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16 March 2013


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William R. Cumming

And for various reasons, often legal technicalities, almost zilch from SCOTUS on classification and the courts.

Bill H

IMHO, these issues will go to the Supreme Court, which will rule in the government's favor.

William R. Cumming

Actually the authority for official secrecy not mentioned in the Constitution but IMO certainly an implied power by inference at least until the National Security Act of 1947 became law. Again IMO that statute exclusively empowers the President and his/her delegees to classify.

The real question perhaps is why is more information classified annually now than at the height of the Cold War?

Alba Etie

I was always more afraid of CheneyBush/ObamaBiden assault on my civil liberties then ever I was al Qaida .

Charles I

Is this really a push back against the snooping itself rather than the over-classifying covering up of it, or merely a classification issue whereas the snooping itself is fine?

That'd be progress on form but not substance to me.


Charles I

For me this is an issue of defendants not being able to prepare an adequate defense because the government hides the evidence. pl

William R. Cumming

PL! You are correct in that the Classified Information Procedures Act was designed to benefit the Courts to accurately assess pre-trial the claims of defendents that they could not present a defense without accessing classified materials and the Prosecution's claims that no classified material was suitable to give the defense a case. It was a reform in 1978 but has not worked out as either defense, prosecution or the judiciary quite anticipated.

I long advocated to the Criminal Division of DoJ and the NSC staff that the definition of "sabotage" in the US Code could be updated and deal with much of modern espionage as well as the virtual world and not just physical attacks. Last enacted in 1917 to deal with domestic attacks on shipping.

Modern supply line attacks could be devastating witness the Fukishima event and the Thai flooding that impacted domestic production even though starting as natural events but revealing of how "just in Time" supply lines have created new vulnerabilities.

Charles I


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