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View Diary: Whoa: New York Times Now Has Snowden Docs Carried By Secret Courier into the US (247 comments)

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  •  I don't think they care who they detain. (10+ / 0-)

    The UK clearly seems to think that possessing or transporting classified docs even by members of the press is not only illegal, but prosecuteable as well.  In the US, there's long been sort of an understanding that while it's against the letter of the law for the press to possess such information, you don't press charges for risk of running afoul of Freedom of the Press.  Though even that's always been a delicate balance - we know some of the recent stuff with Rosen, for example, but you can see it back in the 70s, too, when SCOTUS ruled 6-3 that the US government couldn't block the Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers, but two justices in the majority sided with the minority (aka, 5-4) on an unaddressed side point, that the US government would have the right to go after any journalists who possessed the documents.

    Despite Greenwald's posturing that it was done to "intimidate him" by "targetting his family", I really don't think that anyone involved cares who they go after.  We just saw the UK, last month, raid the Guardian and destroy computers in their office.  I mean, they raided a major newspaper's office itself.  So no, at least the UK seems pretty clear on the "We see it as illegal for anyone to possess these documents, period, no excuses for the press or otherwise"

    Have there been any clearcut examples thusfar of the US going after press officials for the documents?  I can't think of any, but here comes the real test, eh?  ;)

    Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

    by Rei on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:28:46 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think they care either (9+ / 0-)

      but that will change now. This is a significant development and represents a major escalation that, in my opinion, was predictable but certainly unwelcome on the part of US Govt and clearly UK as well.

      I suspect this all makes them quite uneasy. It's going from bad to worse.

      I also suspect this throws a serious wrench into whatever contingency they have developed regarding journalists and potential criminal indictments. And you know that have those. Seems Obama Admin has a penchant for State Secrets-type prosecutions. This will make that kind of thing much harder to play.

      The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

      by bastrop on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:04:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, as much as it's a shot across the bow... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadieSue

        To the U.S. Government, it's also a game-changer in terms of how useful tools like Jeffrey Toobin will report on this case. The U.S. government may not care who they detain, but their reliable friends in the MSM absolutely care. This will force a major change in the tenor of the coverage of these kinds of incidents.

    •  In the uk (0+ / 0-)

      Those things are prosecutable. Their laws about disclosing secret info are different than ours.

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