CREW 1, FBI 0
by Matt Stoller, Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 07:50:56 AM EST
This is fairly important. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group that goes WAY out on a limb to pursue corruption and ethical problems in DC, has been vindicated in a big way. Here's the backstory. Prior to the Mark Foley scandal, CREW, which had copies of the scandalous emails, forwarded them to the FBI, which did nothing. When the scandal finally broke, the FBI first claimed that CREW had redacted the emails, and that the FBI sought further information from CREW to no avail.
The Inspector General today released a report showing that neither of these claims were true. Now, to give you a sense of how aggressive Melanie Sloan and Naomi Seligman are, they were accused of lying by the FBI during a really heated political campaign even as they were being smeared by the right for acting appropriately in the biggest political scandal of the year. That's pressure.
If only all progressive groups acted this way. I've had my disagreements with CREW. I think their strategy is too focused on ethical guidelines without looking at structural solutions, and I think they bend over backwards to go after Democrats, even when it's not entirely warranted. But standing up to the FBI is a big deal, and I don't know many progressive groups who could or would do this without turning into a puddle of equivocation and caving shortly thereafter.
UPDATE: I really like this comment from wingnut Dan Riehl:
They must be genuine moonbats at CREW to believe they are going to get into a he said, she said with the FBI and come away a winner.