HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » Does amicus brief from fo...

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 12:33 AM

Does amicus brief from former intel chiefs risk justifying stifling of dissent?

Is this warning a valid caution, or…? I was pleased the intel chiefs spoke up, but took it at face value. Those in DU with an intel or legal background are better able to asses whether it's valid or overblown.

https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-is-devolving-into-an-effort-to-stigmatize-dissent/

Of all the various twists and turns of the year-and-a-half-long national drama known as #Russiagate, the effort to marginalize and stigmatize dissent from the consensus Russia-Trump narrative, particularly by former intelligence and national-security officials and operatives, is among the more alarming.


…snip…

In a new development, in early December, 14 former high-ranking US intelligence and national-security officials, including former deputy secretary of state William Burns; former CIA director John Brennan; former director of national intelligence James Clapper; and former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (a longtime proponent of democracy promotion, which presumably includes free speech), filed an amicus brief as part of the lawsuit.

…But where the briefers branch off into new territory is in their attempt to characterize journalism and political speech with which they disagree as acts of subversion on behalf of a foreign power.

According to the 14 former officials, Russia’s active-measure campaign relies “on intermediaries or ‘cut outs’ inside a country,” which are rather broadly defined as “political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen.”

…snip…

In other words, a Russian “cut out” (or fifth columnist) can be defined as those “activists, academics, journalists, [or] web operators” who dissent from the shared ideology of the 14 signatories of the amicus brief.



8 replies, 2978 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does amicus brief from former intel chiefs risk justifying stifling of dissent? (Original post)
summer_in_TX Dec 2017 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2017 #1
marylandblue Dec 2017 #2
shanny Dec 2017 #3
marylandblue Dec 2017 #5
shanny Dec 2017 #6
marylandblue Dec 2017 #7
shanny Dec 2017 #8
Igel Dec 2017 #4

Response to summer_in_TX (Original post)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 12:47 AM

1. I cannot comment on the substance of this,

but I do know from my brief time working for the Department of the Army in their records division many years ago, that the government would classify the location of your asshole if they could. Their knee-jerk response is to classify, without actually assessing how necessary the classifying is.

That's my take.

Me? I'd have everything available to the public. I happen to believe that knowing as much as possible is a Good Thing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to summer_in_TX (Original post)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 01:34 AM

2. I read the brief and don't see a problem with it

It's fairly neutral in content and does not advocate for any particular policy. It simply advises the court that Russia does in fact engage in the type of conspiracies that Roger Stone is being sued for.

The Nation is not a disinterested party in this. They've been writing some extremely pro-Russia articles. It's been suggested that they themselves are taking directions from Moscow, or at least are unwitting pawns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marylandblue (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 08:07 AM

3. Examples?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to marylandblue (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 09:00 PM

6. No thanks.

 

The title--and the first sentence--gives away the game. fwiw, the "far left" seems to consist of "anybody further left than me."

If you have links to actual civil rights lawyers and similar, I'd be happy to read them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to shanny (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 09:03 PM

7. I thought you meant examples of Russian manipulation of the far left

Such as what I said about The Nation, and the many discussions on DU about Jill Stein. But if you are concerned about the amicus brief, just read it, it's only six pages long and it isn't written in legalese.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marylandblue (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 09:11 PM

8. Even if not written in legalese, the brief could have important consequences

 

not obvious to someone unversed in civil rights law. Which is what I thought the OP was concerned about, and what concerned me. Since apparently you weren't, my apologies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to summer_in_TX (Original post)

Sat Dec 30, 2017, 08:10 AM

4. This is the problem.

We had it once with the Sedition Act, really. At what point does free speech become something to be banned?

Now, the Sedition Act was specifically speaking out against the US government and its involvement in WWI. But the crux of the matter is when to ban speaking out. Would it matter if it were Grannie Smith speaking out because she didn't want her grandson William to go off to war? How about if it were Grannie Schmidt speaking out because she didn't want her grandson Wilhelm to be heading off to fight against her Vaterland that she hoped would win? Would it matter if Schmidt were naturalized? How about if Grannie Smith was actually English and wanted her son to fight with her grandnephews from Dover?

So with Russia. A lot of people said what they said because it's what they'd been saying. It's McCarthyism extended to say they're Russian agents. In some cases, people may be paid. Or just sympathetic. Or just want attention. Some of them were in favor of Sanders (remember, goal 2 was "make HRC lose", and that started in the primaries!). Some might have been in favor of Stein. Wouldn't surprise me if Stein didn't get help--she wasn't HRC any more than Sanders was. Then when HRC got the nomination, it was all Trump; before Trump was the (R) front runner, he wasn't the focus of Russian help.

But the primaries were bitterly fought anyway. Without Russian help.

For Facebook, do we require each member posting 'news' or 'advertising' prove citizenship? Do we worry just about electoral politics? How about Black Lives Matter? The NFL? At what point does 'politics' become just conventional non-political news? Or do we just work at limiting political speech?

What's telling is that the (R) don't like talking about it, because towards the end the Russians supported their nominee. What's just as telling is that the (D) don't like talking about anything that doesn't involve Trump, because the Russians supported early on Sanders (mostly indirectly), and because what they pushed wasn't mostly fake news but minor, trivial, irrelevant news. Email scandal stuff. Digging up Whitewater. And it distracts from fighting Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread