RE: A couple of interesting WikiLeaks artilcles

And more from the "conservative" Cato institute.

Again...I am personally shocked that the LPSF can't get a position together on this when is seems every "libertarian" organization around us is doing so...and in the direction Starchild has proposed while he has been given such an incredibly hard time for trying to achieve....really a shame.

Mike

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12633

Campaign against WikiLeaks Is Lawless
by Gene Healy
Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.
Added to cato.org on December 14, 2010
This article appeared in The DC Examiner<http://www.washingtonexaminer.com> on December 14, 2010.
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What's surprising about Washington's ongoing anti-WikiLeaks conniption isn't what the purloined cables disclose about American foreign policy. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates admits that, despite a few "awkward" exposures, the consequences for U.S. national security will be "fairly modest."
No, what's really telling is how Washington's political class has reacted to WikiLeaks. As they see it, anyone who threatens to undermine government secrecy is morally equivalent to Osama bin Laden.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says that if existing laws can't stop WikiLeaks, "we need to change the law," dammit, because the organization's founder, international man of mystery Julian Assange, is a "high-tech terrorist."
Terrorism ain't what it used to be. Apparently, today you can qualify just for embarrassing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Terrorism ain't what it used to be. Apparently, today you can qualify just for embarrassing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
True, some secrecy is necessary, in business, war and diplomacy. And Congress and the Obama administration should take a close look at the vulnerabilities Assange has exposed. Why did an Army private have access to such a broad range of diplomatic cables, anyway?
Anyone who values the First Amendment ought to oppose the campaign to "get" Assange by any means necessary. In a free society, you can't just "change the law" to persecute someone you don't like, and you can't abuse your position to silence speech you oppose.
Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., demanded that Assange be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. After all, she wrote, the First Amendment isn't "a license to jeopardize national security," any more than it's a license to "yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater." A poor choice of metaphor: It comes from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' 1919 opinion in Schenck v. United States, when the Supreme Court allowed the Wilson administration to imprison a man for the crime of publicly arguing that the draft was unconstitutional.
We've since done a much better job protecting the First Amendment. In 1971's New York Times v. United States, the Supreme Court rebuffed the Nixon administration's attempt to stop the paper from publishing classified documents showing that the government had lied America into the Vietnam War.
WikiLeaks stands in the same position as the "gray lady" in New York Times v. United States, and since that case, the Congressional Research Service reports, no "publisher of information obtained through unauthorized disclosure by a government employee has been prosecuted for publishing it." "First Amendment implications" would likely "make such a prosecution difficult."
Even so, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., has suggested that U.S. newspapers could still be punished for publishing WikiLeaks' leaks. Unsatisfied with mere threats, Lieberman has also gone outside the law, throwing his weight around to get Amazon.com to boot the site off its servers.
Gene Healy<http://www.cato.org/people/gene-healy> is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency<http://www.cato.org/store/index.asp?fa=ProductDetails&method=&pid=1441430>.
More by Gene Healy<http://www.cato.org/people/gene-healy>
As new-media analyst Clay Shirky puts it, Myanmar and Russia "can now rightly say to us, 'You went after WikiLeaks' domain name, their hosting provider, and even denied your citizens the ability to register protest through donations,' all without the slightest legal authority. 'If that's the way governments get to behave, we can live with that.' "
The Obama Justice Department is exploring charges to bring against Assange, and, according to press reports, the administration is talking to Britain and Sweden about extradition.
They should think hard about whether that's the outcome they want. People tend to romanticize outlaws, and in this case, he's likely to beat the rap.
Assange may be an unsavory character using dubious methods. But this wouldn't be the first time a creep got to vindicate a vital constitutional principle.

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Well Ron…as I wrote to you privately prior to your public message on the Activist list…as Cato has nothing to do with the LPSF, yours is a silly request that doesn't merit a reply.

I love your activism Ron and have been a fan for years and worked to get your input involved in a LPC Nor Cal convention. So don't give me a hard time because of a disagreement on this issue and the lack of responsiveness on the part of the LPSF ex comm on this issue.

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Dear Mike;

As it stands the " lack of responsiveness " as you state is based on a
requirement of a method to address money issues or other matters as approved at
an earlier LPSF meeting of 4 votes from the Ex Com of yes needed plus a very
very short fuse on timing and 1 ex com member NOT being on the activists yahoo
groups email list ( Les Mangus - who is now on the list) a vote on a resolution
with the needed time to re-write and re-shape and fact check the Resolution in
time was not going to happen.

Giving a blog site and a UK newspaper and Cato as examples of larger groups who
had positions on Assange while the LPSF did not due so do to specific
circumstances mandated by LPSF approved formal methods for doing something
in-between LPSF meetings I find to be somewhat egregious.

This becomes even more so due to the fact that if there had been no last minute
meet up broadcast to have a meet up about Assange there would have been no
Resolution proposed in the first place. As there would have been none to have
been considered.

If you believe you can personally get better results by being there when needed
in-between LPSF meetings then stand for an elective office to be a member of the
ex comm as chair vice chair secretary or treasurer and then be in the position
along with 3 other yes votes of the ex com to get in-between meeting LPSF
resolutions passed so the LPSF has a position like a blog site and the Guardian
UK newspaper and Cato did.

Ron Getty

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Hi Mike,

As Ron has explained, for LPSF to make policy decisions in between meetings, the majority, and in some cases the entire ExCom needs to approve. I did not approve of the specific resolution proposed by Starchild, and neither did Leslie, and we stated our case publicly on this list. Jawj was not a problem at all, since Starchild knows her personal e-mail address and finally wrote to her. As I understand it, Jawj approved of a resolution, but not in the specific language that was presented.

So, it appears to me you are dealing here not so much with inaction but action that happened to be counter to what you wanted. And that, as always, is the unfortunate nature of elective governance -- we elect folks, and are stuck with them for the term of their office.

LPSF elections will be at the next meeting January 8th. I, as Ron, encourage you and others to run for a place in the ExCom. We are all busy, with plenty of responsibilities, but I am hoping to see folks willing to step up to the plate and help the LPSF survive flourish.

Marcy