Are entities and people that release government information as much of a threat to American security as those who carry out terrorist attacks? Apparently, the Obama administration believes so, since it has declared those who leak classified information as enemies of the state.
According to an unprecedented legal theory apparently adopted by the Obama administration, persons and entities who leak or publish classified information are “enemies” of the United States punishable by death or life imprisonment. If this theory had been applied to recent leaks, it would have meant death or life in prison for Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and the editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post…
This means that major news outlets will no longer be able to publish leaked government information without threat of imprisonment or death. This is a threat to free press when one considers that much of what the press learns about the the lies and contradictions of government come from leaked documents. Whistleblowers use leaked documents as a way to prove government misconduct and corruption, but what happens now that they’re threatened with life in prison for their actions?
The government’s new policy was revealed as the result of declassified Air Force documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents revealed that government officials were investigating a computer systems analyst working for the Air Force for sympathy with WikiLeaks and preparing to charge her with “communicating with the enemy,” a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.