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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:52 PM
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GOP SENATORS SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICIAL SECRET'S ACT
August 3, 2006 at 14:45:07

GOP SENATORS SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICIAL SECRET'S ACT

by Sibel Edmonds


http://www.opednews.com

Alexandria, VA---Senators Rick Santorum, R-PA, and Conrad Burns, R-MT, support implementation of Official Secret's Act, S.3774, introduced yesterday by Senator Christopher Bond, R-MO, to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Bond's bill seeks to enable the Executive Branch in prosecuting individuals engaged in disclosure of government secrets. According to the release issued by Senator Bond's office, the legislation seeks to unify current law and ease the government's burden in prosecuting and punishing leakers by eliminating the need to prove that damage to the national security has or will result from a disclosure. According to the new release by Secrecy News reports, the new Bond bill is identical to the controversial anti-leak legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Shelby in the FY 2001 Intelligence Authorization Act that was vetoed by President Clinton in November 2000. The bill was called the "Official Secrets Act," after the U.K.'s repressive criminal secrecy statutes.

The United States has never had a statute generally criminalizing leaks or the publication of sensitive information. Despite consideration at a number of moments in our history, concern for the First Amendment and the principle that the press acts as an important check on government abuse has thwarted all previous efforts to pass such legislation. According to Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor, "Such legislation is subject to a double standard in its application. For example, much information is leaked to the press with the approval of administrators. These sorts of leaks are an unofficial channel for shoring up administration positions and to influence public opinion. On the other hand, unauthorized leaks would be prosecuted when they undermine administration positions or embarrass the executive branch or reveal illegal agency activity. So whether or not a person is prosecuted depends on whether or not the leak is popular or unpopular with the administration in power at the time of the leak. If the statute were to be applied evenhandedly, the jails would be full of administrators and presidential advisors."

more at:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_sibel_ed_060803...
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:55 PM
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1. bye bye First Amendment
we hardly knew ye. :cry:

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