READER COMMENTS ON
"Chris Hayes: Some Leaks Less Okay Than Others"
(11 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 2:34 pm PT...
Starr's source doesn't appear to have "leaked" anything, as far as I can tell; rather it would appear that the US government fed Starr the information that it wanted to see in print.
My guess as to the reason that members of Congress have not called Starr on the carpet and haven't launched an investigation as to the identity of the source is that they know full well it ain't no leak. It was information (or disinformation --- we wouldn't know) that was deliberately planted with the full approval of the administration.
I doubt that any classified information got printed by Starr. Probably both sides knew everything that was stated; i.e. "They" already know that "we" know what they're doing.
There was no brouhaha over Starr and the source on the part of the administration: therefore no surprises and nothing vital to American "intelligence" was released.
From sourcewatch.org :
"According to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, Starr is "more accurately known as: the Pentagon's reporter at CNN" rather than CNN's Pentagon reporter."
Sorry, I do not see any valid comparison between Starr's and Greenwald's reporting of NSA.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 2:52 pm PT...
Other than the secret FISA order, Snowden has revealed no new information, and I doubt terrorists have legal teams analyzing the order for opsec purposes.
This article goes even further by stating our good friends at HBGary may have been involved in releasing only fake "secrets."
Interesting legal point: No real secrets revealed = no crime? And please be careful, Brad, you may still be in HBG's sights.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 6:21 pm PT...
I do, however, agree with Hayes' final thoughts --- that we are ultimately responsible for what our government does. Snowden was courageous enough to do something about it. But, as I stated in an earlier thread, I remain despondent about ever putting the surveillance genie back in the bottle. How would we ever be able to do so, even if, as a nation, by some miracle we could agree it should be done?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 7:40 pm PT...
Could someone please list the secrets that this man exposed that were not already known?
I for one do not think any secrets were revealed.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 9:36 pm PT...
Lora @ 1:
Not entirely sure what you're getting at, Lora. But there was definitely information that was almost certainly classified that was, indeed, leaked to Barbara Starr. It may be an "officially approved" leak, or, at a minimum, stuff the Govt. is fine about releasing (either as real info or disinfo, as you suggest). But it was certainly a leak.
There are many such examples of the government leaking classified stuff that they want to leak. Usually when it's done by an unnamed official and makes the government look good, few in the government have a problem with it. For example, all the stuff that was given to the filmmakers of Zero Dark Thirty was classified. But, because they figured it was gonna make 'em look boss, they did it, and nobody is shouting about it.
The government gets to leak, generally, even though that is just as illegal as what Snowden did. But only folks like Snowden, in general, easy targets, are ever held accountable for it.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 9:41 pm PT...
LMK said @ 2:
Other than the secret FISA order, Snowden has revealed no new information
Not true. The PRISM program was entirely new info. As was the Presidential Directive in regard CyberWarfare, and the program (forgetting its name now) that revealed the amount of surveillance gathered in each of the various countries (showing people in the U.S. to be up among the top 5 or 10 as I recall.)
More recently, the revelation that the NSA was still reading emails up until 2011 was also a new revelation.
In short, Snowden has revealed a lot. But there is no evidence that any of it has done any kind of real harm to national security. In the meantime, it has revealed a lot of secret programs and potential abuse thereof.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 6/28/2013 @ 9:42 pm PT...
Lew @ 4:
See my comments @ 6 above.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 6/29/2013 @ 1:45 pm PT...
Brad @ 5,
I guess it comes down to how you define a leak.
If you define a leak as information given by an unnamed government source, then, ok, Starr reported leaked information. I think I would define a leak as something that the entity does not want made public. I do not see any evidence that the government was not ok with the information Starr reported; therefore I don't regard it as a leak. Snowden, OTOH, released information the government most certainly did not want public, therefore it is a leak.
I guess I think it is not entirely accurate to call Starr's reporting a "leak."
I will attempt an analogy:
Let's say you make $75,000/year and for some reason you would like people to know this but don't want to be regarded as odd (or possibly get fired) for reporting your salary publicly. You let your friend in on your salary, perhaps "accidentally" allowing the information to cross his path. You know this friend is an avid social media gossip. A few days later, your friend makes a Facebook or Twitter post that says "Whoda' thunk it? My best buddy Brad makes $75 K a year."
It would be disingenuous to call this a leak.
OTOH, if your friend happened to see a paystub or bank statement lying around or on your computer screen, entirely by accident, when you two were kicking back a couple of beers, and then made the same post unbeknownst to you, it would be a leak. And you wouldn't be friends anymore. And you'd let other people know not to trust Jimmy.
I don't know, but I suspect Starr's report is closer to the first scenario than the second one, because there has been absolutely no resulting flak that I am aware of.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 6/29/2013 @ 9:29 pm PT...
Lora @ 8:
Sounds like we're having a semantics issue, though it's one that the government is happy to see. Your confusion here is sort of the point of Chris Hayes' piece.
The fact is, it's illegal to leak classified information. Period. It doesn't make it either less illegal, or less of a "leak", just because a government official does it to the benefit of the government.
The fact that some leakers (Snowden) are aggressively pursued and charged with leaking classified info and, worse, espionage(!), while other other leakers (say, John Brennan, now head of CIA) leaks classified info that the government does want leaked and faces no recrimination for it, is an outrage and an uneven, unfair, unequal application of justice under the law.
That's the point (one of them, at least) that Hayes was trying to make here.
Your analogy is imperfect, in that it is not illegal to "leak" how much money I make, whether or not I wanted it leaked, or someone found out through non-illegal means and publicized it. But leaking classified information is always illegal, whether it's something the government is happy to see leaked or not.
P.S. I wish I made $75k/year! I wish I made anywhere near that!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 6/30/2013 @ 12:40 pm PT...
Brad @ 9,
Thanks for the clarification. I hear ya on the salary, btw. ME TOO!
In that case I guess the last question I have is: How do you know that the "leaked" info (Sorry --- I still have issues with the term, though I will accept your definition for now) --- how do you know the info in Starr's report is actually classified?
(Oh, and btw if "leaking" salary information isn't exactly illegal, it is a violation where I work. We are not "allowed" to divulge our salary, pathetic though it may be.)
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 6/30/2013 @ 12:54 pm PT...
Brad @ 9,
BTW, I do agree that there be questions asked, if only to hear the administration scramble and say the info had magically been declassified the night before the article, or to hear the deafening silence, whichever would occur.
And it's true that there is a danger of complacency in stating that it's just how the government does business. It shouldn't do business this way.