Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Shafer v. Collier

Jack Shafer:
National-security reporters—none of whom have clearances—receive classified information for a living. If the government used espionage law to investigate government leaks to the press, the effect would be an unofficial secrets act criminalizing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of annual conversations between sources and reporters.
(snip)
For one thing, no Department of Defense, National Security Council, Department of State, or White House staffer with security clearances would ever speak—on or off the record—to any reporter about any sensitive topic. The sheer legal exposure would prove too much. Knowing they're explicitly liable for indictment, they'll just stop talking to reporters.
Will Colllier:
Well, damnit, good. I've got news for you, Jack--what they're doing is already illegal. Right or wrong, it's the law, and they're breaking it every time they leak something that's classified to a newspaper employee.
Advantage: Collier.

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