Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hero or criminal? Leaking to the press

Last Monday, we heard former attorney Sally Yates testify that she warned the White House about General Michael Flynn lying about his contacts with the Russians. Obviously, Flynn could have been blackmailed by the Russians.
And remember at the time Yates informed the White House, Flynn was National Security Adviser. It took eighteen days before conservative Republican president Donald Trump fired Flynn. And that came right after the Washington Post reported that Flynn was compromised. Lawrence O' Donnell on his show The Last Word makes the point that if the Post article didn't come out, it's likely that Flynn would still be National Security Adviser. Just remember also that Flynn was privy to some of the biggest secrets to the United States. O' Donnell makers the point at 5:58 of the video below. Somebody leaked to the press and the truth came out.

Now with the firing by Trump of James Comey as FBI Director, we can surmise that more leaks will come out. This will likely occur if the truth is that Trump ditched Comey because he was ramping up the investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. With it looking like the Republicans will do nothing, our democracy is in danger.

So the question is when is a leaker a hero or criminal? The press's job in our American democracy is to bring out the truth. Speak truth to power. If a leaker sees corruption and the powers that be, either a conservative Republican President or a complicit Republican congress do nothing, then wouldn't it be morally correct to leak the truth to the press? Those that have the knowledge of corruption have the truth but it's certainly a difficult decision to make. O'Donnell is correct. The Watergate scandal broke because of somebody leaking information to primarily the Washington Post. That brought President Nixon to justice.

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