The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


For those of a certain age, the name Daniel Ellsberg conjures images of a government whistleblower who presented damning evidence against the Vietnam war. Lauded by the anti-war left, Ellsberg was prosecuted by Richard Nixon, a president who was ultimately forced out of office because of a series of serious ethical/criminal lapses. One of those lapses is described by Peggy Noonan:
The domestic side of Richard Nixon’s White House, from policy to politics, had the aspects of a kind of malevolent screwball comedy. In August 1971, aides to Nixon discussed a covert operation to get damaging information on Ellsberg from his psychiatrist. The following month they burgled the office of Lewis Fielding. They didn’t find anything.

Ellsberg went on trial in early 1973, charged with theft of classified documents, conspiracy, and other charges related to espionage. During the trial the break-in of Dr. Fielding’s office was revealed. So was evidence that Ellsberg had been wiretapped without a court order. His defense team, learning all this for the first time, was incensed, and the judge himself either felt or imitated umbrage. The government’s actions, he said, “offend a sense of justice.” The events surrounding the case were “bizarre” and had “incurably infected the prosecution of this case.”

Fast forward to another president whose administration has "aspects of a kind of malevolent screwball comedy." As usual, an Obama-friendly media has given short shrift to still another, small, but persistent scandal that involved the Obama state department, Hillary Clinton, and the aggressive of a government whistle blower, Aurelia Fedenisn. Noonan fills in some details:
[Fedenisn is] a former investigator in the Inspector General’s office in the State Department. Agents for the [State] department had been working on investigations that uncovered serious and criminal wrongdoing. Their work, they said, was subject to influence and manipulation by higher-ups at the department. Agents told the IG’s office they were told to stop investigating a U.S. ambassador in a sensitive post who solicited prostitutes in a public park. Fedenisn, a 26 year veteran at State, went public. John Miller of CBS News broke the story on June 11.

Schulman [Fedenisn's lawyer] says that since Fedenisn blew the whistle, she has been subject to attempts at intimidation. “They had law-enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children, and attempt to incriminate herself,” he said.

But here's where it gets Nixonesque. Again from Noonan:
Foreign Policy magazine’s online news site, The Cable, ... noted that the office of a law firm that represents State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn had been broken into. Citing the reporting of a local Fox TV affiliate in Dallas, The Cable said the burglars took three computers and broke into a locked metal filing cabinet. Other items of value—silver bars, electronic and video equipment—were left untouched. KDFW aired video footage from a security camera showing two people, a man and a woman, entering the office building in which the law firm, Schulman & Mathias, is located.

Cary Schulman, Fedenisn’s lawyer, told The Cable: “It’s a crazy, strange and suspicious situation.” He said he thinks whoever broke in was “somebody looking for information and not money.” His most “high-profile case” is Fedenisn’s, and he couldn’t think of “any other case where someone would go to these threat lengths to get our information.”

Hmmm. You'd think that the Nixon-Obama parallels would be ... well, obvious. You'd think that the media would be on this with much the same enthusiasm they showed when the Ellsberg burglary story broke. You'd be wrong.

But no matter. Just another simmering scandal, another case of potential unethical behavior on the part of the administration. But Obama supporters think this (and every other lie, ethical lapse, and potentially criminal act) is just a "distraction." Funny that those Obama supporters who were around during the Nixon years didn't feel the same way about that corrupt president.