Friday, August 11, 2006

New Ruling in Secrecy case takes us closer to tyranny

I hate being like Chicken Little, constantly claming that the sky is falling. In previous posts I have likened some of our country's attributes to things going on in China, suggesting that we are heading in their directly while we urge them to head into ours (and while they actually do head in our direction).

The latest thing to come out is really chilling. A couple of lobbyists with AIPAC (the pro-Israel lobby in DC) are charged with espionage when they disseminated classified information that they came across. The manner in which these specific people came across the information isn't as important as the judge's ruling in allowing them to stand trial is. He said that one need not have a security clearance, nor have any particular duty to the government if one receives classified information. If you pass it along, or disseminate it in any manner that intends to harm the US OR help another country (even a friend, I guess, and even if it doesn't intend to harm the US), then you can be found guilty under the Espionage Act.

This means that every journalist who writes about about evil acts that the US is doing may be held under the Espionage Act. This, of course, is what some conservatives like Bill Bennett and Rep. Peter King (R NY) have been pushing for a little while, since our embarrassing actions have come to light. They don't have a problem with the actions, just them coming to light, and they've pushed to have the press put in jail as a result.

China and Russia today put people in jail for embarrassing the government under the theory of Espionage. In fact, every totalitarian government in history has tried to imprison those who critisize and embarrass them, all under the guise of espionage or damaging the country. in Russia, they put scientists away for disseminating scientific and environmental reports in a way that shows some of the terrible things that the Russian government does. In China, they put journalists away who talk about government's abuse of authority and corruption. And now, in the US, under the fig leaf of "legal authority" by using a compliant and unquestioning judiciary, we will put away journalists who do the same.

Remember the Taguba report, that exposed the atrocious behaviour of our soldiers at Abu Ghraib? The reporter who broke that story could be in jail, under the theory that it harmed the US (how about the fact that it helped the US, by helping us improve our behaviour?). It could go further, scientists who expose the administration's lies and machinations on things like Global Warming, evolution, drug approval processes or any other number of whistleblowers who regularly keep us informed of this (and other) administration's evil ways.

Think I'm paranoid? Even Contributing Editor Jonathon Adler wrote similiarly in the National Review Online, using more examples directed to his audience (he talks about people who wrote critisizing the Clinton administration who would've possibly been susceptible to prosecution under the Act under the theory now advanced).

And this is the point, people in government often become more obsessed with their remaining in office than in the better good of the country (can there really be any debate about this at this point in our nation's history?). The notion that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely is not new either. You put those two things together, along with the power of the Espionage Act being applied corruptly, for political purposes, in order to stifle lawful and appropriate debate, and you have the markings of an unfree society.

This is something Americans of all political stripes should agree on.


rjh said...

The legal difficulty is what to do with a real spy, like say Mr. Hanson's handler. The handler had no clearance. He was a Russian agent. He would find documents at locations scattered around Washington, and forward them to the KGB staff at the Russian Embassy. If you want to be able charge him as a spy, then you open up the ability to charge others as spies.

In the past, good judgement and ethics limited prosecutions to real spying targets. Now, the prosecutions have lost good judgement and the classification system has become overtly political.

To fix this means either fixing the organizations, or giving up on charging real spies as well.

123txpublicdefender123 said...

Thank you for posting about this. This is very disturbing. All the executive has to do is classify anything that it is doing that is illegal and then we, the American people, will never know about it unless reporters, editors, and publishers are willing to go to jail for a very long time.

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Anonymous said...

you are very well correct in the view of totalitarianism...when one can defeat them at a hearing they will go back door and still put you in a category under a different name but in this same category with the label you just defeated them checks nor balances that a democracy demands of justice...nor due process...totalarian control offers no due's alive and well in california.

Jewels1 said...

I wonder if you know how truly evil and currupt is this Government? And numerous preceding Governments...which pretty much includes them all!(I am not questioning your intelligence; just knowledge.)
There have been illegal acts perpetrated upon innocent people for decades! The CIA's illicit mind-control programs performed under such lovelies as Dulles, Gottlieb and Cameron are just a few. Not to mention Mengele-the "Father" of these Nazi-esque programs! These are not paranoid lefty rantings, these are words from one who has been there! And has created a website to document these horrors and help to disseminate the information to the gereral public-who are quite reluctant to believe in these clandestine ops.
The latest covert attacks on Americans are the Electronic/Microwave weapons testing and the crimes of e-harassment and gang-stalking! There are hundreds of thousands of us, but only a fraction of those have been-like myself-willing to come forward regarding these most crucial issues! Why, even Air Force Secretary Michael Wynn stated that DEW weaponry should be "tested on the general public before being utilized in battle!" This is now out in the open! My state has also passed a law against electronic harassment (Michigan) and 2 other states have also: Maine and Massachusets. Laws are not passed for crimes not commited.
I recieved your blog name from a huge list of Institutions, websites and blogs et. al, which were passed on to me via one of the TI's (Targeted Individuals) leading the Coalition against these crimes. There are hundreds more I will be contacting.
If you would like, I can send you the URL of my website. I took it off my blog as there were people in my hometown accessing the info and using it to defame me publically. They do not know how to find it now, as there is no listing of it in any search engine. The info is out there to get the word out, not for me to be re-victimized. Something intolerable to myself.
I fear if this Regime is not soon stopped, many, many more people will become the unwitting victimes of invisible harassment and visible, as in gang-stalking, etc.
These crimes must also be stopped! And they are very real!
In good faith,

lorraine hay said...

The reason i feel that freedoms are being taken from people is because the science world is totally out of control. Their discoveries are brought about generally by illegal and underhand methods. The people using this power generally are not the political figures which come and go with changes in government ,but the intelligence agencies and organizations like the food and drug administrations. If science isn't brought to heel and soon we can forget any notions of freedom in the future as privicy and freedom of thought will most certainly be rights of the past.