Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted by "Sayf Maslul"
"The word 'security' is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic."
[Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Pentagon Papers Case, 1971.]
"The only effective restraint upon executive policy and power... may lie in an enlightened citizenry -- in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government."
[Justice Potter Stewart, 1971.]
"In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell." [Justice Hugo Black, 1971.]
"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 those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. ... Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest."
[Bob Gates, US Defense Secretary, 2010.]
"The best justification governments can find to shut down information is that lives are at risk. In fact, lives have been at risk as a result of the silences and lies revealed in these leaks." [Jemima Khan, who provided surety to Julian Assange at his London hearing, 2010]
[Compiled by Joe Lauria, The Huffington Post]
Image: A WikiLeaks truck parked outside the Whitney Museum in New York City.