Lieberman: New York Times may be investigated for espionage

lieberman_retuers.jpg Sen. Joe Lieberman has called for The New York Times to be investigated for espionage. The NYT was first among U.S. media to publish details of embarrassing diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks, allegedly by U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. According to The Guardian:
5.15pm: Ramping up his rhetoric on Fox News just now, Senator Joe Lieberman, the head of the Senate's homeland security committee, suggests that the New York Times and other news organisations using the WikiLeaks cables may also be investigated for breaking the US's espionage laws. Lieberman told Fox News: "To me the New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime is a matter of discussion for the justice department."
The NYT's Bill Keller sought the administration's approval for publishing the leaks beforehand. Is it editorial to suggest that it would seek to enjoy the control he offered it? Or that he signaled a position of weakness and dependency implicitly vulnerable to Joementum?
Photo: © Hyungwon Kang / Reuters

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  1. “Senator Joe Lieberman, the head of the Senate’s homeland security committee”

    This right here needs to be ended.

      1. “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

        And Joe Lieberman is a sleazy embarrassment to every DNA-based entity on the planet.

        1. And Joe Lieberman is a sleazy embarrassment to every DNA-based entity on the planet.

          Watch your tongue; maybe the sleazy embarrassment will turn his attention towards you “radicals” at boingboing?

          [I’m only half-kidding – and I do think boingboing would kick his ass in federal court]

    1. thank you for the best Joe Leiberman joke ever. From now on, I’m just going to imagine that he is Droopy Dog. Perhaps then I won’t get quite so incensed every time he opens his mouth!

  2. This same nonsense occurred – albeit with a different ball and players – over the Pentagon Papers. It will amount to nothing, and Lieberman knows it, he’s just trying to regain some personal relevancy in a world where neither side really likes him much.

    Pa. Thetic.

    1. The only thing that concerns me here, versus The Pentagon Papers, is that they didn’t have the Patriot Act to contend with back then. I fear that they’ll find some un-Constitutional nonsense there to actually back this up.

    1. Lieberman is on his way out. He has too much history calling himself a Democrat for the Republicans to back him, he has too much history backing the Republicans for the Democrats to back him, and he wouldn’t get enough support as an independent.

      I’d like to apologize on behalf of my state and ask the rest of you Boingers to please be patient. We’re already taking bids for the contract to clean his ass prints off the door.

      1. But don’t you see? If you vote him out, he’ll just jump ship to another party! Won’t elect me as the Democratic candidate? I’m an Independent, bitches! You caught on to that? Well, now the Rent’s Too High!

        Whatever people stand for in a particular nanosecond, he will swear yes to. That’s why he’s so hard to stamp out. Hopefully he’s finally backstabbed enough people that it’ll be time for him to go.

      2. Sadly, that has already happened. The dems kicked him out of the party I believe for being a hold out in support of bush policies, then ran a candidate against him in his district. Joe whose name I guess everyone was all too familiar with still won the election vs the dems newcomer whom conneticut voters didn’t care enough to switch to. As for republicans hating him nah he’s pretty much been a double agent for them. I’m betting Joe really was a dem for a while till they told him no over something and he’s been acting like a spoiled brat ever since.

        1. The dems kicked him out of the party I believe for being a hold out in support of bush policies, then ran a candidate against him in his district.

          That’s not completely accurate. Lieberman had a primary challenger and lost, despite national Dems endorsing him (Obama, for example). He then formed “Lieberman for Connecticut”* and ran as an ‘independent Democrat’ with the same national Dems at least giving him their tacit endorsement. So local Dems ‘kicked him out’, the national party didn’t.

          *Bonus Fun Fact: Connecticut opponents registered “Lieberman for Connecticut” as a party when he let it lapse, so because of Connecticut laws his ‘party’ name can’t include his own name.

  3. I think the description of these is right: embarrassing. Nothing more. This is a major over- reaction on Joe’s part. That and I don’t think he really grasps concepts like the media being called “The Fifth Estate” and such. It means that if the media is doing it’s job this sort of thing shows up all the time.

  4. Just like Robert Novak and the Washington Post were prosecuted when they leaked that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Oh no, wait a minute…

    1. I like how you guys chose the photo in which he looks most like Senator Palpatine

      Do you have a recent one where he doesn’t?

  5. Senator Lieberman, if you do not understand the document you swore an oath to protect, then you have no business being a Senator.

  6. Is Joe Lieberman the new Joe Mccartney?

    Anyways, I just want to congratulate Julian for his first soon to be killed person due to the leaks:

    “Liaoning Party Secretary Li Keqiang, identified as a potential “fifth generation” leader and possible successor to President Hu Jintao, joined the Ambassador for dinner at his residence on March 12…Describing some of the challenges he faces as Party Secretary, Li related that despite brisk economic growth of SIPDIS 12.8 percent in 2006, Liaoning’s income gaps remain severe…[These] GDP figures are “man-made” and therefore unreliable, Li said.”

    http://46.59.1.2/cable/2007/03/07BEIJING1760.html

    Recursive conspiracy: What has Wikileaks redacted?
    http://www.privetbank.com.ua/cablegate/index.html

  7. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the recent leaks.

    But this? It has bad idea written all over it.

    Then again, the Department of Homeland Security has enlisted WalMart in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign…

    The Orwellian state is developing quite well.

  8. Liebrman said he wants to change Assange with treason.

    He’s not a US citizen! How can you charge him with treason?

  9. Lieberman told Fox News: “To me the New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime is a matter of discussion for the justice department.”

    Now he remembers the justice department exists!

  10. I think Senator Lieberman needs to be investigated and possibly censured for potentially violating his oath of office to uphold the Constitution, specifically the 1st Amendment.

  11. Anybody got a spare copy of the Constitution they want to send to Sen. Lieberman to read. Perhaps you could get out a yellow highlighter and emphasize the First Amendment. Especially the part where it talks about the government not infringing upon the freedom of the press.

    It might make for some interesting reading.

  12. Has America gone insane?! Is there any part of the Bill of Rights that isn’t under constant attack by the lunatics in charge?

  13. It gets Lieberman media play, but as far as actually moving towards accomplishing the goal of stopping these sorts of leaks in the future, it’s a terrible move.

    You’ve got a controversial organization that’s presented some leaks of unprecedented size, in a somewhat novel way (the internet). This becomes a lever to, for example, outlaw wikileaks, give the government the ability to censor websites, whatever.

    But instead you lump the New York Times into the same category as them. NYT, based out of physical presses, meets about the strictest possible definition of “the presses” as you can come up with. I don’t doubt lots of people could be convinced Wikileaks did/should have committed a crime, but disagree with the assessment the NYT could have.

    By linking the actions of Wikileaks and the Times, Lieberman is just watering down the government’s ability to abuse this to their own ends, rather than turning it into a lever against the Times as I imagine he had hoped to do. Sometimes it’s only ineptitude that keeps our rights alive :)

  14. “BoingBoing is investigated for espionage for reporting on the New York Times being investigated for espionage for reporting on Wikileaks.”

  15. “What do you think of the justice department’s action so far, not to charge Julian Assange with treason?” That’s the kind of blind-to-reality question that I’ve come to expect from Fox News. Lieberman of course does what every good politician does: ignore the question and reply with the message.

  16. Lieberwocky needs a short refresher in rationality. He’s projecting again because people seem to ignore him more during a “christian” holiday so cluster-fox turns to droopy to fill up the time they can’t pay anyone else to take…They’re all gone…

    Lieberwocky is NOT a rational man… He may be one of the new candidates for self-induced electro-shock therapy for the holiday season…

  17. We don’t need freedom of the press. Fox is safe though as long as they suck at the right-wing teet.

    Time for Lieberman to be tossed in the trash.

  18. It’s been bad enough with journalism reviled and even endangered in recent times; now it’s actually considered treason?

    4th estate, we hardly knew ye.

  19. “What do you think of the justice department’s action so far, not to charge Julian Assange with treason?”

    I love when people grasp at straws to vilify wikileaks. It’s not treason because he’s not American. He’s an Australian citizen, so maybe if he released leaks about Australia he could be considered a traitor.

    The other big one is accusing him of copyright infringement.. Saying he doesn’t own the copyrights to the cables, so let’s arrest him for that. Well, you see, the US government cannot hold a copyright, all of the things it makes are in the public domain.

  20. Dumb bimbo on Fox:
    “What do you think of the Justice Department’s action so far not to charge Julian Assange with treason?”

    Lieberman:
    “I don’t understand why that hasn’t happened yet.”

    US constitution:
    “Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    Not mentioning the obvious fact that you can’t commit treason against a country you aren’t a citizen of.

    I wish I could say I expected people who have taken a solemn oath to defend the US constitution to have read the document in question, but I guess that’s too much to ask for in this post 9/11 era we live in.

    1. “Dumb bimbo on Fox:
      “What do you think of the Justice Department’s action so far not to charge Julian Assange with treason?”

      Lieberman:
      “I don’t understand why that hasn’t happened yet.”

      US constitution:
      “Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

      Not mentioning the obvious fact that you can’t commit treason against a country you aren’t a citizen of.

      I wish I could say I expected people who have taken a solemn oath to defend the US constitution to have read the document in question, but I guess that’s too much to ask for in this post 9/11 era we live in.”

      Sorry… didn’t want to steal, just wanted it repeated.

      Thanks Space Monkey

  21. There’s a message to this madness: “Media organizations of America: the U.S. government is now laying the groundwork to treat you as terrorists.”

    I don’t think the NYT will cave, but what happens with a smaller, less well-heeled organization if they get leaked information from (for instance) a whistle-blower, publish it, and get charged with espionage or treason?

    Is this an attempt to get the news agencies to act as censors for the government?

  22. Wow, there were a bunch of American citizens who were let go to Russia who were conducting espionage in the classic sense. Yet mr Assange who is not even an American is going to be charged with this? If it does happen, why doesn’t the US put arrest warrants on all members of foreign intelligence agencies who are doing far more damage to US ‘national security’.

    Folks you have to read as many of these posts as you can. I can tell from your posts here on Boing Boing that very few people are reading these emails. Actually, I don’t think Assange has read them. They’re not what he says they are. What they are is a telling insight into the fact that your government is peoples my schmucks just like any one else. And that 80 bil a year we spend on intel? Well the State Dept is not using it.

    The real secret of this leak is that Government workers are schmoes, operating blind like everyone else. They are not an educated elite. The other secret is after spending almost 1 trillion in intelligence ops we have next to nothing to show for it as reflected in our diplomacy.

    That’s the real secret. If you don’t believe me, go read the cables yourself.

  23. why all the sudden Joementum?

    It’s not like the guy has taken 2+ million dollars from bankers, banks, and investment houses in the last 5 years, and it’s not as if the next leak hits banks.

    Why else attack the old gray lady that carries your water?

  24. “The NYT’s Bill Keller sought the administration’s approval for publishing the leaks beforehand.” So this is how our press operates and informs us about our government by seeking the approval of said government first before even running a story?

  25. During the George W. years Joe Lieberman was almost my sole consolation — “Well, at least that creepy little turd Lieberman isn’t Vice President”, I’d say to myself. Yes, no doubt Cheney was actually worse than Lieberman would have been in the same circumstances but I’m sure there would have been plenty of Joe moments had Al Gore done more than merely win the popular vote.

    My other consolation was that Tipper Gore wasn’t First Lady in Charge of Censorship and Repression. But other than those two things 2000-2008 was an unmitigated disaster.

  26. Ay, fight and you may die, run and you’ll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.

  27. Lieberman is a sanctimonious moron.

    The less attention you give to him the better.

    That’s all he wants so take his oxygen away.

  28. “To me the New York Times has committed COMMITTED AT LEAST AN ACT OF BAD CITIZENSHIP, but whether they have committed a crime is a matter of discussion for the justice department.”

    This Orwellian statement sounds like something you would expect to hear coming from the likes of the Hitler or Stalin regimes.

    Since WHEN does such a crime exist in the US that one not be a “good citizen”? Has he ever heard of the Bill of Rights. (I think there is something in there about freedom of the press and not just for “good citizen”)

    How DARE a politician of his position make such statements.

    I am so glad I moved to Europe. The US has become a police state and most Americans are too dumb to see it.

  29. Is there an alternative to Visa, Mastercard and Paypal?

    Sure I can avoid and boycott Amazon (and yes I have booked a full week off to schlep around shops just so I do not use Amazon this year) and I do not use EveryDNS and I will make sure my company never uses PostFinance, but I am stuck with Visa, Mastercard and Paypal. Normally I would turn to Amex, but while they have not been implicated, I feel they would do the same.

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