Public Official Can’t Discuss Leaks, Even After They’ve Been Leaked.

by Daniel Russ on May 10, 2014

 

 

 

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The Obama’s Administration’s Office of Director of National Intelligence doesn’t so much deliver a missive, as it clearly lays out an existing policy regarding whether government agents can cite news items about intelligence leaks. This means they can’t reveal leaks that have already been revealed in public and social media when writing articles or giving speeches or in any other unofficial writings.

To quote from the policy statement:

“The use of such information in a publication can confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security.”

This new policy was issued by James R. Clapper Jr the national intelligence director. Timothy Edgar from Brown University commented  in this NYT article that this would essentially be “prior restraint on former officials’ First Amendment rights that they did not consent to.”

“You’re basically saying people can’t talk about what everyone in the country is talking about,” he said. “I think that is awkward and overly broad in terms of restricting speech.” 

This is how a massive empire looks like a clumsy old man, lumbering around issuing speeches to a tattered flag and then receding back into the mansion. This is really not what Obama advertised.

Journalism was created essentially to be a rudder for governance. It was also created to be a window so people could see how they were being governing and still consent to it. It is clamping down on this portion of free speech, this grey “official” policy area that makes for sclerotic governance. This makes no sense, and simply serves to silence critics. Critics, not pundits, are what we need more of.

 

 

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