I've spent a good chunk of this week arguing that Judicial Watch, the right-wing "good government" watchdog, is actually a collection of hackish partisans who use their watchdog status as a fig leaf for fabricating counterfactual anti-Obama narratives.
But I'm tired of doing that. So instead, I'll let Judicial Watch do it for me.
Here's Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton arguing, in all seriousness, that the Obama administration refuses to release the photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse because they are "embarrassed" by "our victory."
FOIA is a disclosure statute, and the public has an affirmative right to know. We're not after legitimate secrets related to operational or intelligence matters. But the historical record of Osama bin Laden's death should be released to the American people as the law requires.
I get the feeling that the Obama administration doesn't want to release these photos because it is embarrassed both by our victory in killing bin Laden and the preposterous burial at sea.
As I've pointed out previously, the Obama administration has no problem releasing documents that the left thinks will embarrass the United States -- say, for example, Obama's selective release of documents disparaging "enhanced interrogation techniques" over the objections of his own national security officials. But when it comes to documents that show the heroism of our military? No deal.
He killed Osama bin Laden.
He instructed Leon Panetta to revamp and refocus the CIA's hunt for Bin Laden, ordered the high-risk military action that took out the Al Qaeda chief, monitored the assault from the White House situation room, delivered a national address announcing Bin Laden's death, thanked the military for their role in the successful operation, and thanked the intelligence community for hunting Bin Laden down.
And all this was done with an overriding sense of shame?
I have to wonder if Tom Fitton is even capable of recognizing embarrassment when he sees it. Only someone incapable of feeling any shame would make an argument this foolish.
Hope springs eternal. Despite more than a year of fruitless digging, the right-wing media can't let go of their hope that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will be disqualified from hearing cases about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Recently, conservative media have been hyping letters from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) as well as 49 other congressional Republicans seeking documents to determine if Kagan was involved with health care litigation during her time as solicitor general (the position she held immediately before being appointed to the Supreme Court).
Conservative media don't bother hiding the reasons for hoping that Kagan must be recused. As Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton wrote on BigGovernment.com, "The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately settle the issue regarding whether or not Obama's socialist healthcare overhaul will be the law of the land. Everyone knows it. And if Elena Kagan is forced to recuse herself from hearing the case that will be one fewer dependably liberal vote on the Supreme Court for Obamacare."
In addition to Fitton's post on BigGovernment.com, HotAir.com's Ed Morrissey breathlessly hyped the 49 House members' letter, asking, "Did Elena Kagan mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing when answering questions about her level of involvement in ObamaCare?" The Washington Times also hyped the same letter, as did Newsmax. And National Review Online blogger Carrie Severino and Glenn Beck's website TheBlaze.com hyped both the 49 House members' letter and Smith's letter.
But CNS News may take the cake for the most overwrought reaction. CNS reported that Smith had begun an "investigation" into whether Kagan had been involved in health care litigation as solicitor general. It subsequently had to append an "editor's note" to the article explaining that the House Judiciary Committee "requested a correction of the story" because Smith had not launched a "formal investigation" but had merely made a "request for addition information."
CNS's overreaction to Smith's letter to the Justice Department epitomizes the right-wing's campaign to have Kagan recuse herself from health care litigation. The right-wing media keeps demanding further inquiry into the issue of whether Kagan should recuse herself. The additional information shows that there is no reason for Kagan to recuse herself. But the right-wing media claims that all it needs is a little more information, and it will become clear that Kagan did recuse herself.
Below the fold is a brief recap of the right-wing media's recusal campaign so far.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton has taken to the pages of Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com to hype his organization's latest "bombshell" -- a series of mundane emails between FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and media reform organization Free Press regarding the placement of a pro-net neutrality op-ed. As Media Matters has demonstrated, the communications are nothing out of the ordinary. Government officials regularly communicate with outside interest groups and even make arrangements to work with them, like when FCC commissioner Robert M. McDowell gave a speech expressing his opposition to net neutrality at Americans For Prosperity's (AFP) Right Online conference in 2010.
Nevertheless, Fitton and others on the right seem to think they've uncovered a conspiracy of sorts. In his BigGovernment piece, Fitton goes overboard in describing the alleged perfidy his group has discovered, steadily escalating the infraction to something approaching supervillainy:
We recently uncovered documents from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that show officials at the FCC colluded with the radical leftist Free Press organization to publicly push a new plan to regulate the Internet under the FCC's so-called "net neutrality" program.
Judicial Watch uncovered internal correspondence showing unusual coordination by some officials at the FCC and Free Press in pushing the "net neutrality" agenda in the run-up to the controversial FCC vote in December:
So it should come as no surprise that an organization with socialist ties is driving the net neutrality agenda from inside the Obama administration. The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency that follows the law. The American people should be deeply troubled by the fact that the Obama administration, on issue after issue, seems to be run by shadowy leftist organizations.
Mind you, all that Judicial Watch has "uncovered" are emails discussing the placement of an op-ed, and potential speakers for a FCC conference on net neutrality. From this, Fitton starts at "collusion," moves on to "unusual coordination," and then somehow ends up at the Obama administration being "run by shadowy leftist organizations." How he got there is anyone's guess.