Professor Eastman on the First Amendment and Classified Information
OpinionJournal.com carries Professor John Eastman’s testimony on the subject of the press, classified information and the First Amendment, which he delivered to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on May 26, 2006. His central conclusion:
The constitutionality of protecting intelligence gathering and other operational military secrets in time of war is therefore beyond dispute, and the institutional press is no more permitted to ignore the legal restrictions imposed by the Espionage Act on the publication and other dissemination of such classified information than are ordinary citizens.
Professor Eastman’s testimony is a closely argued and completely persuasive rebuttal of New York Times’ editor Bill Keller’s incoherent posturings on the subject of his paper’s publications of classified information. The testimony undressed Keller’s many poses, and leave’s not a single stitch on the claim to special status of the leftwing MSM. If DOJ is indeed investigating these leaks, Mr. Keller would be well advised to study Professor Eastman’s arguments closely, and instruct his zealous anti-war agenda journalists that they can indeed publish without fear of prior restraint, but not with immunity from the laws that bind all Americans.