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Mon May 20, 2013, 11:59 AM

Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/20/obama-doj-james-rosen-criminality

Glenn Greenwald
guardian.co.uk, Monday 20 May 2013 08.16 EDT

It is now well known that the Obama justice department has prosecuted more government leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined - in fact, double the number of all such prior prosecutions. But as last week's controversy over the DOJ's pursuit of the phone records of AP reporters illustrated, this obsessive fixation in defense of secrecy also targets, and severely damages, journalists specifically and the newsgathering process in general.

New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ's attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News' chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests - something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage".

(snip)

Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment's guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.

That same "solicitation" theory, as the New York Times reported back in 2011, is the one the Obama DOJ has been using to justify its ongoing criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: that because Assange solicited or encouraged Manning to leak classified information, the US government can "charge as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them."

---------------------------------
Okay...I was clearly slow in my understanding. Two points...

1) This is why everyone was so upset about Assange.(Who still strikes me as creepy.) I assumed IT WAS illegal to publish classified information. Apparently it is not. I'm not sure how it would not be...but, okay.

2) If all the Kim guy did was talk with a reporter...not steal classified information, not sell secrets, etc. He simply spoke with an reporter about his understanding of what was going on...that's pretty big, especially if he may get 10 years for it. That is tough.

I don't know anyone in the White House or anywhere else. But, if a discussion that DOES NOT include classified information can get you thrown in jail for 10 years, I would be nervous if I was a blogger with connections. That luncheon with an old friend could be life changing if he talks shop.

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Reply Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes (Original post)
onpatrol98 May 2013 OP
premium May 2013 #1
woo me with science May 2013 #2
Pragdem May 2013 #3
ProSense May 2013 #4
onpatrol98 May 2013 #7
geek tragedy May 2013 #5
newfie11 May 2013 #6
struggle4progress May 2013 #8

Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 12:05 PM

1. This is going to have a huge chilling effect on reporters,

 

according to the DoJ, a reporter just asking about what might be classified info is now a crime?

I am so concerned about the direction our country is taking in regards to the 1st Amendment, along with all the other rights.

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:06 PM

2. Huge K&R

We are in grave, grave trouble in this country. We ignore this at our peril.

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:08 PM

3. Glenn Greenwald = Guarantee that something is blown out of proportion. nt

 

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:14 PM

4. Isn't that

"Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes"

...using the word "journalist" loosely?

WaPo: DOJ Spied On Fox News Reporter (a perfect example of media complicity - updated)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022871121

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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:42 PM

7. ...using the word "journalist" loosely?

...using the word "journalist" loosely?

Well, there's a lot of truth with that statement.



But, I think of this as more of a case of --- fight it when it affects the people you don't like, so that they won't dream of trying it with the people you do like.

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:20 PM

5. Greenwald, misleading as usual. A 'formal accusation of committing a crime"

is known as an "indictment" or otherwise known as "being charged with a crime."

If the government has not sought an indictment or otherwise filed charges, they have not 'formally accused' the person of committing a crime.

It is virtually impossible at this point to overstate the threat posed by the Obama DOJ to press freedoms.


Yet Greenwald manages to overstate it on a weekly basis. Quite a talent, that fellow.

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 01:37 PM

6. Think MSM is bad now

Any real information will be ok'd first with CIA/NSA and the White House before it is released.
That is of course if an informant is crazy enough, knowing full well big brother is right there watching and recording!

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Response to onpatrol98 (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:45 AM

8. ... While details in the court papers are vague, there are indications that the leaked information

may have related to the nuclear activities of a foreign power. The indictment says that in June 2009, Kim leaked information from an intelligence report carrying the very high classification "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information" to a reporter who was not authorized to receive it. The Justice Department press release says the leaked secrets related to "intelligence sources and methods and intelligence concerning the military capabilities and preparedness of a particular foreign nation" ...
Justice Department Indicts Contractor in Alleged Leak
Aug 27, 2010 7:08 PM EDT

I have no idea exactly what Kim is alleged to have leaked, nor exactly why he is being prosecuted. But he seems to have a long association with the US nuclear weapons complex. The nuclear weapons complex is (of course) the actual origin of our modern national security state, and it has always been a bit touchy about security

Prosecuting Kim may indeed be unreasonable, but I don't know that actually it is. It's not obviously unreasonable, for example, to cultivate intelligence assets who provide information on foreign nuclear capabilities. And it's not unreasonable to protect such assets: one should prefer not to have so much information gradually dribble out, that such information sources were ultimately identified and silenced

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