Aug 23 2006
A judge has pushed forward in a landmark case to prosecute people for leaking and publicizing classified national security information. The media and many other people are shocked that we actually try and enforce laws that are intended to keep our most valued secrets to inly those who need to know what is happening because they are implementing and manageing the secret effort. Here is a sample of this strange view:
A federal judge has ordered an investigation into how reporters learned that two pro-Israel lobbyists were under federal investigation before they were formally charged, creating even more scrutiny of the media in a case with broad First Amendment implications.
The order by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria came in the case against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who are charged with receiving and disseminating national defense information. Legal experts say the case could lead to criminal prosecutions of reporters or newspapers that print information the government has classified.
The case has alarmed First Amendment advocates and some lawyers, who say it criminalizes the type of information exchange that happens every day among journalists, lobbyists and others in Washington. Prosecutors have argued that disclosing sensitive defense information could harm national security.
Just because people in DC break the rules doesn’t mean the rules are important. In fact, typically those who had the information only publicized it to stop something serious. But what has happened since Bush has been in office is leaking for partisan purposes. But the idea people can leak to the media under the guise of a whistleblower is ludicrous. While leaking today is rampant or partisan reasons, what happens if a terrorist sympathizer is in a position to dismantle our defenses one media leak at a time?
I have worked on classified programs and it irresponsible to leave wide open back door for classified information to become public and therefore be transferred through the media between source and consumer. What is to stop anyone from exposing information in return for some form of compensation? How would we know if a NY Times reporter is not getting some exclusive information from a commercial entity in return for exposing telecom companies’ NSA relationships?
We cannot allow these information brokers, whose power is based on what controlled information they have in hand, to dictate how exposed the rest of will be terrorist attacks.