WC’s Person of the Year for 2014 is in danger of having her award cancelled for Extreme Hypocrisy. Senator Diane Feinstein (D, California), who wants Julian Assange prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act by his Wikileaks posts, and Edward Snowden prosecuted for treason for his leaks to Glenn Greenwald, wants the Department of Justice to leave poor, dear General David Petraeus alone after his leaks of classified information to his mistress. Because he has “suffered enough.” Senator Feinstein may have just broken the Hypocrisy Meter.
Remember when Senator Feinstein told the media,
When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released his latest document trove—more than 250,000 secret State Department cables—he intentionally harmed the U.S. government. The release of these documents damages our national interests and puts innocent lives at risk. He should be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.
Senator Feinstein may have overlooked the detail that Mr. Assange is not a U.S. citizen, committed no crimes inside the U.S. and cannot be prosecuted. But, details aside, you certainly can see she is vehement in her position that leakers should be prosecuted. Assange is now a virtual prisoner in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If he goes out, he gets extradited to Sweden on dubious sexual misconduct charges, with a very serious risk Sweden would pass him on to the U.S.
And do you remember when Senator Feinstein told the media, that the 29-year-old Edward Snowden who leaked information about two national security programs was guilty of treason?
“I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,” the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told reporters. The California lawmaker went on to say that Snowden had violated his oath to defend the Constitution. “He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason.”
Snowden is political refugee in Russia, under indictment in the U.S. He has lost pretty much everything he ever had through government seizures, up to an including his U.S. passport.
Recently, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice wants to indict U.S. Army General David Petraeus, former commander in chief of U.S.. forces in Iran and Afghanistan, and most recently the Director of the C.I.A. General Petraeus leaked classified information to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography.
Assange and Snowden seem to have been motivated by public interest: the materials they released revealed that the United States was in grave violation of its own laws in its pursuit of intelligence. You can quibble over whether what they did was “right” or “whistle-blowing.” But it is surely nobler than leaking secrets to your mistress so she can write a better biography about you. General Petraeus’s conduct was utterly self-seving.
But that hasn’t stopped Senator Feinstein from demanding that the General be left alone. As Huffington Post reports, the Senator appeaed on CNN:
“This man has suffered enough in my view,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, explaining why she doesn’t think Attorney General Eric Holder should seek an indictment.
Petraeus “made a mistake,” added the senator, who is vice chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “But … it’s done, it’s over. He’s retired. He’s lost his job. How much does the government want?”
David Petraeus gets a fat pension of $220,000 a year from the United States. He reportedly charges $100,000 for a speaking engagement. He has complete freedom of movement, although he does encounter hecklers. Assange can’t leave the Ecuador embassy. Snowden can’t leave Russia, and for 39 days couldn’t leave the transit lounge of the Moscow Airport. And Senator Feinstein thinks David Petraeus has “suffered enough”?
Or how about Thomas Drake, who tried to whistleblow the NSA’s concealment of a $1 billion dollars boondoggle, never disclosed a single bit of classified information, but was charged with 11 felony counts and exhausted all of his funds defending himself against the bogus charges. The USDOJ ended up dismissing all 11 counts on the eve of trial. Drake plead to a single misdemeanor count of improper use of a government computer. He lost his job, his pension and his net worth, and the charges were dismissed. WC wonders if Senator Feinstein thinks that Thomas Drake suffered enough?
This is the United States. The laws are supposed to apply to everybody, not everybody but the Good Ol’ Boys and Girls in Washington D.C. Not everybody but Senator Feinstein’s friends. If Senator Feinstein thinks the laws are too harsh when applied to David Petraeus, then they are too harsh for everyone. She’s a U.S. Senator. She can do something about that.
Something besides utter hypocrisy.
Cant, Hypocriticalness, Pecksniffery, Pharisaicalness, Pharisaism, Sanctimoniousness, Sanctimony, Sham, Tartuffery, Tartuffism