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View Diary: ROTC Censorship: Obama's 13526 Mistake (54 comments)

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  •  The people in question have a 100% right to read (0+ / 0-)

    anything they find.  The do NOT have a 100% right to work for the government.

    Nobody is being censored.  What the people in question are doing is unilaterally limiting their own career choices.  It's completely in their own hands.

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

    by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:31:42 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Remember (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, blueoasis, MrJayTee

      When people working for the government had to paste images of leaders in crowds to make it look like they were a part of a revolution?

      Only those that did not question the government could work for the government. And they spent their days pasting images on old photos.

      View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

      by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:47:22 PM PST

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      •  Ummmm.... (0+ / 0-)

        Irrelevant (noun) - having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue; "an irrelevant comment"; "irrelevant allegations".

        The issue is: whether it's censorship to warn somebody in advance, that participating in certain actions could adversely affect future job prospects with the employer giving the warning.  It isn't.  It's a reminder of the conditions that must be met to work for that employer.

        "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

        by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:53:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Relevence (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, blueoasis, CroneWit, MrJayTee

          There is a long history of misinformed government employees making bad decisions to cover up the facts in the aftermath of a tragic event. More often than not, tragedies that could have been averted had they not been being denied relevant information that was otherwise widely known and understood. The 9/11 Commission Report is filled with stories of stove piped information, bad results, and cover ups.

          But here is the deal, EO 13526 actually says:

          " (a)  In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1)  conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (2)  prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;(3)  restrain competition; or (4)  prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security."

          What the NYTImes and WikiLeaks has presented is actually still classified simply to prevent embarrassment. This is in and of itself  a violation in EO 13536. At this point, it is crazy to deny students to research and write on what is now public knowledge.

          In a well run democracy, academic freedom should not be threatened with unemployment.

          View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

          by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:33:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

            First, the EO pertains to actions being taken today, on documents being created and classified today.  It does not declassify already-extant documents.  Each of those must undergo a proper review.  Some E-4 dumping hundreds of thousands of them and handing them off to a blogger really doesn't meet that criteria.

            And academic freedom is not being threatened with unemployment, as you put it.  You and other students are guaranteed all the academic freedom you want, and you have the right to seek employment with anybody you want.  Your problem is that nobody is obligated to hire you.  

            By your stated logic, the first employer who failed to hire you after an interview is 100% responsible for your life-long unemployment.  This is patently untrue.  All he is responsible for is telling you, "No thanks."

            "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

            by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:48:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  However, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CroneWit, MrJayTee

              the government can not discriminate against a student for their expression of free speech. Remember, nothing the the NYTimes and WikiLeaks has made public is actually secret anymore. And in fact, much of what WikiLeaks has made public is actually unlawfully classified as secret since the violated 13526 in that they are only still classified in order to prevent embarrassment.

              It is right there in the law. It is kind of the Catch 22 of the whole Executive Order. And it is why President Obama needs to amend 13526,

              View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

              by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:03:56 PM PST

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            •  i've (0+ / 0-)

              read a number of your positions over the last several days, IndieGuy.

              Yours may be the most ironic sig line i've seen in my time here at DK.

              ....Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own... Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?

              by LeftOverAmerica on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:11:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, not in the least. (0+ / 0-)

                Absolutely not in the least.

                This "issue" is a good example.  If the author thinks it's right to read leaked classified information, he should by all means do so.  I've said nothing less.  If he thinks that is somehow courageous, he's welcome to that belief.  I've said nothing less.

                What I am saying, which has been made perfectly clear, is that there is a potential price to pay for performing those actions.  In this case, the price is that an employer may choose not to hire you.  That is completely unrelated to my sig line.

                "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

                by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:18:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

                  I've never commented on the moral implication of the release of the information. Nor whether a student is courageous or not for completing a homework assignment the required comment on such information. Rather, I have pointed out two facts. One, 13526 declares it is unlawful to classify information secret simply because it is embarrassing. And what we have found is, all the information were are talking about has been simply embarrassing. Two, there is a more basic logic in the fact that once information is public, it is no longer a secret. The government can deny it all they like, but when they prohibit students from openly talking about widely known facts the perceive as harmful, well, that is be definition censorship.

                  View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

                  by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:38:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What we've found is that 13526 refers to (0+ / 0-)

                    actions taken since the EO was signed.  It is not retroactive.

                    Second, it is legally and factually incorrect to  say that just because something is in the public domain it is de facto unclassified.  That is simply false.

                    Third, the government is not prohibiting students from talking about anything they want to talk about.  They're telling those students they may need to look for a different employer when they graduate.  You can deny it all you like, but nobody is being censored.

                    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

                    by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:54:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Never said, (0+ / 0-)

                      "just because something is in the public domain it is de facto unclassified. That is simply false.

                      I actually said, "once information is public, it is no longer a secret."

                      That is different form it being unclassified, as you falsely implied I said.

                      It is simply stupid for the government to suggest the information publicly found in the NYTimes is still secret.

                      That said, 13526 specifically states, " In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1)  conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (2)  prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.

                      Well, at this point the only case the WikiLeaks is still classified is to insanely attempt to further, "prevent embarrassment."

                      Which I repeat, is a violation of the very law the ROTC quotes and is in fact, a classic Catch 22.

                      View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

                      by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:08:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Okay, that's really circular. (0+ / 0-)

                        For clarity, it doesn't matter if the information is a secret.  What matters is that it is classified.  As has been said over and over and over again, its presence in the public domain does not change the fact that it is still classified.  It is not, nor has it ever been a question of whether this stuff is "secret."  The legalities revolve around whether it it "classified" - which it is.

                        An Executive Order is not a law, and it does not trump laws.  Laws trump EOs.  And as has been noted ad nauseum, the EO pertains to documents currently being classified.  It is not retroactive.  Which means that EO 13526 is completely irrelevant to the discussion.  Completely.  100%.

                        And finally, to this point:

                        Well, at this point the only case the WikiLeaks is still classified is to insanely attempt to further, "prevent embarrassment."

                        Wrong.  The information is still classified because it has not been declassified.  See your own argument for the proof of that:  Not being "a secret" doesn't mean it's not "classified."

                        If your contention is that every time some guy with a security clearance takes several hundred thousand documents and dumps them in the public domain, the government's response should be, "Oh well.  Guess we don't need to worry about that stuff any more," well - 'nuff said.

                        So:

                        1.  The information is still classified.
                        1.  EO 13526 pertains to new classifications, and is not retroactive.  As an EO, it does not have the force of law.
                        1.  There is no censorship.  You have an absolute right to read anything in the public domain.
                        1.  Nobody is required to give you a job.  The government has the absolute right to set terms of employment for those it hires.

                        That pretty well sums it up.  With that, my friend, good night.  And good luck.  I do wish you well in your future endeavors, I just think you're misguided about this.

                        "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

                        by IndieGuy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:45:03 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          LeftOverAmerica, MrJayTee

                          Indyguy declares: EO 13526 is completely irrelevant to the discussion.  Completely.  100%."

                          Yet,

                          "This morning I called Steve Arel at the U.S. Army Cadet Command office of public affairs and asked him about Professor Zunes’ article and ROTC policy regarding the WikiLeaks material. He told me ROTC students are under the same set of orders as regular military personal. Arel paraphrased parts of Executive-Order 13526 as the bases for prohibiting ROTC cadets from talking about WikiLeaks information. Specifically, Arel points out "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information."

                          This means, under penalty of law, ROTC students shall not openly talk about the still "classified" information that is openly in the news.  As a result, Zunes states:

                          "Those of us teaching courses in such fields as constitutional law, U.S. foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics and media studies are considering using WikiLeaks material in the coming semester. This means that if any of us were to give such an assignment, ROTC students would be forced to choose between not completing it or putting their careers in jeopardy."

                          View more of this author's work at deanwalker.wordpress.com.

                          by okofay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:53:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Indieguy: Manning's an E3 nt (0+ / 0-)

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:56:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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