At Hot Air today, we resurrect the Private Snafu cartoons from WWII to try and help the Fish Wrappers understand that blabbing carries consequences. Watch the whole thing. Especially what’s in the mirror at the end of the cartoon. A very fitting reflection of Bill Keller, in my opinion.
And here are a sample of the letters flooding my mailbox from readers pressing the DOJ to prosecute (email – firstname.lastname@example.org):
To Whom it may concern,
You must prosecute the traitors who are responsible for giving our national defense secrets to the enemy. This has been going on for years. What have you done? Nothing! By your inaction, you are just as responsible as the traitors at the New York Times, The LA Times and the Washington Post.
If your hands are tied, resign in protest. Do something. My children are in danger because of your inaction. I blame you!
Men and women fight everyday in the god forsaken wastelands of Iraq and Afghanistan. The LEAST you could do would be to enforce the law in regards to security leaks. At some point we are going to have to STOP being sensitive, STOP being politically correct, and STOP pandering to public opinion. If you dont do it for the fighting American, do it for your country. Thirty years ago people would have been tried for treason. Freedom of press can not be allowed to violate the security of our country. The American people DO NOT have a right to know everything that goes on in their government.
Arron Barringer USMC 2000-2004
As a citizen of the U.S., I am writing to express my outrage (if even that word is sufficient) over the latest round of leaks of classified information reported in the NY and LA Times concerning a program for tracking financial information which may be terrorism related.
I hope I do not have to explain how much this kind of unauthorized disclosure helps the enemy we are fighting. And if memory serves, knowingly helping the enemy is by definition an act of treason. I find it in no small sense ironic that the very organizations which loudly questioned for political reasons why we couldn’t “connect the dots” before 9/11 are making damn sure that we can’t connect them after 9/11. If there is some better way to sabotage our national security, then please enlighten me because I can’t come up with anything. This has happened far too many times now, and it can NOT be allowed to stand.
What do you suppose would have happened to a person or persons in WWII who had knowingly published details of the latest Allied techniques for detecting and destroying enemy submarines in 1942? What the NY and LA Times and their source(s) have done in this case is exactly the same thing, and should be dealt with as such. The Germans could have saved a lot of money and manpower on intelligence by just reading the NY Times, the same way Osama and his kind do now. The U-boats would have adapted using this information and been far more effective for far longer than they were. And whoever leaked that information and published it would have been directly responsible for untold numbers of ships being sunk that otherwise would not have been. And so it will be with this case when AQ finally manages to hit us again. The people responsible for disclosing and publishing this information will be directly liable. They have aided the enemy for no other purpose than to aid the enemy. There is no difference – treason is treason, or else there is no such thing.
First, I request in the strongest terms possible that the source(s) of this leak be found and tried for every applicable violation of law pertaining to the intentional, unauthorized disclosure of sensitive classified information to the media, who then was kind enough to share it with the rest of the planet.
As I recall, anyone granted access to classfied information must first sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Whoever leaked this clearly did so intentionally with the full knowledge that they were breaking the terms of their NDA, and should be punished to the maximum extent allowable by law. It then follows that this person or persons willfully and knowingly divulged classified information to the media, and therefore willfully and knowingly caused grave damage to the national security of the United States. Having access to classified information and making it available to your enemies would reasonably be defined as espionage. It’s just that in this case the conduit for that information was the news media, and the news media will attack any attempt to prosecute this because of their ideology and role as accomplices to this act. Let that not deter you.
Second, I request in the strongest terms possible that the full chain of persons responsible for getting this classified information to print in both the NY and LA Times be tried for every applicable violation of law pertaining to the intentional, unauthorized disclosure of sensitive classified information, but especially for the charge of treason. I’m sure an investigation will turn up information not available to the general public, but should it turn out that this terrorist finance tracking program was fully legal and effective (as I’m sure it was), then there could have been no other purpose for publishing the information other than to cause grave damage to the government’s efforts at shutting down these terrorist organizations. If there is some better example of treason, then I don’t know of it.
In fact, the reluctance of anyone to call treasonous acts for what they are and try them over the last several decades is probably why this kind of thing happens so frequently today. If the DoJ lacks the fortitude to pursue a charge of treason in time of war when the case is so clear, then that word will be rendered absolutely meaningless (or remain so) and these offences will continue to occur. The stakes are too high to allow this to go unpunished.
San Antonio, TX
Christopher R. Whittaker:
Dear Attorney General Gonzales,
I write today to ask why the editors of the above-referenced papers are continually allowed to disclose national security programs and information with absolutely no consequences of any kind. The lack of punishment for this potentially criminal activity stands in stark contrast to the consequences for a person working for the government stealing or even mishandling classified information. Such people will likely receive massive fines and jail time, and rightfully so.
While I am as big a supporter of free speech as the next person, the disclosure NYT and LAT of the SWIFT program run by the U.S. Treasury Dept., used to track terrorist money worldwide AND which they admitted in their own stories to be a lawful program, is simply the last straw for me. It is one thing for anti-administration forces (mostly on the left/Democrat side of the aisle…see for instance, the State Dept.and CIA in this administration) within the diplomatic and intelligence community to wage a clandestine war via press leaks against policies with which they disagree.
That has been going on for years, and that behavior is properly punishable by jail time as well. Had actual enfocement of said punishments occurred on the front end, maybe we as a nation would not be where we are now. These newspapers and their editors have graduated from leaks and borderline questionable journalistic practices to brazen lawbreaking, without the slightest hint of any consequence for doing so. In the process, they are giving aid and comfort to the enemy, as well as jeopardizing the ability of intelligence and law enforcement officials to do their jobs, thereby endangering the lives of every single American by making another terrorist attack more likely.
Although I expect no action whatsoever against these organizations and their bosses, given that this particular administration has demonstrated, at best, a limited willingness to clamp down on leakers and saboteurs of our nation’s intelligence services’ operations. Just the same, I am writing in the hopes that this wrongheaded policy might change. As an attorney myself, I am sure there are laws under which these organizations could be prosecuted. Please do make an example of them, if only to prevent a future attack that makes 9/11 look like a soft terrorist love tap by comparison.
It is your job to help protect this country and its citizens from attack, and I believe that taking strong action against leakers who hram national security interests in this manner would go a long way toward achieving that goal. Thank you for your time.
Very Truly Yours,
Christopher R. Whittaker
The reporting by the NY Times and the LA Times of the financial surveillance that the US has been conducting on potential financing of terrorists cells has once again awaken my disdain toward the Media in our country. It is not enough that the Media is always ready to condemn the members of the Military and thrash the President, but it continues to undermine the efforts of the country to combat the scourge of Islamic terrorism. When does treason apply? How many lives are going to be lost for the sake of political correctness? Is the Media excuse of “the public’s right to know” more important of the lives of the American people? Personally, I would not exchange the life of a single American service person for the whole lot of so-called reporters. I deeply believe that the agenda of the Liberal Media has gone one more step out of bound (they have been in “left” field for a while now) and I strongly feel that You should do something about it. As US Attorney General it is your job to make sure that those who conspire in the defeat and destruction of our country are brought up to face the consequences of their actions.
I am begging you to do something about the situation. The American people deserve it and are demanding it, so that “freedom of the press” is not the only constitutional right being enforced, but our right of “the pursuit of happiness,” free of the scourge of terrorism by any mean, is also protected.
Thank you and God bless our country.
Dear Honorable Attorney General Gonzales:
I am forwarding you a copy of a letter I wrote today to the NY and LA Times regarding their serial intransigence. I also apprised them that the Bush Administration has been far too timid and accomodating with these treasonous acts, and that myself, along with my like-minded associates, are intent on pressing the Administration to enforce the laws against espionage and disclosure of classified information. Firm and resolute action in this vein is long over-due. Indeed, one might say that the Bush Administration has failed to execute it’s executive, and wartime, duties, by sending endless delegations begging these malefactors to relent, but taking no action when their all-too genteel pleas go unheard.
Please, please, recognize that this situation requires and demands prompt, aggressive, and non-nuanced prosecution. There is a war being waged, within the US, by US citizens, against the legitimate and vital war effort against Jihadism. History will not remember you kindly should you yet again fail to rectify this completely unacceptable situation. Do not let this pass! Act. Perform your duty and ensure that the vaunted Fourth “Branch of Government” recognize that our Constitution and body of laws places limits on them and that they must learn to abide by them; even if it must be by sore experience. I charge you with providing them with that experience.
To the Attorney General,
I want to know when I can expect to see Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Bill Keller, and the publisher of the New York Times , being led in handcuffs into a federal court building by your FBI agents or U.S. Marshalls?
I fought for this nation in Vietnam and I’ll be goddamed if I am going to stand silently by and see this country go down the drain because the Bush Administration does not have the balls to enforce the laws it has sworn to uphold to protect this country.
Kindly step up to your responsibilities while there is still a country left to protect.
A reply is expected.
Dear Attorney General Gonzales
Article III, section 3 of the Constitution states: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Individual citizens, Eric Lichtblau and James Risen who work as reporters for the New York Times discovered a secret (and legal) program of the United States Government to protect its citizens from attack by Islamic terrorists who have declared war on the United States. Through the vehicle of the New York Times, these individuals communicated to our sworn enemies the existence of this secret legal program to protect citizens. Islamic terrorist organizations have declared and levied war against the United States. Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and the New York Times have knowingly and intentionally given support and aid to our enemy by discovering and disclosing top secret information about a program that is an instrumental part of our nations defensive strategy and tactics.
Amendment IX of the Constitution provides that, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” As a citizen, I have a right under Article III, section 3 to a government that will take action against those who engage in treason as defined by the Constitution. The enumeration in Amendment I of the right of press from laws that would abridge its freedom should not be construed to deny me constitutional protection against an act of treason by individuals who would use the press the accomplish a clearly treasonous act.
Were I to discover the existence of a top secret program and communicate it to the enemy via a personal add in the newspaper, I would be guilty of treason. This same action by an employee of a newspaper and disclosing it under the reuse of a news story published in the newspaper is no different.
I respectfully and urgently request that you investigate this act of treason by Lichtblau, Risen, and the New York Times and ensure steps are taken to protect the citizens of the United State from further treasonous acts by these same parties.
Michael J. Hullinger
Dear Attorney General Gonzales,
Please do everything in your power to put an end to the traitorous leaking of classified information to such swill as the east and west coast versions of the “Treason Times”. Despite the anti-American actions of such free-market fools, you and President Bush will rightfully be held accountable both here and in eternity if your tolerance of such actions allows another 9/11. Good Lord man, we at war! Now be a man and do your duty or else resign! Jail every reporter refusing to disclose their traitorous sources. Once found, prosecute these vermin, seeking the death penalty, as I hope is allowed for treason during time of war.
To the Attorney General –
As a citizen of the United States I am deeply disturbed and frustrated that the NY Times and LA Times newspapers have released classified intelligence information about the SWIFT program. They should be investigated and/or prosecuted for these actions, which are, unwise and folly and best, and treasonous at worst.
The lives of our fellow citizens and others around the world are once again gravely endangered by the free warning which these newspapers have given to al Qaeda. This is beyond ridiculous. It is outrageous.
Furthermore, it is severely dangerous that it become custom for major forms of media to continue to encourage leaks within the intelligence community and release highly sensitive classified information to the public and thus the enemy. This is not healthy for our nation and if it is not addressed we will allow American citizens to contribute to the deterioration of our nation.
Please act on this as you see prudent and in the interest of national defense and homeland security.
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Dear Mr. Attorney General:
I’m no expert, not even a lawyer, but over the past year, in the face of repeated instances of media outlets publishing classified information and other sensitive material important to waging the war on terror, I have read any number of analyses which in my opinion make a pretty persuasive case that such actions are prosecutable under the Espionage Act. I have also read, repeatedly, the sections of the Act pertaining to the publication of classified information, state secrets, etc. — i.e., the publication of which ends up causing serious damage to the interests of the U.S. — and I must say that both the language and the intent of the Act seem quite clear, and that the actions of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post seem quite clearly to qualify as violations of the Act.
So with all due respect, Mr. Attorney General, what are you waiting for?
Did or did not the parties involved knowingly publish information harmful to the national security interests of the United States? Yes or no. If yes, then they must be prosecuted. If not, then you should explain why not.
Charles R. Vail
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