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Do you believe that the owner of Wikileaks should face some legal repercussions for posting the Afghan War documents?

Yes. He has potentially put both U.S. and Afghan troops in danger.
77% (1279 votes)
Yes. These documents have no business being in the public domain.
11% (183 votes)
No. Under Supreme Court precedent, the publisher of classified documents is protected from criminal responsibility.
6% (107 votes)
No. He’s not a U.S. citizen and owes nothing to the U.S. war effort.
6% (92 votes)
Total votes: 1661

 

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ronkriel

August 5, 2010 - 4:33pm

Let's start with what I do know. The person and agency responsible for protecting the classified documents should be punished for derelection of duty and probably a host of other serious and lesser included offenses. Just where were these 90K+ documents, anyway. This is probably as far as we can go.

As far as the Wikileaks website owner, I do not know if he or she is an American or a foreign national. If an American, perhaps there might be some prescribed sanctions, but I do not recall folks like the New York Times ever being punished for printing leaked classified information. My guess is, that since the repeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts, the First Ammendment protections would prevail.

I don't recall Revel toy makers being punished for putting out a model of the SRB-71 before it was ever publically acknowledged by DOD, or whoever it was in the comics that revealed the existence of the US Navy Seals when they were still top secret.

Ron Kriel, CAPT USN (Ret.)

Cliff Bennett

August 5, 2010 - 4:43pm

While I fall just over the line in supporting Wikileaks' right to publish anything they obtain, I think they could have been more careful about exposing intelligence sources to danger. I hope they learned a lesson and will review material more carefully in the future.

That said, the person who provided the material should be court-martialed.

In a free society, the people ultimately decide whether to support politicians or policies. So they should have as much information as possible. However, that doesn't mean second-guessing soldiers on the ground in wartime.

It also doesn't mean that citizen soldiers can simply decide to reverse decisions of their superiors.

Soldiers should have no politics, and those entrusted with classified information cannot simply decide to release it. That is why there is a background investigation on those given higher clearances.

We live in a world of information overload, so we should be glad to leave something to the historians.

dickusaf53

August 5, 2010 - 5:41pm

WE have fought for more than 230 years for freedom...Wikileaks comes with the territory...If we start taking away freedom of speech and,or,freedom of the press,where will it end...

Richard Peterson

August 5, 2010 - 5:46pm

NO he has no allegiance the U.S.A. he did provide the method for an American to jeopardize the security of our American military forces and he should face maximum punishment for his actions. He should be banished from the U.S.A. and lose all rights of and American and never allowed back into the country. Should he return o0r attempt to return should be Killed on sight.

bbz3qmt

August 5, 2010 - 7:05pm

Gee, did Daniel Ellsburg catch crap for leaking the Pentagon Papers? Of course he did, but in the end, the Pentagon Papers were instrumental in ending the Vietnam War. I know that was 40 years ago, but it feels like yesterday. Or a Yogi Berra would say, feels like deja vu all over again.

The fact that we are in an unlawful, unwinable war is justification enough for whomever leaked the papers. The additional fact that these supposedly secret documents were not secure should tell everyone a great deal about the total lack of security within the Armed Forces. Let's keep leaking and maybe finally someone will say enough killing and bring all of our troops home. We do not need to be the UGLY AMERICAN any longer.

ohio ogre

August 5, 2010 - 9:54pm

Like Robert Novak this group revealed the identities of US intelligence assets, thereby giving aid and comfort to our enemies. Unlike Novak the owner of Wikileaks is not a US citizen so is not subject to our laws.

Novak and the others involved should have faced a jury for their treason. Any US citizens involved in this Wikileaks dump should likewise face a jury. Unfortunately I am not aware of any "legal repercussions" (lawsuits) we could use against non-citizens such as this owner.

DrPippin

August 6, 2010 - 7:08pm

Yes we have been living in a free society for over 230 year (more or less free anyway). The freedom of speech is something that very few nations have. Our nation has that right and many of its citizens believe that this "right" is with no strings attached. Not so. With all great things comes great responsibility. To stand up in a movie theater and yell fire, creating anarchy, and having people die as a result is not only wrong but also illegal. This is not becuase the person used the freedom of speech, but it was the way that this freedom was used. The release of classified information that could lead to the deaths of possibly hundreds of our brothers and sisters would classified as treason.

Sooners61

August 10, 2010 - 12:37am

Yea what he said!!

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