Posts Tagged ‘Classified Information’

That leaked CIA report on the Russian menace

December 16, 2016

CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou made a point about the New York Times and Washington Post reports on a secret CIA report on Russian hacking of Democratic campaign e-mails.

Oh, and by the way – the release of the CIA report, or information from the CIA report, is an act of espionage as defined by the Obama Justice Department: “Providing national security information to any person not entitled to receive it.”  I wonder who’s going to be charged with that leak.  Yeah, right.

Source: CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou

I’ve often thought that the purpose of most government classification of information is to be able to leak secrets to favored people.

The secret state and congressional immunity

August 19, 2013

Democratic Senators Rob Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado say the National Security Agency is doing terrible things, but they can’t reveal what they are because the information is classified.

Whatever became of the Constitutional doctrine of “congressional immunity”?  Senators and Representatives have long held the right to speak freely on the floor of Congress without being held accountable to anyone except Congress itself.

Back in 1971, Democratic Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska read the secret Pentagon Papers into the public Congressional Record.   The Supreme Court ruled that he had a right to do so.

The relevant portion of the Constitution is in Article One, Section 6.

      The Senators and Representatives … shall in all cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Back in 2003, Congress de-funded the Total Information Awareness program, which was intended to collect and sift through all electronic communication.  But, as whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and journalists such as James Bamford have revealed, the program never ended, but was continued under different names.

If an agency of the federal government can disregard the expressed wishes of Congress, and make it a crime to reveal what has been done, what becomes of the rule of law?  What limits can there be on governmental power?

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Bob Woodward’s leaks vs. Bradley Manning’s

March 1, 2013