[ExI] are we publishing?

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Tue May 28 18:46:51 UTC 2019

On May 24, 2019, at 3:34 PM, <spike at rainier66.com> <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:
> Julian Assange is being charged in the USA of publishing classified information.  By extension, anyone who posts stuff to any public venue, such as this one, could be charged in the USA of publishing classified information if we find out (perhaps after the fact) the nature of the information.
> So now for the notion of freedom of the press to apply, apparently it requires a printing press, which Assange never used.  Only the internet.  This is a bad thing.

I don’t think that he wouldn’t have been charged had he used a conventional printing press and, say, handed out copies of the classified material to passers by. After all, aside from the computer intrusion charge, he’s being charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, a law that was around long before the Internet. It’s not like publicizing classified material wasn’t done until the Internet was invented.

Freedom of expression — under which I’d place freedom to publish (in whatever form) — was long ago eroded. I’m not saying one shouldn’t be outraged by this, but let’s not pretend that the US government has only recently (as in the lifetime of whoever’s the oldest person now on this list) ever tried to hide things and curtail freedom of expression. Heck, one can go back to the 18th century with the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Elsewhere someone brought Gödel. I hardly think one need get that sophisticated with this. It’s common sense that rulers would want to do what they want without restriction and that they’ll find ways around constitutional limits. The time honored way to do this is to claim there’s an emergency, but it’s also the case that government courts decide just where limits apply (real sovereignty is who gets to decide the exceptions to the rules). Let me ask this: Would you (any of you here) make a contract with me where I get to decide how to interpret in the event you and I disagree about said contract? 


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