A Historic Case for Prosecuting Journalists Who Report Leaks

Friday, August 02, 2013


Back in 1942, the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel wrote an opinion that determined a journalist could be in violation of the Espionage Act for reporting leaked information. Bob speaks to Gabriel Schoenfeld, author of Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media and the Rule of Law about the Chicago Tribune reporter at the center of the case during WWII.

Jun Miyake - Lillies of the Valley


Gabriel Schoenfeld

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [4]

Elisa Jed

If you ask me, he was doing the job - maybe not in the best way, but still. I hope he gets a good bankruptcy attorney in Puyallup WA if this keeps going the way it is.

Aug. 07 2013 11:57 AM

The failure to identify Schoenfeld's employer and/or political ties is NOT a neutral act. Equal identity facts on all sides please.

Aug. 04 2013 03:18 PM
mike edison from New York City

I believe the first instance of government's spying on correspondence was the tapping the Trans Atlantic Cable in WW1 by the British (with American complicity). They intercepted a German telegram to Mexico offering them aid and to back their claims to the land taken by the US from Mexico (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas etc) if they declared war on the US. History refers to it as the Zimmerman Telegram, and it served, in part, to motivate Wilson's turn from begin a neutral to coming into the War on the side of the British and French.

Perhaps Sec. of War Henry L Stimson said it best when confronted with the telegram " Gentlemen don't read other gentleman's mail"

Aug. 04 2013 11:02 AM
Benoit Balz from Ny

Schoenfeld delivers Hudson Institute threat to journalists

Dear Sir or Madam,

What's going on here? Of course, OTM is covering the highly sensitive news of the security/surveillance state. But, how?

First guest this week, right-wing think tanker Gabriel Schoenfeld. Topic: revisiting another historical example of state control, this time about a WW II clamp-down on journalists who wrote about things the US government did not want written about.

Back to real time, again: "Terrible but necessary precedent" to prosecute American journalists for "aiding the enemy"? That sounds like a talking point, folks. It is also a threat. Don't worry though, the Guardian and other foreign news outlets not subject to our Espionage Act can still give us the real news. Schoenfeld actually said these things and Garfield didn't offer a retort. I had to listen to that section a few times to make sure my ears and brain weren't tricking me. Huh?

My pointed question: whose idea was it to have Schoenfeld as a guest, and was there an agenda, perhaps as an "equal time" representative to counter the odious surveillance revelations?

And why wasn't Schoenfeld identified as a voice from the far, far right? Schoenfeld is an idealogue, whom as recently as last week continued to wage battles against the now-safely-dead-but-evidently-still-a-threat Howard Zinn:


I mean, seriously. It is starting to sound like OTM is complicit in an agenda of apologism and propaganda. Please say it ain't so!


Benoit Balz
New York

Aug. 03 2013 04:54 PM

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