Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jeffrey Toobin, the Firewall Sniper of Hypocrisy [2013 Reloaded Edition]

Jeffrey Toobin has written an article attacking Ed Snowden for the unauthorized release of  government documents:
And what of his decision to leak the documents? Doing so was, as he more or less acknowledges, a crime. Any government employee or contractor is warned repeatedly that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a crime. But Snowden, apparently, was answering to a higher calling. “When you see everything you realize that some of these things are abusive,” he said. “The awareness of wrongdoing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up. It was a natural process.”
Toobin has been accused of hypocrisy on this and other points before, more than once.  And not without kaus:
There's more! Let's not forget that Toobin, the man who now decries the baleful influence of book deals, first made his mark betraying Iran-Contra special counsel Lawrence Walsh, for whom he worked as a lawyer, by quitting to publish a book about the case before it was even over!
And how did Toobin betray Walsh?  Michael Isikoff:
Toobin was caught having absconded with large loads of classified and grand-jury related documents from the office of Iran-contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh. Toobin, it turned out, had been using his tenure in Walsh's office to secretly prepare a tell-all book about the Iran-contra case; the privileged documents, along with a meticulously kept private diary (in which the young Toobin, a sort of proto-Linda Tripp, had been documenting private conversations with his unsuspecting colleagues) were to become his prime bait to snare a book deal.   Toobin's conduct enraged his fellow lawyers in Walsh's office, many of whom viewed his actions as an indefensible betrayal of the public trust.  Walsh at one point even considered pressing for Toobin's indictment. ("I was petrified," Toobin confided at the time, "that criminal charges were going to be brought against me.") The matter also triggered an internal disciplinary inquiry by the Justice Department. Whether he feared dismissal and disgrace, or simply wanted to move on, target Toobin soon resigned from the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn (where he had gone to work after Walsh) and abandoned the practice of law.
Here's what Lawrence Walsh wrote in his memoir of the Iran-contra investigation, Firewall (p.273):
During our negotiations over the timing of the book's publication, Toobin and his publisher surprised us with a preemptive suit to enjoin me from interfering with the publication or punishing Toobin for having stolen hundreds of documents, some of them classified, and for exposing privileged information and material related to the grand jury proceedings. I could understand a young lawyer wanting to keep copies of his own work, but not copying material from the general files or the personal files of others.

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