The secret love-child of Rush Limbaugh and Perry Mason
December 5, 2003 7:25 PM   Subscribe

The secret love-child of Rush Limbaugh and Perry Mason gets his day in court. Vince Foster conspiracy theorist nutjob challenges SCOTUS on whether the government can deny a FOIA request on the grounds of invasion of personal privacy. Amusing write-up by Dahlia Lithwick.
posted by skallas (10 comments total)
you laugh, but one of these days he'll topple the clinton presidency.
posted by quonsar at 7:58 PM on December 5, 2003

Technically he is "challenging" the 9th Circuit. The piece is amusing. At least the bias isn't hidden.
posted by anathema at 8:04 PM on December 5, 2003

I love Dahlia Lithwick's work. Her writing is exceptional, and she makes the Supreme Court seem more entertaining than most network dramas. And it probably is, although basically no one tells us about it except for her.
posted by realityblurred at 8:13 PM on December 5, 2003

So one of the top people in the administration commits suicide, which is followed shortly thereafter by (understandable) utter confusion, panic, paranoia, and upset, and it's a *private* matter?
At that level of government *nothing* is private because *everything* affects how the US is run. And there is no statute of limitations for "family sensibilities", because the private person is so intermingled with the public person that there never is an exit, an end to scrutiny.

Instead of Vince Foster, what if it had been J. Edgar Hoover? Would anyone argue for *his* privacy?

In this case, the conspiracy nonsense is not at issue.
posted by kablam at 8:15 PM on December 5, 2003

i found this article amusing:)
posted by MrLint at 8:58 PM on December 5, 2003

"He (Favish) just wants to know for sure. "The government can no longer be trusted to filter the raw evidence to the public in this case," he concludes, leaving one to wonder how, to adopt for a moment Favish's way of thinking, a government capable of killing a high-ranking official, persuading his widow and sister to lie, and orchestrating a cover-up that includes five independent investigations wouldn't be able to retouch a photo."

Ok, but what about the hundreds of other people Clinton had killed, according to the email that circulated in the late '90s.
posted by graventy at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2003

The traditional dogma of archivists has been that "the dead have no privacy rights" — if this changes, even if only for government records, it will be a sad day for open access to information.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:53 PM on December 5, 2003

More Lithwick here.
posted by tingley at 11:25 PM on December 5, 2003

Zapruder's pretty gruesome, but it's pretty clearly in the public interest for the shots on Kennedy to be available -- and not just when he was waving to the crowds.

The guy's got a point. Can facts be censored because they bother surviving relatives? Is that what the _law_ says?

I usually really, really like Dahlia here. But her clear bias got a bit annoying; yes, I know you're surprised he's making a legal argument, now how 'bout give him a bit of credit for making a convincing one.

What the hell was the defense case? "We're tired of hearing about this!"

posted by effugas at 12:50 AM on December 6, 2003

The man's argument is bolstered by the far more suspect death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. (Yes, I know it's a NewsMax link, but read it anyway.)

Back then, other then the two military pathologists writing about gunshot wounds to the heads of damn near everybody on the aircraft, there was also the suggestion that Ron Brown had sold the names of the NSA's China monitoring bureau to China. That being said, not only was he supposed to be assassinated, but with "extreme prejudice." Stories of control tower personnel held under armed guard, etc., floated about with just a shrug response.

In fact, so egregious was Brown's behavior that not only did they want to kill him, they wanted everyone to know that they had killed him. So the actual assassination was full of instances of witnesses, media leaks, and verbatim non-denials, "It is not the policy of the United States to assassinate foreign leaders." Huh?

Well, I suppose if you *did* get a real traitor at a high level of government, you *would* have to have some sort of process for eliminating him.
posted by kablam at 3:31 PM on December 6, 2003

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