The National Security Advisor Exception Under the Espionage Act

When the FBI found sensitive — though it turned out, unclassified — documents in Thomas Drake’s basement, he was charged under the Espionage Act. When the Army found hundreds of thousands of classified — but not Top Secret — cables on Bradley Manning’s computer, they charged him with Espionage and Aiding the Enemy.

But when the FBI found Top Secret documents on Sudan — our actual enemy, if sanctions count — in Reagan National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane’s basement, it decided to investigate him for illegal lobbying.

The FBI has searched the apartment of former Reagan administration national security adviser Robert McFarlane for evidence of whether he lobbied for the government of Sudan, in violation of federal law.

The search warrant is on file in federal district court in Washington. It shows agents seized items this month including handwritten notes about Sudan and White House documents with classifications up to Top Secret.

From this I can only assume that McFarlane is being subjected to the same double standard that Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was (represented, it should be noted, by former Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer), when he snuck 9/11 related documents out of the Archives, yet only plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

When National Security Advisors take top secret documents, they’re called lobbyists, not spies.

I can’t wait to find out what Condi Rice will be called if she’s ever caught with sensitive documents in her basement.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

10 Responses to The National Security Advisor Exception Under the Espionage Act

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @ddayen: Good review of where we're at on Greece by @iwelsh http://t.co/K0VOiUU6OR
6mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV What losing streak? #Rays #RaysUp Any win over the Yankees is always worth celebrating.
49mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Take that, austerity-mongers!
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel We are fine. Put in whole house surge suppressor couple of years ago. Neighbors took big electronics damage last week.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV Hopefully not as obliterated as the dot?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BarbByrum This was the one I was thinking of: http://t.co/RltRcots5d
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BarbByrum Lots of people complained abt how they did notice what I believe was last time (woke most people up) so I wonder if they changed.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Uh, yeah. We made the right call bringing in the horses just before that hit. Obliterated blue dot is our house. http://t.co/PLkEAWPuQj
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ncweaver Isn't that using fingerprint differently than they do?
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ncweaver: The NSA's Digital Network Intelligence (DNI) approach in 1 sentence: "Collect all, Fingerprint all, Identify all, Pwn by nam…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel As CyberCom, NSA, & DHS had cyber-war game w/public & private partners China was assessing what it got in OPM hack. http://t.co/ScLuznvzFZ
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BarbByrum Did the state not send out an alert to the whole state like they did earlier this year?
2hreplyretweetfavorite