Does Obama Believe Wikileaks Treason Is a 1st Amendment Issue?

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Pretty good video of Michael Scheuer, former intelligence officer for the CIA, on Bill O’Reilly discussing wikileaks and the reason why Obama hasn’t said nor did anything about the leak:

O’Reilly – So Doctor, were you surprised the President hasn’t said anything about wikileaks?

Scheuer – No, I think the President has a pretty established, pretty good record of not talking about things that would defend America. He and Holder have been very good at criticizing America about how we lost our moral compass. He always has time to talk about some has been Burmese journalists and Chinese writers you never hear of but when it comes to defending America Bill he’s generally pretty quiet.

Bill goes on to note that Holder was sent out a few days ago to say all the usual stuff…”This is bad” and all that jazz. But why, when this President has known about wikileaks for months, has he done nothing?

Scheuer – Well you have to assume, you don’t know what goes on inside someones head, but somebody who acts or doesn’t act tells you clearly what he thinks. The President, when the first announcement was made, that these things were going to be leaked, could of ordered the US military or the Central Intelligence Agency to destroy the website that Mr. Assange was going to use and prevent any leaks at all.

Why didn’t he?

Schuer – I think he thinks it’s a first amendment issue when it’s really just a matter of trafficking in stolen material. The President is clearly cheek by jowl with the ACLU, he doesn’t want to upset those people or the New York Times. Somehow committing treason now has become protected by the first amendment.

This President has done nothing about the leak while a superpower has lost the trust of its partners worldwide. It has destroyed relationships needed by this country, put people’s lives in danger, and what do we get from this administration.


Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

19 Responses to “Does Obama Believe Wikileaks Treason Is a 1st Amendment Issue?”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Ironic that the Wikileaks might be looked at by Obama as a protected 1st Amendment case while the perfectly legal refutation of his policies by Rush Limbaugh and some on Fox News are looked upon as illegit and worthy of being shut down or marginalized (as he tried to do when he claime Fox News was not worthy to be in the White House news pool).

    What has Obama done?
    Appointed Russell Travers, deputy director of information sharing at the National Counterrorism Center, to ”lead a comprehensive effort to identify and develop the structural reforms needed in light of the WikiLeaks breach.”

    Among his new duties, Travers will be advising national security staff on “corrective actions, mitigation measures, and policy recommendations related to the breach,” according to the White House.

    He will also coordinate interagency discussions on developing actions “regarding technological and/or policy changes to limit the likelihood of such a leak reoccurring.”

    Gee, sounds like maybe YEARS from now Travers might come out with a recommendation, or something.

  2. 2


    help me out guys.. im sure i am in the wrong here, but how damaging is this material? i havnt seen any releases that are giving out locations and weaknesses of our troops. All this transparency for a change is a little…. refreshing.

  3. 3


    playwithfire05 —

    I think you are missing the point. The point is not that a cable about drunk Russians at a wedding, or one about the prime minister of Yemen being against smuggling, unless it is “good whisky (LOL!)” are damaging. The point is “How do we spin this to be about Obama?” Hence throwing around the word “treason” and coupling in Obama with “Barack Obama does not want to punish treason” . . . even though it is quite a stretch to apply the word “treason” to leaking of NON TOP SECRET documents to a foreign non-profit, which then publishes them from a foreign website.

    If anyone committed treason (and I doubt the label would actually fit), it would be the person who leaked it, not wikileaks or any newspaper or blog reporting on the leaks. Indeed, since EVERYONE has reported on the leaks, I guess the “treason” trials could start with the right wing newspapers and websites that have reported on the documents. Yeah, that’ll go over well . . . .

    Let’s put this in perspective, shall we? From George W. Bush’s Sec. Def.:

    Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think — I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments — some governments deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation.

    So other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another.

    Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.

    Yes people will be pissed. It is most dangerous to the extent that the leaks support al Qaeda’s claims, for example, that the Yemenese government is not sufficiently Islamic. But will is it a game changer? Not really . . . .

  4. 4



    I find myself having to agree with Billy Bob here… grrrrr. 😆 As sleazy as Assange appears to be, WikiLeaks is still the delivery vehicle of the documents, and not the source stealing the documents. The latter should, most definitely, be found, prosecuted, and appropriately punished.

    The only way I could see that WikiLeaks/Assange could also be culpable is if it’s found they paid for the source material, making them partners in crime. But that would take some serious sleuth work. Perhaps a “Leaking WikiLeaks” site needs to start up? heh

    According to a Reuter’s report today, a WikiLeaks spokesperson does confirm they have contributed to a legal defense fund for Bradley Manning… hardly an admission of guilt, and nothing to tie them in as an accomplice.

    On the whole, I’m much in agreement with all the diplomat correspondence not being surprising, and doubtful it will make much difference in global relations. Only in Obama’s mind were we becoming “loved”, and it was always a facade that global business was being newly conducted with a happy face.

    But I will say the diplomatic correspondence doesn’t raise my temperment as much as the exposure of military intel operatives and strategy…. Assange’s second data dump. What I find more interesting is that the left leaning media and admin had less venom publicly for that data exposed than they do for this one.

    “Embarrassed” diplomats do not equate to loss of intel and dead operatives in our battle theatres. Bizarre priority, if you ask me.

  5. 5


    soo… am I as a naturally conservative person supposed to be irate-mad at wikileaks? because for some reason im not… which makes it hard for me to get mad at the president about this topic which is a strange situation for me.

  6. 6

    Old Trooper 2

    @ B-Rob, It is a strong indictment of the bungling, mismanagement and general incompetence of US Foreign Policy that has occurred as a direct result of the Obama Regime, the US Dept. of State under Carpet Bagger Clinton and the weakening of America’s Intelligence machinery & CIA in the hands of Panetta.

    When Amateurish Political Hacks are put in charge of National Security, sh*t like this is bound to happen. As per usual, your ability to speculate, get in over your head on matters that you do not have “need to know” knowledge about and inject the usual snide comments here was expected by folks like me.

    You feel qualified to speak on Classified Information and that is quite simply laughable. There is a HUGE difference between Lawyer-Client privilege and National Security Info. You quite frankly do not know the difference. It varies from Confidential to Top Secret and is not just over the fence gossip. It affects relationships between the US, Our Allies and Diplomacy with Our Foes. It places the US in a very compromising position which most likely amuses you. You should stick to your Para Legal business and leave issues that you are not qualified to make intelligent commentary about to others that have real insight.

    Yep, it is embarrassing and damaging. But so is Obama’s Bungling and Meddling Regime on both Foreign and Domestic business so far. When the “O” has to send his amateur State Department Clowns on Damage Control Missions, that Jocko is a big F’ing Deal. When our Allies question Our ability to manage information and keep secrets from publication it is a Big F’ing Deal to quote Joe Biden.

    You find it amusing. I quite frankly don’t. You would not know a Game Changer if it bit you on the @ss.

  7. 7



    This episode continues to erode US prestige, and that I believe is the goal. Manning and Assange have unwittingly acted as Obama accomplices. Our enemies don’t fear us any longer, and our allies do not respect us. The perfect Obama storm.

  8. 8


    Maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but I think Obama might be deliberately playing it “cool” so the can let Travers take the heat for any Internet monitoring almost certain to be included in his (Travers’) comprehensiv reform recommendations.


  9. 9


    I think B-Rob is missing the fact that the stealing of Federal documents, be they confidential or Top Secret is still a Federal offense. That in itself is enough to warrent the arrest of anyone involved with the theft and transfer of the materials. Just because it is digital files does not make it any less serious.

  10. 10



    It would be pretty odd for Obama, who has argued state secrets more than anyone, to assert that the release of classified info is a freedom of speech issue.

    Speaking of freedom of speech, how about those Obama college records?

  11. 11


    The documents so far have been remarkably banal; the ‘interesting stuff’, such as it is, is mostly so because of its soap opera entertainment factor, not because it’s actually new or important. I suppose we haven’t seen it all yet. I’m waiting for the BoA leak, which might be more interesting.

    The administration may not want to pursue legal action against Assange because it would risk setting inconvenient legal precedents. If he succeeded with a first amendment defense it would make future leaks very hard to quash. Easier to just pursue the existing strategy of harassment and see how it plays out.

  12. 12


    “ange?” What kind of disease is “ange”? This Julian guy, I mean.

    Hmmm… mebbe they just misspelled “mange”. Ya think?

    Julian Assmange. There, fixed it.

  13. 13



    @Old Trooper 2 nailed it correctly… this is less about WikiLeaks than it is about a low level soldier who had access and opportunity to steal classified intel and documents, and pass them on to Assange. Doesn’t matter whether it was Assange, or the other likely happy recipient… the NYTs.

    They aren’t telling us where the diplomatic doc data dump came from. Right now Manning seems likely, but it does make you wonder what others Panetta and some of our intelligence agencies have working there, who may be doing the same thing in other arenas.

    The other question is… how long has theft of these documents been going on?

  14. 15


    because of the way the administration runs it wouldn’t surprise me if barack, barry, steve or whatever his name is and his puppets are behind this. Right now on the front page is everything about the leaks. During this time period it is very important for the lame (sic) congress and senate to get through what they need under the cloak of darkness. As long as this is on the front page, they feel safe to do their damage. a thought to ponder

  15. 16

    Nan G

    Yesterday Obama’s Gibbs said this:

    “Our foreign policy and our country is stronger than one guy with one website,” Gibbs said. “We should never be afraid of one guy who plopped down $35 and bought a web address. … Let’s not be scared of one guy with a laptop.”

    But I cannot believe you can get a nuclear bomb shelter for your web site’s server for a mere $35.

    Wikileaks Servers Move To Underground Nuclear Bunker:

    Wikileaks’ servers have been moved to the “Pionen” White Mountains data center owned by Swedish broadband provider Bahnhof, as first reported by Norwegian news site VG Nett last Friday.

    That data center will store Wikileaks’ data 30 meters below ground inside a Cold-War-era nuclear bunker carved out of a large rock hill in downtown Stockholm.

    The server farm has a single entrance and is outfitted by half-meter thick metal doors and backup generators pulled from German submarines–fitting safeguards……

    Also a video of this bunker here:

    Sounds more like a James Bond baddie’s place than a $35 bargain-basement.
    Who pays?
    George Soros?

  16. 17


    But is assassination really a good (or bad) idea to stop (or start) more leaks ..

    Supporters of WikiLeaks around the world are downloading a file the site calls an insurance policy. The files are encrypted with a code so strong it’s unbreakable, even by governments.
    If anything happens to Assange or the website, a key will go out to unlock the files. There would then be no way to stop the information from spreading like wildfire because so many people already have copies.

    .. or will it actually make matter worse (or better).

  17. 18


    I disagree with what MataHarley said earlier- “WikiLeaks is still the delivery vehicle of the documents, and not the source stealing the documents. The latter should, most definitely, be found, prosecuted, and appropriately punished.” WikiLeaks is the delivery truck, yes, and not the actual source. But, you can’t just deliver something and have no idea what’s in it. OF COURSE WIKILEAKS SHOULD BE PUNISHED!!! They obviously knew what was in the secret info, and without them, noone would’ve known about it- the guy who DID know the secrets would most likely not publish them by himself- he would have to take all the blame if he was caught. WikiLeaks was just a convenient oulet for his info. However, WikiLeaks and Assange knew what they were getting themselves into- and they knew the consequences. Just because they weren’t the source, they are still held responsible- it’ll be traced back to them, as people posted anonymously, and they’ll get in trouble for letting that info get leaked.

  18. 19



    So, Katrina… then the NYTs should also be punished as well. Yet they enjoy immunity under the 1st Amendment, and amusingly claim they have that right, but not Wikileaks. Why? They don’t consider WikiLeaks a legitimate “media” outlet.

    While I understand your concept, and agree with your fury (I have no love for WikiLeaks or Assange), fact is the media enjoys an immunity the rest of us do not. And if you decide that Wikileaks is not a “media”, and separate from the NYTs, you then risk ensnaring every blogger that uncovers a story as an investigative journalist.

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