Monday, July 03, 2006

Who will fact-check Dana Priest? 
According to the liberal blog Crooks and Liars, Dana Priest makes the assertion that it is not illegal to publish classified information.


Here's a legal analysis which actually predates the Swift Story -- and blows Priest out of the water.

This is truly an extraordinary claim, that somehow the New York Times is entitled to weigh evidence and determine for itself whether to publish classified information--in other words, that the New York Times is above the law and can publish whatever classified information it sees fit, with impunity.

Section 798 of the Espionage Act makes no such exception, of course. Its text is unambiguous. "Whoever knowingly and willfully . . . publishes . . . any classified information-- . . . (2) concerning the . . . use . . . of any device . . . used . . . by the United States . . . for . . . communication intelligence purposes; or (3) concerning the communication activities of the United States . . . Shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both." Subsection (b) of the Act defines "communication intelligence" as "all procedures and methods used in the interception of communications and the obtaining of information from such communications by other than the intended recipient." In the cloak and dagger world of intelligence gathering, this statutory prohibition is a model of clarity--it is illegal to publish classified information about our intelligence-gathering efforts and capabilities.

Relevant citations include New York Times v. United States, establishing the constitutionality of the Espionage act, and even upholding the notion that there are cases in which an a priori injunction against publishing classified information could be constitutional.

Near v. Minnesota, again affirming the notion that the compelling interests of the government may entitle it to suppress publication of information that would, for example, compromise troop movements or inhibit recruiting.

Associated Press v. United States, establishing that the fourth estate enjoys no priviledged or elevated position under the law.

Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts affirming the same, and devastating Jim Keller in the process: "The publisher of a newspaper has no special immunity from the application of general laws."

Branzburg v. Hayes, putting to rest the notion that a reporter/source privilege exists under the law.

Definately read the whole thing. You'll be a wonder at cocktail parties.

And you'll piss off leftards in the process.

Splash, out


When I heard (on Drudge last night) that Dana Priest declared that the press has a right (duty?) to publish classified information, I was blown away.

I guess I can not worry about all those non-disclosure agreements I signed with my security clearances?

Does Dana Priest really mean to say she can legally conduct espinonage as long as she writes for a newspaper? Are we really expected to believe and except this?

Jason: thanks for the citations. I may have to use them!
As long as there is no prosecution, there will be no end to this.

The NYT et al exist to push an agenda and papers. What they're doing seems to work for them. Why would they stop.

You want to beat on something, consider the DOJ. They're not prosecuting.

Oh, and unless you're convicted, it's tough to consider it a crime.
Read this while looking at stories on redaction.
This instance, the DOJ pulled a boner:


They published a backlighted Word document as PDF. Oops, just like the Pentagon showing their hand in the shooting death by our troops of the Italian operative in

conducting a rescue of one of their journalists, the PDF let you copy the text right out of it.

In this instance, it was the question of secret grand jury testimony and the the inadvertent disclosure of details of the governments' investigation against the defendant's

leaks to the press.

It has many cites on the related topic of whether or not there is a protection of journalist/source priveledge, all of them references to the established case law.
Interesting read to see the comparison and consideration of state shield laws vs what's allowable under the fed.
Best part? It's from the NYT's own web page.!

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