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Response to Herman4747 (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 10:46 PM

9. But if we're talking about the bad, there's also the Espionage Act of 1917

That's the one that they've thrown at Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden and would like to throw at Julian Assange if they ever get their hands on him.


President Woodrow Wilson in his December 7, 1915 State of the Union address asked Congress for the legislation:

"There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, born under other flags but welcomed under our generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and opportunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue ...

"I urge you to enact such laws at the earliest possible moment and feel that in doing so I am urging you to do nothing less than save the honor and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out. They are not many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once. They have formed plots to destroy property, they have entered into conspiracies against the neutrality of the Government, they have sought to pry into every confidential transaction of the Government in order to serve interests alien to our own. It is possible to deal with these things very effectually. I need not suggest the terms in which they may be dealt with."

Congress moved slowly. Even after the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Germany, when the Senate passed a version on February 20, 1916, the House did not vote before the then-current session of Congress ended. After the declaration of war in April 1917, both houses debated versions of the Wilson administration's drafts that included press censorship. That provision aroused opposition, with critics charging it established a system of "prior restraint" and delegated unlimited power to the president. After weeks of intermittent debate, the Senate removed the censorship provision by a one-vote margin, voting 39 to 38. Wilson still insisted it was needed: "Authority to exercise censorship over the press....is absolutely necessary to the public safety", but signed the Act without the censorship provisions on June 15, 1917, after Congress passed the act on the same day.

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Judi Lynn Nov 2015 OP
zentrum Nov 2015 #1
MADem Nov 2015 #2
Feeling the Bern Nov 2015 #4
Herman4747 Nov 2015 #3
MADem Nov 2015 #5
starroute Nov 2015 #7
LineLineReply But if we're talking about the bad, there's also the Espionage Act of 1917
starroute Nov 2015 #9
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #14
philosslayer Nov 2015 #24
bigworld Nov 2015 #6
Omaha Steve Nov 2015 #8
Charlie Brown Nov 2015 #10
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #15
Charlie Brown Nov 2015 #20
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One_Life_To_Give Nov 2015 #23
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