Monday, April 24, 2006

Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Miami Herald goes after the FBI’s fishing trip into the files of the late Jack Anderson.

The brazen attempt by the FBI to search the voluminous files of the late Jack Anderson, a prominent Washington journalist, adds to the impression that the government has launched a no-holds-barred assault on traditional press freedoms. Mr. Anderson, who died in December, made a career out of uncovering embarrassing government secrets. The enemies he made in the Washington bureaucracy would like nothing better than to get their hands on his papers to find out what secrets still lurk therein, regardless of whether they are entitled to do so.


Mr. Anderson would never have allowed federal agents to examine his private papers without a very good reason, and the guardians of his papers are right to resist their efforts. The files were transferred to George Washington University at Mr. Anderson’s request last year. They have yet to be cataloged.


In life, he was the scourge of bureaucrats who sought to hide mistakes under the cloak of official secrecy. It is shameful and offensive that the government still seems to be trying to settle old scores with him even after his death.

I suspect that Mr. Anderson, wherever he is now, is having a big old laugh over all of this.