This was a historic burglary, to put it mildly. It was also the first time modern newspapers were faced with the ethical question of whether to publish news stories which had as their sole source stolen government documents that arrived anonymously in the mail.
Forty-three years ago this month, an obscure branch office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations located in a Philadelphia suburb was burgled. All their files were stolen (being 1971, these files were all on paper) and whisked away to a secret hideout, then they were sorted and sent to the media.
Given the recent history of clandestine government operations against American citizens like Martin Luther King, there's good reason to reason to be worried about the future of liberty in America.
Most of those making the case that Snowden should "return to the United States and face the music in a court of law" regularly offer up (as an example for how whistleblowers should act) the story of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. But a better parallel exists.
In fact, there is nothing to stop the U.S. government from censoring the media with regard to revelations such as those contained in the Snowden files -- nothing, that is, except longstanding tradition.
Cullen Hoback's film takes us down a rabbit hole to try and answer the question: Is privacy dead? In the process, he exposes us to a massive civil liberties nightmare.
We live in an America where dissidents of China (like Chen Guangcheng) get special visas from the U.S. State Department and special posts at universit...
When Ellsberg leaked state secrets from the McNamara Report to the press, he went into hiding in his Cambridge home. Two weeks later, he turned himself in. He did what Senator Dianne Feinstein ordered Snowden to do, "come back and face the music."
Cracked is one thing but, contrary to my first impressions, Snowden and Palin are smart, even cunning. Like a Fox. Who cares if you're cracked? There's a fortune to be made in fanatics.
The U.S. Senator who divulged the Pentagon Papers in Congress says Edward Snowden and other citizens with access to classified information should have the same immunity as members of Congress to make public secret documents exposing government wrongdoing.
Corporate textbook writers seem to work from the same list of must-include events and individuals. Thus, all the new U.S. history textbooks on my shelf mention the Pentagon Papers. But none grapples with the actual import of the Pentagon Papers.
The editors of the New York Times appear to have forgotten an important principle: The First Amendment is for all of us, and does not grant any special privileges to the institutional press.
The Justice Department's recent actions towards the media is so disturbing because it represents a step backward to a much uglier time, with fewer legal protections for the press. There is a very fine line between targeting leaking and targeting the media who print the leaks.
While brave men and women such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman are lauded as American heroes today, they were once considered enemies of the state.
What is protected in the First Amendment is not the right of commercial enterprises to exploit the news for profit, but rather of citizens to become informed. That requires the courage of heroic sources, including Bradley Manning.
"It's true that the Hollywood community was (and is) sort of genially Democratic, but in the early '70s, their political activism had not yet been organized into effective fund raising."