FOX FLASH NEWS this morning reported the indictment of a former military and later civilian employee for leaking top secret documents, complete with security markings, directly to a lefty on-line "news blog" using direct and encrypted online two way communications repeated over more than two years. They contained detailed information on then current and planned operations in the mid east anti-terror campaign against targeted leadership. The FOX report is at:
[Sorry, I couldn't find a way to make the above address an active link; you'll have to copy it to your search bar]
The reader replies immediately focused on the lack of an indictment of the reporter, and a few pointed out that SCOTUS seemed to protect news media reporting no matter what citing the NY Times Viet Nam era Ellsburg case, which sort of exempted media unless that paid for the information in some manner. At first blush the facts of this case seem to be very distinguishable from that case. Here we have two people, one a government agent with a clearly inappropriate top secret code word access job, and a like minded an anti-American ideologue well known for his willingness to expose secret materials [charges have previously been brought against several of his leak sources]. Leaking classified materials, or aiding in that activity are felonies. Conspiracy to commit one or more felonies with others is itself a felony, usually with harsher penalties than the underlying felony itself. Given their ongoing communications as reported by FOX, the existence of a criminal conspiracy seems to me to be as clear as day. The question is: whether the media discloser of the information is exempt from prosecution by virtue of the 1st Amendment.
I would argue not. Yes, the "media" here did not pay cash or whatever to the leaker, but, the achievement of their mutual goal to actively harm American interests by treasonous leaks, was clearly itself a reward to both. The blogger no doubt benefited financially from increased site hits and ad revenue if SCOTUS remains interested in the factor of economic benefit. I hope that Barr goes after the blogger on the basis that such disclosures can be straight treason conspiracy by all parties acting in concert, and/or that our changing world of bartering sensational ideological and political "news" for all sorts of diverse benefits (almost inevitably resulting in economic gain to all parties) moots the issue of clear, one-way financial compensation. I think the current SCOTUS a bit more likely than not to adopt this view, but that one or two more appointments by Trump before the case gets to them would insure a big time "clarification" of 1st Amendment rights.
Consider, what would we have done if the NY times printed the OVERLORD plans in late May, 1944, without cash payment to the undercover Nazi in the Pentagon. I have no doubt that that leaker and a bunch of NY Times a-holes would have simply disappeared that night. This is different only in the magnitude of the underlying events. The magnitude of an evil does not alter its existence, but ony, perhaps, the harshness of the penalties that the criminals should suffer.
Comey has become a world comic and somebody want to print new version comic cartoon books for sale - get Comey, Obama and Hilary as main characters. But the cartoons should be depicting not only comedy, funny tragicomedy with mass murders also involved with these three to give more sensationalism(though it is very true). When they say Russians hacked elections( it is a utter insult to American people intelligentsia and intelligence that hacking can divert their votes so simply and like brainless baboons), it is true and it should be investigated! Sound funny? It is not so funny as they think! If it is hacking is the main subject, why only Russia and Trump? It is of course, champion of hacking should be investigated very first and Obama the brute is his name. How many leaders of nations, peaceful nations regime change biz did by hacking world over by this champion of hacking? Lest start the story from the beginning and not from the end. Comey the joker or his comics cannot taken serious any more as you cannot fool the people all the time or sometime thinking everybody in this world is an idiot or moron. But they know one thing for sure - that's majority of the people are fools going after medieval middle eastern donkey rode desert nomadic tribal primitive god biz . It is funny, yes of course, one see these people taking a bible with all middle eastern stories and hanging a cross around their necks( Roman method of execution like present day electric chair and nobody is having that around their neck). Hence, it look like all are bloody fools and Obama the brute and Hilary the maniac is going on their biz by hook or crook toppling the people friendly president - Trump.