The best professionals in any field work hard to overcome their own biases. With the questions swirling around the current administration's national security leaks and the stonewalling on the "Fast and Furious" investigation, we are in desperate need of this generation's Woodward and Bernstein. But will journalists work as hard to hold their own accountable?
In response to President Bush using executive privilege to protect internal deliberations between Carl Rove and the Attorney General Harriet Meyer over the firing of U.S special prosecutor attorneys, Senator Obama, in an interview with Larry King, advised, "There has been (attempts) on the part of this administration to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there's something a little shaky that's taking place. The administration would be best served by coming clean on this. There doesn't seem to be any national security issues involved...."
On the eve of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's contempt vote, President Obama, at the request of Attorney General Eric Holder, invoked executive privilege in taking the Congressional request for documents off limits. While executive privilege has been used by almost all presidents, whether this is an appropriate use to protect deliberative discussions with national security implications is not clear. With the House censure of Holder, the impasse now reached will ensure that getting at the truth will extend months beyond the coming election unless journalists do what Congress can't--get to the truth and provide transparency.
The Nixon administration initially minimized both the Watergate break-in and the administration's involvement. When Nixon invoked executive privilege, the courts ruled that executive privilege couldn't be used to protect potentially fraudulent activities. There are clearly unanswered questions and inconsistencies that must be addressed. Watergate involved political information. The Fast and Furious Operation contributed to the death of border agent Brian Terry and hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens. The national security leaks have also impacted the lives of double agents and informants.
Where are today's Woodward and Bernstein? If there are cover-ups or improprieties, will the liberal media prove as courageous and diligent in surfacing the truth on a candidate they personally support? Our republic depends on journalists with the strength and integrity to do just that. May it be so.
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