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View Diary: Should Leakers Be Prosecuted? The Deafening Silence From Whistleblowers (152 comments)

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  •  Absolutely Not (10+ / 0-)

    I don't want to go all Libertarian here, but I think the constitution was pretty clear.

    National Security and Nondisclosure Agreements are a violation of Free Speech.  Let me make one exception to both of those cases.  If you are selling information about a company you work for or government information, then you are committing a crime.

    However, if you are releasing information that you believe to be in the public interest, then I see it as free speech.  It shouldn't be up to the government to decide what is or isn't in the public debate.

    Either we live in a free society or we don't.  Either we have news or we have propaganda.  The government is either transparent or it is opaque.  Translucent government is just another form of propaganda.

    Now neither the Democrats or Republicans believe this.  There is no true Libertarian movement to speak of.  My belief is that if the government can't do something in the light of day, then they probably shouldn't be doing it at all.

    •  ...and what if I decide that... (3+ / 0-)

      ...the plans for the F-22 or the US strategies for dealing with various countries in wartime are in the public interest and post them for the whole world to see without charge?

      Then what? It sounds like what you're saying is anarchy. What makes YOU or ME a person of such authority and judgment that I can decide that is and isn't a state secret?

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

      by QuestionAuthority on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 05:51:38 AM PDT

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      •  Well we are paying for it (7+ / 0-)

        If the US is designing F22s to fight in Iran, then I think we should be aware of their thinking.

        YOU and ME are citizens of the United States.  We are the decision makers on which public servants we elect.  How can we do our job, if the critical questions are hidden from us?  This isn't anarchy I'm suggesting.  It is an informed electorate and public debate.

        •  And if we go to war ...? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Skeptical Bastard, Dr Teeth

          ...and an adversary and they shoot all those pretty F-22s down and kill a bunch of our pilots because they know all the ways to beat the technology in it? Not to mention reproducing the technology to use against us? Then what?

          Sounds pretty damned close to anarchy to me.

          "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

          by QuestionAuthority on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 06:17:39 AM PDT

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          •  That is always the story (5+ / 0-)

            We need to hide information to protect the Empire's military interest.  I'm a little more worried about protecting the Republic's interest.

            Perhaps if war shed our blood as much as our enemies, we might be a little less hesitant to engage in it.  I don't see how bombing the living shit out of countries that can't defend themselves is much different from terrorism.

            •  You're confusing the issue (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Teeth

              We're discussing the release of classified information that is of little use to anyone else except potential adversaries. What would you or I do with the plans for the F-22 (my example)? As an aviation nut, I'd ooh and ahh over them, but other than that I'd have no legitimate use for them. I can list a dozen countries that would love to have them, however. They aren't nice people and most of them could reproduce the F-22's technology.

              " I don't see how bombing the living shit out of countries that can't defend themselves is much different from terrorism. The use to which that information is put is a different thing entirely. That wasn't the subject of my comment. I think we can find ways to protect our country's interest without giving away things we shouldn't.

              If we're talking about whistleblowing, that's a different subject. If someone is exposing graft or other criminal behavior, then whistleblowing is entirely appropriate.

              "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

              by QuestionAuthority on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 06:54:01 AM PDT

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              •  Well (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                enough already, mrkvica, Uberbah, elwior

                I don't see why leaking schematics would be in the public interest in the first place, so perhaps you are also confusing the issue a bit.

                Now if we were talking about the creation of a new first strike nuclear delivery system, I think we can draw a line.

                A person working on the system can leak the existence of it without leaking the specifications of it.  Though the government may feel a strategic advantage from its classification, it is important that the American public be allowed to debate whether it is the direction we want our national defense strategy going.

                •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                  For example, While we should have public access to the staff size and expenditures required for janitorial services in public facilities, we certainly don't need to know the names of employees or the type of toilet bowl cleaner they use.

                  "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

                  by enough already on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 10:53:06 AM PDT

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      •  Better to save the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Silverbird, Uberbah

        intrigue fantasies for 007 movies and use Nintendo or Wii to satisfy the apparent need to play war games.

        But back in the real world......  If you're trying to imply that CIA type secrecy has been and will continue to be vital to keeping the peace and providing for our safety, that might have been an easier sell back in the 40's and 50's, but we now have overwhelming evidence that the exact opposite is true.  

        This bullshit secrecy which has given the CIA and other connected entities free, unquestioned reign over everything from our money to our private conversations and all of the resources of this country with absolutely zero accountability is pure insanity and has directly contributed to the proliferation of worldwide terrorism, homicidal dictators, massacres, genocide, all varieties of warfare, crimes against humanity and finally worldwide corporate fascism which will not be easily undone.

         

        "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

        by enough already on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

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      •  The plans for the F-22 are not themselves (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, Uberbah, elwior, Battle4Seattle

        unlawful; nor is their release a matter of public interest.

        Disclosing accounting irregularities suggestive of graft at the contractor and/or the Pentagon, or hushed-up safety problems in their manufacture is.

        And whistleblower protection laws account for that.

        The DoJ may well lose on this prosecution - the whistleblowing was over both clear illegality and waste. But the purpose wasn't to put anyone in jail - it's to intimidate whoever might be the next whistleblower.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 09:09:23 AM PDT

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    •  look up the word "Agreement" to see where your (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, condorcet, Dr Teeth

      logic fails.

      A "Nondisclosure Agreement" is signed by a person who agrees to keep certain information secret.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 06:18:16 AM PDT

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    •  Precisely (7+ / 0-)

      My belief is that if the government can't do something in the light of day, then they probably shouldn't be doing it at all.

      If we had a government of, by and for the people as intended, then this would be a given.  

      "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

      by enough already on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 08:30:02 AM PDT

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