PowerLine -> Is DOJ Going Soft On Leaks?

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> Is DOJ Going Soft On Leaks?

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

Is DOJ Going Soft On Leaks?

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:42 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)This morning on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the administration’s determination to stop leaks, including criminal leaks that damage national security. The key question here is whether DOJ is willing to go after reporters who publish classified information in violation of the Espionage Act. As Scott has written, there is no obstacle under current law to prosecuting reporters and editors. But Rosenstein seemed distinctly lacking in enthusiasm:

WALLACE: But the head of the reporters committee for the freedom of the press says when the — what the attorney general is suggesting is a dangerous threat to the freedom of the American people to know and understand what their leaders are doing and why.

Your response?

ROSENSTEIN: I think that’s an overreaction, Chris. The attorney general has been very clear that we’re after the leakers, not the journalist. We’re after the people who are committing crime.

Emphasis added. The reporter is committing a crime, too. What about him?

And so, we’re going to devote the resources we need to identify who is responsible for those leaks and who has violated the law and hold them accountable.

WALLACE: Well, there are a couple of aspects to that. First of all, you say you are after the leakers, not the reporters. President Trump has reportedly suggested at one point prosecuting the reporters if they leak — if they publish classified information. Are you ruling that out?

ROSENSTEIN: Chris, we have the same position on that I think as Attorney General Holder, that is we don’t prosecute journalist for doing their jobs.

Does Rosenstein seriously believe that illegally publishing classified information that is damaging to the national security is part of a journalist’s job? It sounds that way.

We look at the facts and circumstances of each case and we determine whether somebody has committed a crime and whether it’s appropriate to hold them accountable for it.

WALLACE: And you don’t consider the publishing classified information as a crime?

It is frustrating that Wallace seems to have a better grasp of the law than the Deputy Attorney General.

ROSENSTEIN: Well, Chris, I don’t think you can draw any general line like that, it depends upon the facts and circumstances. You know, generally speaking, reporters who publish information are not committing a crime. But there might be a circumstance where they do.

You know, I haven’t seen any of those today, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the event that there were a case where a reporter was purposely violating the law, then they might be a suspect as well.

This riff is mystifying. Is Rosenstein seriously unaware of the many instances where reporters and editors have published classified information that compromised the nation’s security in violation of the Espionage Act? And what is the point of Rosenstein’s qualification of “purposely” breaking the law? Does he think the New York Times and the Washington Post are doing it accidentally?

But that’s not our goal here. Our goal is to prevent the leaks. And so, that’s what we’re after here. We haven’t revised a policy with regard to reporters.

WALLACE: OK. But there’s another aspect of this, which is if a reporter gets information from somebody, puts it out in the beginning of the Obama administration, they were very aggressive in going after their sources. And if you subpoena information and they refused to disclose it, they can still end up in jail at the end of the Obama administration after a backlash from reporters, they loosened up on that. And first of all, it had to be approved specifically by the attorney general and it was kind of a last resort to go after reporters sources.

Are you are reviewing that?

Another good question by Chris Wallace. There is no federal shield law. Reporters are not entitled to protect their sources in response to a federal subpoena. If they refuse to answer questions about their sources, they can be jailed until they change their minds. This is what happened to Judith Miller some years ago.

ROSENSTEIN: Yes, Chris, that’s a different issue. That policy has been in existence for a very long time. Attorney General Holder revised that in 2015. It’s possible he got it exactly right but maybe he didn’t. We’re going to take a fresh look at that, and we’ve gotten feedback from our career prosecutors and agents that some of the procedural hurdles are delaying their investigation. So, I think it’s important for us to take a fresh look at it and evaluate whether or not there are any improvements that should be made.

I have no idea what that answer meant, but if I were a criminal reporter, I would be breathing easy.

WALLACE: And what that means in your effort to get sources that you end up putting a reporter who refuses to disclose that source in jail?

ROSENSTEIN: I’m not going to answer a hypothetical, Chris. As I said, I think it depends upon the facts and circumstances in each case.

A very squishy performance by Rosenstein. If President Trump really wants to stop illegal leaks, he needs to put the fear of God into reporters and editors. Nothing else will suffice. If three or four reporters–or, better yet, editors–were doing a hard time in Leavenworth, national security leaks would dry up quickly.


Civil War Update: Blowback at Google

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:05 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Further to our item yesterday on the Google engineer who has circulated a politically incorrect memo about the authoritarian ideology of “gender diversity” at the company, Reuters reports today that two Google company spokespeople have officially condemned the memo:

Two Google executives criticized a memo that circulated late last week at the company from an unnamed engineer suggesting that there were “biological causes” for underrepresentation of women in technology and leadership.

Among the views in the employee’s roughly 3,000-word memo was that “distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.” . . .

“Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions,” [Danielle] Brown [Google’s new vice president of diversity, integrity, and governance—seriously, that’s her job title] wrote.

Here’s the money graph:

But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws,” Brown added.

Google vice president Aristotle Balogh also wrote an internal post criticizing the employee’s memo, saying “stereotyping and harmful assumptions” could not be allowed to play any part in the company’s culture.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the statements from Brown and Balogh were official responses from Google.

Translation: You’re fired, dude. (If he isn’t already.)

Wait: what’s the old slogan of Google? “Don’t be evil” I think? Heh.


Media Alert

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 03:29 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)I will be on the Mike Gallagher radio show at 10:30 Eastern tomorrow morning, talking about my post, Do the Democrats know how much trouble they are in?. If you don’t know where to listen to Mike in your area, you can listen to the show online here.


The RAISE Act: A Step In the Right Direction, But Nowhere Near Enough

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:33 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)A reader who is a long-time immigration skeptic and a close student of the issue takes off from a Ross Douthat column on the proposed RAISE Act:

Douthat writes:

…you can address many of the costs of mass immigration by embracing the new bill’s points system without also making its steep cuts.

Puh-leeez!……“steep cuts”? That’s absurd to the point of being intentionally obtuse, if not outright mendacious! The proposal is for a 50% reduction in green cards, i.e., legal permanent residence —- but over a ten year period! We gradually move from 1 million a year to 500,000 a year over ten years. The total new legal immigrant influx would be 7.5 million, instead of as under the status quo 10 million! Some cut…..oh, and it does NOT include the various categories of H1 visas for the “guest workers”-who-never-leave.

And here is one huge cost that no tweaking of admissions criteria can ever “address”: grotesque giantism, the palpable and extreme costs of environmental degradation, land use and sheer unmitigated crowdedness as the total population approaches Asian levels —- 500 million within the next 50 years or so.

So that’s probably the immigration compromise we’re waiting for: a version of the Cotton-Perdue points system, the shift to high-skilled recruitment, that keeps the overall immigration rate close to where it is today.

That’s not the immigration “compromise” that I’ve been waiting for! What’s the compromise? We “keep[] the overall immigration rate close to where it is today”?….as opposed to what the left/Dem/MSM wants which is, for all practical purposes, unlimited immigration? Because of Emma Lazarus?

[A] system that focused more on skills and education and job prospects…would presumably bring in a more diverse pool of migrants, making balkanization and self-segregation less likely.

Unless this presumption, so confidently and casually asserted by assorted Times-men and others on the left, turns out to be…WRONG…then what? How do we get our country back after the left engineers yet more identity politics cum affirmative action led by the academic-industrial complex’s never ending the attack on traditional America (“America was never great”) as incorrigibly racist and in need of Transformation?

In a similar vein:

[A] system that focused more on skills and education and job prospects would automatically put less pressure on wages at the bottom. It would increase immigration’s economic benefits…

Unless it doesn’t! This must be a reference to the STEM “shortage” fraud. Instead of “pressure on wages at the bottom” let’s put pressure on wages at the upper-middle! We can bring in millions of mostly Asian genius-entrepreneurs in tech fields! I’m sure the Valley will welcome new waves of techno-coolies, as they openly refer to them. What do we do if this heroic “presumption” turns out to be wrong as well?

Immigration’s “economic benefits” have never been shown to be, on the most optimistic and tendentious accounts, anything but trivial on a per capita basis for existing native-born Americans. All that happens is grotesque giantism: larger aggregate GDP at the expense of enormous undesirable population growth and unwanted and unnecessary demographic change engineered for the benefit of the left.

This whole apology for the status quo on immigration — and that is pretty much what the Trump-Cotton-Perdue proposal is — is premised on the poll results were supposedly the middle position is that the rate of immigration should be unchanged. I’d like to see the poll results on this question:

At present rates of legal immigration the U.S., already the third most populous country in the world after China and India, would have a population increase of more than 100 million to as much as 450 million within less than 50 years. The foreign born and first generation population would be 30% of total, which is historically unprecedented. In light of these facts, do you favor more, less or the same levels of immigration?

Maybe the Times can get back to us on these questions.


Theory and practice of the administrative state

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 10:04 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)In this sixth and final episode of the RealClearPolitics podcasts on the administrative state, Anthony Mills Tony talks with the Claremont Institute’s John Marini about the origins of the administrative state and the current political scene. A professor of political science at the University of Nevada-Reno, Professor Marini argues that centralized bureaucracy has displaced the Founding Fathers’ vision of a constitutional republic. Their discussion touches on political philosophy, the decline of party politics, and the rise of Donald Trump.

Professor Marini fits the model of the student praised in Chaucer: “gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.” I have learned much from Professor Marini over the years. I found this podcast well worth my time. If you wish to proceed to an advanced course on the degradation of our constitutional form of government, this podcast may open the doors of perception and move you to further study.


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