Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Senators question harassment of deceased reporter's family over classified documents

The FBI has been after deceased investigative reporter Jack Anderson's family to turn over his records because they contain classified information. The family, bravely and rightly, has refused. It wanted to donate Anderson's papers to George Washington University. The FBI hasn't gotten a subpoena for the documents yet, but the family says it is willing to risk contempt of court charges if the FBI comes around again with a search warrant.

Amazingly, this latest abuse of executive power has actually attracted the interest of Congress. According to this New York Times article, "The Senate Judiciary Committee gave the Bush administration a new lashing Tuesday over its use of executive power, citing the FBI's posthumous probe of columnist Jack Anderson and questioning the notion that espionage laws might allow the prosecution of journalists who publish classified information."

If the FBI wins this case, do you think they'll be restricting themselves to demanding the record of deceased journalists for long? How long before they knock on Seymour Hersh's door?