October 9, 2006
CREWing Manny MirandaBy Clarice Feldman
CREW, the Soros—funded organization, wants to have it both ways on the sanctity of private emails and web material. Sometimes it is fine to disclose them. Other times not. Sometimes the content of these communications matters, other times the only important question is the process by which they became public. And of course, most of the press and some Republican saps buy into this nonsense.
As attention is focused on CREW's role in the non—sexual / not—pedophilia / non—scandal of Mark Foley, it's worth revisiting that organization's role in the persecution of Manny Miranda, a former Senate Judiciary Committee aide. For once again, as we examine the matter we will see an all too familiar array of characteristics:
In November 2003, the Wall Street Journal exposed Democrat documents that revealed a pattern of corrupt practices in obstructing judicial nominees. Within days, however, Democrats and the press commenced a 5 month Capitol Hill frenzy to discover how these documents got to the press. Only 1 out of 5 news articles or other commentary even mentioned the substance of the corrupt memos.
That meat of the scandal, ignored by the press, included Democrtas blocking one nominee because he was Hispanic. Another plot showed a plan to stop judicial confirmations to obtain a favorable result in the Michigan affirmative action case, while others revealed a pattern of using the confirmations process for fund raising and rallying campaign support. Robert Novak commented,
Manny Miranda one of the two Republican staffers who had found these documents on an openly accessible shared network has said
These documents have never been made public in full, the Wall Street Journal having published only parts of 15 such messages.
The Senate Sergeant at Arms was asked to and did conduct a full investigation. Democrats were successful in distracting from their own wrongdoing by employing all their weapons, including a willing press and their unofficial agencies like CREW. Even before the Senate investigation was completed, CREW filed an ethics complaint against Miranda with the Bar, which was promptly dismissed.
Masochists of the right
But even as the Democrats working with CREW deflected attention from the substance of the memoranda and their misdeeds, the masochists on the right side of the aisle, guided by who knows what principles except spinelessness, continued to throw their staffers to the wolves.
Republican senators agreed with their opposition that the real scandal was the leak from publicly—accessible source, not the leaked material itself. Robert Novak wrote,
Miranda said that he had neither broken the law nor Senate rules by reading the memos. But key Republican Senators did not back him, apparently anticipating this year's similar poppycock that the Geneva Convention Rules ought to apply to jihadis or our own troops will be in peril. Play by the rules you wish the other side would please play by, and maybe they will be nicer to you.
Three Republican Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee joined Democratic members in writing to Attorney General Ashcroft demanding an investigation into whether there were any criminal violations in the accessing and leaking of this material. They went so far as to demand the appointment of a special prosecutor with the powers of Patrick Fitzgerald to oversee it.
Unlike, Ambassador Munchausen, whose serial lies were treated as the actions of a 'whistleblower' entitled to legal protection in the words of Patrick Fitzgerald, Manny Miranda was treated as someone who, having accessed and brought to public attention real corruption, was treated as a potential criminal.
Luckily, this time the Attorney General didn't fall for it.
The Democrat documents were obtained because Democrat staff failed to protect them on a Senate shared network. Moreover, the Senate's code of ethics and case law make it clear that Senate—stored documents are not private or confidential and are in the public interest, and staff has a duty to disclose evidence of corruption.
Instead of a special prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York was asked to lead the investigation.
In the Foley matter, by way of contrast, private emails and instant messages, of the kind whose privacy is protected by federal law, were disclosed by various means including CREW and Hill staffers. This was done in the political climate of a coming election. But little attention has been paid on the Hill to how the documents were disclosed and only to their substance, even though in this case, the how and when of the availability of these Foley documents could mean that if there were any substance to the inflated claims about Foley, that Democrats engaged in a conspiracy endangering the welfare of minors.
And CREW ironically is playing a partisan role in both scandals. In the Miranda case they claimed the how was more important than what the leaked material contained (corrupt Senate practices) when it suited the Democrats. This time they claim that what is contained (dubious claims of improper conduct by a single, now removed Congressman) is more important than how the material was obtained. And this time, too, their claim is to the Democrats' advantage .And both times Republican saps fell for the song and dance.
The Miranda investigation still remains officially open, although Mr. Miranda reports to me,
As to the apparently corrupt behavior of the Democrats who, among other things, were holding up a judicial nomination only to affect the result of the University of Michigan case in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Miranda adds:
Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.