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Quoting classified documents

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posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 09:16 PM
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I wonder how accurate the idea is that once someone else has posted an illegal item of some sort on the internet, that all others are then free to distribute it.

As a matter of common sense, and anecdotal experience, I doubt it.

1) If someone posts libelous information about somebody on their blog, and then other people post this information on their sites, blogs, etc., or publish the information in the newspaper...I believe that the injured party can sue all of the people who have been involved in the spread of the libelous materials.

2) If someone posts an obscene picture on the internet (say, a kiddie porn image), I think that it would be pretty clearly illegal for others to copy and post that image on their website...or to email the image to others.

Given that Classified Documents contain information that rises to the level of national security issues, I would have to think that there would be laws in place to allow pretty fast and serious measures to quell the spread of "leaked" documents. How about even simple "possession of stolen property", if you copy and paste stolen Government materials?

It would be useful if there is an ATS lawyer-type member out there who could comment on this in a learned way...




posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by mobiusmale
 

The problem with your assessment is that of a "static label". National Security can be used every other word to rationalize the squelching of information...but what is the motivation behind that?

Seeing as how there is a substantial amount of corporate influence and that said influence is more or less designed to manipulate the populace to agree with their attempts at induced consumerism...I would say that much more transparency is needed.



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam

edit: PS, for the rest of you, it's 18 USC 794 that's the scary one.


Hmm, from reading it, it seems to me that Cheney should have been eligible for the death penalty, if we actually cared to apply our laws to our leaders.

Edit to quote the relevant portion;

www.law.cornell.edu...


......except that the sentence of death shall not be imposed unless the jury or, if there is no jury, the court, further finds that the offense resulted in the identification by a foreign power (as defined in section 101(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) of an individual acting as an agent of the United States and consequently in the death of that individual, ...


Its a damn shame no one in power takes THAT seriously.

[edit on 13-6-2010 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 10:12 PM
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Some people here are talking about guarding the files which exposes 'interests' of US. Do you really think killing reporters and civilians and lying blatantly as in the leaked wikileaks documents is for your countries interests? Everybody knows how many innocent people die there. How long you Americans gonna support tyranny? There will be some point you wont be able to do it anymore. At that point remember the enemies you would have created. Already i think every government other England knows this. They just hate you. Do you what your country to be hated like that? Know one thing, Great Empires come and go. But the damage you done to those people will not be forgotten and i thought it was only your government doing these things. Now i think many citizens of US are for it so that you can get oil a few dollars cheap. I hope some of you Americans expose the truth and corporate companies behind your government for your own good and for the humanity.
OP you should post very carefully not giving away your true identity if you get your hands on any document. For that case anybody. Or just post it in wikileaks and after they release it you can quote and link the article. The message is important. People should be aware of what's the truth. That is important.



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by chaosinorder
 


I don't care what the content of the information is. If it is stamped Confidential (ie, some of the cables that idiotic 35F sent to wikileaks) or higher, then it is not going to be released to the public. Sorry, that's just how it works. Somebody somewhere puts a classification on something in order to keep certain information protected.

People who have legal access to it are required to protect it at all costs and if they release it, they go to jail. People who do not have legal access to it have no business seeing it. Period.



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


If you feel strongly, perhaps you should be the one to do the deed (post the leaked data) and save the other members from having to do it and assume all the risk that such an action now entails.

I am not so courageous. Not in this day and age.



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by mf_luder
 


I have a theoretical question,

IF somehow, you found a cable labeled as confidential or secret or whatever, and IF it indicated that your government was going to take military action against the citizens of this country in order to take over America by force and dispense with our Constitution, would you leak it?

Or would your loyalty be to the word "secret" at the expense of your Constitution?

Mind you, there is no such cable, I am not saying or implying there is. I am just curious how YOU feel you would choose. Your bosses? Or your Constitution?



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:24 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
reply to post by mf_luder
 


I have a theoretical question,

IF somehow, you found a cable labeled as confidential or secret or whatever, and IF it indicated that your government was going to take military action against the citizens of this country in order to take over America by force and dispense with our Constitution, would you leak it?

Or would your loyalty be to the word "secret" at the expense of your Constitution?

Mind you, there is no such cable, I am not saying or implying there is. I am just curious how YOU feel you would choose. Your bosses? Or your Constitution?


My loyalty is to the US Constitution and the people of the United States.

Does that answer your question without me going into damning details?



posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by mf_luder
 


Yes.
And thats all I would ask of another American. That your loyalty be to the Constitution and the people.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


This is a fairly easy question to answer. Of course, "the people' and the Constitution are the fixtures that must be defended against all enemies foreign or domestic. In this case the Government would clearly be acting as a domestic enemy of the USA.

So, the documents would have to be leaked.

The other side of this coin is that if the document contains information about actions that the Government itself intends to take against enemies, foreign or domestic, the information must be suppressed.

That is, unless the action contemplated would itself be clearly unconstitutional...in which case one would have to weigh the pros and cons, as to which overall would serve the greater good.

Assuming that such a calculation could be easily made (and quite often things are not so conveniently black or white).



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by mobiusmale
 


I asked the question because in an earlier post he had said he did not care about the content of the material, only that it was secret. Some people really are that single (or simple as the case may be) minded, that they see no need to check their actions against a Hierarchy of loyalties.

In fact, I suspect we have quite a few of those types in "enforcement" of all kinds.

In regard to the general topic, I did ask a military lawyer, and this is the answer I got from him.


Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Linking to "wikileaks" is not a crime if you do not otherwise have a duty to safeguard the information.

To prosecute a person for release of classified information, the government would need to prove a duty to not release. Every person who has access to classified information has a duty to safeguard that information...so if your are in that position, you have a clearance and access to classified information, it would be a crime to release that information.

But to post a link to a publicly available website would not violate any US law.


So, there it is. An expert legal opinion on the use of Wikileaks material. I am also awaiting a specific response to quoting that material or reposting it, as he chose to focus on the portion I asked about "linking." I will post that answer as well when I get it.

[edit on 14-6-2010 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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Update on reposting information from leaked classified documents from sites such as Wikileaks;


BEST way is to just link. The recent "wikileaks" is a good example...in that case the government is trying to "stop the leak"...if you simply link, when the government shuts down the link, its done. If you quote, you may find your page shut down as well.

Not a crime, but could land you with a demand to change you page or face having your page shut down.


So, it isnt a crime, but if you do repost, if the US wins the legal challenge, you may have to take the page down.

Sounds reasonable. So, if SO doesnt mind that, it would seem we are good to go.




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