Exploiting terrorist threats for political gain
Only 12 hours or so have elapsed since disclosure of the U.K. airplane terrorist plot, and already the Bush administration and its supporters are, quite characteristically, rushing to exploit it for political gain, as I detail in this post over at Salon.
I also have a post-mortem there of the Lieberman defeat, including an analysis of the severe problems Lieberman will face if he proceeds with his independent run, along with the way in which some national journalists are, as always, mindlessly reciting White House propaganda about this race as though it is fact.
Finally, I learned of the U.K. terrorist plot when I was in the middle of writing a post regarding the simplistic and frivolous comparisons of the trans-partisan, anti-war sentiment sweeping the country today and the anti-war movement in 1972. As a result, I haven't finished that post yet, but Anonymous Liberal has now written a superb post here making many of the arguments I had intended to make. I will add a few thoughts later today as to the invalidity of this comparison.
UPDATE: I have written previously about the Bush administration's extraordinary criminal prosecution against two former AIPAC employees under the Espionage Act of 1917, and the ways in which that prosecution can lay the groundwork for prosecuting investigative journalists. The district court in that case today refused to dismiss the charges, holding that the Espionage Act empowers the government to prosecute private individuals for disseminating classified information, and that national security concerns outweigh the citizens' First Amendment interests in speaking about the conduct of their government. This is a huge win for the administraiton's efforts to put jouranlists in prison for the stories they publish.
The court's opinion is here (.pdf). I now have a post up at Salon about this decision.