Saturday, May 29, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"Sixteen inch Typeface"

Belmont Club » Sixteen inch Typeface

The problem with treason charges is knowing just what people are or think they are supposed to be loyal to. In an old fashioned monarchy it was easy, your loyalty was to the person of the King. In America it is also supposed to be easy, your loyalty is to the Constitution. What exactly that means however gives ample scope to persons who devote their energies into parsing the interstices between competing claims on loyalty.

To Justice Brennan the Constitution meant the preservation of a claim to Privacy as a right, even though it is found only in his perception of the penumbra of the document. In fact the devotion to the protection of this right, that is now passionately believed in by millions, including many who have no support for or even awareness that it was linked to the abortion decision, is such that they will cling to it even at the point of defying and challenging other clearly constitutional government functions. For example people refuse to cooperate with the Census stating that it violates their privacy without regard to the fact that the Census is found in both the Federal Code and the Constitution while their right to privacy is found in neither.

To certain prominent citizens of South Carolina and others 150 years ago their loyalty to the Constitution was based upon the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and the preservation of the 3/5ths compromise. To do so they were willing to suborn the violation of numerous other clauses and the doctrines underpinning the Declaration, that keel and the deck of the ship upon which the Constitution rests.

To the NYT the idea behind the Constitution is that it enshrines the freedom of The Times, and only those approved of by The Times, to special protection that exempts them from any consequence for an act of theft, slander, sedition, blackmail or espionage that suits their partisan or commercial interests. Leave aside whether the Pentagon Papers case was wrongly decided, it only stated that there could not be prior restraint on publication. It did not say that publication that results in identifiable harm would be protected from subsequent prosecution.

Their are 3 basic categories of classified information, leaving aside the many codes for special programs and restricting access only to subjects where there is "a need to know." Each level of classification is identified by the risk associated with unauthorized disclosure.

Confidential: unauthorized disclosure could result in some identifiable risk of harm to the United States. For example a Ship's "Plan of the Day" or a unit personnel list could aid an enemy in keeping track of movements and judging activity and alert levels. Routine Signals, as used with flags or Morse Code that remain constant over time are also Confidential. Any citizen should normally be able to gain access to Confidential information used in their job after a basic level of background check to verify identity and determine that there is no felony record or any active warrants. Compromise of Confidential information may most likely cause the United States unnecessary expense, possible inconvenience and trouble or diplomatic effort and may assist an enemy in maintaining their picture of our general capabilities.

Secret: unauthorized disclosure would likely result in specific and identifiable harm to the United States. Ship's Movement Orders, Intelligence Summaries and Technical Publications for weapons, electronic communications and sensor systems are among many items at this level. Access is based on a thorough background investigation, more than was required 30 years ago. Compromise of Secret information could cost lives by revealing our capabilities and general intentions thus giving the enemy an advantage in battle.

Top Secret: unauthorized disclosure will result in grave harm to the United States. Information that reveals time sensitive codes and the sources and methods used to collect intelligence as well as specific operational plans regarding strategic and national assets are included at this level. When Top Secret information is disclosed people die and sometimes wars are lost.

Blood is on Pinch Sulzberger's hands. He has descended beyond a parody of political hackery to pushing farago of social and sexual infantilism under the direction of Frank Rich, while shamelessly trading the paper's legacy to advance the interests of Slim of Mexico and Ratner of Real Estate. Pinch is one case where the wiki has been scrubbed.

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