By now you have all read this:
The Justice Department said on Friday that it had opened a criminal investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a secret National Security Agency program under which President Bush authorized eavesdropping on people in the United States without court warrants.
The investigation began in recent days after a formal referral from the security agency regarding the leak, federal officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the investigation.
The program, whose existence was revealed in an article in The New York Times on Dec. 16, has provoked sharp criticism from civil liberties groups, some members of Congress and some former intelligence officials who believe that it circumvents the law governing national security eavesdropping.
President Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales have vigorously defended the program as a legal, critical defense against terrorism that has helped prevent attacks in this country. They say Mr. Bush’s executive order authorizing the program is constitutional as part of his powers as commander in chief and under the resolution passed by Congress days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That resolution authorized the use of force against terrorists.
The White House said on Friday that it had played no role in the Justice Department’s decision. But in Crawford, Tex., where Mr. Bush has been all week, a spokesman was sent to talk to reporters with a prepared statement about the decision.
Does this mean the Justice Department has taken the position that the Bush wiretapping bit was legal? The ACLU has taken the position (and I am sure it will soon be echoed around the left wng of the blogosphere) that the leakers are heroes and whistleblowers. If they are in fact whistleblowers, how can an investigation go forward? It would seem to me the first thing that needs to be done is that Justice has to determine the law was or was not broken, then they can investigate.
And since I am asking so many damned questions, do lions and big game cats purr like domesticated cats?
*** Update ***
A GINORMOUS round-up of reactions to the investigation can be found here.