On the publishing of classified information

About: commentary

source:
...the intent of the espionage statutes is indisputable: If these statutes mean what they seem to say and are constitutional, public speech in this country since World War II has been rife with criminality. The source who leaks defense information to the press commits an offense; the reporter who holds onto defense material commits an offense; and the retired official who uses defense material in his memoirs commits an offense.

This is about the disclosure of the NSA program of intercepts of Al Queda's phonecalls.  This article is probably one of the most well written opinions on the matter presenting some of both sides of the argument. There are more considerations than just the first ammendment and free speech!

Tags

  1. publishing secrets
  2. newspapers
  3. first amendment
  4. leaks
  5. classified information

Comments


Seth says
source: AFP News
The online edition of the magazine National Journal reported that Libby had testified to a federal grand jury that Cheney and other White House "superiors" had "authorized" him in mid-2003 to leak classified information to defend the administration's prewar intelligence assertions in making the case to go to war with Iraq.
... and, should this report pan out as true, then  a Vice President who authorizes leaks of classified information in a petty attempt to discredit  should be tried for for "espionage" as well.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-02-13 10:53:54 2690
source: AFP News
The online edition of the magazine National Journal reported that Libby had testified to a federal grand jury that Cheney and other White House "superiors" had "authorized" him in mid-2003 to leak classified information to defend the administration's prewar intelligence assertions in making the case to go to war with Iraq.
... and, should this report pan out as true, then  a Vice President who authorizes leaks of classified information in a petty attempt to discredit  should be tried for for "espionage" as well.
The thread for this news front source is supposedly Fitzgerald who convened the grang jury. Nobody has yet fingered Cheney except the media. Libby in one article I read denied what the media was reporting. Fitzgerald leaking grand jury info and the source for this article could become fellons is this is true - it's against the law to leak grand jury testamony. There is also the question of how classified information is de-classified.  Bush is the head of the chain of command & presumably could declassify something.  I would have to check the law in that area. I don't know where that would put Cheney if he allegededly so ordered. 

Seth says
Let me restate that:  Fitzgerald leaking grand jury testimony should not mitigate Cheney's alleged crime. 

Mark de LA says
No, didn't say it did.  However it points out that the whole investigation is a sack of


Seth says
M 2006-02-13 12:19:14 2690
No, didn't say it did.  However it points out that the whole investigation is a sack of 

I don't understand your very biased reaction here.  I suppose for you Bush and Cheny can do no wrong and all of their alleged crimes are to be explained away by National Security and the fight against terriorism.  The administration spins criticizm of their policies as unpatriotic and harmufle to "our fighting boys over there".  That is the real pile of shit we have in Washington.

If you are trying to be objective, then be objective.  Hold the administration to the same standards as you hold the so called liberals. 

Mark de LA says
Sorry you feel that way. That feeling is all about the right-wrong game. If I were to have to recompile the news collection surrounding this item which supports my opinions I would be wasting my time - you would be playing the right-wrong game & so would I.  


Seth says
I think what irks me is that on the one hand, especially in group UnhackTheBrain, you talk of unbiased reporting.  Then you turn around and talk with an obvious conservitive bias.  I think you should make a clear separation between reporting and editoral opinions. 


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-02-14 09:01:48 2690
I think what irks me is that on the one hand, especially in group UnhackTheBrain, you talk of unbiased reporting.  Then you turn around and talk with an obvious conservitive bias.  I think you should make a clear separation between reporting and editoral opinions. 
I guess you missed that this item is in group politics
On the other hand the only reason that you have heard of any of the nexus of this story is that the left-wing media has been ginning up the idea that someone in the Bush administration has to be impeached (kinda like payback for impeaching Clinton who actually lied in front of both the Grand Jury and the American people on camera simultaneously !). Clinton lost his law license for 5 years & was fined $50K - for which he passed the hat to the people to pay.  The story of the bias of the media might belong in group UnhackTheBrain.

Mark de LA says
Not that this will ever put things to rest, but today in the Cheney-Brit Hume interview on FoxNews Cheney asserts in the transcript that he has the authority to declassify classified information via an Executive Order (so does the president):  (sorry I can't cut & paste it for some unknown reason)  The transcript is here and what I am referring to is toward the very last of the transcript.  So if he has the authority to declassify something (If indeed it was ever classified) then there might not be much of a crime to talk about


Seth says
source: fridgelake
Q Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a Vice President has the authority to declassify information?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: There is an executive order to that effect.

Q There is.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q Have you done it?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I've certainly advocated declassification and participated in declassification decisions. The executive order --

Q You ever done it unilaterally?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.
(A) You need to declassify it prior to the disclosure, and (B) you need to follow the official protocols.  Saying that Cheney is above the law because he has the power to participate in declassification is laughfable .

Mark de LA says
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.
(A) You need to declassify it prior to the disclosure, and (B) you need to follow the official protocols.  Saying that Cheney is above the law because he has the power to participate in declassification is laughfable .
And you know that this didn't happen for some alleged disclosure documented by some alleged anonymous liberal source because.... - and you read & found the alleged applicable executive order describing the VP's protocol for declassifying something where - provide link here ---->

butthead says
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:48 2690
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:00 2690
Wow man someone forgot the topic here (;-))

forcing things to stay on topic is another facist conspiracy 

dotLingus says
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:00 2690
Wow man someone forgot the topic here (;-))


Mark de LA says
butthead 2006-02-16 12:54:08 2690
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:48 2690
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:00 2690
Wow man someone forgot the topic here (;-))

forcing things to stay on topic is another facist conspiracy 
..... just to piss you both off :
   

butthead says
M 2006-02-16 13:00:38 2690
butthead 2006-02-16 12:54:08 2690
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:48 2690
dotLingus 2006-02-16 12:48:00 2690
Wow man someone forgot the topic here (;-))

forcing things to stay on topic is another facist conspiracy 
..... just to piss you both off :
   

you forgot the most important one

Mark de LA says
Argumentum ad hominem is all the left has. You just can't win on ideas or at the ballot box if you reveal who you really are! Lots of luck! Keep showing the world who you are as often as you can.

Seth says
M 2006-02-16 12:35:53 2690
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.
(A) You need to declassify it prior to the disclosure, and (B) you need to follow the official protocols.  Saying that Cheney is above the law because he has the power to participate in declassification is laughfable .
And you know that this didn't happen for some alleged disclosure documented by some alleged anonymous liberal source because.... - and you read & found the alleged applicable executive order describing the VP's protocol for declassifying something where - provide link here ---->
Listen to this NPR report, it should answer most of your questions.

Seth says
It seems that leaks are a way of life.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-12-05 09:07:16 2690
It seems that leaks are a way of life.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Nothing new here.  It's the SOS. Whoever leaks classified information (to the press or to spies) should be put in jail.

Seth says
M 2006-12-06 07:12:02 2690
seth 2006-12-05 09:07:16 2690
It seems that leaks are a way of life.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Nothing new here.  It's the SOS. Whoever leaks classified information (to the press or to spies) should be put in jail.
even "senior administration officials" ?

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-12-06 09:43:59 2690
M 2006-12-06 07:12:02 2690
seth 2006-12-05 09:07:16 2690
It seems that leaks are a way of life.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Nothing new here.  It's the SOS. Whoever leaks classified information (to the press or to spies) should be put in jail.
even "senior administration officials" ?
Yep, seems as if anyone in or retired or out that disagrees with the administration can crap all over it in the salivating drive-by media these days with impunity. It represents the breakdown of the hierarchy & management not to mention the treason of it all!

Seth says
M 2006-12-06 10:50:51 2690
Ultimately the president & VP can do it without consulting anyone else - in practice I assume they would.
How about the secretary of defense ?  Rumsfield probably leaked his own memo.  When you have a president who holds to a line which does not match the facts on the ground, then it is healthy for the nation to know that he is at least not surrounded by people who are supporting that line.  You seem to be talking about a totalarian government that speaks with one voice.  Thank God we are not there yet.

Mark de LA says
M 2006-12-06 10:48:44 2690
I don't give any credibility to unsourced material.  It does not matter who is committing treason by leaking classified material - they should be punished. There is a process to unclassify documents - if it is important to do so then it can be done. Ultimately the president & VP can do it without consulting anyone else - in practice I assume they would.
BTW, "the people" do not have any right to classified material. Classified material is on a need to know basis because releasing it to anyone could be harmful to the United States.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-12-06 10:57:27 2690
M 2006-12-06 10:50:51 2690
Ultimately the president & VP can do it without consulting anyone else - in practice I assume they would.
How about the secretary of defense ?  Rumsfield probably leaked his own memo.  When you have a president who holds to a line which does not match the facts on the ground, then it is healthy for the nation to know that he is at least not surrounded by people who are supporting that line.  You seem to be talking about a totalarian government that speaks with one voice.  Thank God we are not there yet.
Obviously you haven't a clue about what classified information is all about! I could also  say thank God that you will probably never be given a security clearance.
source: ... Rumsfield probably leaked his own memo
... that's your conspiracy theory showing - pure speculation.


Seth says
M 2006-12-06 09:54:05 2690
seth 2006-12-06 09:43:59 2690
M 2006-12-06 07:12:02 2690
seth 2006-12-05 09:07:16 2690
It seems that leaks are a way of life.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Nothing new here.  It's the SOS. Whoever leaks classified information (to the press or to spies) should be put in jail.
even "senior administration officials" ?
Yep, seems as if anyone in or retired or out that disagrees with the administration can crap all over it in the salivating drive-by media these days with impunity. It represents the breakdown of the hierarchy & management not to mention the treason of it all!
Me thinks you have mischaracterized what has happened here ... especially with the last two leaks.  These appear to be senior administration officials who are actually charged with forming policy ... they just do not speak officially, but unofficially they want the message to get out. These kind of leaks are not treason, they are business as usual in a healthy democracy. Don't forget, we are not living in a totalarian state which can control all information going to the people.

Seth says
M 2006-12-06 12:25:28 2690
Obviously you haven't a clue about what classified information is all about! I could also  say thank God that you will probably never be given a security clearance.
source: ... Rumsfield probably leaked his own memo
... that's your conspiracy theory showing - pure speculation.
I don't get any "conspiracy" ... just Rumsfield desire to set the record straight for historical purposes.  It's not me, lots of other analysists made the same comment ... none of them mentioned anything remotely resembling a conspiracty theory.

There are secrets and then there are secrets.  The government stamps almost anything that did not immediately come from some PR department secret.  Seniro administration officials know this and yet they still need to communicate outside of normal channels for a variety of reasons which do not involve making an official statement.  Your hard line approach to this is becomming comical.

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