IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby styrofoam » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:21 am UTC

MartianInvader wrote:I like how the accusation in this thread has gone from "commiting perjury" to being a "wee bit deceptive".

Your understatement detector. Has the warranty expired?
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:03 am UTC

MartianInvader wrote:I like how the accusation in this thread has gone from "commiting perjury" to being a "wee bit deceptive".

I think that was a test of TGB's sanity. He failed.

I really don't care what is written in the Espionage Act. If it abridges the freedom of the press, it is not a law, and should not be treated as such by anyone including and especially the nation's top attorney.

In the best light possible, Holder is using a law from WWI that he knows would be struck down as unconstitutional to allege that common investigative journalism practices are criminal and he has the right to spy on journalists seeking sensitive information. In the best light possible, he is terrible at his job and should be fired for this horrible abuse of power and gross violation of the freedom of the press.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:18 am UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Did you read the affidavit? If accurate, he did rather more than merely "asking someone for information".

affidavit wrote:39. I conclude from the foregoing that there is probable cause to believe that:
(a). From the beginning of their relationship, the Reporter asked, solicited and encouraged Mr. Kim to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information about the Foreign County. Indeed, in the May 20, 2009 e-mail, the Reporter solicits from Mr. Kim some of the national defense intelligence information that was later the subject matter of the June 2009 article;
(b). The Reporter did so by employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim's vanity and ego;
(c). Much like an intelligence officer would run an clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr.Kim on a covert communications plan that involved the email
of either one or two asterisks to what appears to be a e-mail account set up by the Reporter, to facilitate communication with Mr. Kim and perhaps other sources of information;
(d). To conceal further their communications, the Reporter and Mr. Kim employed aliases in their e-mail communication to each other (i.e., Mr. Kim is "Leo" and the Reporter is "Alex");
(e). The Reporter was in repeated telephone contact with Mr. Kim prior to, and on the day of, the leak of he classified information in question;
(f). On the day of the leak, Mr. Kim was on the telephone with the Reporter at or around the same time that Mr. Kim was viewing the intelligence Report containing TOP SECRET/SCI national defense information about the Foreign Country;
(g) The text of the June 2009 article reflects the Reporter's knowledge and understanding that the information the Reporter had received was intelligence information the disclosure of which could be harmful to the United States;
(h). Nevertheless, the Reporter published an article on the Internet containing the TOP SECRET/SCI national defense information about the Foreign Country that was in the Intelligence Report;
(i). Thereafter, it appears the Reporter
(i) returned the favor by providing Mr. Kim with news articles in advance of their publication concerning intelligence matters and the Foreign Country and (ii) continued
to contact Mr. Kim as a source when the Reporter's colleagues needed sensitive government information about the Foreign Country.

Did you read the affidavit?
I really don't see what Rosen did wrong here.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:29 am UTC

Arariel wrote:So asking someone for information is on the level of planning a robbery?

I'd say this is more like asking someone to break an NDA. Which may be illegal for the person breaking it, but I don't believe so for the person asking (assuming this is some private-sector group's NDA).

At any rate, hardly immoral.

Whatever "you'd say" about morality, the question considered in the affidavit is whether Rosen broke the law. The relevant source for that is 18 USC 793, not your feelings about morality. And, no, that has nothing to do with whether robbery and defense leaks are "on the same level," as I hope is clear to anyone making a serious attempt to understand my point.

Heisenberg wrote:In the best light possible, Holder is using a law from WWI that he knows would be struck down as unconstitutional to allege that common investigative journalism practices are criminal and he has the right to spy on journalists seeking sensitive information.

Oh, Holder knows this? Do you know this? Did the Washington Post tell you?

Maybe one of these days you'll actually defend your claim that the Espionage Act is obviously unconstitutional.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:34 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Whatever "you'd say" about morality, the question considered in the affidavit is whether Rosen broke the law. The relevant source for that is 18 USC 793, not your feelings about morality. And, no, that has nothing to do with whether robbery and defense leaks are "on the same level," as I hope is clear to anyone making a serious attempt to understand my point.

Oskar Schindler broke the law, too.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:38 am UTC

Let me get this straight: If I say that someone who solicits and assists with a defense leak has conspired in that defense leak in the same way that someone who solicits and assists with a bank robbery has conspired in that bank robbery, I am drawing an unreasonable analogy...

...but we're good to go on "Eric Holder is Hitler"?
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:58 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Let me get this straight: If I say that someone who solicits and assists with a defense leak has conspired in that defense leak in the same way that someone who solicits and assists with a bank robbery has conspired in that bank robbery, I am drawing an unreasonable analogy...

...but we're good to go on "Eric Holder is Hitler"?


Well he doesn't care about you or your argument, or any of the people who might be harmed... so... :roll: :roll:

THIS IS THE PROBLEM. If you aren't going to prosecute these journalists, because they've done nothing wrong and have only been doing journalism, then you don't get to investigate them. The Justice Department is not allowed to just take any information they want. If they were prosecuting journalists, that would be a legitimate reason to search their emails and phone records. They are not prosecuting journalists. They have no intention of prosecuting journalists. They're just taking all of their data and using it for their own purposes. That is not ok.


Erm... thats what a subpoena is. Every subpoena takes information from people (who are probably not related to the crime), so that the criminal investigation can continue. That is the very point of a subpoena... to gather information from people unwilling to part with it. Furthermore, the concept of "Reporter's Privilege" as a means to avoid subpoena is not necessarily inscribed in laws or precedent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reporter%27s_privilege

Reporter's Privilege, as it stands in US Law right now, is a privilege supplied by the Justice Department... not by any laws or courts. That is, the Justice Department has always had the power to do this. They just haven't, because they've never felt it necessary before... and have had a better working relationship with the press in the past.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:11 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Let me get this straight: If I say that someone who solicits and assists with a defense leak has conspired in that defense leak in the same way that someone who solicits and assists with a bank robbery has conspired in that bank robbery, I am drawing an unreasonable analogy...

...but we're good to go on "Eric Holder is Hitler"?

Did I say Eric Holder is Hitler? Lemme see, my memory's getting hazy here... and... no, I don't recall that I did. Besides, that doesn't even work, Hitler didn't prosecute Oskar Schindler.

It's not enough to say it's the law unless you say exactly why it's wrong. Homosexuality was illegal sometime ago, and the law still doesn't allow for homosexuals to marry. Almost a million people a year are arrested for marijuana, that's the law. Someone who's keeping their home from being seized and demolished to build a shopping mall is breaking the law. 'The law' as an excuse is purely a socialist or fascist point of view, and it's absolute bollocks.

Although I'll note that both Holder and Obama have made orders to kill individuals (and in Obama's case, definitely some civilians), so really the only differences are ones of magnitude and manner. So possibly less Hitler and more, I dunno, Bin Laden.

KnightExemplar wrote:Well he doesn't care about you or your argument, or any of the people who might be harmed... so... :roll: :roll:

No, no, and not particularly. Some people live, some people die, but that should have no bearing upon what you or I are allowed to say or ask others to tell us. To be perfectly frank, not my problem.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:36 am UTC

Arariel wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Did you read the affidavit? If accurate, he did rather more than merely "asking someone for information".

Did you read the affidavit?
I really don't see what Rosen did wrong here.

Yes, I did. If Rosen were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage. As is, if the divulgence of classified information is illegal, I have a hard time seeing how it doesn't qualify as conspiracy to commit. Mind you, I'm probably in the minority here in that I'd be perfectly happy to see the reporter prosecuted. I agree with TGB that the goal here is probably more to make the case against Mr. Kim as air-tight as possible.

Arariel wrote:Oskar Schindler broke the law, too.

Look, there are times where it is not only moral to break the law, but where breaking the law is the only moral option. But there are plenty of times where that is not the case. Personally, I consider the morality of this law to be reasonably debateable, and equating it to the Holocost to be batshit insane. YMM (and clearly does) V.

Although I'll note that both Holder and Obama have made orders to kill individuals (and in Obama's case, definitely some civilians), so really the only differences are ones of magnitude and manner. So possibly less Hitler and more, I dunno, Bin Laden.

Just to check, you WERE the person who said "Also, don't really give a shit bout this limey", right? I realize that the difference is that you don't have the actual power to order people killed, but you still seem mighty cavalier about people being murdered when that attitude supports your own hobby-horse.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:44 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Did I say Eric Holder is Hitler?

Did I say defense leaks are bank robbery?

It's not enough to say it's the law unless you say exactly why it's wrong.

"Enough" for what? You certainly do not have to say that somebody did something "wrong" (as opposed to illegal) in order to get a search warrant. If you're going to prosecute someone, that may be a good standard - which may be why Holder said that he would not prosecute journalists for encouraging leaks and backed that up by not prosecuting journalists for encouraging leaks.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Bsob » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:00 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Third: I got nothing on the IRS Discrimination case. It is ridiculous and that is the true scandal that we all should be ashamed about.
I don't understand why this is a scandal. These are the facts, as I understand them:

1 - A portion of the IRS is tasked with denying tax exemption status to political groups
2 - There was a new a political group that was quickly rising in popularity
3 - The IRS payed close attention to applications named after this new political party or applications using any of that party's slogans

If I had read about this scandal without the framing of it as a scandal, my response would be: "Huh, good on them for doing their job, concentrating their limited resources where it is most likely needed."




Everyone ignored this, but your 1 is wrong, your 2 is ok, and your 3 is a massive understatement of what happened.

1. Is wrong, because a 501(c)(4) is in fact allowed to participate in elections.

2. is fine.
3. "Paying close attention" is one thing, delaying approval for years on end is pretty clearly not OK. There is also evidence coming out that the IRS was looking into the organizations in unacceptable ways.

"They used the name 'tea party' " is not evidence of wrong doing.

it is important to note that not a single one of these (tea party) organizations were denied the status. Which means the IRS absolutely did not concentrate their limited resources where it was needed, they wasted their time. This clearly points to the fact that whatever criteria they were using was not a good one. So why use it?

It couldn't be to financially cripple a bunch of organizations that have a certain political view?

Why the hell wouldn't this be a scandal?

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:20 am UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Yes, I did. If Rosen were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage. As is, if the divulgence of classified information is illegal, I have a hard time seeing how it doesn't qualify as conspiracy to commit. Mind you, I'm probably in the minority here in that I'd be perfectly happy to see the reporter prosecuted. I agree with TGB that the goal here is probably more to make the case against Mr. Kim as air-tight as possible.


And I'd still hardly give less of a shit what Rosen did even if he were a pinko North Korean and reported it directly to the idiot in charge over there. He did not directly cause physical harm to anyone, nor violate anyone's property by depriving them of their full use, nor did he violate anyone's liberty, nor did he violate any agreement, oath, or promise to which he was a party; hence, I don't see he did anything wrong.

Look, there are times where it is not only moral to break the law, but where breaking the law is the only moral option. But there are plenty of times where that is not the case. Personally, I consider the morality of this law to be reasonably debateable, and equating it to the Holocost to be batshit insane. YMM (and clearly does) V.


Oh, okay. Let's try for a different law. Jim Crow? Rosa Parks was a criminal. Anyway, point being, illegal != immoral. The two potentially have overlap, but a good number of people (likely a majority) put in prison for crimes have done nothing immoral.

Just to check, you WERE the person who said "Also, don't really give a shit bout this limey", right? I realize that the difference is that you don't have the actual power to order people killed, but you still seem mighty cavalier about people being murdered when that attitude supports your own hobby-horse.


I don't give a shit about a limey potentially being in danger. If someone from the AP had shot the limey, that'd be wrong. If someone from the AP told someone to shoot the limey, that'd be wrong. If the AP publishes details about the limey that could potentially lead to the limey being shot, I give absolutely zero shits. The responsibility for a murder lies solely in the hands of the murderers and those who encouraged it, and since the limey does not appear to be dead, I actually currently give negative shits.

Obama and Holder, on the other hand, have killed people. Obama has killed children. So, given that I don't see why the government has any more right than a private individual to blow up children in third world countries, yeah, there are shits to be given here.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Did I say defense leaks are bank robbery?

Let me rephrase that: Did I suggest Eric Holder was Hitler? More specifically, I was merely giving an example of someone who broke the law. Is it bad for someone to break the law?

"Enough" for what? You certainly do not have to say that somebody did something "wrong" (as opposed to illegal) in order to get a search warrant. If you're going to prosecute someone, that may be a good standard - which may be why Holder said that he would not prosecute journalists for encouraging leaks and backed that up by not prosecuting journalists for encouraging leaks.

Not enough for it to be considered immoral by any standards. Anyway, it's quite immoral to use violence and coercion to gain access to someone's personal information, legal or not. Because no one's really arguing about it being legal.

Bsob wrote:Everyone ignored this, but your 1 is wrong, your 2 is ok, and your 3 is a massive understatement of what happened.

1. Is wrong, because a 501(c)(4) is in fact allowed to participate in elections.

2. is fine.
3. "Paying close attention" is one thing, delaying approval for years on end is pretty clearly not OK. There is also evidence coming out that the IRS was looking into the organizations in unacceptable ways.

"They used the name 'tea party' " is not evidence of wrong doing.

it is important to note that not a single one of these (tea party) organizations were denied the status. Which means the IRS absolutely did not concentrate their limited resources where it was needed, they wasted their time. This clearly points to the fact that whatever criteria they were using was not a good one. So why use it?

It couldn't be to financially cripple a bunch of organizations that have a certain political view?

Why the hell wouldn't this be a scandal?

I also want to point out the IRS has done this sort of thing in the past. The old hag Feinstein sicced them on a marijuana advocacy group when a constituent complained during the 90s I believe, purely because they didn't like weed. They got audited again a few years later.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:40 am UTC

...

Never mind. Forgot who I was arguing with.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:43 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:...

Never mind. Forgot who I was arguing with.

Someone who believes in science, reason, and logic rather than received wisdom and authority?

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:46 am UTC

Yep, that's the one!
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:14 am UTC

Oh, I'm sorry that my belief in freedom offends your fascist sensibilities.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:52 am UTC

Arariel wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Yes, I did. If Rosen were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage. As is, if the divulgence of classified information is illegal, I have a hard time seeing how it doesn't qualify as conspiracy to commit. Mind you, I'm probably in the minority here in that I'd be perfectly happy to see the reporter prosecuted. I agree with TGB that the goal here is probably more to make the case against Mr. Kim as air-tight as possible.


And I'd still hardly give less of a shit what Rosen did even if he were a pinko North Korean and reported it directly to the idiot in charge over there. He did not directly cause physical harm to anyone, nor violate anyone's property by depriving them of their full use, nor did he violate anyone's liberty, nor did he violate any agreement, oath, or promise to which he was a party; hence, I don't see he did anything wrong.


I differentiate between the news media in our own country and agents of a foreign power. The motives are very different for those. The former is a necessary part of a healthy democracy, and we don't want to risk hurting that. Agents of a foreign power, not so much. The reporter's motives do appear to be pretty normal. Get a scoop, report things to the news, all that jazz. Calling that a conspiracy is a bit much.

We are not discussing reporters having immunity from all crimes. A reporter who speeds is still gonna get a ticket. But a reporter engaged in conversation with the purpose of collecting news...that is not an unusual activity, nor one that should be illegal.

I also want to point out the IRS has done this sort of thing in the past. The old hag Feinstein sicced them on a marijuana advocacy group when a constituent complained during the 90s I believe, purely because they didn't like weed. They got audited again a few years later.


Oh, yeah, this is definitely not the first time the IRS has been used for political reasons. I believe Nixon also made extensive political use of them back in the day. Dangerous, for sure.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:13 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:If Rosen were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage.

If Holder's secretary were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage.
If Michelle Obama were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage.
If David Petraeus were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage.
If Boehner's waitress were a foreign national, this would be a textbook case of espionage

Unfortunately this is not only entirely ridiculous, but also the worst thing they could come up with in the affidavit Holder approved.
(c). Much like an intelligence officer would run an clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr.Kim on a covert communications plan that involved email...
Spies use email, therefore anyone who uses email may be a spy and is subject to an investigation.

Gee, I wonder why all the journalists are mad?

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:17 pm UTC

Arariel wrote:And I'd still hardly give less of a shit what Rosen did even if he were a pinko North Korean and reported it directly to the idiot in charge over there. He did not directly cause physical harm to anyone, nor violate anyone's property by depriving them of their full use, nor did he violate anyone's liberty, nor did he violate any agreement, oath, or promise to which he was a party; hence, I don't see he did anything wrong.

Well, that's pretty remarkably short-sighted of you. Yes, there are exceptions, but information is typically classified for good reasons. Most typically, that information either puts people in harm's way or is inherently dangerous. (eg, the specific designs to nuclear warheads) The divulgence of that information *does* cause harm.

Look, there are times where it is not only moral to break the law, but where breaking the law is the only moral option. But there are plenty of times where that is not the case. Personally, I consider the morality of this law to be reasonably debateable, and equating it to the Holocost to be batshit insane. YMM (and clearly does) V.

Oh, okay. Let's try for a different law. Jim Crow? Rosa Parks was a criminal. Anyway, point being, illegal != immoral. The two potentially have overlap, but a good number of people (likely a majority) put in prison for crimes have done nothing immoral.

Yes, I fully agreed that an act being illegal does not necessarily make it immoral. As I said, sometimes, breaking the law is the *only* moral option. That is not our point of disconnect. The reason we aren't seeing eye-to-eye is that I consider the laws protecting the integrity of classified information to be moral laws.

I don't give a shit about a limey potentially being in danger. If someone from the AP had shot the limey, that'd be wrong. If someone from the AP told someone to shoot the limey, that'd be wrong. If the AP publishes details about the limey that could potentially lead to the limey being shot, I give absolutely zero shits. The responsibility for a murder lies solely in the hands of the murderers and those who encouraged it, and since the limey does not appear to be dead, I actually currently give negative shits.

And this is why I consider them to be moral laws. We may not have had a foreign operative actually be murdered in this case, but the basic idea of it happening is something that you "give absolutely zero shits" about? I'm sorry, but I see no moral difference between telling an organization like Al Qaeda the identity of a mole and pulling the trigger and killing him yourself.

Also, @Heisenberg - The first part of your post is a complete non sequitur and if you think the comparison of Mr. Rosen's actions to espionage are because he used email, you're wildly missing the point.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:33 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Also, @Heisenberg - The first part of your post is a complete non sequitur and if you think the comparison of Mr. Rosen's actions to espionage are because he used email, you're wildly missing the point.
Actually that's a direct quote from the affidavit. He used email, texts, and phone calls. Which one makes him a spy?

Because again, this is not someone comparing journalism to espionage. This is a claim supported by the Attorney General of the United States that an individual engaging in journalism is spying on the United States in that he is in criminal violation of the Espionage Act. An honest reading of the first amendment tells us that that simply cannot happen.

Edit: And yes, I'm glad you agree that your argument and that of the AG are both non-sequiturs. "He's driving a car... JUST LIKE A SPY WOULD!" is not justification for a search.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:50 pm UTC

The last I'm going to say about this - I suspect that if one googled, one could dig up an unclassified counterespionage briefing. If one can (no, I'm not going to try to do so myself), reading it might be enlightening. You're mischaracterizing or misunderstanding the reasoning that's being used here.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:19 pm UTC

I'm familiar with counterespionage. Reporters and spies use similar tactics and have similar goals. However, the founding documents of this nation clearly delineate that treason is a crime and reporting is not.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:18 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Also, @Heisenberg - The first part of your post is a complete non sequitur and if you think the comparison of Mr. Rosen's actions to espionage are because he used email, you're wildly missing the point.
Actually that's a direct quote from the affidavit. He used email, texts, and phone calls. Which one makes him a spy?

None of the above. What makes him a "spy" - i.e., an alleged violator of the Espionage Act - is that he used email, texts, and phone calls in order to solicit and facilitate a defense leak.

If someone were to use email, texts, and phone calls in order to deceive people and take their money, she would be committing wire fraud. That does not mean that everyone who uses email, texts, and phone calls is a fraudster.

Edit: Wow, and what magnificently deceptive editing of the affidavit. Here is the full quote:
Much like an intelligence officer would run an clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr. Kim on a covert communications plan that involved the e-mail of either one or two asterisks to what appears to be a e-mail account set up by the Reporter, ████████@gmail.com, to facilitate communication with Mr. Kim and perhaps other sources of information;

The purpose of this affidavit is to seek a search warrant relating to that gmail account. The gmail account is discussed in the affidavit because it's necessary to establish that the thing you're searching is likely to have evidence relevant to your investigation. The point is "He used this email address, so we would like to search this email address," not "He used email, so he is a criminal."

Heisenberg wrote:Because again, this is not someone comparing journalism to espionage. This is a claim supported by the Attorney General of the United States that an individual engaging in journalism is spying on the United States in that he is in criminal violation of the Espionage Act. An honest reading of the first amendment tells us that that simply cannot happen.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world waits with bated breath for Heisenberg's Grand Unified Theory of how this affidavit says that every journalist is a spy, or alternatively how the First Amendment protects every action conducted in the course of journalism.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:59 pm UTC

Bsob wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Third: I got nothing on the IRS Discrimination case. It is ridiculous and that is the true scandal that we all should be ashamed about.
I don't understand why this is a scandal. These are the facts, as I understand them:

1 - A portion of the IRS is tasked with denying tax exemption status to political groups
2 - There was a new a political group that was quickly rising in popularity
3 - The IRS payed close attention to applications named after this new political party or applications using any of that party's slogans

If I had read about this scandal without the framing of it as a scandal, my response would be: "Huh, good on them for doing their job, concentrating their limited resources where it is most likely needed."
Everyone ignored this, but your 1 is wrong, your 2 is ok, and your 3 is a massive understatement of what happened.

1. Is wrong, because a 501(c)(4) is in fact allowed to participate in elections.
No, I'm right.
United States federal tax law, specifically Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), exempts certain types of nonprofit organizations from having to pay federal income tax. The statutory language of IRC 501(c)(4) generally requires civic organizations described in that section to be "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare". Treasury regulations interpreting this statutory language apply a more relaxed standard, namely, that the organization "is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements."
They are allowed to participate in politics, but only insofar as that furthers a non-political goal. The wing of the IRS that caused this scandal is tasked with finding out whether or not groups qualify for 501(c)(4) status. Or, if looked at through another lens, a portion of the IRS is tasked with denying tax exemption status to political groups.

Bsob wrote:2. is fine.
3. "Paying close attention" is one thing, delaying approval for years on end is pretty clearly not OK. There is also evidence coming out that the IRS was looking into the organizations in unacceptable ways.
IRS Audit wrote:The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management: 1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months, 2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and 3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued. Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months.... For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications [reviewed in the audit] as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to 1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles).... Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors).
Yeah, kind of a slight understatement.

Bsob wrote:"They used the name 'tea party' " is not evidence of wrong doing.

it is important to note that not a single one of these (tea party) organizations were denied the status. Which means the IRS absolutely did not concentrate their limited resources where it was needed, they wasted their time. This clearly points to the fact that whatever criteria they were using was not a good one. So why use it?

It couldn't be to financially cripple a bunch of organizations that have a certain political view?

Why the hell wouldn't this be a scandal?
Why not? Perhaps, because "it is important to note that not a single one of these (tea party) organizations were denied the status." And no, it couldn't be "to financially cripple a bunch of organizations that have a certain political view" because
Nonprofit organizations dedicated to social welfare are not required to apply for IRS certification in order to operate under Section 501(c)(4) tax exemption rules.[8][9] However, being certified by the IRS can help organizations attract more donations and provide some protection against further scrutiny.
Perhaps "slightly inconvenience" rather than "cripple", But that's stretching it.

They used it because they thought it would be a good set of criteria. It turns out that it wasn't a great set of criteria. That's not really scandalous.

Now if there is a scandal it could easily be that they targeted overtly conservative groups, while ignoring overtly liberal groups. I haven't heard that accusation. The scandal also could have been because the applications seems to have languished without being processed for a longer time than one would expect. But it isn't. The scandal when summarized is
In May 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had targeted certain conservative groups applying for tax exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.
The scandal is that the wing of the IRS tasked with finding political organizations targeted organizations with overtly political names.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:05 pm UTC

If I hire someone to break into the white house and bug the oval office, is it protected under the First Amendment as long as I post the transcripts on my blog later?

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:24 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Meanwhile, the rest of the world waits with bated breath for Heisenberg's Grand Unified Theory of how this affidavit says that every journalist is a spy, or alternatively how the First Amendment protects every action conducted in the course of journalism.

Do you need me to say it again? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press. Investigative journalism, which is comprised of soliciting information, classified or otherwise, cannot be a criminal act in the United States.
TheAmazingRando wrote:If I hire someone to break into the white house and bug the oval office, is it protected under the First Amendment as long as I post the transcripts on my blog later?
You've moved the goalposts quite a bit here with the inclusion of a financial transaction and attacking the credibility of the journalist. In this case the target was a journalist by any objective measure, employed by a recognized news organization, and did not pay a dime for the information. If we bring your example closer to reality, such as Ariana Huffington posting a transcript she got from someone who visited the White House, then yes, I'd say the First Amendment pretty clearly protects her from criminal charges. Her source, maybe not, but most people here agree that Rosen's source should be tried. Rosen, on the other hand, is protected.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Meanwhile, the rest of the world waits with bated breath for Heisenberg's Grand Unified Theory of how this affidavit says that every journalist is a spy, or alternatively how the First Amendment protects every action conducted in the course of journalism.

Do you need me to say it again? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press. Investigative journalism, which is comprised of soliciting information, classified or otherwise, cannot be a criminal act in the United States.
TheAmazingRando wrote:If I hire someone to break into the white house and bug the oval office, is it protected under the First Amendment as long as I post the transcripts on my blog later?
You've moved the goalposts quite a bit here with the inclusion of a financial transaction and attacking the credibility of the journalist. In this case the target was a journalist by any objective measure, employed by a recognized news organization, and did not pay a dime for the information. If we bring your example closer to reality, such as Ariana Huffington posting a transcript she got from someone who visited the White House, then yes, I'd say the First Amendment pretty clearly protects her from criminal charges. Her source, maybe not, but most people here agree that Rosen's source should be tried. Rosen, on the other hand, is protected.

I thought the bigger issue here was that the sources of journalists were being attacked hard. A reporter with no sources is no better than a talking head, that's why it's such a big deal if a source of a reporter is investigated. It puts pressure on leakers to clam up.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:38 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Now if there is a scandal it could easily be that they targeted overtly conservative groups, while ignoring overtly liberal groups. I haven't heard that accusation. The scandal also could have been because the applications seems to have languished without being processed for a longer time than one would expect. But it isn't. The scandal when summarized is
In May 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had targeted certain conservative groups applying for tax exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.
The scandal is that the wing of the IRS tasked with finding political organizations targeted organizations with overtly political names.

Ah, the IRS Scandal that is yet another non-scandal. I love these.

the MSNBC primetime lineup are wicked annoyed that this is a thing- and that the scandal is not simply that we grant tax-exempt status to political organizations under the 501(c)(4) thingy. Those ultra-liberal talking heads are all, "Why the shit isn't EVERY group getting this scrutiny? Why's this law being interpreted this way, after some quiet change in the 50's?"
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:42 pm UTC

Same issue. When the DOJ and the Media work together, the DOJ can get information about specific sources and the Media can protect the others. But when the DOJ abuses their power to seize records they shouldn't be able to seize, now they not only have information on the guy they were investigating, they have information on every individual the Reporter has been communicating with, including previously unnamed sources.

That's the chilling effect that TGB is sure isn't happening right now, depite evidence to the contrary.
"The reporters who work for the Times in Washington have told me many of their sources are petrified even to return calls," she said. "It has a real practical effect that is important."

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Telchar » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Meanwhile, the rest of the world waits with bated breath for Heisenberg's Grand Unified Theory of how this affidavit says that every journalist is a spy, or alternatively how the First Amendment protects every action conducted in the course of journalism.

Do you need me to say it again? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press. Investigative journalism, which is comprised of soliciting information, classified or otherwise, cannot be a criminal act in the United States.


Right, except the issue you continually miss is that they aren't accusing him of soliciting information. They are accusing him of soliciting the leak and then helping the leaker cover-up the information. If a journalist runs an expose about a cult group in the US, that's fine. If that journalist aids the cult in covering up illegal activity such as gun smuggling or pedophilia, he has committed a crime.

Point Blank: Helping people to cover up a crime is illegal, regardless of why you do it or what your profession is.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:22 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Meanwhile, the rest of the world waits with bated breath for Heisenberg's Grand Unified Theory of how this affidavit says that every journalist is a spy, or alternatively how the First Amendment protects every action conducted in the course of journalism.

Do you need me to say it again? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press. Investigative journalism, which is comprised of soliciting information, classified or otherwise, cannot be a criminal act in the United States.

We also have free speech. Can it be illegal for a CIA agent to recite classified information in public?

The fact is that there are limits to press freedom in the same way that there are limits to speech freedom. The fact that you can accurately describe your actions as "speech" or "journalism" does not mean that you are automatically shielded from prosecution.

Another question: If the Espionage Act is unconstitutional, and if Holder "knows it would be struck down as unconstitutional," why hasn't any judge in the past 100 years done that?
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:28 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Right, except the issue you continually miss is that they aren't accusing him of soliciting information. They are accusing him of soliciting the leak and then helping the leaker cover-up the information. If a journalist runs an expose about a cult group in the US, that's fine. If that journalist aids the cult in covering up illegal activity such as gun smuggling or pedophilia, he has committed a crime.

Point Blank: Helping people to cover up a crime is illegal, regardless of why you do it or what your profession is.

This is the first I've heard of this argument. The affidavit and it's advocate in this thread have been arguing that solicitation of classified information by a journalist is a crime. You're saying that it's not a crime to ask someone about something classified, and it's not a crime to publish it, but protecting one's source is what's illegal? In all honesty we have no idea if he cared about protecting his source or not, because instead of following standard practices and requesting information from the reporter, the DOJ seized the information without even informing him. Does a journalist have a legal duty to report to the government every disclosure? Talk about a chilling effect!
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:The fact is that there are limits to press freedom in the same way that there are limits to speech freedom.
That's an opinion, not a fact. In point of fact, limits on the freedom of the press are extremely rare.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Another question: If the Espionage Act is unconstitutional, and if Holder "knows it would be struck down as unconstitutional," why hasn't any judge in the past 100 years done that?
You mean, like the Supreme Court?
Wikipedia wrote:The Espionage Act limits on free speech were ruled constitutional in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 in 1919.
No reporter has been prosecuted on these charges, ever, and according to Holder's statement, none ever will, so the restriction on the freedom of the press is still in legal limbo, having never been used, and never been challenged. This law is a contemporary of the (ruled unconstitutional) Alien & Sedition Acts, and was written up to throw people in jail for passing out pamphlets, because their political speech was 'hurting the war effort.' It's a product of century-old wartime alarmism, and Holder should be ashamed of himself for using it to justify his attacks on the press.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:01 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:The fact is that there are limits to press freedom in the same way that there are limits to speech freedom.
That's an opinion, not a fact. In point of fact, limits on the freedom of the press are extremely rare.

If there are, in fact, "extremely rare" limits on freedom of the press, then there are limits, and my statement was true as a matter of fact. And regardless of how rare such limits are, classified information is one of them. It's no response to say, when you're looking an illegal action in the face, that it can't be illegal, because that would be rare.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Another question: If the Espionage Act is unconstitutional, and if Holder "knows it would be struck down as unconstitutional," why hasn't any judge in the past 100 years done that?
You mean, like the Supreme Court?
Wikipedia wrote:The Espionage Act limits on free speech were ruled constitutional in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 in 1919.

I'm not sure what your point is, or if you've mistaken the word "constitutional" for "unconstitutional," or what. The quote plainly (and accurately) says that the Act was upheld in Schenck.

Heisenberg wrote:No reporter has been prosecuted on these charges, ever, and according to Holder's statement, none ever will, so the restriction on the freedom of the press is still in legal limbo, having never been used, and never been challenged. This law is a contemporary of the (ruled unconstitutional) Alien & Sedition Acts, and was written up to throw people in jail for passing out pamphlets, because their political speech was 'hurting the war effort.' It's a product of century-old wartime alarmism, and Holder should be ashamed of himself for using it to justify his attacks on the press.

The Alien and Sedition acts were passed 119 years before the Espionage Act. You may be thinking of the Sedition Act of 1918, but it would still be inaccurate to say that the Sedition Act was ruled unconstitutional. It was upheld in Abrams v. United States and then repealed by Congress in 1920. In any case, the Espionage Act would not be presumptively unconstitutional just because it was passed around the same time as some other unconstitutional law.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:17 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I'm not sure what your point is, or if you've mistaken the word "constitutional" for "unconstitutional," or what. The quote plainly (and accurately) says that the Act was upheld in Schenck.
Being an idealist, my brain apparently shielded me from the reality where this happened: "Schenck, an anti-war Socialist, had been convicted of violating the Act when he sent anti-draft pamphlets to men eligible for the draft." Regardless, I think it's important for you to know that right now, as you're publicly voicing your political opinions, you're arguing in favor of a law that makes publicly voicing political opinions illegal. Not to say this reflects on your argument, but I simply want you to be aware of how this reflects on you, as a human.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:The Alien and Sedition acts were passed 119 years before the Espionage Act. You may be thinking of the Sedition Act of 1918, but it would still be inaccurate to say that the Sedition Act was ruled unconstitutional. It was upheld in Abrams v. United States and then repealed by Congress in 1920. In any case, the Espionage Act would not be presumptively unconstitutional just because it was passed around the same time as some other unconstitutional law.
Apologies, it was repealed. Still, the prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act has been threatened in the past, but never brought to trial, so we have no direct evidence of its legitimacy. Its contemporaries, like the Sedition Act which amended the Espionage Act, provide circumstantial evidence to the political culture of the time and suggest that nothing they did, such as arresting people for public speaking and passing out leaflets, would hold up to judicial review today.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby MartianInvader » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:21 pm UTC

The thing that's really annoying me about this "scandal" (the Eric Holder one) is that everyone seems to be arguing about different things. There seem to be up to five separate claims people are making:

1) Eric Holder commited perjury.
2) Eric Holder was considering prosecuting journalists.
3) Eric Holder did an investigation that was illegal.
4) Eric Holder did something that was technically legal, but in a legal gray area or at least against the spirit of the law.
5) Eric Holder did something definitely legal, but vaguely morally wrong in some way, and we wish the laws were different so that it was illegal.

I haven't seen any decent argument for anything other that 5), though people seem to act like those arguments are proving 1).
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:58 pm UTC

Well, Heisenberg, I'm glad we aren't losing track of important points like "how my opinions reflect on me as a human," but in point of fact I haven't "argued in favor" of every part of the Espionage Act. All I've stated is that at least some of it is constitutional.

Heisenberg wrote:Apologies, it was repealed. Still, the prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act has been threatened in the past, but never brought to trial, so we have no direct evidence of its legitimacy. Its contemporaries, like the Sedition Act which amended the Espionage Act, provide circumstantial evidence to the political culture of the time and suggest that nothing they did, such as arresting people for public speaking and passing out leaflets, would hold up to judicial review today.

Circumstantial evidence. Right. That's kind of my point. You claim that 793(g) would be unconstitutional as applied to a journalist. You claim that it would be ruled unconstitutional if brought to trial. You claim that Eric Holder knows this. What is your evidence for all of these bold claims? Well, you aren't familiar with free speech case law. You don't know which acts were found unconstitutional and when. You aren't trying to build an argument from free press jurisprudence; you aren't saying "Such and such a holding in such and such a case shows that reporters are allowed to solicit leaks of classified information." But you have some circumstantial evidence, to the effect that people were willing to pass unconstitutional laws when they passed the Espionage Act, and you expect us to condemn Holder on that basis.

Heisenberg wrote:
TheAmazingRando wrote:If I hire someone to break into the white house and bug the oval office, is it protected under the First Amendment as long as I post the transcripts on my blog later?
You've moved the goalposts quite a bit here with the inclusion of a financial transaction and attacking the credibility of the journalist. In this case the target was a journalist by any objective measure, employed by a recognized news organization, and did not pay a dime for the information. If we bring your example closer to reality, such as Ariana Huffington posting a transcript she got from someone who visited the White House, then yes, I'd say the First Amendment pretty clearly protects her from criminal charges. Her source, maybe not, but most people here agree that Rosen's source should be tried. Rosen, on the other hand, is protected.

You're dodging. What if Rosen, who is clearly a journalist, had politely requested, but not paid, for someone to break into the CIA offices and steal the information? No financial transaction, and no question about whether that's journalism*. Still protected by the First Amendment? Or what if, instead of the CIA, Rosen asked someone to take records from a hospital as part of an exposé on abortion? Does the First Amendment give reporters carte blanche to solicit and plan crimes - which is a criminal conspiracy in every other context - if it helps them get a scoop?

*By the way, the idea that bloggers have less of First Amendment protection than the New York Times hardly squares with an expansive view of press freedom.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Telchar » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:23 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:This is the first I've heard of this argument. The affidavit and it's advocate in this thread have been arguing that solicitation of classified information by a journalist is a crime. You're saying that it's not a crime to ask someone about something classified, and it's not a crime to publish it, but protecting one's source is what's illegal? In all honesty we have no idea if he cared about protecting his source or not, because instead of following standard practices and requesting information from the reporter, the DOJ seized the information without even informing him. Does a journalist have a legal duty to report to the government every disclosure? Talk about a chilling effect!


Here, let me help you since you seem incapable of acquiring information on your own...

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:18 USC 793 makes it a crime to release secret defense information. Subsection (g) makes it a crime to conspire in the same. Now, you're right that it should not be a crime to ask for some piece of information, not knowing that it is classified. But that is not what Rosen did, or at least not what Justice alleged in its affidavit. Instead, he was aware that the information he was receiving was classified, see item (g) in paragraph 39 of the affidavit. And, from the same paragraph, he solicited Kim to release the information and helped set up secret ways of doing this. That's illegal, just as soliciting and aiding someone to commit pretty much any other crime is illegal.


And just to head this asinine argument off at the pass....

Helping to set up secret ways to leak information=/= not revealing ones sources. Again, helping people to commit crimes is illegal. Protecting ones sources if you're a journalist is not, hence why that's not what the argument is.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby addams » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:03 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Seeing this, the FBI's gag order on Google, the drones, Libya, the never-attempted closure of Gitmo, NDAA, re-signing the Patriot Act, etc., etc., and those among the American Left defending each of these, one has to wonder when exactly did the anti-war, anti-surveillance, pro-civil liberties leftists I actually admired disappear and get replaced by fascists. Not that the Right is/was any better. Pretty much the only difference between them is a palette swap, health care, and guns.

Yes. Some of the sweetest people have disappeared.
Yes. They were replaced with pro-war, pro-surveilance, Pat. Act loving, hard hearted humans with a moral center that is nonexistent or so off balance no moral center would not look any different.

What a mess! Again; What are we doing with so many secrets?

Those Fox guys are not my favorite people.
I have seen them making the news.

I watched a FOX camera crew recording the successful completion of a
campaign of support for Richard Cheney and the Pat. Act.

The vote they were celebrating would not take place for more than a week,

They were Making The News!
We do not need a bunch of secrets!

This entire Thread may be part a successful marketing campaign.
Sell FOX News as a victim and champion of The People.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:06 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Circumstantial evidence. Right. That's kind of my point. You claim that 793(g) would be unconstitutional as applied to a journalist. You claim that it would be ruled unconstitutional if brought to trial. You claim that Eric Holder knows this.
Just like anyone with a basic understanding of the legal history of the United States knows that Jim Crow laws are unconstitutional. If Holder wrote an affidavit swearing that someone was guilty of violating an interracial marriage law, and used that to justify an investigation into that person, is that an ethical use of the power of the Attorney General?
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:You're dodging.
You're grasping at straws. Communicating over email is a pretty basic requirement of journalism. Most crimes are not, and we can argue all day at where the line should be drawn, but the freedom of the press would be meaningless if it didn't guarantee that a reporter can read his email without fear of prosecution.
Telchar wrote:Helping to set up secret ways to leak information=/= not revealing ones sources.
Correct, all Rosen did was communicate with his source in a way that made his source feel safer. He obviously didn't actually protect his source and we can't be sure he wouldn't give him up at the drop of a hat when asked. The FBI didn't ask, they took. The worst you can accuse Rosen of is inaction, and again, it's not his responsibility to do the FBI's job for them.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:26 pm UTC

*sigh*

Was it illegal for Kim to release classified information to Rosen?
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