Democratic Congressman Jim Mcdermott has been ordered to pay a settlement from his 1996 case when he released a wiretapped conversation by John Boehner. The original amount of $60,000 has grown to $1.2 million over twelve years of interest, fines and penalties. Gee, it's a good thing the IRS wasn't involved or we could be talking about real money.
The original case is interesting for several reasons. Boehner was using his cell phone, which we all know isn't secure and can be intercepted by anyone with a scanner, to make a call regarding the ethical lapses of then Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Florida couple who intercepted and taped the call gave it to McDermott who released it to the press.
Since it's common knowledge that cell phone calls are using public airwaves to transmit we all understand they aren't secure for confidential communications. Boehner was a fool to use his for a sensitive conversation about the Republican's crooked Speaker. Gingrich wound up being cited for serious ethical violations and we all understand how difficult it is for any Member of Congress to violate their weak ethics standards.
The larger issue here, though, is wiretapping. Why is McDermott being cited and penalized for violating something George W. Bush is violating millions, perhaps, billions of times a day? Why does this law apply to everyone else but not the president? Are we a nation of laws or not? Last I checked no one was above the law in this country, even George W. Bush.