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Senator Joe Lieberman Introduces SHIELD Act To Make Classified Information Releases Illegal

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 09:19 AM
reply to post by EFGuy

And this is the argument I see most from Assange supporters, and is hypocritical in nature. Lets hold the US government accountible for their actions based on claims made by assange that are not completely supported by any info releases as of yet.

Yet when charges are leveled at Assange, they are bogus, made up, unfounded, retaliation etc.

How is that not hypocritical? How does it not undermind Assnges credibility, where he rails against the US for acting they are above the law, then doing the exact same thing himself with regards to Sweden.

We do NOT know if the charges are valid or not. That is for the invesitigators in Sweden to determine and ajudicate.

Manning illegally accessed, possessed and released classified information.
Assange illegally received, possessed and release classified information.

The Pentagon Papers ruling established that the Government cannot invoke prior restraint on the sole basis that the information released would be embarrasing to the FEderal Government. The Supreme Court did NOT extend any protection to the media in terms of immunity or estbalishing a 1st amendment protection to the release of classified information.

The 2 media people involved in the Pentagon papers were charged with the release of classified information and it did go to court. They were acquitted of the charges.

In no way shape or form are there protections for media in this area, and people need to read up and understand that before they make the argument that Assange is media (even though that is questionable but whatever).

People need to understand the difference between the whistle blowing and espionage.

Whistle blowing is reporting information to an entity that exposes wrong doing and potentially illegal activity in hopes that those actions will end the activity.

Espionage is when sensitive information is collected and dsitributed to elements that jeopradize national security, operations, assets etc.

The moment information beyond criminal wrong doing was transmitted, it was no longer a whistel blowing act. The manner in which the information was obtained by wikileaks, with the reports they provided encryption software to manning, is not receving but in fact assisting in the theft and transfer of classified information.

These are not hard concepts to understand, regardless on whether or not you consider manning and assange heros. Ignoring this does not make manning or assange innocent.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by Xcathdra

I will be honest I have not read most of the cables but from what most people say nothing of intrinstic value was released. Most of the information seems to be confidential in nature and perhaps a few documents classified as secret. I won't bother downloading and reading anything because 1)its boring and 2)there could be security concerns.

As for differentiating between espionage and revealing criminal wrong-doing its a gray-area of which everyone seems to have an opinion. I would say project echelon does more damage to international security than whatever assange and his friends can muster. I am all for national and international security but it seems neither is taken seriously enough. Its all about corporate imperialism and exploiting national workforces. Perhaps that is why no official worthwhile charges have been brought up against him, because no government really cares about protecting its borders anymore.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:20 PM

Originally posted by Xcathdra

The moment information beyond criminal wrong doing was transmitted, it was no longer a whistel blowing act. The manner in which the information was obtained by wikileaks, with the reports they provided encryption software to manning, is not receving but in fact assisting in the theft and transfer of classified information.

What reports?... supported by what evidence?.... other than someone just saying it, and hoping it is true?

Links?... Evidence?... Or it's just so much anti-wikileaks hot air

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:42 PM
reply to post by Dagar

Whats the point.. You would not beleive it anyways. If you actually did your own research you can find the articles referencing the claim. Its been brought up many times in other threads here on ATS.

You are convinced he is a hero, and frankly thats your problem and not mine. Ive expressed my thoughts, and provided supporting documentation for my posts. People choose to ignore those sources as rumor / false / made up by others.

Chat logs

In the first portion of the chat logs a reference is made to encrypting the information to get it out undetected. An article by the Boston Globe linked an MIT student back to manning as assisting him with getting info. In the mid section of the chat logs manning provides details about how the info was sent, how it was encrpyted and hiden, and how it was sent to wikileaks. He also talks about special access he had to Assange in order to alert them that there were more files in their inbox from manning.

Assange offered Manning a job, and manning turned it down. Manning also stated there was one other analyst he knows who was also releasing classified info (I am going to assume its the analyst that was arrested down in Florida in the last few months).

Wikileaks timeline

CNN - Barbara Star


[T]he computer hacker Adrian Lamo says two men from who say they attend the M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Boston area say they helped Manning and one of them claiming allegedly to have taught Manning, the private, how to use encryption software….It’s really becoming a jigsaw puzzle, Drew. And every day it appears to be expanding. So, right now, we have the army’s criminal investigation division leading the investigation. We know the FBI and the justice department have been brought in. Sources telling us this morning now the Department of Homeland Security also is looking into this. They are trying to keep track of what accomplices may be out there, who out there in the civilian world, including people at MIT, may have helped Manning.
Important to say, of course, all these are allegations. It is only Manning that is facing charges from a previous disclosure of classified information. All of this remains to be proven in a court of law, but nonetheless, Lamo, the hacker, is saying that two men at MIT told him they tried to help Manning. They gave him encryption software, at least one of them.

MIT graduate admits link in leak case

Informant says WikiLeaks suspect had civilian help

Adrian Lamo, the Sacramento, Calif.-based computer hacker who turned in Bradley to military authorities in May, claimed in a telephone interview Saturday he had firsthand knowledge that someone helped Manning set up encryption software to send classified information to WikiLeaks.

Lamo, who's cooperating with investigators, wouldn't name the person but said the man was among a group of people in the Boston area who work with WikiLeaks. He said the man told him "he actually helped Private Manning set up the encryption software he used."

Lamo said the software enabled Manning to send classified data in small bits so that it would seem innocuous.

"It wouldn't look too much different from your average guy doing his banking on line," Lamo said.

He said Manning sent the data to get the attention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange didn't immediately respond to an e-mailed query from AP about Lamo's claim.

some more info:

Lamo, a computer hacker who this year traded instant messages with Manning, said in a telephone interview Friday with The New York Times that he believed that WikiLeaks was in part directing Manning and providing technical assistance to him in downloading classified information from military computers. Military officials would not confirm Lamo’s claim. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, did not respond to a Times e-mail seeking comment.

The military would not confirm Lamos claim. Wikileaks would not even respond.

Is this where we get to use the argument people were making in the BoA thread where acting guilty is proof of guilt? If so, since Assange acted guilty by not responding to the inquiry, he is guilty.

So we have manning accessing, encrpyting it and sending it
We have 2 MIT students who assisted Manning with encrpytion
We have news reports and Lamos statements these 2 MIT students worked with wikileaks.
Manning had access to Assange because he was considered a high level contact
Assange has made it clear he runs wikileaks and approves everything, which would include the MIT contacts and their encrpytion assistance to manning.

Anything else I can look up for you? If need be Im sure either I or someone else could read the articles to you as well, since you seem incapable of doing any research at all.

edit on 6-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by EarthCitizen07

Thier is no grey area between whistle blowing and espionage, as both are clearly spelled out in law and details the criteria for each.

Federal whistle blower laws also clearly spell out the manner in which that type of information can be released and still be covered.

Some more info that supports the claim Assange is out for himself and wants to benefeit monetarily from it.


On 24 December 2009, WikiLeaks announced that it was experiencing a shortage of funds[46] and suspended all access to its website except for a form to submit new material.[47] Material that was previously published was no longer available, although some could still be accessed on unofficial mirrors.[48] WikiLeaks stated on its website that it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered.[47] WikiLeaks saw this as a kind of strike "to ensure that everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue".[49] While the organisation initially planned for funds to be secured by 6 January 2010,[50] it was not until 3 February 2010 that WikiLeaks announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been achieved.[51]

In essence, give us money and we will give you documents.

Assange book deal - 1.3 Million

edit on 6-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:54 PM
Arghhh stupid US Government making me ashamed to be an American again. So basically they want to find a way to punish those that leak something they feel we shouldn't know about. Talk about another way to totally control the media as well. I mean when a reporter finds out something now they won't just be worried about getting the story out and who it might piss off. Now they will have to worry about who they will piss off and how long they will spend in a Federal Penitentiary.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by Phantom28804

Contrary to people continually stating this, Media is not immune from prosecution for publishing classified information.

Times v. United States is generally considered a victory for an extensive reading of the First Amendment, but as the Supreme Court ruled on whether the government had made a successful case for prior restraint, its decision did not void the Espionage Act or give the press unlimited freedom to publish classified documents. Ellsberg and Russo were not acquitted of violating the Espionage Act; they were freed due to a mistrial from irregularities in the government's case.

Pentagon paper case

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:19 PM

“The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just the latest example of how our national security interests, the interests of our allies, and the safety of government employees and countless other individuals are jeopardized by the illegal release of classified and sensitive information,” stated Lieberman.

"...Our interests, the interest of our allies, the safety of government employees and countless other individuals..."

Can anyone see where he mentions the citizens of the USA? Do they not count at all any more? No mention of armed forces either, its all about protecting their own interests by hiding their lies from the public!!!

The people of America really need to start standing up for what few rights they do have left. This legislation is basically saying their government is going to continue lying about anything and everything and anyone that attempts to expose them will be prosecuted as an enemy.

What I don't understand is how the US government thinks this would give them the right to prosecute Wikileaks. You cannot prosecute media organisations in other countries for exposing your lies.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:38 PM
reply to post by Xcathdra

Eh yea ok I didn't really think about it that way but I see the point there. I guess classified information has always been classified, so what is the real difference in this and what was already in place?

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:19 AM
reply to post by Phantom28804

What Leibermans bill does it to make a change to one part of the espionage act. The portion already makes it illegal to release / disseminate classified information. What the change does is to target specifically publishers of the classified information.

The argument people make is the media is exempt from the espionage act (which is incorrect) and is shielded by the 1st amendment in terms of reporting and publishing classified information that is leaked to them. There has been no court cases that have exempted media.

The espionage act, as well as federal statute make the possession, transfer and dissemination of classified information to anyone not authorized to have or see it illegal. The change being proposed removes the ambiguity from the status of media outlets and their reporting on that information. It efectively removes the argument people are making that its a 1st amendment issue by specifically addressing that one area.

Personally speaking on the overall topic and stepping outside the wikileaks manning fiasco, I dont agree with leibermans proposed change. I feel the system in place is adequate in terms of the media being able to mind the peoples business by acting as a flood light into the cracks and crevices of Government.

I dont agree with creating an immunity shield for media outlets either though, because media does not always act in the best interests of the people, and have been known not to report the entire story.

Specifically I dont want Oreilly or Olbermann taking a story and spinning it for their ideologies - period.

Coming back around to manning and wikileaks presents an entirely different issue involving the claim of whistle blowing, and the claim wikileaks is a media outlet that is protected under our 1st amendment in terms of publishing the info, while at the same time having no operations inside the United States to qualify them for that.

When information is brought to light that details criminal wrongdoing, and a concious decision is made by a person who has access to it and finds it morally problematic and takes action to bring that information to light while at the same time knowing that by releasing the information is illegal is whistelblowing.

When actions go beyond the reporting of one criminal incident, and move into the realm of releasing classified information that has absolutely no criminal wrongdoing involved, it moves into the realm of espionage. The argument of bringing illegal information to light for moral grounds is now a mute point since the actions of releasing classified info with no criminal wrongdoing do not support the origional claim.

It would be like being involved in a fight with someone who pulls a knife on you. You draw your gun while the guy is coming at you, and you shoot him, and he goes down, severely wounded and unable to move.

Normally, in terms of whistelblowing, this is where the action stops. The info is out, people can see it and it can be investigated.

Now, same scenarion, same outcome, the guy is laying on the ground, not moving, no longer a threat, and you decide to walk up to him and place a few rounds in his head.

At that point it was no longer self defense. The argument of self defense cannot support the end actions of shooting a person in the head that, in this scenario, no loner presented a threat to the person.

I dont think this should be a law. I dont think media should be specifically pointed out in the manner Leiberman wants. At the same time media should practice what they lost a long time ago, and that is responsible journalism.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:19 AM
reply to post by Seagle

I thought that was implied when he said countrless other individuals, as well as the US Government, since the government is the people.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 04:34 AM
This thread is about lieberman and his 'shield'.

Can there be any further doubt as to WHO is his paymaster? Certainly not you taxpayers, even though he had agreed to the wage and pocketed it BUT DID NOT act for you, who had voted him in.

With his affinity for 'shield', its an obvious clue, more so with his repressive red star commie style. Red Shield. ( means Rothschid in german)

So the shadow govt has spoken. Of course they need to have secrets. Anything and everything is a secret, even when secrets were only meaningful for wars. Are we at war today? Hell! even the cold war is over.

And what had bradley manning spilt? American military dispositions? None, but only atrocities committed by his own kind, the way our courageous Vietnam veterans had spilt over My Lai, or the massacres would never had been known and steps taken to ensure that it did not happen. But it has happened again, thanks to Bradly, so that we may know what stage of our 'opresso libre' soldiers are doing.

A govt should have no fear over what they had spoken, for they had been voted in based on their integrity. Why the fear now, of only being reported what they had spoken, unless they had acted with less than integrity being a leader chosen to guide a nation?

Oh...I forgot. There's an unelected shadow govt that had been pulling the puppets string, thus better have more 'shields' to continue hiding them from the public and their continue dictatorship. And best the media journalist knows which side of their bread is buttered. That's called being responsible, and to hell with integrity.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 04:50 AM
reply to post by SeekerofTruth101

Well extreme paranoia and lack of understanding how laws work aside, Leibermans proposal is just that, and is not law.

Pvt. Mannings actions broke the law, and he will either be found innocent or guilty and we go from there. Passing any law now in an effort to go after wikileaks or any legitimate media outlet who have already published the papers would be invalid and unconstitutional (It would be an Ex Post Factoissue).

Leibermans employer are the people of the state of Connecticut, who not only elected him while he was member of the Democratic party, but sent him back to congress as an independant. We do not live in a democracy, we live in a Republic.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 05:11 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

Extreme Paranoia??? Oh..yeah..right....and the fed is as govt as congress. And it prints money back Eisenhower was a crackpot. Seems like anyone who speaks out is either a terrorist or a paranoid individual. How times change.

'Leibermans employer are the people of the state of Connecticut...blah blah was Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich till the nation realized what a fraud he was ...

Get off the blue pill. Aint doing you any good. Unless of course, you have to be 'responsible' as you defined that word..

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by SeekerofTruth101

....or... you could find someone who has the ability to read and comprehend what I wrote. I said Leiberman is being paranoid and does not have an understanding of how laws work. And I went on to explain it in the response.

So yeah.... whatever works for you

Well extreme paranoia and lack of understanding how laws work aside, Leibermans proposal is just that, and is not law.

Also, Blago wasn't Blago found not guilty?

edit on 7-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

The US government is not the people by any stretch of the imagination and that is the problem. They are the masters and the people are just their obedient, brainwashed slaves.

Liberty? Freedom? Don't make me laugh.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:13 PM
reply to post by Xcathdra

Sorry ... but no cigar!

Complete and total hogwash ... Supposition built upon hypothesis, climbing over 'he said/she said', doing a dance with one supposition referencing another ... and not a single ounce of evidential truth peeking out from under that mountain of wishful thinking and pie-in-the-sky assertion.

posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by Dagar

And yet here we are, in forums criticising the Government, thier policies and the people behind them with no government agents knocking on our doors in the middle of the night.

Here we are, discussing leaked documents and cables, with no government agents knocking on our door. This website has not been shut down even though the content contained is mostly in opposition to the Government.

posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 06:13 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

Gee I wonder why? Could it be because they know none of us here really matter in the grand scheme of things? MSM has been controled for a long time, because they have the means to reach a huge audience, and most people will take whatever the talking heads of their flavor tell them as gospel. Exactly the reason there is no real news, just rightwing news, and leftwing news. The talking heads keeping up in the whole left VS right fraud, and they do a pretty good job if you ask me. Most people dont take the time to try to pay attention to a lot of sources and deduct from all of them what might be the truth, they either take Fox or CNN as gospel, and scoff at the other one.

All this accomplishes, is to make sure some independant media doesn't reach the kind of power that Fox or CNN have, and then blow both out of the water by telling people what really goes on in our government.
edit on Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:14:24 -0600 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 06:18 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

If you give out secrets they will target you with weapons and start a campaign against you and they are very good at it.

Naive people is what they like, and most people are like that.

Uk gov has the bbc there to ridicule people who would give out any of there secrets, this is one of there ways of keeping things secret, as they can go through your whole life.

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