I would add, imagine that we had this debate one month after terrorists destroyed the WTC and part of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Let’s say that Congress had the balls to propose then what they are belatedly trying to do now. Should America respond to external danger by imprisoning reporters who anger the government? It would have been a short debate. In theory the idea sounds stupid and horrendously un-American. So why now and not then? Between then and now reporters have released blockbuster scoops which have forced resignations, ended careers and severely damaged the president and his party. No doubt the same investigative journalists are chasing down as many leads and more, and a party with exclusive claim to power has far greater opportunity to abuse it. If you want to test an American’s loyalty to our country’s fundamental values you don’t ask the question as an abstracted idea, you wait until his every political interest lies in violating them.
“I believe the attorney general and the president should use all of the power of existing law to bring criminal charges,” said Representative Rick Renzi, Republican of Arizona.
You flunk, Rep. Renzi. Who wants to join him?