On Sunday, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) called for resurrecting a broad anti-leaks law that would be a de facto Official Secrets Act. (I warned that the result of the recent hysteria over leaks could be such a broad anti-leak measure that would no doubt stifle legitimate dissent.)
The law would criminalize any disclosure of classified information, despite the fact that all experts agree that the classification system is plagued by rampant overclassification, and that far too much information is deemed classified. Worse, the law would remove the intent requirement of the Espionage Act, despite the fact that the intent to harm the United States or benefit a foreign nation requirement is the only thing making the Espionage Act constitutional.
Lieberman's proposal would chill First Amendment-protected activity, criminalize whistleblowing, and cover everything from whistleblower disclosures, press briefings, and anyone who repeats or reprints previously leaked classified information.
I discussed Lieberman's misguided proposal on RT yesterday:
- History & Truth in Progress: Shady Companies Wiretap Us For NSA and Britain Imitates U.S. Snooping
- Jesselyn Radack & Thomas Drake Discuss NSA Warrentless Spying
- Bill Arkin Gets It Way Wrong on Drake
- Assassinating U.S. Citizens: Holder says "Yes We Can"
- State Department Hallwalkers: Whistleblower Peter Van Buren on NPR
- New York Times: Espionage Act De Facto Official Secrets Act
- Whistleblowers Convene This Weekend at UC-Berkeley
- Justice Department Gets Richly-Deserved Secrecy Award
- Underground Parking Garages & Olive Garden: Communication in the Era of Whistleblower Prosecutions