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Gonzales Says Publishing Leaks Is A Crime

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the battle-of-the-legal-wars dept.

889

loqi writes "The NY Times is reporting on a statement from US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales declaring that journalists may be prosecuted by the federal government for publishing classified information. On the 1st amendment ramifications: "'But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity,' he said. 'And so those two principles have to be accommodated.'" So our 1st amendment rights don't trump the right of the federal government to violate them?"

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889 comments

Congress shall make no law... (4, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379354)

Slimey bastards! I wonder what the fallen in the September 11th terrorist outrages would make of this. The US government has repeatedly used their memory to justify secrecy right across government. It is now trying to use their memory to to silence people who whistle-blow on their deepest darkest secrets. Well fuck them!

Quite frankly, I couldn't give the faintest whiff of shit what the Attorney General has to say about the issue. The Constitution trumps everything, the Attorney General include, and it states in no uncertain terms which the rights of citizens of the United States retain for themselves:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don't see any exception for the state to keep secrets from the electorate. Bring the prosecutions and watch them fall one by one.

Simon

Re:Congress shall make no law... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379414)

Given that if we had these programs in place before 9/11, the 9/11 dead wouldn't be dead right now, I expect they'd be all for them. The government keeps things secret for the protection of Americans, and the people who leak those secrets therefore place all Americans into harm's way.

Keep in mind that requiring people not to leak secrets does in no way infringe on the First Amendment. No one is having their freedom of speech taken away. However, just like yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater, there can be consequences to what you say. Just like you're not allowed to explain how to make bombs online, you're not allowed to leak secrets that can place America at risk.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (5, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379467)

Repeat after me:

1) Terrorism is an inconsiquential threat.
2) Every law passed since 9/11 is part of a grab for power.
3) Profit.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379556)

Holy shit! Nothing worth modding for three days, and then nine hours after my points expire, you write this.

Your statement is the most lucid, pointed, cogent, and concise post I have ever seen on Slashdot. If I still had my mod points, I'd give them all to you. Thank you.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379506)

Given that if we had these programs in place before 9/11, the 9/11 dead wouldn't be dead right now...

That is a pretty big if. Given the track record of the current set of assholes holding power in Washington it is more likely that any intelligence gathered would have been squandered, September 11th still would have happened, the administration would have classified all the intelligence and internal communications surrounding September 11th, then when someone leaked how badly the U.S. Intelligence Agencies/Executive administration botched the job they would have prosecuted the leaker(s) and any journalist with the audacity to print the truth.

The Bush admin should just cut to the chase and implement Sharia.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (2, Insightful)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379571)

The secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, Carnivore, and Echelon all existed under Clinton. Moreover, he and his administration were big pushers of Echelon (quite likely bigger pushers of it than the current administration).

Obtaining classified information on our intelligence practices and reporting them to the public has always been a crime. There is no freedom of speech issue here. News sources are not permitted to identify rape victims or undercover police officers either. Does national security take a back seat to those?

Re:Congress shall make no law... (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379435)

Besides, what about whistleblower laws? I think the unwarranted spying on Americans' phone calls should have to be ruled legal in a court of law before those who leaked it could possibly tried for a crime.

Anyways, this creates a very unstable situation, since the Administration can leak [newsmax.com] (I mean, "selectively declassify") information any old time they feel like it in order to make political points.

What's weird is that all the best information we have about what's being done in our name with our tax money is due to leaks. It doesn't feel like democracy to me.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379607)

Anyways, this creates a very unstable situation, since the Administration can leak (I mean, "selectively declassify") information any old time they feel like it in order to make political points.

Actually, as the head of the Executive Branch, the President is allowed to declassify just about anything he wants at any given time. The key is that it's usually a bad idea a) if American lives are on the line, or b) the operation/investigation is ongoing.

As someone who has had their life threatened by individuals in the US due to the incompetence of Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL) - who does *not* have the legal authority to declassify - I don't think the Democrats have room to talk.

Gonzales is a FOOL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379441)

...and Bush is a Fascist.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (2, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379446)

The Constitution trumps everything, the Attorney General included

Not the army. And at this point, we should be finding out exactly where they stand.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (3, Insightful)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379499)

Amen,

If you want to "hide" behind the First......be prepared to use the Second. That is why it was put there.

Those who would hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those that did not.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379472)

I don't see any exception for the state to keep secrets from the electorate. Bring the prosecutions and watch them fall one by one.

Every couple or four years the electorate gets to elect new people in the house, senate, or executive branch. Those people, in doing their jobs (or funding others to do so), have a couple hundred years worth of history of using non-public information, or conducting some activities (especially those that revolve around defense) covertly, lest the work at hand be rendered completely useless. If you don't like the fact that, say, keeping an eye on North Korea, or stinging an organized crime ring in Florida, or stopping the smuggling of old Soviet shoulder-fired AA missles in from Central America require the government to not talk out loud about things that it has to do, then rationally persuade enough voters to elect people that say they will not engage in those activities as they carry out their constitutionally described roles. Good luck with that.

Don't like a particular secret, activity, or program? Elect people with different priorities. Don't think the government should be able to do anything that the Chinese or Iranian governments can't see as easily as you can? Grow up.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (5, Insightful)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379559)

Don't like a particular secret, activity, or program?

So, just exactly how am I supposed to figure out if I like a particular "secret, activity, or program" if I'm not allowed to even know such secret, activity, or program exists?

Or, are you saying that if I don't like it when such secrets are kept in the first place, I should vote into power a set of representatives which support "no secrets" priorities?

Perhaps, if it's important enough to myself and a large enough number of my fellow supporters, I should propose a Constitutional Amendment? Maybe something that would prohibit Congress from making a law that prevents the Press from publishing as it sees fit?

Is that what you're proposing? Because I seem to remember something like that hapening in the past somewhere...

Re:Congress shall make no law... (1)

andreMA (643885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379589)

Don't like a particular secret, activity, or program? Elect people with different priorities.
And how, precisely, are the voters supposed to do that when they don't even know that the secret exists?

Re:Congress shall make no law... (0, Flamebait)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379479)

May I ask you why you're doing the exact same crap they are?

Them : Remember September 11th. Loads of people died.. DIED!
You : Remember September 11th. The people who DIED would be ashamed of this.

Maybe you should look at the general public around you. 99% of them couldn't give a shit what's in the consitution or even come close to telling you most of whats in it. Believe it or not these people weren't special, they weren't some super auto patriotic people. Most of them probably hated America and a lot of them were probably going "screw it, I'm moving to China".

You're complaining about someone using the emotional impact (of which there should be next to none left TBH). Then you go and do exactly the same damn thing.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (4, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379586)

May I ask you why you're doing the exact same crap they are?

Them : Remember September 11th. Loads of people died.. DIED!
You : Remember September 11th. The people who DIED would be ashamed of this.


Whenever somebody pulls that "people died on 9/11, new world, blah blah" card, I like to make the point that it's a slap in the face to anybody in uniform to use the deaths of a few thousand to justify taking away the rights that many millions have sworn to protect and gave their lives for over the past 230 years.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379502)

I don't see any exception for the state to keep secrets from the electorate.

Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens. They who can treat secretly of the affairs of a nation have it absolutely under their authority; and as they plot against the enemy in time of war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.

-- Spinoza

Re:Congress shall make no law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379509)

"Bring the prosecutions and watch them fall one by one."

Bring them to who? The whole federal government has turned its back on the people. The courts will agree with them.

The only way out is disobedience or revolution. The media, up until the Bush administration, was happy to side with the government or support them because the freedom of the press was being upheld. Bush's administration has demolished it, and the media doesn't like that.

Right Now In China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379547)

...we are preparing for the inevitable flood of Americans trying to cross our borders and claim political asylum here. Damn greasy round-eyed whitebacks, trying to steal our jobs!

Re:Congress shall make no law... (2, Insightful)

TheDunadan (950302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379598)

I will probably get modded down for this, but here it goes. Freedom of speech/press had nothing to do with freedom from facing consequences for what you say, but rather freedom from prior censorship. So in the way it was originally intended, you could, for example, publish a book about terrorism without the government inspecting it before it was published. Thats your freedom, not freedom from the consequences of printing such material, whatever they may be.

Chilling effects! (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379355)

Can't Gonzales think of the unintended consequences of legislation such as this? If leeks can no longer be published, what will happen to websites such as this one? [kitchengardenseeds.com] ;-)

Now I've gotten my joke in, for those too lazy to install the firefox bugmenot extension [roachfiend.com] here's the article text:

Gonzales Says Prosecutions of Journalists Are Possible

The government has the legal authority to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales [nytimes.com] said yesterday.

"There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility," Mr. Gonzales said on the ABC News program "This Week."

"That's a policy judgment by the Congress in passing that kind of legislation," he continued. "We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected."

Asked whether he was open to the possibility that The New York Times should be prosecuted for its disclosures in December concerning a National Security Agency surveillance program, Mr. Gonzales said his department was trying to determine "the appropriate course of action in that particular case."

"I'm not going to talk about it specifically," he said. "We have an obligation to enforce the law and to prosecute those who engage in criminal activity."

Though he did not name the statutes that might allow such prosecutions, Mr. Gonzales was apparently referring to espionage laws that in some circumstances forbid the possession and publication of information concerning the national defense, government codes and "communications intelligence activities."

Those laws are the basis of a pending case against two lobbyists, but they have never been used to prosecute journalists.

Some legal scholars say that even if the plain language of the laws could be read to reach journalists, the laws were never intended to apply to the press. In any event, these scholars say, prosecuting reporters under the laws might violate the First Amendment.

Mr. Gonzales said that the administration promoted and respected the right of the press that is protected under the First Amendment.

"But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity," he said. "And so those two principles have to be accommodated."

Mr. Gonzales sidestepped a question concerning whether the administration had been reviewing reporters' telephone records in an effort to identify their confidential sources.

"To the extent that we engage in electronic surveillance or surveillance of content, as the president says, we don't engage in domestic-to-domestic surveillance without a court order," he said. "And obviously if, in fact, there is a basis under the Constitution to go to a federal judge and satisfy the constitutional standards of probable cause and we get a court order, that will be pursued."

Re:Chilling effects! (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379403)

Those laws are the basis of a pending case against two lobbyists, but they have never been used to prosecute journalists.

Some legal scholars say that even if the plain language of the laws could be read to reach journalists, the laws were never intended to apply to the press. In any event, these scholars say, prosecuting reporters under the laws might violate the First Amendment.


Why is it not okay to prosecute Journalists but okay to prosecute lobbyists?

No, I'm not for prosecuting journalists, but the 1st amendment gives us all freedom of speech and freedom of the press - narrowing down who gets freedom of the press - in this case journalists - only serves to defeat the amendment. I'm tired of seeing the press get a free ticket because they are "real professionals" and people like bloggers get written off, as if the founding fathers intended the right to apply to only those who attended journalism school.

And what are lobbyists doing with state secrets anyhow? Shouldn't the people who gave them this info, who swore an oath to the government, and signed confidentiality agreements be the ones prosecuted?

Re:Chilling effects! (4, Funny)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379507)

Why is it not okay to prosecute Journalists but okay to prosecute lobbyists?

Because the First Amendment guarantees rights to humans only?

Re:Chilling effects! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379542)

Then shouldn't both parties be prosecuted:)

A Slippery slope (1)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379564)

"If leeks can no longer be published"

Next thing you know cilantro will be banned, and its all down hill from there, onions, cabbage, where does it end...........

Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (5, Interesting)

DougLorenz (964249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379356)

Gonzo claims in the article that:

"But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity," he said. "And so those two principles have to be accommodated."

So, according to the U.S. Attorney General, the first amendment is a great right, but it can't be allowed when it gets in the way of law enforcement. I wonder if he feels the same things about other Constitutional amendments which restrict law enforcement, like the fourth and fifth amendments. I'm sure that the people who wrote those Constitutional Amendments didn't really mean for them to limit the power of government (BTW, that's sarcasm...)

Of course, we really have to consider that the federal government should only be going after criminal activity when such criminal activity is actually present. Something cannot be a crime when the law which makes it a crime is not constitutional.

There is a reason why we have made freedom of the press a nearly absolute right. Throughout history we have seen that hiding the activities of government creates corruption, and even when the media is biased, we need them to be able to get the issues out to the public so that they can be discussed.

It is also interesting to see the philosophy involved in Gonzo's "Pass the Buck" stragegy. He wants to claim that it isn't the Bush administration that is going after the reporters, it's actually Congress that passed the laws which REQUIRE the Bush administration to go after the press.

"That's a policy judgment by the Congress in passing that kind of legislation," he continued. "We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected."

I guess that what really bothers me is that good Republicans who should really know better, individuals who have long complained about the growing powers of the federal government, should be more concerned about this. They need to come to their senses and realize that Bush is not helping the ideologies that make the Republican Party, and they need to abandon him.

Nixon was run out of office not by Democrats, and not even by the Washington Post reporters. He was run out of office by fellow Republicans who came to him and told him that he had become an embarrassment, and it was time for him to resign. Modern day Republican leaders have to do the same thing and rid us of our modern day Nixon.

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (3, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379410)

There is a reason why we have made freedom of the press a nearly absolute right. Throughout history we have seen that hiding the activities of government creates corruption, and even when the media is biased, we need them to be able to get the issues out to the public so that they can be discussed.
Since when has "freedom of speech" been a "nearly absolute right"? We limit free speech all the time in this country. For instance, you can't:
  • Yell "fire" in a crowded theater.
  • Commit libel or slander
  • Say something that creates a "hostile work environment" for others
  • Criticize a political candidate on television 60 days before an elections. (Thanks to the new Alien and Sedition Acts - AKA McCain-Feingold)

Those are just the ones I can think of before I've had my full cup of coffee.

So, the idea that freedom of speech is some absolute right just isn't true, and has never really been. The question isn't "can the government restrict freedom of speech in certain cases?" but "is this one of those cases?"

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379486)

Since when has "freedom of speech" been a "nearly absolute right"?

Since we let it. The first amendment says that the freedom of speech shall not be abridged. That law is still on the books. Therefore, any laws regarding the issues you mentioned are illegal.

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379508)

I think that you have no idea what "speech" is.

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379539)

Since when has "freedom of speech" been a "nearly absolute right"? We limit free speech all the time in this country. For instance, you can't:
Yell "fire" in a crowded theater.
Commit libel or slander
Say something that creates a "hostile work environment" for others
Criticize a political candidate on television 60 days before an elections. (Thanks to the new Alien and Sedition Acts - AKA McCain-Feingold)


IMHO, the last two are violations of the First Amendment! I do agree that libel and slander should be illegal. As for the often mentioned "fire in a theater", if there really IS a fire in the movie theater, I for one, want to know about it!

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (2, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379550)

Since when has "freedom of speech" been a "nearly absolute right"? We limit free speech all the time in this country. For instance, you can't:

- Yell "fire" in a crowded theater.


That is just stupid. If the only reason you don't yell fire in a crowded theater is because its illegal. Well, good luck in life. A better example of a lack of freedom of speech is that its illegal to talk about killing the President of the United States.

- Commit libel or slander

Libel and slander are subject to _civil_ law, not criminal law.

- Say something that creates a "hostile work environment" for others

Yes, the government did initiate many civil rights laws, especially in the 60s. I think that is a good thing, and again, most of the litigation here are civil suits, not criminal ones.

Criticize a political candidate on television 60 days before an elections. (Thanks to the new Alien and Sedition Acts - AKA McCain-Feingold)

I didn't know about this law. Sounds dumb if it really exists and is that specific. So, internet, radio, press, flyers, meetings are OK to criticize a political candidate, but TV is off limits for 60 days before an election? OK.

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379596)

Don't forget that you can't insult a pig . . . I mean a cop, to their face.

So from your post can I assume (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379480)

That you are in favor of allowing the mainstream media to publish troop locations and strategy on international news in a state of declared war? Some of this stuff is limited for a reason, you know.

Re:So from your post can I assume (2, Insightful)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379555)

Are you suggesting that our current "enemy" in the war zone doesn't already know these things? If a teenager with a cell phone is capable of providing this information to an upstream armed group (it's called scouting), surely a reporter pointing out, for example, that we're also funding the opposing side of the war should be entitled to when they come across proof.

If a reporter finds out about something, it wasn't much of a secret, or going to be a secret much longer any way. It's often the case that US citiznes do not actually know what is going on until a report broadcasts the "secret".

You'll find me a little more agreeable the day FOI requests aren't denied by default, then fought to the death, and finally touted as the government cooperating with the people once someone actually wrestles a piece of public information from this Neo-Christo fascist country of ours.

Re:So from your post can I assume (3, Insightful)

DougLorenz (964249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379575)

You can assume whatever you want, but nobody else here is going to see your comment as anything other than a slippery slope fallacy.

The government will always state that anything they don't want the public to know about is a national security risk in some form or another. This danger becomes even more severe as we enter into this new type of "War on Terror" where the proponents of such war would like to have the public believing that there are hobgoblins hiding in every shadow. If they can convince the public that everything is a threat, then everything becomes an issue of national security. And once everything becomes an issue of national security, and is classified accordingly, then there is no reason to worry about those pesky journalists.

I have mentioned this in previous discussions, and I will bring it up again. I am not comfortable with one branch of government having the sole power to determine what the public is and is not allowed to see. This is the situation we are beginning to fall into. We have been here before, with Nixon using the national security argument in an effort to protect his activities.

There isn't an independent clearing house for verifying whether something is national security or not, and since I don't trust giving the power to decide this to a single branch of government, I would rather error on the side of caution and support the Constitutional protection of a free press. Without this protection, only a fool would trust the government.

Show me one example where the press has even tried to publish troop locations or a LEGAL military strategy. Of course, some people could argue that exposing the secret prison facilities is just such a case, while I disagree with the legality of the issue. However, we wouldn't even have the ability to argue whether the government's actions are legal or illegal if it were not for the media forcing the issue into the public discussion.

Re:Gonzo needs to go back to law school. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379529)

"Of course, we really have to consider that the federal government should only be going after criminal activity when such criminal activity is actually present. Something cannot be a crime when the law which makes it a crime is not constitutional."

I think my sig says it all. If you hide behind a bit of paper the man with a pen will over rule it. I'm suffer if you don't understand that you're claiming "this book says we have this, so we must have this". When it's been repeatedly shown Bush can doodle all over the book and the general public hardly even notice.

The consitution only applies untill someone decides to burn it. The government has all the power (the army), has the pen (can make laws) and it holds you all captive (want to try and get out of America is they ban you from public transport of all kinds, including boats and planes?). You only have the powers they wish to allow you untill they decide you're not allowed them all more.

The days when everyone stuck together because it gave them power is long gone. Now too many people are blind, greedy little shits, who will stab you in the back for the tinyest bit of profit. Most people wouldn't care or try to fight back as long as it doesn't directly effect them (which unless it's money based, it won't).

First Amendment Vs "Some Statutes" (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379363)

So, the text of the first amendment reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I know this and value it as one of my most important rights as an American. The piece we are dealing with here is "freedom of the press." It is my belief that this protection of our press from our government is what makes our system just and, when the justice system fails, provides a means of prosecution for law enforcement, companies and politicians.

What I can't quote are "some statutes" that Mr. Gonzales is referring to. And, frankly, I don't give a damn what they say. There's nothing that could convince me to give up or sacrifice any part of the First Amendment.

I believe my government has a duty to protect the information that is important or sensitive. If the government fails to do adequately protect this information then it should not be illegal for an instution of the press to point it out. If by doing so they print the classified information then so be it. The people have a right to know the shortcomings of their government whether they be scandal or lack of security.

I fear that if they make this illegal, it will also be illegal to point out inadequacies of the government &, before we know it, the press will be unable to criticize the government. Releasing information of sensitivity is a form of criticism and should be treated as such.

You missed a part of the first amendment. (4, Funny)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379455)

The bit where it says "unless Gonzales says so" at the end. Granted its written in Crayon, but it is a sacred document so you have to follow it to the letter.

Re:First Amendment Vs "Some Statutes" (1)

Praxx (918463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379519)

I fear that if they make this illegal, it will also be illegal to point out inadequacies of the government &, before we know it, the press will be unable to criticize the government. Releasing information of sensitivity is a form of criticism and should be treated as such.

It's nothing the government hasn't tried before [wikipedia.org] . Only this time, if any legislation were to pass, I doubt that it would be so easily repealed. After all, we're still happily chugging along with the Patriot Act and DMCA.

Persecution (3, Funny)

zoward (188110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379364)

Am I the only one who read that as:

"...journalists may be persecuted by the federal government for publishing classified information".

Re:Persecution (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379469)

No, actually, there is a typo in the summary.

Re:Persecution (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379511)

Waterboarding. It not just for brown people anymore!

Suspicious (5, Insightful)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379369)

When the federal government invokes the "national security" card over and over again as it has in recent months and years, it is no longer national security that's at issue but abuse of power and the covering up of mistakes.

Re:Suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379569)

1. Commit crime

2. Hide crime by invoking national security

3. Jail journalists who expose it

4. Profit!!!

The Constitution is SO 90's, dude! Get with the agenda, you losers!. It's smart to hide tapping the phones of your political opponents and business competition and journalists, as long as you're in power. It helps you stay in power and your buddies continue to get no-bid contracts and great tax breaks on their oil profits. But those slimy reporters who try to expose this, they're the real traitors.

I don't care what you do as long as you keep my Freedom Fries safe from terrorists! Though that $4.95 gas sure stings...

Workaround: (2, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379374)

Outsource information leaking.

Not surprising from W's rubber stamp (1, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379385)

In an administration where universal deceit and lying is the norm, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Gonzales is nothing but a rubber stamp for this administration which is how W's puppetmasters like it.

It is when you are tested the most that you need to stick most by your principals. America is a democracy and come November we can all then start bitching about our new Democrat overlords which I for one am going to welcome.

The best thing about the American government is that it DOES correct itself. It may take time, but Americans do change for the better. Germany survived Hitler, we shall survive this...

Expecting the neo-con mod down in 3..2..1

Re:Not surprising from W's rubber stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379497)

The problem is that they ARE sticking by their principals. They need to stick to their PRINCIPLES.

Big difference!

This guy needs to get his head on straight (2, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379387)

The problem is this: the government is obviously having trouble trusting its people. It's that simple. If information leaks, go after the leaker. Once the information is out, it's out. Going after journalists is not exactly going to engender good will from the media. This has always been one of my biggest criticisms of the Republican party, that they can't handle the media at all.

This is not too different from how the Air Force and the Marine Corps handled the media in Iraq. The Air Force treated the media like a bunch of little kids and they they were not exactly portrayed in the best light. On the other hand, the Marines involved the media people reporting on them to the point of having them out in the field with real units. Result: the media with the Marines were much more open to the requests of the Marine leaders as to what could/could not be published and they painted the Marines in a much more positive light. Why? Becuase they felt like part of the team.

What Gonzales is doing is basically alienating the channel by which many many Americans receives their "information" every day. This is not exactly intelligent. I don't mean to say that the Republicans should kowtow to the media and or the Democrats (otherwise we would go from a 1.5 party system to a 0 party system), just that they need to not be stupid.

Lincoln (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379391)

Abraham Lincoln incarcerated leakers and dissidents on Barges in the Patomac. This included reporters and Senators.

Re:Lincoln (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379478)

God damned Repulicans.

(That's joke folks, just in case you missed it.)

No Problem (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379396)

The federal government said that bloggers aren't real journalists. So, I guess they won't get prosecuted!

For any subscribers with tagging, (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379399)

this story goes under the category "Bushit"

Re:For any subscribers with tagging, (1)

GuloGulo2 (972355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379531)

"Does anyone believe the bushit?"

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=186102&cid=153 58833 [slashdot.org]

Any chance you could get a new joke? I've been seeing that one on bumper stickers for a while now, and frankly, it wasn't funny when you used it on Thursday.

Criminal Activity (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379400)

Maybe I'm wrong (and I'm no lawyer)... the question seems to not be whether reporting classified information is illegal, but whether acquiring that information is illegal. If you break the law to gain information, then share the information, it is the first action which could be considered criminal. The second action is relatively minor.

But do Slashdotters think the ends justify the means? ...that publicizing classified information has enough value to excuse the law-breaking necessary to acquire that information? Or even of such value that we want to change the laws that make the data acquisition illegal?

Re:Criminal Activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379527)

it's not illegal to listen to someone, it's not illegal to write down what they say. The journos aren't the people breaking the law, their informants are. The journo's previously protected those people by depending upon thier right to silence and their rights to procets their sources. The problems arrise now that the goverment has questionable means of getting the names of said informants. This is where the real issue lies. Yes I agree that a gov has the write to protect its citizens from terrorism, but a govements first dutey it to protect it's citizens *AND* their rights. Protection of the physical should not come at a cost of the intangable.

I was under the impression that federal goverment was put in place to police the state goverments. Not to police the people. I am not ammerican, nor am I a lawyer, but I do seem to recall that there is some wording in the founding early foundations of American Law that expressly forbids the right of the federal goverment to act as a police force, I think there are exceptions to this only with reguards to the policing of currency.

what's good for the goose (2, Insightful)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379530)

I'd explain why it's important, but I've classfied that.

We're talking about an administration that doesn't give a damn about the principles this country was founded upon, and believes that any and all rights should be suspended for the War on Terror. This is just a case of a gander having its goose cooked.
This administration in particular is a big fan of "when in doubt, redact it out" to avoid publicized miscues, or (more importantly) their own contempt for the Constitution and the People's rights. That's capitalized on purpose, mind you.

This isn't a "hey Geraldo's publishing troop movements!".

This is "hey, concerned patriots are telling everyone about our thought police! Punish anyone who gives him a voice!"

Transparency and freedom of the press are critically important for a democratic has already betrayed democratic ideals and have lost any credibility as leaders.

no press super-citizens (2, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379404)

The "press" aren't super-citizens. They are no different than anyone else. They don't get to give themselves special immunity to laws that ordinary citizens must obey.

There's no ceremony, no initiation, no certification, license, or birthright to become a member of the press. I am a member of the press for publishing this opinion just as much as a NY Times writer. We are both entitled to the same rights and protections.

To say that the press can violate laws because they're the press is to say that anyone can violate the laws. It follows that the US maintaining national security secrets is unconstitutional when that secrecy is enforced. That's silly. Therefore, the press can be prosecuted, just like anyone else.

Re:no press super-citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379474)

or, neither can be prosecuted for telling their fellow citizens what their government is up to.

Re:no press super-citizens (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379504)

"There's no ceremony, no initiation, no certification, license, or birthright to become a member of the press"

So this is the ceremony that gives the White House team the right to ignore constitution?

The leaker violates the laws, not the reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379536)

Exactly, its the leaker who violates the laws, not the person reporting it. ANYONE should equally be able to quote that information on a blog, discuss it, debate it etc. without fear of reprisals (which is what this is).

Thats Freedom of Speech.

Re:no press super-citizens (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379557)

The press are the one organisation with enough power to fight the Government. In the second world war the allies and the Nazis both saw this. They used the press to boost morale and trash it. If you start making laws which keep everything "naughty" secret, then the government loses the only foe it truely has inside it's own borders.

You must have freedom of press or you never know the dirty things they get up to behind your back.

Think of the press as that friend who saw your wife cheating on you. If he wasn't allowed to tell you, then she can keep cheating on you and screwing you over. If he tells you then you can leave her and get a new better girlfriend. Do you think there should be laws stopping your friend telling you this?

Re:no press super-citizens (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379582)

What you are saying boils down to this: the government can prosecute people for saying things the government wished to keep secret.

I think you'll need an amendment to manage that one.

(The government could prosecute someone for breaking in and stealing that secret, sure, but not for saying it out loud.)

Justin.
A Brit.

I'm noticing a trend (3, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379409)


The US federal government is becoming too powerful, and it needs to stop.

I'm not sure who added the final blurb, "So our 1st amendment rights don't trump the right of the federal government to violate them?", but that entirely reminded me recently of another "trump" made recently. "The decision means that federal anti-drug laws trump state laws that allow the use of medical marijuana, said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Ten states have such laws."

I'm dead serious here. If the federal government keeps on their power trip fascism journey, well, they will be in for a rude awakening. This kind of government is one that will either start a civil war or a revolt by the people. I'm dead serious.

Once people's standard of living here goes down a few notches, which is already happening with the skyrocketing cost of housing. But as soon as people get to a point where they cannot afford the basics anymore, or when something like Social Security goes bust, we will loose faith in the government, and that will be it.

So, you feds, watch your step.

So.... (4, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379412)

...it's illegal for everyone except journalists to spread around classified information?

Wait--it's only okay for them to publish classified information if it embarrasses the (admittedly bloodly stupid) government, or needs to be released. Good thing we have honest, upstanding, selfless journalists to handle those decisions, then.

Good thinking, Slashdot.

Have we considered, perhaps, taking a more nuanced position?

Re:So.... (2, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379601)

...it's illegal for everyone except journalists to spread around classified information? ...

And journalists are who we say they are. For example, no one at Fox News or any of the hated right-wing news outlets are true journalists. Ask Slashdot. They'll tell you that. Therefore, these pseudo-journalists can be prosecuted. Just not the NY Times.

Have we considered, perhaps, taking a more nuanced position?

I don't think it gets any more nuanced.

You just need to learn not to anger the ruling class. They're "the good people". Only greedy, evil, oil-company-funded criminal-types disagree with them.

What if the white house does the leaking? (4, Interesting)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379423)


Is it illegal then? Even if its just to get back at political rivals? Even if the white house says "go ahead and leak to the press"? That's not illegal, but non-white house leaks are? Can you spell "corruption"?

I knew you could...

Fair is fair (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379425)

Okay, if publishing leaks is a crime so it shall be to start a war based on false pretenses.
Any takers?

{crickets}

mod me redundant (0, Redundant)

arakis (315989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379428)

I just can help it. WE HAVE TO GO AFTER THESE GUYS! GET OUT AND VOTE TO GET THIS ADMINISTRATION IMPEACHED BY THE ONLY MAJOR PARTY WHO HAS THE GUTS. VOTE DEMOCRATIC. I don't think very many people agree with every last thing the Dems stand for and do, but the administration and the asleep-at-the-switch congress are forcing our hands. To quote the Dude, "This aggression will not stand!"

Re:mod me redundant (0, Troll)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379482)

I think if you look how the votes drop that the democrats are just as bad.

The USA is a dictatorship, you just get to vote which of the two dictators gets to run the country for a while.

I think your government needs an overhaul where you can get better representation that doesn't involve moving to Ohio.

We bitch, we rant, we ... sit and watch it happen (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379430)

Yes, it's obvious to anyone who's spent more than 2 years on this planet what Gonzales has in mind. Yes, we all know it's against anything that would be called "liberty" along any kind of definition.

Yes, it's still going to happen. Talking about it won't change a thing.

So does this mean (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379431)

That Rove is going to Jail after all? Truthout just posted that they may believe that Rove hasn't been indicted, so as we all know they lie maybe it is true after all?

My head is spinning.

How is this a first amendment issue? (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379434)

What does government classified national defense secrets have to do with the first amendment? I don't have the right to break into your house, steal your personal or buisness secrets, and post them in the newspaper. Now I know that the government is different and that they are supposed to be accountable. I'm not saying they shouldn't be. But this is about intelligence and defense secrets. If Klaus Fuchs [wikipedia.org] published the blueprints on the atom bomb in the New York Times, I doubt he would be able to use the first amendment as a defense.

I'm not trolling so please don't give me the -1 conservative mod. Honestly, someone please explain to me how this is different. I'm pretty sure whistleblowing is protected by some federal regulation. I don't see how releasing intelligence methods and secrets, and posting them publicly, constitutes whistleblowing.

Re:How is this a first amendment issue? (2, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379445)

This is information leaked from the inside, not stolen from the inside. If someone in your house leaks one of your business secrets to the press, do they have the right to publish it? Yes.

Re:How is this a first amendment issue? (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379515)

I don't think that is correct. At least in my industry, if I were to publish security information, even if it were under the guise of "whistleblowing", not only would I be fired, but I'd be in prison.

no Class (1)

darkchubs (814225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379437)

soooo he knows the president can make anything classified :) like invisible WMDs , Marylin Morrow, Monica Lewinsky , the institutional apocalypse... in general the suppression and control of public information.

Orwellian

General public. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379443)

The general public know jackshit about anything. They are the GENERAL public for a reason. The general public generally do as they're told and believe what they are fed, these are NOT the people we want in control of the laws.

Sit the laws where they are fair. Not where Tom, Dick and Harry off the street thinks is right.

As for this journalists crap.. Well yea, lets just make it so mentioning the government in any negative way is not allowed any more. I mean most the world has an owner (or two-three people with guns claiming to be an owner) you can't really set up a new country/state any where and it's not like you can really leave America once you've been put on a watch list now is it?

rights? (1)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379457)

... our 1st amendment rights don't trump the right of the federal government...

What, have you been living in a cave for the last six years, or something?

Is classified information "Free" Speech? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379462)

What does "Free" speech mean? Does Free mean the right of anybody to say anything anywhere at anytime? The Supreme court has said no.

Certain types of speech are not "free".

Classified information is definitely not defined as something that anybody can talk about. If it were true then the government would not be able to have any classified information.

Just something to think about. The logical conclusion to most radical positions (both on the right and left) usually end up on contradiction.

Re:Is classified information "Free" Speech? (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379576)

Classified information is definitely not defined as something that anybody can talk about.

That's true. People who have clearance, and thus have signed agreements with the government to not reveal classified information, cannot legally tell classified information to people without sufficient clearance.

Now, in what law does it say that people who have not signed such agreements cannot tell classified information?

Re:Is classified information "Free" Speech? (1)

HumanisticJones (972339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379606)

Classified information is definitely not defined as something that anybody can talk about. If it were true then the government would not be able to have any classified information.

I'll agree with you on that. This isn't an issue of free speech and those that claim it is are ignorant to rulings made many many administrations prior. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Gonzales is hoping for. If he can convince the constituent "Moral Majoritiy" that free speech is the issue and that it will let "the terrorists win" then he can carte blanche remove any mention of it in our lives.

Classified information is classified. Go after the leaker, go after those that broke the law to let it out, but don't shoot the messenger. Hands of the press and deal with the problems that are in your own agencies.

No accountability without the press! (1)

mark_jabroni (547666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379470)

But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity
Congress is fully capable of investigating the government, and the government (see Pat Fitzgerald) is even capable of investigating itself, when necessary.

It shouldn't be lost on people that the Woodward and Bernstein's source was not a Nixon insider, but an FBI guy. How exactly did the FBI get the information? Did they get a memo? Or is that, maybe, Nixon could have been deposed without any help from the media whatsoever?

Uhh... (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379473)

'But it can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity,'

Yes. Yes it fucking can. How else is there a check to government bullshittery?

I welcome the days when we can vote these fucking idiots out of office, and I sincerely hope they don't fuck the country up any more than they already are. I have no desire to have fascism in my goddamned back yard, thankyouverymuch. GTFO.

Depends (4, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379475)

I have to side with "it depends" group. If someone is publishing the nuclear launch codes, the names of our spy agents (or any other covert team, like Navy seals and their accomplishments), plans for a strategic strike, etc (basically something that can cost people their lives if the news got out) then I am for - yea your ass is going to jail for being a dick. This includes things like "we are investigating a known terrorist, and since you just published his face in the paper he went so far underground he won't even be able to find his asshole to wipe it after he takes a dump"...

I understand what the otherside is doing "but what if the gov't names granny apple as a terrorist when she really is a sweet old lady who gives people apples...who can help her if we cant talk about it." Well this is where the gov't is wrong and the journalist should be allowed.

We get in trouble when we speak of absolutes, and there are people on one side of the fence who say 100% 1st amendment right trumps. and people on the other side of the fence who say 100% National Security trumps. They are both wrong - it needs to be a depends. The journalist needs to use common sense, and the courts can prevail. If the journalist was doing something in the best act for our nation then kudos for him/her...if the jurnalist was only thinking about the Pulitzer Prize - well depending on the damage he/she may have caused they may be rightfully getting it post humously.

You have the Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379487)

...to the Freedom of speech.

The government has the right to throw your ass in jail when you leak sensitive information that puts us all in Danger. ...and for you nut balls who continue to ignore the facts, Vallerie Plame was NOT an active agent and her cover was NOT blown; go do your homework.

The Constitution is a document of Rights and Responsibilities, not a Document to give you carte-blanch freedoms.

If you don't like it, go find another country that gives you as many rights as this one does.

And I also find it funny all you Lib's forget that Clinton and Carter were doing the same thing this President is doing.. only they were Libs. Explain that one away!

The purpose of the constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379493)

The constitution was written by people who had to wrest their freedom from a corrupt and repressive government. The constitution is all about giving people the power to rise up against a government that attempts to repress them. The fact that George W. and his buddies hate the constitution proves that they are bent on removing our freedom.

Re:The purpose of the constitution (1)

timmyboyers (972722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379546)

You misunderstand reality. Most liberals who have actually read the Constitution, would agree, hands down, that Republicans love the Constitution much more than Democrats ever could. Republicans like to read it for exactly what it says and nothing more nor less. Democrats like to focus on what it should mean today. Generally though, liberals love the Bill of Rights much more than Republicans. Democrats want a very strict reading of the Bill of Rights (think: nearly unlimited freedom of the press) while Republicans go for the more what it should mean today (in the face of terrorism, etc).

classified crime (2, Insightful)

invader_allan (583758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379498)

So, as long as any illegal activity conducted by the government is given a classified status, there can not be any discovery of the crime by the people the government (used to) works for. So, if the president kills 50 people for sport and it is classified, anyone who ever tries to publish it will be guilty of an information crime. This is exactly the sort of thing that created public support for the revolutionary war, and the second one will be coming very soon. Especially when it becomes a crime to own weapons, and public meetings to organize are banned, and a Christian state develops, etc. But at least we have the SS and the Gestapo to keep track of citizens thinking about a revolution, and to keep the citizenry "clean".

Re:classified crime (1)

rubeon (301850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379540)

That's why we have congressional elections every two years. Congress can also declassify stuff. Am I understanding this correctly that Slashdotters don't believe in classified information? I realize it's all a big RepubliKKKan conspiracy anyway, but what about in November, when the Democrats take over again? Will it be OK then?

Old Polish joke springs to mind. (5, Funny)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379513)

Seems currently in the USA the 1st amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but not freedom after speech...

lazy rat (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379528)

&*&^%^% you Bert.

It was your lazy &** that couldn't get out of bed on a Saturday morning to go sign paperwork that served as the real justification for the warrantless taps outside FISA court control.

If you don't want secrets published then don't leak them --- morons. This is like a marriage where one spouse has an affair and the cheated-upon holds the spouse blameless claiming it's all the fault of the third party.

Novak to jail? (1)

NeoNormal (594362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379532)

So, when's Gonzo going to throw Bob Novak's ass in jail for publishing Plame's name? Wasn't her name learned through a "leak"? Facists.

Protest (1)

LifeNLiberty (975116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379534)

I can't believe the extent of the civil liberties violations in my countries these days, Gonzales is essentially creating a culture where the media is a puppet to the state because if it publishes anything against them it is subject to prosecution. Is anyone now ready to protest this in a forum besides the internet? That is the only way anything will get done about it.

So much for the Pentagon Papers precedent. (5, Informative)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379535)

The Introduction to the Court Opinion on the New York Times Co. v. United States Case [state.gov] (the Pentagon Papers case) opens with:

In a democracy, there is always a tension between a free press and the government, between what the government claims ought to be kept confidential and what reporters believe the public ought to know.

There are some other choice tidbits in there... such as (emphasis added):

[The First Amendment] leaves, in my view, no room for governmental restraint on the press. There is, moreover, no statute barring the publication by the press of the material which the Times and Post seek to use... [I]t is apparent that Congress was capable of and did distinguish between publishing and communication in the various sections of the Espionage Act.

So any power that the Government possesses must come from its "inherent power." The power to wage war is "the power to wage war successfully." But the war power stems from a declaration of war. The Constitution by Article I, Section 8, gives Congress, not the President, power "to declare War." Nowhere are presidential wars authorized. We need not decide therefore what leveling effect the war power of Congress might have.

These disclosures may have a serious impact. But that is no basis for sanctioning a previous restraint on the press...The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of governmental sup-pression of embarrassing information. A debate of large proportions goes on in the Nation over our posture in Vietnam. Open debate and discussion of public issues are vital to our National Health. The stays in these cases that have been in effect for more than a week constitute a flouting of the principles of the First Amendment as interpreted in [Near v. Minnesota].

Hmm....

--Joe

Wow guys (1)

resmungo (905153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379551)

It's amazing that you even think you're part of the political discourse with comments like this. Complaining that we should give all our secrets to our enemies and saying that a theocracy will develop if we don't isn't just uninformed, it's childish and petty as well.

Re:Wow guys (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379592)

Complaining that we should give all our secrets to our enemies

LOL!

You might want to re-read the post you replied to. Nowhere does the person advocate that.

Damned police state. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379552)

Can't take a leak without getting persecuted.

Perfectly sound reasoning (0, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379580)

I saw one of the interviews Sunday adn Atty. General Gonzales was clearly uncomfortable discussing the issue and made a muddle of his otherwise clear case. Allow me to say some truths more bluntly than he did.

1. The Press isn't some sort of Church, with an annointed Priesthood set above the laws. Yes they may publish whatever they want without preclearing it with a government censor.... exactly the same as I am publishing this. But they have no more protection from the CONSEQUENCES of their actions than I do.

2. In exactly the same way as one must assume responsibility for their words when it comes to libel, slander and fraud, violating the secrecy laws should have consequences or those laws are meaningless and our society is no longer possible to maintain. So yes, a Free Press is essential to a Free People but there are some restrictions required to maintain the sort of advanced civilization needed to make a Free Press possible.

3. I have yet to see anything in these 'leaks' (I'd dare call it treason) that have advanced the cause of Freedom. Yes we bug the terrorists, even when they dial into or take a call from the US. And do you think we didn't bug German agents during WWII? Hell yes, inside and outside the US. That is War. Spying between nation states isn't the same as police work. Few also have a problem with the notion that the NSA might have done some interesting pattern analysis on calling records looking for stuff worth poking further into. If they went further without passing by a judge for a warrant I'd have a problem, but there isn't an accusation of that.

4. In light of 3, one must question the motives for making the leaks in the first place and whether it was for the express purpose of lending aid and comfort to an enemy in time of war is certainly a question worthy of asking. Because from where I sit it is either that or something that to my mind is even worse. That it was leaked in a base political effort to discredit the current administration. Now tearing at political enemies is normally ok, but there are limits. Endangering the national secutity in wartime to do it, and having way over half of the opposition party supporting such actions means we are probably too far lost to have much hope for survival. If the moonbats are simply being decieved by a few traitors we might can make it through, but if most of them are so far lost as to think losing the war would be an acceptable price of removing "Chimpy McBushHitler" from office and have thrown their lot in with Bin Laden we are doomed.

If you post info that will get someone killed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379604)

If you knowingly post information that will get someone killed... are you any different than the person who put the gun up to the victims head and pulled the trigger?

You democrat slashdot hippies certainly are peaceloving bunch... even though you tend to promote courses of action that are small minded and "sound" good on an individual basis.
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