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Joe Lieberman Calls for Investigation of NY Times Over WikiLeaks Documents

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Was it a crime for The New York Times to publish classified documents made public by WikiLeaks? Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks so, and he has asked the Justice Department to open an investigation.

Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News Tuesday that he believes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is guilty of violating the Espionage Act, and suggests that newspaper may be complicit.

"To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship," Lieberman said. "And whether they've committed a crime, I think that bears very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department."

Lieberman said Assange, who was arrested Tuesday in England, should be charged with treason in the United States.

"He ought to be indicted and then we can ask the authorities in England to extradite him to the United States," Lieberman said of Assange.

The Times responded in a statement obtained by Forbes, saying, "We believe that our decision to publish was responsible journalism, legal, and important to a democratic society."

The newspaper has posted an explanation on its website explaining its thinking in publishing the WikiLeaks documents.
Filed Under: WikiLeaks

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The publication of the Wikileaks material has already had some major effects. A corrupt government in Tunisia has fallen because of information about how Ali, the former head of state, had squirreled away taxpayers money in his own foreign bank accounts. Getting the truth out there regardless of who is involved is definitely in the best interest of the public in every nation.

January 18 2011 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's amazing to see how quick we are to point fingers and accuse someone like Julian Assange or the NYT for leaking so-called sensitive documents, they are after all the media, doing there jobs by reporting what's going around us. But lets not forget our own government who put 600+ civilians in control over these documents, after all, it is the government's responsibility to make sure that all communication cables are secured. I guess the American Government didn't learn from there own mistake, in the mid 70s. When two young men, Daulton Lee who was working for a civilian defense contractor (TRW at that time) and Christopher Boyce where selling top secret cables to the U.S.S.R. If the government wasn't doing something wrong in the first place they wouldn't have anything to worry about. But what really seems strange is that nobody is quick to point out that when it comes too censoring the media. The government (all governments around the wold) doesn't seem to have a hard time flushing out someone like Assange or cutting off funding to Wikipedia. But yet no one can seem to flush out Osama Bin Laden or cut funding to terrorist organizations, what's wrong with this picture? I do not believe censorship, once you start to censor someone, where does it stop? where do you draw the line? If the government is doing something that they don't want people to know about, then maybe they should be more careful with how they handle there communications..... And to the family's of the slain reporters who were murdered as well as the family of the young boy who was also severely injured, my heart go's out to you all.

December 09 2010 at 1:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

.... ---> Lieberman and co-associates have mud on their faces! I am so tired of National Security being used to cover up the Theft of this United States! The same intel allowed Monsanto to poison our troops and untold millions in VietNam and each generation since----> and the Liebermans benefitted from these atrociities. Let the so called intel out in the can only be a plus(positve) We will be able to reduce the overhead expenses drastically, get rid of the slackers of our governement agencies and purge the files of redundancy!

December 08 2010 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What does Lieberman have to hide? Whenever someone says that some act or action is a "crime against the citizens", I put it in the same category as "It's for your own good", an obvious and overused lie.

December 08 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I'll withhold my fellings about Joe Lieberman until I hear from Helen Thomas. That way I can just say - I agreee with what Helen said.

December 08 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It had better be sooner than later for Holder to investigate the New York Times treason! It is the most willfull act of treason by the Publisher, Ediotors and Board of this newspaper, and they MUST be indited for their outwardly comerdice. They are un-American and need to be seriously punished for these crimes!

December 08 2010 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder if good old Joe could explain why Ellsberg was accepted as a hero but Assange is not. Could it be that we now have a pair of untouchables with Obama and Clinton, also a Democrat controlled, (for now,) congress?

December 08 2010 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Every business entity, just as every political entity (party, etc.), has one thing in common: an AGENDA. This may consist of simply producing and/or selling a product or service to consumers. I believe this is just as true of those in the "business" of politics and government, e.g., Democrats, Republicans, etc. It also includes the "business" of just about anything else: charitable organizations, organized religion, and, certainly neither last nor least: journalism in all its forms, i.e., electronic, broadcast, and the press. (Yes, even the vaunted sacred "free press" consists of myriad communications "business entities".) In this group, there really is little if any difference between the New York Times, the New York Post, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, et al. Yes, they all claim to function as free and unfettered conduits of information on subjects of public interest. For the most part, most of them, IMHO, perform that function efficiently, at least insofar as their readership is concerned. They all publish/sell their reporting, and it's understood that their circulation reflects their success (increased income) or failure (decreased income). Of course, at least here in the USA, most of us, according to our personal values and concerns, can decide for ourselves which of these various media we choose to make use of in our daily lives. We'll either purchase or not, according to our own standards. Although I'm not a journalist, just a retired "old guy" with a basic education and functioning with a modicum of literacy, I can think of no newspaper anywhere in the U.S. which can boast a 100% record of accuracy (truth) in its history. But, moreover, I believe each of thess journalistic entities (businesses) also has a "soul" of sorts, which I usually find expressed in its editorial policies. Whether that "soul" seeps into its reporting of events may be another question. There, I try to use my own judgment and proceed accordingly. However, if allegations, accusations, or even suspicions are publicly brought forth implying that a newspaper (ANY NEWSPAPER) has violated that which is the so-called "law of the land" by publishing (especially second-hand) material that many believe to be harmful to my country or its interests, stated in legislation, that newspaper should have no higher standing before such law than I personally do. Journalism can certainly report on issues of law and express its own view editorially, but it should not be allowed to function as though it is, itself, "above the law", just as I myself cannot. If the Times believes it has done no wrong in publishing the material "fed" to it by Wikileaks, which many believe to be, in fact, harmful to this country's security and well-being, it has more than ample resources with which to challenge those who might question its actions. It would seem in its own best "business" interest, to do so.

December 08 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to monk6272's comment

It is urgent that the AG, Holder not only questions the actions of the NY Times, but that he looks into the Espionage factor! As you state, they have resourse to attempt to defend themselve from treason! Americans must demand that this Administration immediately take action against these cowardly actions by an American hating publisher, editors, and a Board that may be culpable! This can not pass for freedom of the press until totally investigated for possible criminal intent!

December 08 2010 at 11:22 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

The NYT may be irresponsible in printing the Wikileaks data, however, they have not directly comitted a crime. Freedom of the Press is the issue here and we must NEVER do anything that comprimises that Constitutional Right, even if we disagree with what the press is saying. What is interesting to me is that the same people who scream about Freedom of the Press in this particular instance are the same who would shut down Rush, Levin, Beck and the like, (see Sharpton, Jackson, the FCC Marxists). They are the same who cry foul about the exposure of illegal ACORN activities and the many Socialist/Communist/Soros links to the Obama Administration. The NYT will publish anything that suits their own agenda, which is clearly "left of center" and their shrinking subscription rates show how bad of a business decision that is, yet it is their Right. Assange, on the other hand, should be prosecuted to the extent of the law for theft, espionage and attempted blackmail. Manning should be tried for treason and then serve out the age old punishment for such, publicly. Do NOT allow the gov't to use this to further their agenda of gaining control of the Internet and the Press!

December 08 2010 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It did seem odd that the NYT would consider state secrets "fit to print" above the fold on the front page. On the other hand, if the administration really wanted to keep information from public view, they would store it in the same place with Obama's college records.

December 08 2010 at 9:10 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to oldengineera2's comment

Funny-NOT! What the Times has done is treason! Holder must investigate their cowardice publication of top secreat documents! Espionage is a very serious crime, the NY Times can not hide behind the cover of a Free Press!

December 08 2010 at 11:13 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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