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News Should the Times and the Washington post be presecuted

  1. May 22, 2006 #1


    Should the Times and The Washington post be prosecuted for for their revelations to the public that Cia secret prisons and NSA domestic spying exist.

    No these are issues involving the freedom of the press.

    Yes, they should be prosecuted by the Attorney general under a 1917 law.

    Only the government officials who leaked the information to the press should be prosecuted.

    I only suggest a few options. This probably should be a poll.
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2006 #2
    I think everone who is involed in leaking of national security secerts should all be presecuted. The poltican who leaked should be presecuted because he should know not to leak information and the media for reporting it they should not to report about classifed goverment secerts.

    But I think it should be more of the polticans fault then the reporter since the reporter might of thaught that it was declassifed because he told him.

    Wasn't there another case about a reporter being found guilty for reporting the name of a covert CIA agent?
  4. May 22, 2006 #3


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    There were two reporters who were jailed for not turning over names of sources of information.

    As far as we know, Robert Novak, who did publish the identity of a CIA agent, apparently with the endorsement of the White House, has not been prosecuted.

    It is not clear that the disclosure of secret CIA prisons or the extraordinary rendition, nor the acquistion of phone records, has compromised 'national security'. What it has done is revealed potentially illegal and otherwise criminal activity on the part of the US government, particularly members of the Bush administration.
  5. May 22, 2006 #4


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    Anyone who actively helped compromise classified information should be prosecuted no matter what its eventual effect on national security was. Their employers shouldn't unless it can be proven they directly contributed to the act. Simple. I win.
  6. May 22, 2006 #5
    Of course they shouldn't be prosecuted. They were doing a valuable service by protecting us from a government that has become far too opaque.

    BTW, scott1 and Pengwuino, I'm just curious: do you think that Daniel Ellsberg should have been prosecuted for leaking the Pentagon Papers?
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  7. May 22, 2006 #6


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    Manchot, that's like saying is a poor person justified in robbing a bank because he is poor. A crime is a crime is a crime.

    An even better example: Should the FBI be able to go into anyones house and take everything if they suspect you of criminal actions? I mean, if they catch you committing a crime, then what's the problem according to your logic.
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  8. May 22, 2006 #7
    According to my logic, the freedom of Americans should be protected at all costs. In your example, the rights of the innocent are impinged upon by the FBI. At the same time, there are legal ways for the FBI to do its job. In this case, doing something that is (nominally) illegal protects the rights of American citizens. Moreover, since there is no legal way to do it, it must be done in an illegal way.
  9. May 22, 2006 #8


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    So strengthening national security has nothing to do with the citizens of the United States?
  10. May 22, 2006 #9
    Sure, you strengthen it, but by how much? Any moron (terrorists included) can send an encrypted e-mail using a one-time pad. If you do it correctly, not even the NSA's computers can break it in any appreciable time. At some point, you're just sacrificing liberty and morality for a limited increase in safety. Like it or not, at some point you simply have to bite the bullet and say, "Listen. We can't strengthen national security any further without sacrificing personal liberties. If you want the ultimate in safety, go live in a police state."

    BTW, what do you think of my Pentagon Papers question? I realize that it's quite loaded, but that's the point I'm trying to make here.
  11. May 22, 2006 #10


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    Well i should have been more explicit but i think anyone, including Ellsberg, should be tried according to the law.

    I personally don't understand what you're getting at with the email thing.
  12. May 22, 2006 #11
    Frist of all a mourn can send an encrypeted but any hacker can decyrpt that message
    We needed security in a war. We can't let secuirty down during we have to prevent another terroist attack.
    Well the pentegon papers were just showing the showing the U.S. involment milltary and poltical involment in vietnam. So if it wasn't too much of big deal.
  13. May 22, 2006 #12
    So, even though the Pentagon Papers basically revealed that the entire premise of the Vietnam War was a sham, you're still for prosecuting Ellsberg? That's rather telling. Ok, I've got another situation for you. Let's say that someone--we'll call him Jack Bauer--discovers that the president--we'll call him Charles Logan--ordered a hit on a former president. In the course of delivering the evidence to the Attorney General, let's say that Bauer is forced to hijack a plane to prevent the president's men from killing him. Should Bauer be prosecuted for his activities, simply because they are illegal?

    On a side note, with the "email thing," I was making the point that any terrorists are probably communicating using encrypted emails, and that there is nothing that the NSA can do which can prevent that. Therefore, spying on innocent Americans is a waste of time.

    If the encryption is done correctly (i.e., using more than 1024 bits), no hacker can decrypt the message in any appreciable amount of time. You can mathematically prove that it will take, on average, several years to decrypt such a message.
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  14. May 22, 2006 #13
    I never said to presucate Ellsberg.
  15. May 22, 2006 #14
    Yes, why don't we start prosecuting people who break laws by leaking classified information? Mr. Rove, what do you think? How about you, Dick?
  16. May 22, 2006 #15
    In fact, let's prosecute everyone who commmited a crime in some way involving the secret NSA programs and their leak! What's keeping us?
  17. May 22, 2006 #16


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    Some of the posts in this thread take the cake. Those who argue a crime is a crime are the same members who argue it's okay that Bush fixed the intelligence to invade Iraq because it was right to remove Saddam. I have a suggestion to those who want to live in a police state (e.g., where everything is classified): Move elsewhere and let the rest of us enjoy the freedoms we are supposed to be able to enjoy in our so-called democratic republic.

    Hear! Hear!
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  18. May 22, 2006 #17


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    How about first establishing whether or not the programs leaked about were in fact legal ? Or do you believe that's irrelevant ?
  19. May 22, 2006 #18
    It is apparent that the majority of Americans are against both the secret prisons, and the domestic spying.

    So why is it that the administration is only now starting to threaten to prosecute the two incidents that happened months ago??

    This administration seems to have had an ulterior motive for most everything thing they have done. (Plame Game ect.) What are they up to now?

    Are they trying to intimidate the press? Or is it all just an attempt to distract from their lies, miserable failure, and poor judgement concerning Iraq?
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  20. May 22, 2006 #19


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    Is anyone going to prosecute Bob Novak ? Or does the DoJ believe there's no double-standard there ?
  21. May 22, 2006 #20
    This incident is typical of what I meant by the ulterior motives of this administration. They spent nearly three years threatening to deal severely with the leaker and the leaker turned out to be Bush himself. er According to Cheney that is.
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