As the video below demonstrates, Marc Thiessen’s column in today’s Washington Post — advancing a legal theory for how the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald (and even his own paper) could face Federal prosecution for daring to speak of NSA’s data mining operation — is not the first time he has publicly embarrassed himself.
Needless to say, Thiessen – a former member of the Bush Administration and other anti-civil liberties groups – has not yet called for the prosecution of the Director of National Intelligence and known perjurer, James Clapper.
To demonstrate how extreme and fringe and antithetical Thiessen’s views are when compared to First Amendment Doctrine, I used my own software to conduct a national search of the six millionish Federal and state judicial opinions. The following query…
“18 USC § 798” and “first amendment” and journalist
…retrieves one — and only one — criminal case: United States v. Rosen, 445 F.Supp.2d 602 (E.D. Va. 2006). The defendants in that litigation are lobbyists; not journalists. The defendants in that litigation are accused of transmitting information to persons within government who were not entitled to receive it.
In stark contrast, the First Amendment authorizes Greenwald to receive, write and report on the information Snowden disclosed. Moreover, when we wrote the First Amendment, we expressly reserved the right to receive such information when we stated:
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press.
On Monday, March 4, 1793, President Washington expressly characterized such statements as “injunctions.”
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.
Citizens — be they your so-called “representative” or your fellow journalist — who tacitly call for the revocation of the First Amendment, while simultaneously ignoring bald acts of official criminality, are worse than disingenuous: they are violently unserious.