VERY interesting article about the legality of publishing classified information:
[quote]Over the past six months, we have witnessed the publication of several pieces of classified information that appear to be extraordinarily sensitive, and extremely important tactical components of our ongoing effort to protect American citizens and property from additional terrorist attacks: The New York Times revelation last December of the NSA program conducting surveillance on Al Qaeda communications into or out of the United States, which the Times itself characterized as our “most closely guarded secret”; the USA Today disclosure earlier this month that several telephone companies were turning over databases of information about numbers called–so-called pen registers; and the Washington Post’s story that some terrorists captured by U.S. forces were being held by the CIA in undisclosed locations in allied countries.
No one contests that in each instance, classified information was illegally provided to these media outlets and then subsequently published by them. And to my knowledge, no one seriously contends that the individuals who leaked the information are not subject to prosecution for violating the Espionage Act (or even subject to prosecution for treason if it could be proved that their intent in leaking the classified information was to undermine our war effort and thereby give aid and comfort to the enemy). Even those who would seek to bestow on the leaker the protected status of “whistle-blower” surely will acknowledge that the whistle-blower statute requires that the allegedly illegal activities be reported internally, through a certain specified administrative route, rather than shouted to the world from the front pages of our nation’s major newspapers.[/quote]
That poses interesting constitutional questions if we assume, as I shall do, that classified information was leaked and subsequently published, and that the leaker himself, should his identity become known, is subject to criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act, among other things, for that illegal disclosure.[/quote]
Read it all.