Posted by: Dahni | June 16, 2012

Could of Should of

By Dahni © 2012-06-14 all rights reserved

By now you have read or heard about National Security information being leaked to the press, specifically the New York Times and the Associated Press. It’s a pretty strange circus with everyone involved denying the whole thing, blaming someone else, but looking like they give a damn in calling for some investigation. As I understand it, this seems to be how it is all unfolding.

It began with two articles, both by the NY Times. The headlines pretty much sum up the content of each.

First, ‘Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will’ By Jo Becker and Scott Shane – NY Times, published, May 29, 2012. The Second was, ‘Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran’ By David E. Sanger – NY Times, published, June 1, 2012.

This second article is adapted from the soon to be released book, “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” also written by David Sanger. Along with the NY Times, the AP Associated Press also published much of this material across its network of some 1,500 newspapers that own the AP, a not for profit organization.

Following these two front page articles from the NY Times, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others claim that The Obama administration had revealed national security secrets to reporters for its own political gain. This is flatly denied by the White House.

At a hastily scheduled press briefing, President Obama declared a “zero tolerance” policy for such leaks, and forcefully stated that such disclosures had not come from the White House: “The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” he said. “It’s wrong.”

Calls for investigation in this matter are ongoing and the Department of Justice is now involved. Attorney General Eric Holder turned to the U.S. Attorneys for the District of Columbia (Ronald Machen) and Maryland (Rod Rosenstein) to figure out who is responsible. With close and personal ties of Ronald Machen to the attorney general and as a financial contributor to the President, some believe this decision is a clearly a conflict of interest. Having the Department of Justice investigate itself is like asking a fox to guard the hen house. Is that too strong? Well how about this? Most in the legal profession know the old adage or proverb (saying):

“A lawyer who represents himself [herself] has a fool for a client.”

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Authors of the NY Times articles, defended their positions in writing them and the NY Times defends itself in publishing the articles.

In Sanger’s book from which his article was adapted he wrote, “A Note on Sources”:

“Following the practice of the Times in reporting on national security, I discussed with senior government officials the potential risks of publication of sensitive information that touches on ongoing intelligence operations. At the government’s request, and in consultation with editors, I withheld a limited number of details that senior government officials said could jeopardize current or planned operations.”

Then recently on ‘Face the Nation,’ Sanger further defends his position when he said that the “political side of the White House probably likes reading about the president acting with drones and cyber and so forth.” He also stated that, “No government agency formally requested that I not publish the story.”

Let’s go back to White House and Congress. There we find an ongoing debate that splits hairs over whether or not this was classified information. OK then it was just sensitive, but no one seems to deny that the leaks  occurred, the information released is real or that it is a serious matter.

To put it lightly, this is a huge mess. It damages national security and it makes the United States out to be untrustworthy, unable to keep its mouth shut; it jeopardizes our future security and that of others, or it at least makes us look incompetent.

So what happens if any investigation ferrets out the guilty person or persons? Oh, there is the 1917 Espionage Act and the Classified Information Procedures Act and perhaps some other sounds + good – (minus) but = basically bullshit legal stuff.

The 1917 statute’s principal provision makes it a crime to disclose, to persons not authorized to receive it, national defense information with knowledge that its dissemination could harm the United States or help a foreign power. Oh, but I guess it’s not a crime to publish it if you have permission or no one prevents it?

Good luck with finding any culprit, prosecuting them or that they will ever be found guilty or pay for their crimes. There has only ever been one successful trial of an accused leak-er under the 1917 Espionage Act. What’s the purpose of this stupid, still on the books  and old statute for then? Is it the laws, acts or statutes dealing with disclosure of sensitive or classified information that’s stupid or are the lawyers and judges that interpret them as it pleases them, stupid? If the laws are lame, re-write them or get them off the books. If they are written correctly, ENFORCE THEM!

Not that it should really matter, but what about the motivation or motivations to leak this sensitive information? Was it simply for money to leak or for promise of some special favor, favors? Was it to fluff the feathers of the President, as some believe, to make him look good as a strong warrior against terrorism in defense of liberty, democracy and our national security? Was it simple propaganda to scare the terrorists into thinking that we might be attacking them with cyber warfare or targeting them with drones? Was it over-confidence or arrogance, ‘Oh lookey’ world, look what we did and can do again, because we are the USA and a super-dooper-power? Was it just to sell more newspapers or subscriptions for journalism that is bleeding a lot of red ink these days? God knows the the public as a whole, do not trust them. So then was this an attempt to look more credible or to let the public know, journalism is on the job and they have our best interests at heart? Yes, what was the real reason(s) for leaking and publishing this information? As Rhett Butler said to Scarlet O’Hare, in the classic novel and movie ‘Gone With the Wind,’ “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!”

Since the media was brought up, it comes back around to them. Don’t give me the protection of your sources and freedom of the press crap. Don’t tell us that we have a right to know what could harm us and others if you let us know this sensitive stuff. And don’t give me the bull about it was not classified information either. And I don’t care if you asked permission to publish this stuff! I don’t give a damn if any of the writers paused and thought maybe I shouldn’t or no one told them they couldn’t. It was at least sensitive information and it threatens the security of many, OK? Leave it at that. Can we agree on this?

While most may be distracted in looking for the leaks, I’m not. Who wrote the articles and who published them? Sure, find and stop the leak and prevent this from happening again in the future. But prosecute the whole lot of the writers and publishers, boycott the bunch or do both. Shut down their web sites, lock up their buildings, turn off their utilities, shut them down. This is a lot better treatment than the Father of our country, George Washington could of -should of-would have done.

Dino DNA extracted from amber

In 1990, Michael Crichton published a novel and wrote the screen play for the movie that was released in 1993. The name is, ‘Jurassic Park.’

One of the characters was Dr. Ian Malcolm, a fictional mathematician and self-professed “chaotician,” a title which he uses to describe his work in applying the Chaos Theory to practical real-life scenarios.

In one of the early scenes, Dr. Malcolm (in the movie played by actor Jeff Goldblum), after witnessing the effects of science being able to extract Dino DNA, grow dinosaurs and pre-determine their sex, he said the following.

“Your scientists [you writers and publishers] were so preoccupied with whether or not

they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

This ladies and gentlemen is exactly the matter at hand with regards to allowing, leaking, accepting, writing and publishing sensitive material that threatens the security of the United States and many of our allies.

And as to George Washington, as the first commander and chief, what did he do if one was caught aiding the enemy or threatening the security of the 13 colonies? He had them shot, executed in front of the soldiers he commanded and sometimes those firing the fatal shots were those that brought the accusations. But also for your information, on a least on occasion, the accusers gave false information about others and they were executed by those they wrongfully accused.

In my opinion, the leaks, the allow-ers of this information, Sanger, Becker, Shane, the NY Times, the Associated Press and anyone else that published or re-released this information in any format, betrayed the United States of America, our allies, and freedom of the press. Those of the press that have participated in this matter in any way are to be held more liable than those that leaked the information in first place.

“A Big mouth full of hurtful words is only potentially dangerous. It becomes dangerous when it is given a voice!”

Dahni

Think these are just my opinions? Then explain why the government willingly or felt forced to agree the information is sensitive and that it compromises national security?

Do you think my suggestions in how to handle the writers and publishers of this sensitive information is too harsh? You don’t like, believe in or approve of capital punishment? Fine, then if you have a family, why don’t you publish your personal and sensitive material for the world to see? I can only hope that no one uses this information to harm you or your family in any way! Then again, why not just take yourself out, cut out your tongue, cut off your hands, remove any possible way to communicate anything to anyone or at least remove the possibility that you or anyone in your family cannot have any more children? Maybe you have have passed on some stupid gene to your progeny!

What writers and publishers could have done is to have withheld the information and brought the security leaks to the attention of the government, for the sole purpose of stopping any future betrayal and prosecuting this betrayal. If they want to report this, why not a headline that reads:

Sensitive Information Leaked to US and Rejected For National Security

What they could have done is what they should have done.

Credibility, reliability, trustworthiness and truthfulness, if this is not what journalism is supposed to be about and what Freedom of the Press really is, then what is it for? Aren’t they supposed to have our back? Aren’t they supposed to be of, by and for us, We the People? If not, then what is their true purpose? What they could have done is what they should have done.

Sorry, forgive and forget? Forget that! What could have been done is what should be done!

Just I-Magine,

Dahni


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