Tired of waving the national security flag, Obama administration lawyers are apparently trying another tactic to get the courts to back Bush administration arguments which never worked to prevent the release of critical documents. Forget Qaeda or North Korea, late night hosts who tell jokes are why the government should retain its secrets.
“A federal judge yesterday sharply questioned an assertion by the Obama administration that former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s statements to a special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame case must be kept secret, partly so they do not become fodder for Cheney’s political enemies or late-night commentary on The Daily Show,” R. Jeffrey Smith reports for The Washington Post.
The AP reports, “Justice Department lawyers told the judge that future presidents and vice presidents may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics who would ridicule them.”
Politico’s Josh Gerstein adds, “Sullivan didn’t decide immediately whether the summary and notes of the Cheney interview should be made public, but the judge said Bradbury’s declaration was inadequate to justify withholding the records. He ordered the Justice Department to supplement its filings by July 1 and to produce the documents for him to examine in private.”
Well, good for the judge. Other than that, it's un-fucking-believable that DOJ would use that as an argument.
That said, The Dick is probably in more danger from late-night comedians than he is from DOJ, dammit.