Monday, February 13, Advisor to the President of Donald trump on national security General Michael Flynn (Michael Flynn) was forced to resign due to the fact that he was caught in a lie: during a telephone conversation with a Russian diplomat in December, he discussed the topic of sanctions, and then did not inform Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence). The only reason the public learned of the lies Flynn, was that some us government officials had violated the penal code and published the contents of a telephone conversation Flynn.
Among the crimes involving the disclosure of classified information public disclosure of survey data is one of the most serious crimes. In accordance with Federal law, journalists (and other citizens not affiliated with government agencies) can be held criminally liable for the disclosure of classified information only in a few cases, and — as evidence of the extreme seriousness of the crimes constituting the disclosure of survey data — one of these cases is that the disclosure of the content of the intercepted conversations, as defined in Chapter 18, paragraph 798 of the code of laws of the United States:
A person who knowingly and intentionally reported… or otherwise povestirea another unqualified person, or published… any classified information… obtained through intelligence means of communication from conversations with representatives of all foreign governments… have to pay a fine in accordance with this title or to go to jail for a period not exceeding 10 years.
The fact that Flynn lied about what he said to the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, was first disclosed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (David Ignatius), who made his career on the publication of the content of his conversations with sources in the CIA. In his column of January 12, Ignatius wrote: “According to one senior government official, Flynn tried several times to call the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on 29 December, i.e. the day when the Obama administration announced the 35 expulsion of Russian diplomats, as well as on other measures in response to hacker attacks”.
When @IgnatiusPost speaks, 7th floor Langley”s lips are moving. Zero disrespect, just a fact.
They are taking Trump traitor out now.
— John Schindler (@20committee) January 13, 2017
This “senior government official” has committed a serious crime, reporting to Ignatius about the content of telephone conversations Flynn. Similar and even more serious crimes were committed by those whom the edition of the Washington Post dubbed the “nine current and former officials who held high positions in various agencies at the time of phone calls”. These officials told the publication that published his article on 9 February that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian Ambassador in USA during the month prior to the entry of the President of trump office, in contrast to the public statements, which were made by the officials of the trump.” And the New York Times, which also cited anonymous sources, has published more information about the content of telephone conversations Flynn.
Hardly anyone will dispute the fact that these officials have committed serious crimes. In January, CNN reported that Flynn’s conversations with the Russians “was intercepted during a routine wiretapping of telephone conversations of Russian diplomats”. This means that the content of these telephone conversations were “obtained through intelligence means of communication from conversations with representatives of all foreign governments.” That is the man who revealed their contents or announced it to the public is guilty of a felony.
However, almost no one is calling for the beginning of a criminal investigation or attracting whistleblowers to criminal prosecution and does not require that whistleblowers called their names. There’s a good reason: the actions of officials who reported this information were justified, despite the fact that they broke the law. Thanks to these leaks we know that a senior government official, General Flynn, openly lying to the public is extremely important issue — the content of his conversations with Russian diplomats, and the public has a right to know about it.
This episode highlights a very important point: the fact that a particular action is illegal does not mean that this action is wrong or that it deserves punishment. Often the fairest and justified actions are those actions which the law prohibits.
It is primarily concerned with whistleblowers government secrets, that is, those who disclose information that the law forbids to disclose, in those moments when it is the only way to show the public that influential officials to commit unworthy acts and lying. In such cases, we should praise those who expose government officials, despite the fact that by law their actions are criminal.
This episode with Flynn emphasizes another important point: the motives of whistleblowers are irrelevant. Often the whistleblowers are not the best of intentions. Hardly anyone will with a straight face to say that to lie to the public in official Washington as something like a mortal sin. On the contrary, the ability to lie is one of the requirements to the officials.
Moreover, General Flynn there are a lot of enemies in the intelligence and defense communities. Of course, the same can be said about trump: remember how a few weeks ago democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (Chuck Schumer) told Trump that the part was “very stupid” to criticize the intelligence community, because “he has plenty of opportunities to get revenge.”
Very likely — I would even say likely — that in this case it is more about revenge than any noble motives. Anyway, this episode was a case where the intelligence community through strategic (and illegal) leaks destroyed one of his main opponents in the White house trump.
But it doesn’t matter. Important is not the motive of the whistleblower and the consequences of the leak. Any leakage which allows you to expose the misconduct of members of the highest echelons of power — as in this case happened, commendable, and not censure or punishment.
Quite strange to see now this principle is all puffed up. The last eight years President Obama has led the most brutal and aggressive war against whistleblowers in the history of the United States. As written by Leonard downie (Leonard Downie), who was one of the editors of the Washington Post during the period of the Watergate investigation, “the war of the administration [Obama] with leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive since the Nixon administration”.
It is very difficult to put into words how strange to observe how those same people — from both parties — who called to punish Edward Snowden (Edward Snowden), Chelsea manning (Chelsea Manning), Tom Drake (Tom Drake) and the other whistleblowers of the era of Obama, today Express praise to those who released highly classified information, prompting the resignation of General Flynn.
Even more strange to observe how the Democrats strenuously pretending that lying to the public is the gravest crime, although James Clapper (James Clapper), the head of National intelligence under the Obama administration, caught in a lie not only to the public but also to Congress about the program of surveillance, which the courts have declared illegal. But despite the fact that lying to Congress is a serious crime, he remained at his post until the last day of the Obama presidency.
That and running the political power. Those who are in power always think leaks a monstrous crime, and those who are deprived of power, call them acts of generosity. But when their situation in Washington is changing, they quietly change direction.
While Democrats suddenly rediscovered the virtue of the unlawful disclosure of classified information supporting trump the Republicans insist that the most important thing now is to find the criminal whistleblowers. The host of Fox News channel Steve Dusi (Steve Doocey) and radio host Laura Ingraham (Laura Ingraham) demanded to explain to them why whistleblowers are not looking, and the Republicans in Congress promised to launch an investigation to find out their names. Today, trump said that “real history” lies not in the fact that his adviser on national security, lied to, and that someone leaked the information to expose him.
However, it’s just a cheap, cowardly games of Washington. People who have no beliefs, shamelessly changing his positions on the opposite in the fundamental policy issues on the basis of the fact whether it will help their leaders or harm. Those same Democrats, who only three months ago called illegal leak a mortal sin, now considered their heroic act of resistance.
However, apart from this low and sordid game, you can see that in this case, most importantly the principle, an illustration of which was this episode. Given the extraordinary secret powers that came from the authorities in connection with the war on terrorism, one of the few ways to learn about what makes government officials are illegal leaks. As noted by Trevor Timm (Trevor Timm), many leaks have already brought a lot of good in the three short weeks until trump is President.
Those who are at the helm, hate the leak because officials want to hide the evidence of their crimes and have the ability to lie to the public. That is why we all need to enjoy these illegal leaks and to protect those who dare to disclose classified information often to the detriment of their interests, so we were able to obtain information about those who have great power. This principle remains unchanged regardless of who is in the White house.