White House Leaks

The Coordinated Leaky Drips In The White House

As I’ve noted previously, there has been a hue and cry against the critical and untenable use, and abuse, of secrecy by the United States government. There has always been some abuse of the government’s classified evidence for political gain by various administrations operating the Executive Branch, but the antics of the Obama administration have taken the disingenuous ploy to a new art form.

Today, via Politico’s old fawning Washington DC gluehorse, Roger Simon, comes an unadulterated (sometimes x-rated) and stunningly tin eared and arrogant admission of what the Obama White House is all about, straight from the lips of Obama consigliere Bill Daley:

Rahm was famous for calling reporters, do you call reporters? I ask.

“I call; I’m not as aggressive leaking and stroking,” Daley says. “I’m not reflecting on Rahm, but I’m not angling for something else, you know? Rahm is a lot younger [Emmanuel is 51], and he knew he was going to be doing something else in two years or four years or eight years, and I’m in a different stage. I’m not going to become the leaker in chief.”

You’ve got others for that, I say.

“Yeah, and hopefully in some organized leaking fashion,” Daley says, laughing. “I’m all for leaking when it’s organized.”

Oh, ha ha ha, isn’t that just hilarious? Bill Daley, and the White House he runs, are all for leaking, history bears out even the most highly classified government secrets, and doing so in an organized pre-planned fashion, when it serves their little self-centric petty political interests. But god help an honest citizen like Thomas Drake who, after exhausting all other avenues of pursuit within the government, leaks only the bare minimum information necessary to expose giant government waste, fraud and illegality because he feels it his duty as a citizen.

For citizens like Tom Drake, the “most transparent administration in history” will come down on his head like a ton of nuclear bricks even when they embarrass themselves in so doing. But they are more than willing to exploit and leak to self serve their own interests. What is good for the king is not appropriate for the commoner.

In this regard, I wish to amplify point that Glenn Greenwald has previously made about the pernicious affect of this duplicitous use of classified information. Glenn said:

But the problem is much worse than mere execssive secrecy. Anyone who purports concern over the harmful leaking of classified information should look first to the Obama administration, which uses secrecy powers as a manipulative tool to propagandize the citizenry: trumpeting information that makes the leader and his government look good while  suppressing anything with the force of criminal law that does the opposite. Using secrecy powers to propagandize the citizenry this way is infinitely more harmful than any of the leaks the Obama administration has so aggressively prosecuted.

That is exactly right. It is not just that the government keeps unnecessary secrets from the public on information that is critical to their duties and responsibilities as citizens, it is that the self-serving selective leaking creates an intentionally fraudulent paradigm for the citizenry. It is not only manipulative, is fundamentally dishonest and duplicitous.

When the leaking is so selective and self-serving it is not just the people who are deceived, is the press they rely on as a neutral information conduit from which to make their opinions and determinations. The press then becomes little more than a hollow funnel for opportunistic and dishonest spin. We saw the effects of this in the case of Anwar Awlaki’s extrajudicial assassination, and have seen it again in the Scary Iranian Terrorist Murder ruse.

The last bastions against this pernicious practice are the press and courts. Until both start admitting how they are relentlessly gamed and played by the White House, there is little hope for change. And make no mistake, the press ratifies this pernicious conduct by lazily accepting such leaks and reporting without properly noting just how malignant the process is. It is all a joke to Bill Daley and Barack Obama, and the joke is on us.

PS: For a little more on the joy that is White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, see Digby today. And a fine dissertation of why Daley should be fired on the spot by Joan Walsh in Salon. I would only note that it is not just Rahm and Daley, it is the man who consistently brings this Chicago style heavy handed belligerence to the White House. Mr. Obama’s two Chiefs of Staff do not operate apart from him, they ARE him and his Presidency. The buck for this stops at the top.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @matthew_d_green Nah. Instead let's just pass a bill that guts ECPA and immunizes corporations that make dumb decisions.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @PogoWasRight @davidrook @walterwkatz Well, yeah...Fittipaldi, Hunt, Senna, Prost etc. Hard to argue with that.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthew_d_green Also, we call low-margin widgets that aren't profitable enough for reliable processors "smart appliances." #DeathBySmart
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emptywheel @matthew_d_green That's because we're putting embedded processors in so many low-margin widgets we HAVE to be cheap.
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emptywheel RT @matthew_d_green: Our civilization is likely to be undone by our desire to save 4 cents per embedded processor shipped.
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel In other words, even as we debate transparency in USAF, the IC is giving us VERY clear evidence they will never give us timely transparency
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel DOJ IG finished Section 215 report almost a year ago. Claim that it is STILL being declassified a year later is...unpersuasive.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @p2wy Yeah, only we're not Toronto and we're not LA, so it's not gonna work.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @p2wy They'd be able to outsource not-fixing them to buddies for profit?
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @PogoWasRight @davidrook @walterwkatz Like this better than the chrome, but miss the orange/white of Marlboro years https://t.co/UbxEF0itlR
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @brianjbowe: @nickmanes1 @emptywheel man, if we start drawing dicks around all of MI's problems: http://t.co/NHoSoyTO1k
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