Saturday, April 18, 2009

pride of the profession (for real this time)

Meet Thomas Tamm. Mr. Tamm was also a lawyer in the Bush Justice Department. But confronted with direct and undeniable knowledge of egregious lawbreaking by elements of the administration, Mr. Tamm, in diametric counterpoint to Mr. Bybee, didn't look the other way and didn't sacrifice his ethics by dishonestly inventing specious rationales to conceal the illegal conduct and ensure that it continued.

Instead, he risked his career, his personal freedom, and the welfare of his family to expose this criminal conduct. Mr. Tamm was the primary source for the New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on the illegal NSA wiretap program. You may recall that the NSA was for years using an electronic dragnet to spy on Americans without the warrants required by the Fourth Amendment and the version of the FISA law then in effect. Each individual instance of this surveillance was a felony.

Mr. Bybee was awarded a lifetime appointment as a federal judge for his despicable behavior. Mr. Tamm's reward for courageously exposing an ongoing series of blatant felonies committed by Bush and the NSA? He was fired from his job, ruthlessly slandered and libeled, and hounded into poverty as a result of aggressive harrassment by the Justice Department.

And the cause for which he made this sacrifice? Barack Obama and the Democratic controlled congress retroactively and prospectively legalized the entire series of crimes and gave blanket immunity to everyone who had any part in committing them.

When Barack Obama, by way of excusing from accountability the many architects and implementers of Bush's torture programs, says we must"turn the page" on this "dark chapter in our history" and look to the future, does the plight of Mr. Tamm ever enter his mind? Mr. Tamm is still being harrassed by the FBI and threatened with prosecution. This man deserves a full presidential pardon, a Medal of Freedom, and a high-ranking job in the NSA or the Justice Department. And he deserves an apology.


Gleemonex said...

I agree -- Mr. President, there's a matter that needs attending to, over here.

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