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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 34: Double Secret Hypocrisy

The ConWeb suddenly has a problem with senators talking obliquely about confidential information.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/15/2005

The ConWeb was annoyed when Senate minority leader Harry Reid suggested that the FBI file of Bush judicial nominee Henry Saad contained "a problem."

A May 13 article quoted Republicans hurling about terms like "unmitigated gall," "character assassination" and "unsubstantiated attack." A May 26 column by Ben Shapiro, posted at WorldNetDaily, howled: "Reid played the Republicans like fish here. He breached Senate protocol -- and plain decency -- by implying that FBI files on judicial nominee Henry Saad contained damning material." A May 21 NewsMax article reported that conservative groups were filing an ethics complaint against Reid, claiming that he disclosed "confidential information" from Saad's file.

But neither NewsMax nor the rest of the ConWeb was at all bothered when confidential information was released to House members prior to the 1998 impeachment vote against President Clinton.

A December 30, 1998, NewsMax article by Carl Limbacher noted that the "secret" information was "under lock and key at D.C.'s Gerald Ford Building." Limbacher described one representatives' response to the so-called evidence -- none of which was ever publicly released -- as "very alarming and very unsettling," involving, "conduct by the President that is alleged to be pretty horrific." Another representative was quoted as saying: "I came away nauseated. There are things that go far beyond what we've heard."

A December 1999 WorldNetDaily article lamented that "no investigation was made into the now-sealed documents in the Ford building which enumerate his dealings with Communist China as well as other scandalous accounts." CNS made no mention of this alleged evidence.

Nowhere on the ConWeb -- on or anywhere else -- was the public mention of that allegedly secret information condemned. No ConWeb writer viewed that particular leak of secret information as "unmitigated gall," "character assassination" or an "unsubstantiated attack."

Why was it perfectly OK for NewsMax and WorldNetDaily to write about secret, unsubstantiated, unprovable information about a Democrat, yet a mention of a nonspecific "problem" with a Republican judicial nominee brings howls of indignation?

Ah, but we already know the answer to that, don't we?

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