Commentary Magazine

J. Edgar Yglesias

Writing about the most recent developments in the case against two AIPAC lobbyists suspected of espionage, James Kirchick asks: “Will Steve Rosen’s attackers apologize?” He goes on to cite bloggers who have recently attacked Steve Rosen, one of the former-AIPAC lobbyists who will not be prosecuted by the government because he did nothing wrong. I think Kirchick knows very well that most of these bloggers would never do a shameful thing like apologize for accusing an innocent man of being guilty of the crime he did not commit (save Spencer Ackerman‘s “tendentious” apology).

But I did not think the response would be this. Matthew Yglesias, one of the original finger pointers, makes his position abundantly clear:

This is almost certainly the right decision. I enjoyed AIPAC getting a black eye, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if their dealings got somewhat more scrutiny, but the particulars of this case seem an awful lot like an effort to establish a dangerous precedent that can be used in the future against all manner of journalists.

Hmm. He’s right to think that a prosecution of this nature would have had dangerous implications for all journalists — himself included — yet he boasts that he “enjoyed” the injustice while it lasted and hopes for “somewhat more scrutiny” of the wronged party.

The two lobbyists did not break the law and it has been widely speculated that “the whole point of the exercise was obviously an attempt on the part of some people in the FBI to embarrass the pro-Israel lobby.” Simply because they worked for AIPAC, an organization that Yglesias does not like, they deserved a government-administered black eye?

It’s one thing to attack one’s political foe on merit. It’s quite another to relish an injustice. The day has come: a lefty blogger sides with a J. Edgar Hoover-like move by the FBI. One can only speculate that his reasons are as ignoble as the FBI’s.

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