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    the vital centre..., 2005-10-24 16:46:16 | Main | the hearts of men..., 2005-10-25 11:15:20

    meanwhile in the other alternate universe:

    there's the West Wing storyline in which White House Communications Directory Toby Ziegler anonymously leaks classified military secrets to the New York Times concerning a secret military shuttle program in the midst of a crisis: astronauts on the International Space Station are going to die for lack of rescue except by a top secret US military shuttle program that the Whitehouse doesn't want to go public with. Ziegler discloses the shuttle program and forces the Whitehouse to save said astronauts. This mild affair blows up into a leak scandal over concerns that details about a US effort to militarize space might set off a new weapons race with a bunch of nations that, for lack of individual resources, pooled them into an international space program.

    A lot of people seem to think that this runs parallel to "Plamegate", but Zeigler violated not the particularly blurry and untested Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 that is the basis for Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity but an article of the the Espionage Act, and as such runs parallel to the United States v. Larry Franklin, except that Toby leaked it with intent to the American press for the American public and Franklin appears from here to have been intent and purposeful in devulging state secrets to a foreign power: one of them has at least a shred of credibility in a whistleblower defense.

    So far as that goes I've got rows of books on the shelf that are based off leaks of classified information that technically violate said act. The courts, as in the case of the Pentagon Papers, have had to judge whether the leaks damaged the national security of the United States. The US position on the weaponization of space is openly, on the record, opposed to any restrictions on it [e.g.], so at least in this reality it's a sort of open secret as is. They overplay the disclosure.

    Predictions: Toby Ziegler gets off, after much predictable drama, from any prosecution under the espionage act. In both other cases the suspects are niether commies or being prosecuted for disclosing secrets to commies, so I'm going to hazard that, should there be any convictions, they will go the way of those convicted in Iran-Contra and recieve fairly immediate pardons before serving in the next Republican Whitehouse. The stunning devotion of those authoring piece after piece of speculative fiction on the Fitzgerald investigation will amount to nothing more than a massive waste of time and effort, while the Democratic opposition will gain absolutely nothing of political value from any of it because they have no passing game.

    update: correction, all of a sudden, a passing game.


:: posted by buermann @ 2005-10-24 22:48:47 CST | link





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