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  • Gina Keating

Lazy journalists becoming government press office

Pay close attention, journalists.

Below is the press release published yesterday by the DOJ. Compare the seventh paragraph to the Associated Press story. They are identical. Take a look at the Wall Street Journal story and other coverage that incorporates the AP story. Do you understand that by simply parroting whatever the government tells you, you are officially a state news agency -- kinda like in Russia or China?

Now, journalists, ask yourself how you sit in a sentencing hearing for an hour and a half, hear testimony from one of the top defense attorneys in the United States, Dane Butswinkas, that the government hid information from him and his team - and that led to the wrongful conviction of an innocent man -- and don't include that in your story?

That information includes U.S. intelligence briefings that the Iraqi colonel who conducted the investigation into the Nisour Square incident was a known Jihadist. It also includes the fact that the U.S. government told the father of the alleged victim that Paul Slough shot his son, and the father refused to testify in any way against Nick. He refused to lie for the government. Isn't that our role in democracy, journalist, guarding against the tyranny of the powerful?

How, journalist, do you not return to your office -- an itty bit curious about what sounds like a crazy theory but - but - it's being said in public by a guy from the top law firm in the United States, who is working for free because he is so disgusted with the prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in this case? And then there's that amicus brief from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- a nice, liberal organization -- that says EXACTLY THE SAME THING if you don't want to believe Butswinkas. Did you read that?

Do you not, after watching Judge Royce Lamberth try to equate his one-year tour in Vietnam as a JAG with the hell hole that was Baghdad in 2007, and after watching him smile as Nick Slatten's mother cried in front of him as she begged for her son's freedom, wonder who the hell this Jabba the Hut-looking creature is?

And if you actually did you damn job, journalist, and found this 2004 article by a George Washington University law professor who describes Lamberth's "Reign of Terror" and proposes a way for the system to get rid of incompetent judges like Lamberth, why didn't you think - maybe I ought to challenge some of the more bizarre statements he made from the bench yesterday. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=487122

Does it make you think twice when you heard Lamberth dismiss FOUR identical sworn statements by Paul Slough as "an attempt to confuse the government"? Did it make you want to do a Google search and find Paul Slough's leaked statement on the ABC News website from the day of the Nisour Square shootings, and ask yourself "why would this guy Slough admit to a civilian shooting that would possibly get him thrown in prison?"

I didn't think so. Thank you, my lazy colleagues in Washington DC, for allowing me to have the scoop of a lifetime.