Joe Lieberman Threatens to Put Dexter Filkins, Judy Miller in Jail to Fearmonger over Wikileaks

Joe Lieberman has introduced what he claims to be a law targeted at Wikileaks.

“The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just the latest example of how our national security interests, the interests of our allies, and the safety of government employees and countless other individuals are jeopardized by the illegal release of classified and sensitive information,” said Lieberman in a written statement.

“This legislation will help hold people criminally accountable who endanger these sources of information that are vital to protecting our national security interests,” he continued.

The so-called SHIELD Act (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) would amend a section of the Espionage Act that already forbids publishing classified information on U.S. cryptographic secrets or overseas communications intelligence — i.e., wiretapping. The bill would extend that prohibition to information on HUMINT, human intelligence, making it a crime to publish information “concerning the identity of a classified source or informant of an element of the intelligence community of the United States,” or “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” if such publication is prejudicial to U.S. interests.

Problem is, not only would it not endanger Wikileaks (as far as we know). But it would put both good journalists–like Dexter Filkins–and bad ones–like Judy Miller and Bob Novak–in jail.

As far as we know, Wikileaks has been successful in its dumps at hiding the identities of any intelligence sources. (It has exposed one of State Department’s moles in Germany, who has been fired. But a diplomatic source is not an intelligence source, is it?)

But other journalists do expose sources. Such as when Dexter Filkins reported on how much the CIA has been shoveling at Ahmed Wali Karzai. Or when Judy Judy Judy exposed the CIA ties of a Ahmed Chalabi rival. And then, of course, there’s that little matter of Bob Novak and Valerie Plame.

This is all getting really, really stupid. Doesn’t Joe Lieberman have anything better to do with his time? Like funnelling money to the TSA for some other invasive search machine? Or giving the uber-rich big tax breaks?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @astepanovich Wee, now there's a shocker.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AntonioFrench @MattSebek Well, either a grand jury or a preliminary hearing is required to set a case for trial.
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @mattapuzzo Yes, and then next summer DOJ can give them all awards and medals for the wholesale destruction of due process in the case.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Shanesha Taylor May Not Have Enough Donated Money to Comply With Her Diversion Plea Deal http://t.co/9WCD72Weef via @phoenixnewtimes
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @steve_vladeck Kind of stunning the government affirmatively admitted that.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @ZoeTillman: Here are some of the issues the former Blackwater guards may bring up if they appeal yesterday's guilty verdicts: http://t.…
43mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ggreenwald @andohehir Sure would be nice if you could get it to Phoenix.
52mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @OnIyHistory: Guinness planned to advertise in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Olympics ("It's time for a Guiness") http://t.co/D5AwTnTnmP
59mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @evanperez Also, statutes of limitation are blithely let run. So, while Holder's comment is nice, it is also total horseshit.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @evanperez Making it easier would be fine. But there are already plenty of prosecution modalities; they are just being ignored.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel .@RonWyden "ignorant abt...ways in which govt using EO 12333 to conduct overseas data collection w/o court oversight" http://t.co/0BIigEaMcD
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bmaz @michaelbkiefer Nice looking couple!
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