June 25th, 2006

First Amendment

Prosecuting Espionage

The latest front-page revelation of classified info is pissing me off. It has to stop or we won't have any effective way of dealing with terrorists left other than taking over whole countries and rooting them out house by house (I'm not taking the most paranoid view on this, either). Prosecuting the New York Times would do it, but the political price would probably be too high. Rather than arguing over the exact definition of the law, or forcing Congress to rewrite it so the lines will be clearly drawn (fat chance), we should concentrate on the clearest lawbreaking. Somewhere behind those stories are government employees with security clearances, who are unambiguously covered by the Espionage Act. They need to be prosecuted and sent to jail. If they're so convinced that it's necessary for the public to know that information, they can turn themselves in and go proudly to jail in the tradition of the civil rights protestors.

Step one in the investigation would be subpoenaing the reporters to give the names of their sources and the details of when and where the information was handed over to them. If they don't testify there's plenty of precent for keeping them in jail until they do. If they won't cooperate I'd be happy to see them die of old age in their cells. Either way it'll reduce the leaking.
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