The Criminal Code contains numerous provisions potentially relevant to these cases. Section 797 [n5] makes it a crime to publish certain photographs or drawings of military installations. Section 798, [n6] also in precise language, proscribes knowing and willful publication of any classified information concerning the cryptographic systems [p736] or communication intelligence activities of the United States, as well as any information obtained from communication intelligence operations. [n7] If any of the material here at issue is of this nature, the newspapers are presumably now on full notice of the position of the United States, and must face the consequences if they [p737] publish. I would have no difficulty in sustaining convictions under these sections on facts that would not justify the intervention of equity and the imposition of a prior restraint.
White, concurring in NYT versus USA (Pentagon Papers). That is, prior restraint (censorship) is very difficult to justify, but criminal sanctions for publishing secret information - no problem. White continues
I am not, of course, saying that either of these newspapers has yet committed a crime, or that either would commit a crime if it published all the material now in its possession. That matter must await resolution in the context of a criminal proceeding if one is instituted by the United States. In that event, the issue of guilt or innocence would be determined by procedures and standards quite different from those that have purported to govern these injunctive proceedings.
But what about the great civil libertarian Douglas?
As we stated only the other day in Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415, 419, “[a]ny prior restraint on expression comes to this Court with a “heavy presumption” against its constitutional validity.”
The Government says that it has inherent powers to go into court and obtain an injunction to protect the national interest, which, in this case, is alleged to be national security.
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, repudiated that expansive doctrine in no uncertain terms.
Again, the government should not be able to censor - to exercise prior restraint. Douglas goes on to consider the information being published:
The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of governmental suppression [p724] of embarrassing information. It is common knowledge that the First Amendment was adopted against the widespread use of the common law of seditious libel to punish the dissemination of material that is embarrassing to the powers-that-be. See T. Emerson, The System of Freedom of Expression, c. V (1970); Z. Chafee, Free Speech in the United States, c. XIII (1941). The present cases will, I think, go down in history as the most dramatic illustration of that principle. A debate of large proportions goes on in the Nation over our posture in Vietnam. That debate antedated the disclosure of the contents of the present documents. The latter are highly relevant to the debate in progress.
So are the details of US intelligence in North Korea “highly relevant to the debate in progress” ? And Douglas notes:
We start, then, with a case where there already is rather wide distribution of the material that is destined for publicity, not secrecy. I have gone over the material listed in the in camera brief of the United States. It is all history, not future events. None of it is more recent than 1968.
So the value of the information in a public debate and the actual level of secrecy of the information is important! Who knew? And what about the greatest Supreme Court Judge of all time, Thurgood Marshall?
If the Government had attempted to show that there was no effective remedy under traditional criminal law, it would have had to show that there is no arguably applicable statute. Of course, at this stage, this Court could not and cannot determine whether there has been a violation of a particular statute or decide the constitutionality of any statute. Whether a good faith prosecution could have been instituted under any statute could, however, be determined. [p745]
At least one of the many statutes in this area seems relevant to these cases. Congress has provided in 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) that whoever,
having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book … or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits … the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it … [s]hall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Congress has also made it a crime to conspire to commit any of the offenses listed in 18 U.S.C. § 793(e).
Thurgood Marshall rejects the government demand for an injunction and tells the government to use the laws on the books for a criminal prosecution if it thinks it has a case. And this is exactly what Holder’s DOJ has done.
First published in 2011. Ron Bloom is no longer with the White House, but …
Previously published on The People’s View. If you read the Wall Street Journal or right wing blogs, you know who Ron Bloom is. He is special advisor to Tim Geithner and White House director of manufacturing policy. He’s a former official at the United Steel Workers Union who helped manage the auto rescue.
Mr. Bloom attended Harvard Business School, where he gravitated to populist business cases and was keenly interested in employee buyouts. After 10 years at investment banks, among them Lazard, he became special assistant to the USW president in 1996. Both inside and outside the USW, Mr. Bloom is known as a financially savvy negotiator — with a tendency to spout profanities WSJ
Right wing blogsare more straightforward
Is there really any doubt that Obama and his administration are a pack of radical Leftists?
Look for Bloom on Youtube and you’ll see - they really really hate him. Here’s what got our right wing compatriot’s underwear in a twist. Speaking as a union official at “ 6th Annual Distressed Investing Forum” Bloom said:
Generally speaking, we get the joke. We know that the free market is nonsense. We know that the whole point is to game the system, to beat the market or at least find someone who will pay you a lot of money, ‘cause they’re convinced that there is a free lunch. We know this is largely about power, that it’s an adults only no limit game. We kind of agree with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun. And we get it that if you want a friend you should get a dog.
Absolutely nothing that Bloom said is even controversial on Wall Street, but according to American Right Wing Propagandists, working people are supposed to naively believe in the stories told to them by the economists. They are not supposed to have learned how the private equity market works and how to play hardball. Democrats are supposed to act like the “progressives” who, when the Republicans attempted to fire Bloom through a legislative rider, lamented and bewailed President Obama’s lack of respect for Congressional oversight (he basically told them to take a hike) without worrying about why the Wall Street employees who manage the GOP caucus wanted so much to get rid of Bloom. Because liberals and progressives are supposed to worry about process and “drawing lines in the sand” and whether the administration read their memos on proper “framing” and all of that bullshit. They are not supposed to engage in the kind of bare knuckle defense of working people and American industry that Bloom used to make the GM and Chrysler bondholders actually pay a price for their reckless investment so that the Union pension fund and the productive companies could survive.
That’s part of why Ron Bloom is invisible to the good “progressive” media and blogs. Of course, the other part is that manufacturing is considered obsolete by the Robert Reich “progressives”.
Mr. Bloom, speaking more forcefully than others in the administration, challenges the idea that research and development can be pursued entirely separate from production. In his view, Americans cannot excel at high-end innovation while factory production continues to decline or to slip overseas. “I am deeply afraid that if you lose the ability to make things,” he said, “all the intellectual activity involved in innovation and design will over time erode as well.” NYT
For contrast, here’s true Progressive Robert Reich.
We should stop pining after the days when millions of Americans stood along assembly lines and continuously bolted, fit, soldered or clamped what went by. Those days are over.
That’s the way progressives are supposed to think, by golly. Throw in some airy Harvard speculation about the “service economy” and the rule of effin-law, collect some speaking fees, and we can sing Solidarity Forever all the way to the bank. Meanwhile:
U.S. manufacturing, viewed as a lost cause by many Americans, has begun creating more jobs than it eliminates for the first time in more than a decade.
As the economy recovered and big companies began upgrading old factories or building new ones, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. last year grew 1.2%, or 136,000, the first increase since 1997, government data show. That total will grow again this year, according to economists at IHS Global Insight and Moody’s Analytics.WSJ
Thanks to the Japan earthquake and nuclear crisis, US auto production dropped in April marking a bump after 10 months of manufacturing increases - first time since 1996.
Manufacturing production in April decreased by 0.4%, after rising 0.6% in March and 0.2% during February. “Total motor vehicle assemblies dropped from an annual rate of 9.0 million units in March to 7.9 million units in April, mainly because of parts shortages that resulted from the earthquake in Japan,” the Fed said.
Excluding cars and parts, factory production rose 0.2% in April. Year over year, industrial production was up 5.0% from April 2010.
In addition to declines in auto output, the Fed said “significant losses in output” were also reported in several other industries, including: primary metals, electrical equipment and furniture.Other industries saw gains in production, including: nonmetallic mineral products, fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, and aerospace WSJ
Aerospace increased partially because the Obama administration ignored the Senator from the Confederacy Dick Shelby and awarded a $35billion contract to Boeing instead of the European EADS. And, of course they had to defy both Senator Shelby and Robert Reich to rescue the auto companies earlier. Fabricated metal products and machinery are key industries that have been in freefall in the US particularly since the 1990s when NAFTA passed. None of this is magic. It comes through gritty work on things like getting the Export-Import bank to increase small and medium size business financing finance wind turbine exports instead of paying for semiconductor factories in Singapore (actually Ex-im has always been key for US exports of machinery, but if you look at the difference between 2007/2008 and 2009/2010/2011 you will see more small business and more green technology and more machinery). The administration has also directly invested in new manufacturing via the Department of Energy and even pushed to hold the value of the dollar down (which encourages exports and domestic substitution). Decisions on where investment money goes are key economic decisions, but they are rarely discussed in political debate. The right wants to pretend that investment decisions should be made in a “free market” as if public investment and government regulation were not critical to any market. As a simple example, think about how valuable GPS is to the world economy and how many products and systems depend on it - a free service provided by the US government. And the “left”, at least the “progressive left” seems to think that economics is about punishing bankers and mourning the New Deal and macho posturing. So Dean Baker, who has not yet mentioned the Obama administrations attempt to keep Boeing from destroying its own skilled labor force, or the Obama administration’s industrial policy at all complains that they are having to move carefully in trying to hold currency values down. Here’s Bloom speaking to private equity investorsabout creditor claims and bankruptcy proceedings (when he was with the USW)
Thus every day, when the market closes, all financial stakeholders have affirmatively chosen – that day – to purchase their position at whatever price the market set for it – either because they actually did so or because they choose not to sell. Now compare this to a worker’s deferred wage claims. Those already retired are the ultimate hostage lenders, with essentially no rights. They worked a lifetime and deferred a significant amount of current compensation in exchange for the company’s promise that, upon their retirement, they would be paid a fixed stream of cash and provided with help with their medical bills. Then, without their knowledge or consent, the company choose to not set aside enough money to honor that promise. In effect, the company borrowed money from them without even discussing the terms of the loan. Further, if the retiree thinks that the company is not being prudent, he or she has no ability to take the company’s promise, convert it to its present value and sell it to someone who would like to own it. So what we have is a bunch of old men and widows being forced to lend the company, for whom they worked a lifetime, some portion of the value of their pension and their health care. This loan is made on terms on which they have no input and they have no ability to liquidate their position. I am guessing that not too many of you would advise your clients to do that deal. Later the company decides that it is insolvent and announces that these “creditors” ought to compromise their claim so that more value can be provided to a bunch of hedge funds who bought their claims at ten cents on the dollar and have owned them for all of ten minutes before loudly proclaiming their inviolate right to be paid back at par plus accrued. Yea, we are just the same.
Some people are working every day on concrete issues of jobs, wealth, power and justice. And some people are discussing Osama bin Ladin’s civil rights or who is “deracinated”. I often disagree with the Obama administration on policies — but they are serious moral and political workers. You may not come to the same conclusions as them, but if you want to hear someone who has thought about economics and justice and how the world works, you could do worse than watch this and make sure you listen to the question/answer session.
The press and Republicans kept the 2000 Presidential election close enough for the Supreme Court to steal it for George W. Bush thanks a great deal to Bill Clinton’s abdication under fire. The Justice Department stopped trying to enforce the voting rights act - facilitating Florida and other states gross vote theft operations. The FBI was basically handed over to the Republicans and spent 2 years devoting enormous resources to investigating Clinton, his allies, and many Democratic politicians on trivial issues - remember the destruction of Henry Cisneros? And from every government agency, there was a flood of inappropriate leaks of information that was or could be made to seem embarrassing for the Administration from empowered GOP sympathizing bureaucrats secure in their untouchable status.
Ken Starr commanded vast resources from the executive branch to ferret out and publicize any rumor he could find about Clinton’s sex life. (And so the FBI did not have the resources to look at Saudis who were studying how to fly planes, but not land them. ) Grand Jury secrecy, supposedly one of the cornerstones of rule of law, was openly violated thanks to the complicity of the press. And when the press was not assisting Starr’s “elves” to violate Grand Jury secrecy, they were assisting in 24-7 hysteria about Clinton’s penis. That was a great moment when, at a joint Press Conference with the French President in Paris, the US press didn’t even pretend to want to know anything about US relations with France or national security issues or trade - just about semen stains on the blue dress. Income inequality, tax fairness, the already visible problems of bank deregulation, racial discrimination, jobs, environment - the Press was bored with all that when they could run with low grade smarm all day. What a glorious moment for the First Amendment.
The press creation of fake scandals intimidated Clinton and Janet Reno so much that they gave up trying to run the Department of Justice (and FBI). They scared Gore out of running on the Clinton Administration’s successful and popular record. And then they pushed their “serial liar” smear of Gore while covering up Bush’s extremism and racist dog-whistle campaign. Now Bill Keller the former NY Times editor wants to go back to the glory years of Ken Starr when the NY Times went day after day inventing scandals to benefit the GOP.
And now we are being told to support the AP’s sabotage of a US espionage operation directed at AQAP bomb makers? Or even more ridiculous: to support Fox “News” effort to sabotage US foreign policy in Korea and embarrass the Administration. When there is not a scintilla of evidence that there was any government wrongdoing exposed? And to line up with the Press in their defense of their right to violate any law in an effort to damage a Democratic Administration while treating the GOP with fear and an embarrassing servility?