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Old 07-06-2006, 01:18 PM   #31
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Okay then the it is illegal to reveal classified information, in that the person who passes the information to the press is breaking the law. It is not illegal to publish said information (freedom of the press).

And yet we're all in a lather over the NYT, not concerned about who in the government is passing out this information like candy?

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

It sounds more to me like the concern is that the NYT is not supporting administrative policy. Isn't that really the root of the argument? I think one of the early posts on this issue was comparing WWII to the current war, and how the media was so supportive of the adminstration back then, and look how we've fallen. Well the difference was that back then the media and the general public supported the war. This time they don't.

In fact, when we talk about the revealing of other types of classified information, like say Valerie Plame's identity, suddenly we're arguing the information is not so important (the same arguments made here about the monitoring of financial transactions) etc.

Isn't the real issue that some don't like the NYT's lack of support for the adminstrations policies and therefore lack of feeling burdened to protect their secrets? Should the media feel a responsiblity to protect whatever secrets the current administration has in it's possession? I should hope not.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:35 PM   #32
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Yeah, who's handing out this information to the press?
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:39 PM   #33
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The danger in absolute statements made here are that some of them are simply unfounded or untrue. Publishing classified information is illegal, and has been for nearly a century. The Espionage Act of 1917 makes it illegal for anyone with “unauthorized possession” of “national defense information” to “willfully communicate” such information “to any person not entitled to receive it” if the person “has reason to believe” the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” (Section 793(e)).
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:43 PM   #34
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U.S. Criminal Code Title 18, Section 798, reads:

Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information . . . concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States . . . shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Yup, it says publish.
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:11 AM   #35
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Sure, I think Justice can prosecute. But it would be interesting to see if the government can make a case for the "grave and irreparable" damage standard of the Pentagon Papers case.
That was a prior restraint case, but I suspect that decision would weigh heavily as standard in any actual publication prosecution. The government has a high burden of establishment of harm.
Justice doesn't want to open up that particular can of worms. They just want to wield the threat.

Materials are classified all the time. Doesn't mean every classified document affects national security. I suspect that more than a couple of classified documents are classified to spare political embarassment than to secure the nation.

The editors of LA Times and NY Times had an interesting piece.
Of course, it was in their self interests to offer a defense, but I thought it was indicative of the complexity of the issue.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/070106B.shtml
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:45 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The danger in absolute statements made here are that some of them are simply unfounded or untrue. Publishing classified information is illegal, and has been for nearly a century. The Espionage Act of 1917 makes it illegal for anyone with “unauthorized possession” of “national defense information” to “willfully communicate” such information “to any person not entitled to receive it” if the person “has reason to believe” the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” (Section 793(e)).
Okay, now that's what I thought. I made the statement that "publishing classified information is okay" because I wanted someone to say indisputably that it is NOT okay. It would seem you have done so.

So now my question is this. If the NYT has really published classified information (i.e. information that is currently still considered top secret, vital to national security--classified, not information that was ONCE classified but now no longer is) why has there been no charges filed against them. Is the government just choosing to whine about the papers breaking the law, but is not actually going to do anything about it. And if indeed the NYT pieces are serious breach of national security, wouldn't the Justice Dept. be seriously remiss not to take action?

I guess what I'm getting at is this. Has the NYT really violated any laws? Has the newspaper really compromised national security? Or are we just implying that it has, suggesting that it has, because it sounds good to say. Is this business about the NYT disregard for national security merely political hyperbole?
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #37
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nbc, do you really think that the espionage act is germane to operation of a free press, no matter how broadly or vaguely it is worded? Or are We the people not entitled to receive the information? Sometimes I think our enemies are more aware of what is going on than we are.

I've seen several successful prosecutions of espionage cases, but do not recall one successful prosecution of free press publishing of classified information and I follow free press limitation stories fairly closely. Someone may be able to cite an example I've forgotten or do not know about. maycocksean raises some interesting questions.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:42 PM   #38
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The Espionage Act of 1917 simply eliminates summary claims that the acts of the NYT are not illegal.

The next question is whether charges will be filed. This is an evaluation by prosecutors not if a crime has been committed, but if there is a high probability of conviction of the crime. Many factors have to be considered, including the Constitutional arguments protecting the act of publishing. The government may not want to potentially lose the existing law by pursuing what they may believe to be a less than perfect case against the NYT.

In addition, they simply may not want to give the NYT more ammo to play victim in this situation. Prosecution may be something they want. The government may simply be trying to win the battle of public opinion (and, if you track subscription numbers, it has been reported that the NYT is losing this battle) instead of a pure legal victory.
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:39 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The Espionage Act of 1917 simply eliminates summary claims that the acts of the NYT are not illegal.

The next question is whether charges will be filed. This is an evaluation by prosecutors not if a crime has been committed, but if there is a high probability of conviction of the crime. Many factors have to be considered, including the Constitutional arguments protecting the act of publishing. The government may not want to potentially lose the existing law by pursuing what they may believe to be a less than perfect case against the NYT.

In addition, they simply may not want to give the NYT more ammo to play victim in this situation. Prosecution may be something they want. The government may simply be trying to win the battle of public opinion (and, if you track subscription numbers, it has been reported that the NYT is losing this battle) instead of a pure legal victory.
But we're talking about national security right? We're talking about grevious harm to our nation's security! Surely the prosecutors woudn't dance around whether or not to press charges when so much is at stake?

Or is there really not enough at stake for it to be "worth it?"
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Old 07-08-2006, 01:46 AM   #40
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I think it's time to crack down on the Wall Street Journal.
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:53 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


But we're talking about national security right? We're talking about grevious harm to our nation's security! Surely the prosecutors woudn't dance around whether or not to press charges when so much is at stake?

Or is there really not enough at stake for it to be "worth it?"
I guess it's not worth it.
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Old 07-09-2006, 01:15 AM   #42
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I guess it's not worth it.
Yeah, that's what I think too. I think all this hue and cry about the NYT compromising the security of our nation is a lot of political hyperbole.

Nothing more annoying to me, than these kinds of broad statements that really make the opposition "look bad" but really don't have much foundation.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:29 AM   #43
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The NYT is treasonous when it publishes news that the administration doesn't want spread around. Bush Co. has highly visible double standards... it's OK if I do it, it isn't when you do. Have you seen the cover of this week's TIME mag? A big ten gallon hat with boots underneath it- "The End of Cowboy Diplomacy". It's about fuckin' time.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #44
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It's much ado about nothing. I'll have to check out this week's Time magazine for that story. Thank God!
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:23 PM   #45
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The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

"...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."
- Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool,
The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on
official White House site

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts,
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)
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