Except that I'm not. Still, thanks for admitting that you are!
The subject: the on-and-off concern about national security, when looking at the domestic surveillance controversy and the Plame investigation, depending on where the partisan political advantage seems to lie.
The admission: from Ted of Crooked Timber, who cries gotcha on me.
The proof that I haven't taken two sides on the two controversies:
Re Plame, I've said:
I have avoided writing [about] the Plame story. There is too much detail to it for me to analyze it and come to a fair conclusion. A man faces criminal prosecution. The temptation is to say either this is a huge deal or this is practically nothing based on how much you'd like to see the Bush Administration wounded. How many bloggers have fallen prey to that temptation? How many bloggers have written about the indictment of I. Lewis Libby without imbuing it with their own political wishes? A man faces criminal prosecution. Let him go to trial, then.Re domestic surveillance, I've consistently avoided pronouncements about the statutory law and how it relates to the constitutional law on the ground that it is too specialized and complicated. For example, in the long set of comments to this post, I chided a commenter who asserted that the surveillance program was "blatantly" illegal:
You might note that I haven't taken a position. I don't consider myself knowledgable enough to do so, and I really dislike it when other people think they are. Look how modest Kerr was about his analysis. He's an expert, and he still refrained from making any strong assertions. Take a lesson from that.Later, in the same thread, responding to a commenter who wondered how I could miss some aspect of the FISA statute, I said:
How could I miss it? Simple: I've never even purported to analyze the statute. I can see it's complex, and I've never studied it. I've just chided people who are jumping ahead and saying what it means. I'm not myself doing the thing I'm chiding others for doing.Shamelessly stripping this post of mine of its context, Ted says "Ann Althouse couldn't care less about Valerie Plame." That post is about the way people like Kos were exulting about "Fitz-mas." I was expressing disgust about "slavering hyenas" gloating about the indictments they hoped to get from the special prosecutor. I wasn't saying I didn't care about that leak. Not there or anywhere else! I await Ted's apology for his self-serving distortion of my writing.
Ted also tries to excuse the leaking of classified information in the domestic surveillance matter on the ground that it's whistleblowing. To that, I've already said (in the comments at the last link):
You can't reveal national security secrets and just say you're a whistleblower. The leak is really outrageous, and people who don't care about it strike me as flat-out partisans who care more about politics than national security. It's quite sickening.I agree that the Plame leak may have been devoid of any virtuous motive, but that's beside the point. The question is: Are you concerned, in a politically neutral way, about national security? Ted tries to wriggle out of this question by just observing that he isn't seeing the damage to national security and telling me that I ought to prove the damage to national security. That's ridiculous. It's not for each person in possession of classified information to decide for himself how much it matters and to weigh how much good could be done by leaking it. And for those of us on the outside, who don't know the true scope of the program or the terrorist activities, we have no basis to spout off about how damaging the leak was. Blithe yammering about how it didn't really hurt just makes you look all the more partisan.