The Watergate scandal of 1972-74 was uncovered largely because of outraged Democratic politicians and a bulldog media. They both claimed that they had saved American democracy from the Nixon administration's attempt to warp the
In the Iran-Contra affair of 1985-87, the media and liberal activists uncovered wrongdoing by some rogue members of the Reagan government. They warned of government overreach and of using the "Deep State" to subvert the law for political purposes.
We are now in the midst of a third great modern scandal. Members of the Obama administration's
But none of these government officials told the
Nor did these officials reveal that the author of the dossier,
Nor did officials add that a
Unfortunately, such disclosures may be only the beginning of the FISA-gate scandal.
Members of the Obama administration's national security team also may have requested the names of American citizens connected with the Trump campaign who had been swept up in other FISA surveillance. Those officials may have then improperly unmasked the names and leaked them to a compliant press -- again, for apparent political purposes during a campaign.
As a result of various controversies, the deputy director of the FBI,
The new FBI director,
How does FISA-gate compare to Watergate and Iran-Contra?
Once again, an administration is being accused of politicizing government agencies to further agendas, this time apparently to gain an advantage for
There is also the same sort of government resistance to releasing documents under the pretext of "national security."
There is a similar pattern of slandering congressional investigators and whistleblowers as disloyal and even treasonous.
There is the rationale that just as the Watergate break-in was a two-bit affair,
But there is one huge (and ironic) difference. In the current FISA-gate scandal, most of the media and liberal civil libertarians are now opposing the disclosure of public documents. They are siding with those in the government who disingenuously sought surveillance to facilitate the efforts of a political campaign.
This time around, the press is not after a hated Nixon administration. Civil libertarians are not demanding accountability from a conservative Reagan team. Instead, the roles are reversed.
Obama did not fit the past stereotypes of right-wing authoritarians subverting the
Progressives are not supposed to destroy requested emails, "acid wash" hard drives, spread unverified and paid-for opposition research among government agencies, or use the DOJ and FBI to obtain warrants to snoop on the communications of American citizens.
FISA-gate may become a more worrisome scandal than either Watergate or Iran-Contra. Why? Because our defense against government wrongdoing -- the press -- is defending such actions, not uncovering them. Liberal and progressive voices are excusing, not airing, the excesses of the DOJ and FBI.
Apparently, weaponizing government agencies to stop a detested