Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Free Manny Miranda!

This is just pathetic.

Normally, I'm not someone who has a lot of sympathy for sticky-fingered right-wing hacks, but Manuel Miranda is starting to make me feel bad. Fired a while back by his boss Bill Frist for copying Senate Democrats' confidential files, Miranda has been waging a one-man campaign against, er, the Republican party ever since. Democrats and some momentarily clear-minded Republicans referred the case to the Justice Department, which has been investigating whether his snooping broke any laws.

Miranda feels he was wronged--all he did was clandestinely read secret communications between Democratic senators and their trusted advisers on sensitive political issues. It was perfectly okay to download Democrats' files, he's argued, because, er, Democrats still had copies when it was all over:

Miranda’s lawyers argue that their client did not steal or embezzle government property because the documents were read and not removed in a fashion that would have prevented Democratic lawmakers and aides from making use of them.

So much for laws against theft of intellectual property! Anyway, all Miranda wants is justice; he says so himself:

“My motivation was to bring this to an end and to do the right thing because what was done to was so wrong,” Miranda said. “I was moved by the fact that what happened was an abuse of power so unfair it shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

Yes; no one should have to go through the experience of reading someone else's secret files, and then getting in trouble for it. To right this wrong, Miranda has decided to sue John Ashcroft, demanding that a federal judge order Ashcroft to stop investigating him.

I'm a little bit speechless. Can you even do that?

Unrelated thought: how come, in Steven Seagal movies, they bother to make up names for Steven Seagal's character? Wouldn't it save time just to refer to him as "Steven Seagal"? Would anybody really notice?