Greenwald nails this one:
Let’s spend just a moment thinking about what this means. We’ve known since December, 2005, that Bush officials, including at the NSA, committed felonies by eavesdropping on Americans without the warrants required by law — crimes punishable by a five-year prison term and$10,000 fine for each offense. All three federal judges to rule on the question have found those actions to be in violation of the law. Yet there have been no criminal investigations, let alone indictments, for those crimes, and there won’t be any, due to Barack Obama’s dictate that we “Look Forward, Not Backward.” Thus, the high-level political officials who committed crimes while running the NSA will be completely immunized for their serious crimes.
By stark contrast, an NSA official who brought to the public’s attention towering failures and waste at the NSA — revelations that led to exposés that, as Shane put it, were “honored with a top prize from the Society for Professional Journalists” — is now being prosecuted for crimes that could lead to a lengthy prison term. Why doesn’t Obama’s dictate that we “Look Forward, Not Backward,” protect this NSA whistle-blower from prosecution at least as much as the high-level Bush officials who criminally spied on American citizens? Isn’t the DOJ’s prosecution of Drake the classic case of “Looking Backward,” by digging into Bush-era crimes, controversies and disclosures?
Meanwhile, who wants to bet we won’t “look backward” when it comes to this:
Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released Thursday.
Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he “agreed” with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to “take the heat” for destroying the tapes.
“PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat,” according to one document, an internal C.I.A. e-mail message.
The message is clear- you torture people and then destroy the evidence, and you get off without so much as a sternly worded letter.
If you are a whistle blower outlining criminal behavior by the government, you get prosecuted.
I expected better from Obama and Holder.