Global War on Terror,  Law,  Politics

Global War on Terror Watch: Recipients of “LEAKS” May be Prosecuted Under the Espionage Act


Secrecy News (Via Captain Ed): Recipients of “Leaks” May Be Prosecuted, Court Rules

In a momentous expansion of the government’s authority to regulate public disclosure of national security information, a federal court ruled that even private citizens who do not hold security clearances can be prosecuted for unauthorized receipt and disclosure of classified information.

The ruling (pdf) by Judge T.S. Ellis, III, denied a motion to dismiss the case of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who were charged under the Espionage Act with illegally receiving and transmitting classified information.

The decision is a major interpretation of the Espionage Act with implications that extend far beyond this particular case.

The Judge ruled that any First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of speech involving national defense information can be superseded by national security considerations.

If Flap were Bill Keller of the New York Times, I would be more reticent and reluctant to flaunt the disclosure of national security programs (like the NSA, SWIFT, Secret Renditions/Prisons) that government insiders “leak” to the newspaper. After all, irresponsibility may mean some real jail time here.
Does Flap think the Bush Administration will prosecute Keller, Risen or Lichtblau for their recent notorious disclosure of the SWIFT program?


But, if the government discovers who leaked the information in the first place, you can bet that those New York Times miscreants will be subpoened to testify in the case and be forced to give up their sources – or face prosecution themselves. It is called leverage.

Patterico thinks this case is huge.


But, another tool to prevent disclosure of national security secrets.



Global War on Terror Watch: Bill Keller on Face the Nation

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