For those who e-mailed about the “threatened” issuance of a search warrant against PCIJ, I have this to say: it is premature to raise hell.
A commenter seconded Sassy, saying the controversy brought to mind the fable of the boy who cried wolf.
Fair enough, I should think. If, as Borges wrote, every writer creates his own precursors, every reader can discover in the given text his own allusions. But the real question is: When is the right time to raise hell? And did the PCIJ, in fact, raise hell?
Both Sheila Coronel and PCIJ’s counsel (disconcertingly enough, also surnamed Coronel) reported the unusual circumstances behind the attempt to source a search warrant against the PCIJ. The circumstances form part of a pattern; to miss the pattern is to refuse to see the evidence of our own eyes. Were they wrong in relating the facts to and expressing their fears before a Senate committee?
Besides, when is the right time to ask for help? Should the PCIJ have waited for the police to knock on their doors, before telling the public what they had found out days before? Perhaps Sassy Lawyer’s legalistic, or shall we say even literalist, view, assumes — wrongly, I think — that media organizations like the PCIJ have a lot of room for legal maneuver. Like other journalists now in the administration’s crosshairs, they did not, and still do not, have the luxury of time.