Rep. Charles Rangel: Let The Attorney General Do His Job

by Rep. Charles Rangel

The Huffington Post

The actions of the attorney general and the Department of Justice have been criticized for infringing on our fundamental freedoms as Americans. It seems that the security of our freedoms has been questioned several times in the last few months, and “scandal” seems to be the Republican theme of the year. However, we must ask ourselves whether these manufactured scandals have true substance and threaten the liberties and freedoms we cherish, or whether they are simply products of an ongoing political satire.

It is without doubt that freedoms of the press and speech need to be protected, but there are undisputed limits to these freedoms, limits that often come into play when national security is threatened. Rather than playing distracting and unnecessary political games, we should allow the legal institutions which protect these freedoms to do their job. All the facts are needed before jumping to conclusions. We cannot afford to take shortcuts when such fundamental rights are at stake.

There are only a few facts that we know for certain. We know that top secret information was stolen by Stephen Joo-Won Kim, a State Department contractor. We also know that the information came into the hands of James Rosen of Fox News. Whenever there is a leak of highly confidential information, it becomes a potential risk to national security. Proper action was needed to protect our nation. Eric Holder found that issuing a broad warrant was the best solution to stop the leak as fast as possible. While it is certainly our job as citizens to scrutinize, we must do so in a way that allows time for the facts to surface while understanding the scope of the danger involved.

Liberty and security are often in direct confrontation and must be balanced in a way that protects us without destroying what is worth protecting. The actions following this security breach had to be appropriate to the situation. Before deciding that the warrant issued was a violation of our freedoms, we must evaluate whether the risk to our security significantly outweighs the risk to our rights. We are all here to best serve the American public. Attorney General Holder had to rationalize these risks to best execute his job.

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