Important post bounced back to top of blog…

Associated Press – March 10, 2006:

Reporters who write about government surveillance could be prosecuted under proposed legislation that would solidify the administration’s eavesdropping authority, according to some legal analysts who are concerned about dramatic changes in U.S. law.

But an aide to the bill’s chief author, Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said that is not the intention of the legislation.

The draft would add to the criminal penalties for anyone who “intentionally discloses information identifying or describing” the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program or any other eavesdropping program conducted under a 1978 surveillance law.

“The bill would make it a crime to tell the American people that the president is breaking the law, and the bill could make it a crime for the newspapers to publish that fact,” said Martin, a civil liberties advocate.

  1. Craig says:

    They can pass laws like this because Americans just don’t care..

  2. Shawn says:

    Anyone else concerned about the loss of the First Amendment? Somehow I’m not buying the old “loose lip can sink a ship” argument on which this bill seems to be based. We ARE having an election in 2008, right?

  3. A HIGHER GOD says:

    Craig is right, we dont. If we did things would change.

  4. RonD says:

    “But an aide to the bill’s chief author, Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said that is not the intention of the legislation.”

    It may not be the intention, but legislation often has unintended consequences.

  5. James says:

    The intention of the patriot act was not the widespread monitoring of citizen communications, either. “Not the intention.” Right.

  6. jeremyrobbins says:

    My whole world is only as big as my village…right?

    Nothing that happens way over in D.C. can affect me here.

  7. jasontheodd says:

    So where is the gulag going to go. Alaska sounds like a good candidate. Rename the capital to Bushingrad……almost there folks.

  8. Alex says:

    The law that prevents you from criticizing Dubya is next.

  9. Hal Jordan says:

    This is creeping martial law. One day, we will all wake up being controlled by one superpower watching our every move and nobody daring to lift a finger against this authoritarian regime. In this regard, through the changing of our lifestyles and manner of living, the terrorists have succeeded.

  10. Puttanun says:

    Why the media are not talking about this?!

  11. Sounds The Alarm says:

    No – Marshall law will be next – followed by a bunch of “near miss” terrorist acts. Of course no one outside his circle will have any info on it, not the press or anyone else. Then it will be “Oh by the way can’t have an election this year because it might embolden the terrorists.” We need to keep you all safe.

    Just think of it – the duh for life.

  12. T.C. Moore says:

    For those not consumed by hysterics…

    > DeWine is co-sponsoring the bill with Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine,
    > Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

    These are the moderate Republicans who criticized the NSA program in the Judiciary Committee hearings. I know all Republicans look alike to you, but you might consider paying closer attention to the struggles inside the Republican party, since the outcome might actually affect how the country is governed. When Pelosi gets the gavel, you can go back to your Democratic navel gazing.

    > The Associated Press obtained a copy of the draft of the legislation,
    > which could be introduced as soon as next week.

    The press aren’t talking about it, because the bill hasn’t even been introduced as legislation yet. Why wouldn’t we take DeWine’s spokeman at his word — about it not applying to reporters — since we’ll see the text when the bill is introduced.

    I’m sure we are all glad the NSA program was leaked. But these leaks have other consequences. The CIA director was complaining about other countries saying “Why can’t you Yanks keep a secret?”.

    If they don’t think we can keep a secret, other countries may not share intelligence with us. Keeping secrets is actually kind of important.

    For every alleged abuse of power, there are hundreds of critical and important programs and facts that need to be kept secret, if we are going to fight the war on terror with other countries’ cooperation.

    You all like international cooperation, don’t you?

  13. Milo says:

    TC Moore:
    I don’t care if this bill is sponsored by Jesus and Buddha with the reunited Beatles playing background music.

  14. AB CD says:

    Department of Housing has prosecuted people for criticizing the placement of housing projects. But I guess that isn’t blogworthy, only that reporters should be free to reveal national security details to the enemy.

  15. AB CD says:

    >The law that prevents you from criticizing Dubya is next.

    Any concern for the harassment by security of people criticizing Castro at the wrold baseball championships?

  16. Mr. Fusion says:

    I’m sure we are all glad the NSA program was leaked. But these leaks have other consequences. The CIA director was complaining about other countries saying “Why can’t you Yanks keep a secret?”.

    Because the leaks have to do with obeying the LAW. The NSA wiretapping is wrong, and illegal. The Rendition of foreign nationals is also wrong and illegal. The torture of prisoners is also wrong and illegal. The imprisonment of foreigners, without charge, for years, is wrong and illegal. There can be no comparison between breaking the law by committing these acts and the reporting of them. Reporting an illegal activity can never be wrong.

    The countries complaining that the US can’t keep a secret must be those Bush admires and tries to emulate, like Russia, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Libya. True democracies are strong enough to withstand scrutiny.

  17. Mister Mustard says:

    >>Anyone still think BUSH isn’t crooked?

    Uh, I wouldn’t be surprised. The same guys and gals who think Saddam DID have WMDs and it was Iraquis who hijacked the 9/11 planes….

    After all, Fox “news” still has a lot of viewers.

  18. Allen McDonald, El Galloviejo® says:

    In comment #16, Wayne Blenek refers to ‘ the more teachers wll compare BUSH to various dictators ‘.

    The truth is that BUSH is the teacher and he has now taught us to compare ‘ various dictators ‘ to him, since, based on the resources at his command, he has already became the top dictator of all time.

    Allen McDonald, El Galloviejo®

  19. Harold says:

    Just rename the country “Saudi America.” Conveniently, anyone who objects to this can be arrested.

  20. Roc Rizzo says:

    So when does the Emeror get his new clothes?

  21. Surely, after the Patriot Act passed again with hardly a wimper, nobody in the USA is surprised by a law that would make criticism of the government illegal.

  22. Lavi says:

    How is this different from China?

    America’s lawmakers are perhaps realizing that Chinese rules WORK better??!!?? That’s why America wants to make similar laws. At least China will give an upfront answer, Yes or No to its people. Well, Americans don’t care anyway, so, it’s cool!

    America, the land of the free, “not caring” their basic freedoms away. And what’s gonna happen in a few hundred years? All the Chinese will go back to China, the Indians will go back to India, the Mexicans will go back to Mexico, whats gonna happen to Americans? They are already fast becoming the imigrants in other countries.

    Will Americans become the new Sand Jockeys, or Towel Heads, or Wetbacks? Will Canada be trying to keep out Americans with their fences along their borders? Will Canadian minutemen be kicking American ass when they try to illegally cross the border?

    Nobody knows, but time will tell.

    I am very familliar with the situation in South East Asia. Americans(and some europeans) there are considered imigrants. Locals despise a lot of them for stealing their jobs… Familiar tunes everywhere…

  23. rlj_!51 says:

    In response to Lavi in post 23, come on up. We have 2 basics rules. Leave your handguns at the border and it is pronounced about, not aboot. 🙂

  24. name says:

    I always thought that the new china had all the facets our leaders would love… A “free” market economy (read: corporate and state power merger) and a one party political rule with a “constitution” that can be as vague as the patriot act. It’s a technocrat’s wet dream!

    I always thought that WW2 was fought to free the allies from the evil corporate / facists that were in control of Germany, and give power back to the nation of shopkeepers… I guess the facists won…

  25. Mark says:

    Cheer up! We’re living though history. In a decade or so, with a little luck, we’ll be able to tell our kids that we were around during the most disastrous presidency in the history of the country!

  26. NumLock says:

    What is this, Kos?

  27. joshua says:

    not sure what this is Numlock……but it’s starting to sound more like one of those Yahoo *discussion* forums everyday.

  28. Joe says:

    Sometimes I think the government has so many laws so they can arrest anyone at any time they want to. Lets face it, law abiding citizens don’t exist because it is impossible to follow all the laws.

  29. Sean says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Even if the bill doesn’t become law, it’s simply astonishing that the whole idea would even be considered.

    I’m just amazed at how the last 6 years have played out, and how very few people are putting all the puzzle pieces together, and seeing where this is headed.

    And to the first commenter, saying that Americans don’t care, I think it’s more like most Americans are too busy working three jobs and supporting their family to have the time or energy for much else. That’s just how the “man” wants it.

    War is Peace… Freedom is Slavery… Ignorance is Strength…

  30. Allen says:

    How about meta-stories? Will it be illegal to publish an article about how it’s illegal to publish an article about theoretical wire-tapping systems the existence of which the article neither confirms nor denies?


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