Can the New York Times be prosecuted?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    Could be.

    The federal law is 18 U.S.C. § 798, a law that precisely prohibits leaks of the type of classified information disclosed in the story. Subsection (a) of the statute provides:

    "Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—

    (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or

    (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or

    (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or

    (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—

    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."


    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000798----000-.html
     
  2. Enoch

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Most definitely! They should be held accountable for their treasonous actions! They are a disgrace!
     
  3. Kiffen

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    What if the Intelligence the White House was gathering was an illegal act in itself. Should we have a prosecution for both?

    I am not so sure Pres. Bush was acting within the Law himself. (I am not saying he violated the Law like some Liberals in that I am no expert on this but I do question whether he did) I think spying on citizens within the country should only be done under court authority lest we become like North Korea.
     
  4. Dave

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    The fact is that the president has the power to do certain things in the interest of national security that would be illegal under normal conditions.

    Consider that it is illegal to murder someone, but it has at times been a practice of our intelligent services to do just that at certain times in the history of this country. Not to mention a disaster like the Bay of Pigs fiasco was nothing short of an attempt to topple a foreign government, using methods which were not strictly legal, but was justified under the heading of protecting National Security.

    Remember that we are involved in a war. In World War 2, Franklin Roosevelt illegally imprisoned many Japanese-Americans in order to prevent spies from giving the Japanese Empire information that would compromise our defenses. This was accepted at the time as necessary for our national security.
     
  5. Johnv

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    Hmmm, this is interesting. It would have to be determined to what extent the limitations of Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 798 can place on Constitutional Amendment I's prohibition against abridging freedom of the press.

    One can certainly make an argument for their actions being unwise to the extreme, but prosecutability might be a different ballgame altogether.
     
  6. KenH

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    Based on what happened during the Pentagon Papers controversy, I think that the New York Times is in the clear.
     
  7. carpro

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    Either way, the Times could not plead ignorance of the seriousness of the the information they were releasing. They were warned.

    But they chose to promote the sale of a book instead of being concerned about national security.

    Even if this law runs afoul of the first amendment, it might be used to force the Times to reveal their source.
     
  8. billwald

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    They should get the peace prize.
     
  9. KenH

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    The leaker of this potential abuse of power might more appropriately be described as a whistleblower.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    One more time.

    The President has done nothing illegal as noted in the initial Times article:

    The New York Times, which first disclosed the existence of the NSA program last week, also cited unnamed sources who said the administration used two other opinions to justify its actions. One was embedded in a public Justice Department brief from 2002 and another was in a 2002 opinion issued by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review that oversees the secretive court that usually deals with terror-related wiretap requests.

    In 2002, that FISA review court upheld the president's warrantless search powers, referencing a 1980 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. That court held that "the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. ... We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power," wrote the court.

    "The Foreign Intelligence Court of Review, which is the highest court that's looked at these questions, has said that the president has the inherent constitutional authority to use electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence and Congress cannot take away that constitutional authority. That's a pretty good argument," Bryan Cunningham, former National Security Council legal adviser, told FOX News.


    More at:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179323,00.html
     
  11. KenH

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    I guess we'll have see the administration was accurate in its interpretation of those two opinions.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    I guess we'll have see the administration was accurate in its interpretation of those two opinions. </font>[/QUOTE]It is not the administrations interpretation, it is FISA and the 4th Circuit Court's opinion. :D
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

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    This article says:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179323,00.html

    On Tuesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan repeated the legal underpinnings used to justify the "signals intelligence."
    "Under Article 2 of the Constitution, as commander in chief, the president has that authority. The president has the authority under the congressional authorization that was passed and clearly stated that, quote, 'The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force.' This was under Section 2 in the authorization for the United States Armed Forces," McClellan said.
    "It is limited to people who have — one of the parties to the communication [who has] a clear connection to Al Qaeda or terrorist organizations and one of the parties [who] is operating outside of the United States. And I think that's important for people to know, because there's been some suggestions that it's spying inside the U.S. That's not the case," the press secretary added.

    The major point of contention concerns wiretaps within the U.S. and especially those which are unrelated to terrorism but directed at the administrtation's political enemies like anti-war activists.

    As usual, FOX's perspective is biased and not relevant.
     
  14. fromtheright

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    SAN,

    I disagree with wiretapping dissenters like anti-war activists but it has been asked, and I've still not seen it, whether there is evidence that was done. If it is true, as McClellan says, that the wiretaps are on conversations that include those with identified connections to al Qaeda, then why all this? I've long believed that Ken doesn't carry an animus toward Bush, but for someeone who qualifies many of his statements about this with "alleged" (which is an honorable thing to do), this dead horse has been stood back up on his four legs and shot over and over with Ken's repeated threads on this subject.
     
  15. Dave

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    All of this is because there is a chorus of leftist members of Congress as well as the press who twist everything they can to attack this president.

    They are so afraid that he will change the balance of the courts or push through changes to their sacred cows (like social security), or simply that the leftists will lose ground under this presidency. They are adamantly opposed to any viewpoint that is not their own and have villified this president.
     
  16. billwald

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    BullPippy. The terrorists didn't know the govt was spying on them? I assume the govt is spying on me.
     
  17. hillclimber

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    GWB's actions have been completely within the law. To NOT have taken these actions would have been dereliction of duty.

    Rest assured, if one jot or tittle of his administration were outside the law, the huffing and puffing of the liberal leftists, would immediately change to indictments and charges.
     
  18. elijah_lives

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    The NYT can be and probably will be prosecuted, under the cited law. The "Pentagon papers" case only prohibited the government from blocking publication in advance; it did not address prosecuting after publication. The decision not prosecute in that case was a political one, not legal.
     
  19. Terry_Herrington

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    If you think this topic is overemphasized, then don't respond to it.
     
  20. Terry_Herrington

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    I am thankful for the New York Times for bringing to light the continued potential illegalities of GWB!
     

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