FBI agents told former Army officer to delete months-old SpyTalk story he posted on LinkedIn
I think locking the door after horse was stolen is a better analogy. Thank God the FBI missed me back in the day. After I retired from the Army, I became a volunteer for the ACLU and served as president of the Florida affiliate and served for seven years on the National Board and 6 on the national Executive Committee. I have always been pretty close to a 1st Amendment absolutist. I used publicly available compromised classified documents exposed during what I considered threats to the rights of American citizens posed by the Patriot Act and Snowden’s revelations about NSA’s massive data sweeps that included data on American citizens they were not entitled to collect. I handed out some of the publicly available documents during speeches to groups all over Florida and in some of the classes I taught to senior citizens at USF. I saw statements that the government still considered them classified and considered that truly idiotic. If the Russians, Chinese, Cubans, and Angela Merkel already had copies, why not American citizens. BTW, I knew Mike German when he worked for the ACLU. He and Ali Soufan, both former FBI agents, are performing a patriotic service by trying to blow the whistle when government employees run amok. I was on the inside for 30 years, and I understand the need for strong intelligence agencies, but sometimes they take the position that anything goes. That is dangerous for all of us.
Keep telling like it is.
What we are witnessing here is the security function of government at work. The objective is to prevent breaches of security. Everything from theft of a classified document to loss of that same document to exposure of its contents to unauthorized elements to inadvertently leaving it on your desk at night. And much more. All too often, the barn has been emptied out before the security folks enter the scene. Among actions regularly taken by security officials is to close the barn door, then to seek out what was lost and stuff it back into the barn and then to insist that the compromised material be treated as if it hade not been compromised. Never mind that Xi Jinping read it while sipping his tea the previous morning. There is an inherent conflict between security and intelligence collection; the risk involved in establishing a relationship with, say, a Chinese official and the need to do so if you hope to recruit him. The conflict should be easy to resolve but, believe me, it isn't always. The FBI agent referred to probably was only doing what Washington told him to do and would rather have been doing something important.
I would assume that the FBI has more important things to do than chase down references to already widely and publicly disseminated material. Things like tracking down real criminals. Also, the very premise of this law makes no sense. If the material is out there it's out there and all the king's men can't put Humpy Dumpty back together again.
i actually tend to agree with the fbi in this case. if there is a classified documents prosecution in the wings - then - irrespective on how the initial disclosure happened (by the guilty af dude)- you don't want defense counsel to muddle the jury by saying that the data is in the public domain -- and all sorts of other people contributed to putting it there
I was in the National Guard when the order not to look at Wikileaks came down. Many of us had already looked, of course, before the order. I would imagine that it made those who hadn't looked more curious. I have never seen the 1st amendment under such attack as in recent years.
This, plus the police raid on the Kansas newspaper. Not a good week for the 1A