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Watch Out Media - You Could Be Charged with Treason

To temper my two previous bizarro posts, here's a depressing "the state of our country" post from Glenn Greenwald:

It seems clear that the US military now deems any leaks of classified information to constitute the capital offense of "aiding the enemy" or "communicating with the enemy" even if no information is passed directly to the "enemy" and there is no intent to aid or communicate with them. Merely informing the public about classified government activities now constitutes this capital crime because it "indirectly" informs the enemy.

The implications of this theory are as obvious as they are disturbing. If someone can be charged with "aiding" or "communicating with the enemy" by virtue of leaking to WikiLeaks, then why wouldn't that same crime be committed by someone leaking classified information to any outlet: the New York Times, the Guardian, ABC News or anyone else? In other words, does this theory not inevitably and necessarily make all leaking of all classified information - whether to WikiLeaks or any media outlet - a capital offense: treason or a related crime?

Bradley Manning and Wikileaks are the focus of the military's ire at the moment, but it's not hard to see how it could easily include the usual media outlets. People might look at Wikileaks as this shady operation, so it might sit fine with some to term them as "the enemy". But how are you going to feel next time when the news outlets get grouped in the mix, too? As Greenwald points out in this article, the New York Times has certainly leaked more sensitive information many times.

Of course, that outcome would almost certainly be a feature, not a bug, for Obama officials. This is, after all, the same administration that has prosecuted whistleblowers under espionage charges that threatened to send them to prison for life without any evidence of harm to national security, and has brought double the number of such prosecutions as all prior administrations combined. Converting all leaks into capital offenses would be perfectly consistent with the unprecedented secrecy fixation on the part of the Most Transparent Administration Everâ„¢.

The irony from these developments is glaring. The real "enemies" of American "society" are not those who seek to inform the American people about the bad acts engaged in by their government in secret. As Democrats once recognized prior to the age of Obama - in the age of Daniel Ellsberg - people who do that are more aptly referred to as "heroes". The actual "enemies" are those who abuse secrecy powers to conceal government actions and to threaten with life imprisonment or even execution those who blow the whistle on high-level wrongdoing.

Mebbe that's how things used to be. Now the theme of the decade is "Keep your head down and don't make waves if you know what's good for you." Certainly an ideal one can look up to. Yay, Obama.

By min | September 27, 2012, 12:17 PM | Liberal Outrage