In 1917 Woodrow Wilson trying to find a way around the first Amendment to silence critics prior to World War One came up with the Espionage Act. Before then ordinary people and folks like teachers, journalists and publishers were speaking out against the war under their first amendment right of free speech.
Under the Espionage Act thousands of people were rounded up and detained-questioned and many imprisoned -some to long prison sentences for speaking out against the war. Under the Act speech become criminalized if it was found to be subversive. It prohibits any attempt to interfere with military operations. Since it is so vaguely written practically anything can be determined subversive-or anti government.
The Espionage Act made it a crime; to give information with the intent to interfere with the operations or services of the armed forces while at war-or promote the successes of its enemies.The penalty for such acts could be death or no more than a 30 year prison sentence-depending on the severity of the crime. Also included: to convey false reports or statements, to interfere with military operations-to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty-this was punishable by a fine of $10,000-or imprisonment of no more than twenty years-or both.
Later in 1918 The Sedition Act was added as an amendment which was more far reaching which included speech deemed disloyal, profane,or scurrilous. This was later repealed in 1921 but the original Espionage Act remains to this day.
How Secret is Secret?
Moynihan investigated this question in 1997 with the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy.The bi- partisan commission found -that secrecy is a form of government regulation- that excess secrecy has significant consequences to the national interest when policy makers are not fully informed-that Government is not held accountable for its actions and the public cannot engage fully in informed debate.
Moynahan reported that approx. 400,000 new secrets are revealed each year at the Top Secret level-and disclosure of any one would cause, as determined by law,"exceptionally grave damage to the national security." So when you rate too many secrets as Top Secret-even though they may be old worn out secrets you can- if you so choose indite someone with the Espionage Act for revealing it. And in the case of the Wiki Leaks witch hunt-Senator Joe Lieberman wants to do just that- to find a way to have Julian Assange charged with espionage-even though he is not an American citizen. When government must find a way digging through old laws-creating new ways to apply those laws in order to charge someone with a crime-then no one is safe.
We'll make you safe whether you like it or not.
Under the guise of national security government mice are nibbling away our democracy cheese. As Thomas Jefferson said "An informed citizenry is vital to the functioning of a Democratic society."
Are the contents of the Wiki Leaks cables more dangerous that the Governments reaction to them?
Where's the Anti-America Here?
WikiLeaks describes itself as a "public service designed to protect whistle blowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public." they ague that principled leaking has changed the course of history for the better." They state its purpose is to promote transparency in government and fight corporate fraud by publishing information governments or corporations would prefer to keep secret.
|Evil Minds Create Evil Laws|
In the Spring of 2010 Lieberman proposed a bill that would strip Americans of their citizenship if accused of being involved with foreign terrorist organizations. The law would have allowed the state department to determine-on its own-if you were conspiring with terror groups and should be stripped of your citizenship.
The act of conspiring using a "disloyalty" clause would have made it possible for people to lose their citizenship based on what the state department deemed disloyal. Even though the burden of proof would be placed on them- just imagine the implications for those caught in the sights of the Joe Lieberman's of the world- where the act of being charged is really as bad as being convicted. Minds like Lieberman's create fear and suspicion to the point of paranoia and empower the Orwellian idea of a thought police state-where disloyalty becomes a crime which cannot be clearly defined.
The Three Little Patriot Pigs
Bill O'Reilly has gone a step further to declare Assange a traitor who should be executed. Forget the fact that Assange isn't a terrorist and even the Pentagon has admitted no one in the armed services has come to any harm related to any of the leaked cables-Sarah and Bill continue to crow- demanding attention be drawn to themselves as they "huff and they puff" to blow democracy in- Along with it the presumption of innocence......until proven guilty.
Don't be poking this Tiger
Joe Lieberman has called the New York Times a "bad Citizen" for publishing some of the WikiLeaks cables and in Joe the traitor's mind we should be more like China-where a government has complete and total control of the Internet and as he says "Right now China, the government can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too."
To prove his admiration towards China- Joe has put together a nice piece of legislation called -S.3480 Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Complete with a "kill switch" provision written in where the government could force Internet firms including search engines and broadband providers to "immediately comply" when the government says "shut er down." But there is an upside-they can only keep it down- no more than 120 days.
Iceland is currently suing Visa and MasterCard for denying its customers the right to spend their own money on donations to WikiLeaks.This is clearly the merger of State and a Corporate entity -where Government and corporations working in tandem can decide what we can and cannot do with our own money.
Maybe if we all chip in we buy old Joe
And I bet he could get a good job in China's
National Congress of People's Deputies.
Deputy Joe...Now that has a nice ring to it.
Doncha think? Just ask Bill or Sarah.