The Wall Street Journal makes clear, is what happened afterwards. If the Supreme Court rules in Rep. Boehner's favor, then NO ONE can ever quote from that tape, and EVERYONE who has since discussed the contents can also be sued. Even worse, an unethical government official can sue his critics for exposing his unethical behavior. I seriously doubt that anyone who posts here wants Governor Gregoire or Jim McDermott to have that power. (These are illustrative examples only. They do not imply that I believe these two persons to have behaved unethically.)
Finally, if the majority party in the House does not allow the minority party to pass legislation, it does not pass. If they so blockade our House for many years, that says a lot more about the governing party than it does about their critics. If the ruling party slights Puget Sound's ports because they can't stand one of our Representatives, then they have placed their petty hatreds above our nation's welfare, and this becomes yet another reason to vote them out of office.
"By the way, I did ask why Jim McDerMOOT is more qualified than YOU."
No, you'd asked me this:
"If you vote for him only because he calls President Bush a liar - why is he any more qualified than you or anyone else who votes for him?"
I voted for him for many reasons, and therefore, the condition you set for me to answer was not satisfied. I therefore obeyed the premise of your question, and did not answer it. Do you always attack people for taking your words seriously?
Comment # 61 at 12:27 pm:
"How is Jim McDermott more qualified for the office than YOU, Paddy Mac?"
I don't see any conditions in that question.
"We'll have to agree to disagree on these points, Paddy Mac. It's been fun pointing out how little you think Jim has done for you."
Next up, Paddy Mac getting in the last word:
I will respond to your question. I vote for McDermott and democrats generally simply because I agree with his/there issue positions. Single payer healthcare, spending iraqi war money on domestic programs and homeland security like screening cargo, borders, and enacting the 9/11 commission recomendations, removing tax cuts for the top 1%, ending billions of giveaways to oil companies as they are making historical profits; providing money for scholarship and pell grants and fully funding NCLB; funding and giving incentives for renewable and alternative energy sources that will provide jobs, protect the enivironment, and limit our dependence on foreign oil thus making us more secure, and ending corporate welfare.
Why do you vote for Bush? He isn't a fiscal conservative. Government has grown and become even more wasteful. More illegal immigrants have came in the past 6 years than came in the entire Clinton admin. Abortion rates have climbed. Medicare PLan D is a disaster. so why?
75. He is a "fiscal conservative" compared to any Dhimmicrat...
76. hmmm...Well we had a surplus under Clinton and now we have the largest deficit in American history. How exactly is he a fiscal conservative?
"...little you think Jim has done..."
The Africa Growth & Opportunity Act continues to create better economic conditions for peoples the world over. My own employer will soon send more of us high-paying professionals to visit new customers in sub-Saharan Africa, and I think that McDermott's contribution to our prosperity is not "little". You may have a life of ease, and good for you if you do; but I have to work for a living, and I'd rather have a better-paying job.
In other areas, Jim has done very little indeed, and I'm very proud to admit it. In the last five years, he has not voted to increase our nation's debt; he has not voted to enable a needless war, and he has not taken bribes. Just by doing nothing, he has provided us with better representation than the majority of our country received during this period. It may be nothing, but it's more than the folks in eastern Ohio got from their congressman.
Well, I've gotta go get some Freedom Fries! (Freedom from Corruption, that is! Thanks, Jim!)
78. Wow. Just wow. Whadda cretin...