It’s easy! It’s fun! It’s snarky! It’ll put you in jail (maybe)!
A FB acquaintance who probably doesn’t want me to name him put forward the following:
It should surprise nobody that it’s probably going to take a court fight to get the full Mueller report on Trump and Russia (among other crimes) out of the hands of the GOP. Attorney General Barr has put forward specious reasons to keep the contents hidden. That’s a strange approach considering that the GOP has been saying that Mueller exonerated Trump for all things he was charged with over the past three years. Mueller may have decided that nothing Trump was accused of rose to the level of indictable offenses. Still, we (the American people who ostensibly paid for Mueller’s work) should be able to read the purported 335 page document and confirm Trump’s lack of Russian collusion to their satisfaction. And ostensibly, Mueller may have found other indictable offenses worth farming out to places like the Southern District of NY and the Eastern District of Brooklyn. If those offenses can draw an indictment, Trump cannot use his pardon power. as a ‘get out of prison’ card (and it’s also true his kids cannot be pardoned out of such charges).
How then to get the document that Mueller has brought forward? If only there was a hacker who could grab the report. Someone like, you know, WikiLeaks.
Interesting predicament there. Ever since the Chelsea Manning prosecution, the US has been gunning for Wikileaks. I had written about this in 2012-2013 when the paperwork for Manning’s prosecution was being prepared. There was simultaneously a secret grand jury meeting to draw up charges against Assange, and those charges were kept under seal in Virginia. But in any case, the crackdown that followed the Snowden revelations and Manning’s release of the ‘collateral murder’ video lead to a sharpening of US law enforcement’s ability to prevent such hacks. There’s also nothing special about the hackng ability of people in WikiLeaks. And WikiLeaks doesn’t really hack. They publish the things that people bring them. Assange and friends didn’t type a single line of code to publish the Manning revelations. Manning simply downloaded a few terabytes of incriminating files onto a thumb drive and then went to journalists to release the info (more on that later).
Let’s also explain that Hillary Clinton’s campaign wasn’t ‘hacked’ by programmers outside the server firewall. Somebody inside her campaign (probably Seth Rich, for reasons explained here) downloaded her e-mails onto a thumb drive. Being a Whistleblower has become orders of magnitude easier than it was when Daniel Ellsberg had to lug thousands of pages of ‘secret’ documents out of the Pentagon in order for the Washington Post and NY Times to bring us the Pentagon Papers.
So at least in theory, it should be easy to get hold of the Mueller report and publish the full document. You need a thumb drive, a disgruntled employee, and a willing publisher and there you go. Why hasn’t it happened?
Because you no longer have willing publishers. Nobody has been willing to acknowledge this, but we no longer have ‘crusading journalists’. Nobody in the news biz was willing to rat out Bush/Cheney’s rush to war in Iraq, even though there were arguably plenty of journalists who had an inkling of what was happening in their war based on lies (MP George Galloway knew). When Chelsea Manning took her thumb drive to the biggest and most prestigious journalism companies in the US, THEY TURNED HER DOWN. Only WikiLeaks would tell us what our own government would not about the disaster that was our involvement in Iraq.
And with Wikileaks gone, who should the hypothetical whistleblower who’s managed to get hold of the Mueller Full Report trust? Surely not those aging icons of journalistic excellence. Jeff Bezos (a megabillionaire with no great love of the Free Press) now owns the Washington Post. The Post is NOW WORKING WITH THE CIA. The New York Times, it should be remembered, sat on its revelation that George W Bush had using the NSA to spy on all Americans until AFTER THE 2004 ELECTION.
There’s no reason so far put forward by AG Barr to hide the contents of Mueller’s findings. Bob Mueller has prosecuted a lot of big cases in his career He convicted Sammy the Bull and John Gotti, and he was able to do so without violating the rules of grand jury testimony. It can’t be that the document he’s prepared fails the test on keeping testimony secret. But as long as Barr has decided to obstruct a reading of the full report, the American people cannot find out what Trump has done. And if I were holding an e-copy of the report on my thumb drive, I’d be extremely careful about who I shared it with. No reason to stick one’s neck out in a country that doesn’t protect truth-tellers.
Too bad we treat whistleblowers like criminals.