Tuesday, May 10, 2011

J-Edgar Feinstein

From a WSJ article scrawled a few months ago by Senator Dianne Feinstein, arguing for vigorous prosecution of Wikileaks leader Assange--overlooked by most of the blogger "liberals":

""When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released his latest document trove—more than 250,000 secret State Department cables—he intentionally harmed the U.S. government. The release of these documents damages our national interests and puts innocent lives at risk. He should be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.

The law Mr. Assange continues to violate is the Espionage Act of 1917. That law makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit "information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation."

The Espionage Act also makes it a felony to fail to return such materials to the U.S. government. Importantly, the courts have held that "information relating to the national defense" applies to both classified and unclassified material. Each violation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.""

The Espionage Act was signed into effect by Woodrow Wilson at the end of WWI and used to prosecute citizens who objected to America's involvement in WWI. Most historians agree that the Act was a nearly totalitarian policy, often used to arrest and imprison German-Americans simply for being german.

Feinstein also overlooks the fact that neither Obama or Bush officially declared war. Sen. DiFi thus suggests it is acceptable for the US govt. to use war-time security measures even when the country is not at war (--certainly not on the scale of WWI). DiFi, it might be recalled, also was a vocal supporter of PatAct, FISA, and Homeland Security. A few days after 9-11 Feinstein had called her crony Larry Ellison of Oracle to print out some handy bio-ID cards for CA checkpoints, when martial law would hopefully be implemented--the Di-Law.

The blogger "left"--comprised of dozens of sites-- gave the silent treatment to Feinsteins hack attack essay in the WSJ, for the most part. Someone with the Firedoglake gang finally wrote something against Queen Dianne: "Essentially, CRS found that a plausible reading of the Espionage Act, by itself, might find some grounds to charge Assange — but that precedent, the Constitution, and jurisdictional issues all weigh against a successful prosecution. Feinstein was grossly dishonest in eliding this.”

"Grossly dishonest" barely scratches the surface of the Dianne Feinstein machine. Feinstein, the senior Senator of the largest state in the nation, was as right-wing as the GOP on the Iraqi War. She also has, like most corporate liberals, high-fived Bin Laden's execution--perhaps unavoidable, in some RealPolitik sense, but hardly an occasion for celebration. Sen. Feinstein--arguably one of the most powerful women in the entire world--probably has reasons to be concerned that Wiki-leaks might turn up something about.. Feinstein (or her cronies, Blum, Harman, AIPAC, etc). Indeed, Queen Dianne should have been prosecuted years ago.

More:DiFi II



Moriarty said...

Assange is not an American citizen, and Feinstein's references to US law, including the so-called Espionage Act are thus meaningless. Her trite First Amendment analogy-- that Assange is shouting Fire! in a crowded theatre also seems dubious, if not completely misguided--he's not shouting, but merely revealing information.

The US Govt.--and citizenry-- may not care for the information, but Assange has no obligation to protect the "national security" of the US. The information may alarm conservative Americans--and politicians-- but that's not the entire "theatre"--the analogy does not apply, whatsoever. The Australian government in fact has supported Assange as have other nations . Let the chips fall where they may.

J said...

Yes, Mr. M. Note that DF's attempt to make a point on limits to free expression --ie, you can't shout Fire! in a crowded theatre---applies only when the person is deliberately misleading people, creating a riot, etc. (Ie, if there was a real fire, you might shout it). So the analogy has little or no relevance to the Assange situation (even if ..the USA could bring an Australian to court). He's merely revealing govt. information, which was hidden/encrypted--ethical hacking in a sense. (Really I can't quite believe the WSJ editors published DF's "essay.")

As a person Assange might have issues (ie, the alleged sex crimes, etc), but he's put his shoulder to the wheel for open government, and authentic "transparency"--cyber liberty. Information wants to be free, as they said in the early days of blogging.

re Sen Feinstein--she started out as a reformer and may have done some good in Fog town. Gradually, like after she became a Senator, she morphed into the ...La Gran Puta de Babilon.

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