Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leakers should be fired, jailed, fined and lose pensions

With the next impending Wikileaks release, US authorities have been in pre-emptive damage control overdrive. Their now tired rhetoric is once more in our media; the leaks will endanger the lives of service personnel and department employees around the world.

A snippet from Congressional Records I happened to stumble upon, reveals one Mr Bond, in Senate proceedings for S 510 of all places, contributing his opinion on the matter. That would be Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond I presume, and I have no idea how this related to food safety modernization, but here is the excerpt;

[Congressional Record: November 17, 2010 (Senate)]
[Page S7934-S7946]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

In addition, I wish to address an obvious problem--leaks. I have
already made reference to some of the more disastrous leaks that
occurred during my tenure, but unfortunately, these were just the tip
of the iceberg. There are simply too many to list. I shudder to think
about the sources and methods that have been disclosed, and the lives
that will likely be lost, as a result of the obscene amount of
classified information compromised by Wikileaks. Of course, to call
this a leak case is gross mischaracterization; it is more like a tidal

We are blessed with our open society and our many freedoms. However,
our ability to protect these freedoms and preserve our national
security depends upon our ability to keep our secrets safe.

This problem needs a multifaceted solution. We must first deter and
neutralize the leakers. There should be significant criminal, civil,
and administrative sanctions that can be imposed on leakers. Leakers
should face significant jail time, pay heavy fines, forfeit any
profits, lose their pensions, and be fired from their jobs. We should
also not allow the first amendment to be used as a shield for criminal
activity. It should be a crime to knowingly solicit a person to reveal
classified information for an unauthorized purpose or to knowingly
publish or possess such information. Leaks will not stop until a
significant number of leakers have been appropriately punished.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Daniel Ellsberg explains that Wikileaks has previously, in the case of the Iraq and Afghanistan docs releases, disclosed to the Pentagon in advance what is being released, and offered the Pentagon the opportunity to request redactions of names for security purposes. The Pentagon has refused all such offers.


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