You do not have to agree with everything (or, indeed, anything) my UM colleague Juan Cole has to say to be rather disturbed by recent stories about the Bush II administrative sending the spooks after him or trying to blackball him on the think tank circuit. The latter business is just sort of petty, and sad as well to the extent that it reflects a view that is just best not to ever hear an opinion that conflicts with one's preconceived ideas.
Of course, such antics are, sadly, in recent years a bipartisan affair. Recall that the Clinton administration used the IRS to go after its critics.
The fundamental problem, of course, is that the very sort of people who eagerly seek to work in the government are often also the sort of people who put party politics and short term political gain ahead of the law and the long run maintenance of a free society.
Oh, and I am not related to the former CIA official called "Jeffrey Smith" mentioned in this version of the Juan Cole spying story. Imagine my surprise at the existence of someone else, no relation so far as I know, with such a unique name.
Hat tip: Jon Lanning