They also blame technology and emails for the ease in prosecuting stupid leak cases at the same time they insist that the blatant paper and e-trails of Wall Street crimes are just too hard to parse. They're twisting themselves into enough pretzels to choke ten Dubyas. They're desperately trying to wipe off the well-deserved egg on their face for their dumb prosecutions of John Edwards and Roger Clemens.
Eric Holder apparently just realized he does not want incompetence and pettiness to be his legacy. And President Obama doesn't want anyone to think that going back on a campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers is going to be part of his legacy, either. The six whistleblower prosecutions done under his watch in the past three years are totally accidental! From The Times:
When we took office in January 2009, I don’t think bringing a lot of leak cases was high on anyone’s agenda,” said Matthew Miller, who was director of public affairs at the Justice Department until July. “But then they came up one by one, and without anyone realizing it, we had set a record.”
Like most presidents, Mr. Obama has been infuriated by some leaks, but aides say he never ordered investigations. Current and former officials said Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder, who are social friends, have avoided discussing investigations and prosecutions to avoid any appearance of improper White House influence, a charge Democrats lodged against the Bush administration.
Asked whether the White House had a role in the leak cases, a spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, said, “Decisions about leak prosecutions are made by the Department of Justice.”
For decades, the Justice Department was where leak complaints from the intelligence agencies went to die. The department’s counterespionage section was more interested in finding foreign spies than American blabbermouths, officials said.Now that Holder has ordered, or pretended to order, leak investigations into recent revelations on American cyber-attacks against an Iranian nuclear facility and another underwear bombing plot involving a double or maybe a triple CIA agent, his department is trying to downplay its own role in prosecuting leaks that simply exposed government stupidity and wrongdoing. For example, the prosecution of Thomas Drake deservedly fell apart because far from exposing government secrets, he was merely exposing government waste.
According to The Times, Holder could have halted any of the left-over cases but went ahead anyway for fear that the lawyers under him might get mad. That, to put it delicately, is quite a stretch. Especially since it was only two weeks ago that Eric Holder bragged to Congress that the Obama Administration is a gung-ho champion of going after leakers.
Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, the poor guy. Having it both ways is so exhausting. And to be slapped with a contempt of Congress charge to boot, and be forced to beg his own boss for executive privilege protection. Oh, the humanity. Oh, what a racket.