Do The New York Times leaks equal treason?
Back in the mid-’60s I spent two years on active duty in the U.S. Army, followed by a few years in the Reserve.
One thing I learned, if memory serves me right, was the difference between classes of information and the security clearance level required to be involved with, read about, or discuss information. Information was usually referred to as either “unclassified” or “classified.”
Unclassified was not a big deal relative to discussions with others. Classified information, on the other hand, was limited as to whom you could share the information with.
Classified information usually required one of three levels of security clearance: need to know, secret or top secret.
The discussion or sharing of top secret information with others who had no “need to know” or did not have the required level of security clearance would be dealt with severely by possible court-martial, dishonorable discharge, and/or imprisonment.
The sharing of top secret information with anyone not cleared to do so, foreign or domestic, especially if it were those considered the enemy, would of course be considered treason.
While serving in the military, I was aware of Department of the Army civilians and other government employees who were required to adhere to the same security clearance restrictions and would be treated accordingly if violations occurred.
It is my opinion that those government officials who leaked classified, and undoubtedly, top secret information to The New York Times recently may have participated in a treasonous act.
Those who saw fit to print this information in The New York Times, who probably did this to make President Barack Obama appear stronger because of the upcoming election, also may have committed treason.
Freedom of the press does not give license to dispense information to the general public that could put the United States and/or its allies at risk, especially in this day and age.
Whatever happened to integrity and responsibility, two words that seem to have lost their meaning to our national media, whether printed or over the airwaves?
Therefore, ALL those involved, no matter how high up the ladder in our government or at The New York Times, who either authorized or participated in the dissemination of leaked information should be dealt with accordingly, especially if treasonous.
William H. “Bill” Lee II
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