Thursday, May 29, 2003

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo continues his wonderful coverage of the the document shreding scandal after the Texas Department of Public Safety's manhunt for the missing Democrats:

On Thursday afternoon, I spoke to Burnam. He told me that he has "multiple sources" at the DPS who told him about the alleged document destruction. He also says he will identify his sources at the deposition on Monday, though he is currently trying to arrange some sort of whistleblower protection for them. When I asked Burnam why he thought the AG's office placed such importance on finding out the identity of his sources, he said he thought "they are trying to find out what I know and who I know it from and how they can get to them."

This could be a huge story if the mainstream media were to pick it up. More:

Why won't this once scandal-obsessed city take what happened in Texas seriously? Sure, it involved neither sex nor money. But it involved something more serious: the blurring of the line between the power of the state and the partisan interests of those who run it--a line that represents the fundamental separation between a democracy and a dictatorship. When FBI files showed up in Bill Clinton's White House, Republicans, with the help of the press, screamed with outrage, even though no evidence that they were used for any partisan purpose was ever uncovered. Yet, in this case, when we know that police powers were harnessed for partisan gain, the issue elicits laughs.

If you care about what's happening in your country you'll take the time to read this stuff. It goes to the very heart of our democracy.

The Homeland Security Department's power is virtually unchecked. It can operate at will and delve into every nook and cranny of ordinary life in virtual secret. Homeland Security can be a good and necessary aspect of government in these troubled times, but its scope, reach and power deserve scrutiny because the department is ripe for abuse.