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The power of classification and declassification

Seymour Flops

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It's not explicitly in the constitution. The Supreme Court ruled, in Department of Navy vs. Egan (1988), that:

"The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’" according to Article II of the Constitution, the court’s majority wrote. "His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security ... flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant."


Legal experts agree, as they must, with the Supreme Court:

In fact, Robert F. Turner, associate director of the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law, said that "if Congress were to enact a statute seeking to limit the president’s authority to classify or declassify national security information, or to prohibit him from sharing certain kinds of information with Russia, it would raise serious separation of powers constitutional issues."

The official documents governing classification and declassification stem from executive orders. But even these executive orders aren’t necessarily binding on the president. The president is not "obliged to follow any procedures other than those that he himself has prescribed," Aftergood said. "And he can change those."


But that isn't really my point. My point is this: Far too much information is classified, and much of it not for national security. Nuclear codes, names of spies, war plans, and location of ships should be classified.

The machinations of a government agency attempting to sway an election should never be classified. That is exactly the kind of information that the public has a right and a need to know. When Trump declassified a binder full of documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, Peter Srzok's brainchild for carrying out his vow to his mistress that "we'll stop him," he ordered the DOJ to release the now de-classified documents. He ordered that declassification in writing, so it wasn't about taking his word for it that he declassified them.

1664144362682.png

1664144403256.png


We, the American people, still do not have access to that binder which is our property. It appears that Trump's copies of these de-classified documents were exactly what the FBI was looking for when they raided Mar-a-Lago.

How could that be, when it is unclassified?

The answer is a new kind of privilege that our agencies have granted themselves. The spousal privilege, the lawyer-client privilege, the clergy-communicant privilege, and the doctor-patient privilege were all well established in common law before the U.S. even existed, and our courts have applied it consistently.

Our agencies have developed a bizarre legal theory that they have not named, but which I call "the investigatory privilege." Under that invented privilege, any agency can refuse to turn over any information to any citizen or elected representative of the citizens on the grounds that it is "part of an ongoing investigation," or "may potentially be part of a future investigation," or the incredibly vague, "due to law enforcement sensibilities/equities."

Oh. That's why you're hiding the ball. This is an oldie, but one of the more crazy examples. Trey Gowdy asks for a video made with tax dollars that has no classified information whatsoever, and the head of the Secret Service refuses to give it to him because the Office of the Inspector General has an ongoing investigation.


I wouldn't buy the "investigatory privilege" under any circumstances, but in the case of the DOJ/FBI attacks on Trump, they don't buy it themselves. They are constantly leaking anything they can come up with that might be damaging for Trump, so any claims of being tight lipped are laughable.
 
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TroglocratsRdumb

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Garland doesn't have a legitimate case against Trump.
This is all just another democrat abuse of power and a smear campaign.
 

ReinyDays

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This is all just another democrat abuse of power and a smear campaign.

That seems a paradox ... if this is a Democrat smear campaign, then it's working really well ... so ... when did Democrats start getting anything right? ...
 

rightwinger

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Garland doesn't have a legitimate case against Trump.
This is all just another democrat abuse of power and a smear campaign.
He can use the legislation that Trump himself signed making mishandling of classified information a Felony
 

MarathonMike

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This is what Democrats and their media do so well. Create a distraction and get everyone barking at each other over a bunch of bull shit while we face massive problems.
 

Esdraelon

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Garland doesn't have a legitimate case against Trump.
This is all just another democrat abuse of power and a smear campaign.
It's also DANGEROUS and those who are using it to "get Trump" understand how dangerous it is. THAT is the measure of their fear of the man and his supporters. Fortunately, most of those who hate Trump are also too cowardly to fight when their media whores begin telling them the "democracy is in danger". Idiots...
 

Golfing Gator

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It's not explicitly in the constitution. The Supreme Court ruled, in Department of Navy vs. Egan (1988), that:

"The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’" according to Article II of the Constitution, the court’s majority wrote. "His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security ... flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant."


Legal experts agree, as they must, with the Supreme Court:

In fact, Robert F. Turner, associate director of the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law, said that "if Congress were to enact a statute seeking to limit the president’s authority to classify or declassify national security information, or to prohibit him from sharing certain kinds of information with Russia, it would raise serious separation of powers constitutional issues."

The official documents governing classification and declassification stem from executive orders. But even these executive orders aren’t necessarily binding on the president. The president is not "obliged to follow any procedures other than those that he himself has prescribed," Aftergood said. "And he can change those."


But that isn't really my point. My point is this: Far too much information is classified, and much of it not for national security. Nuclear codes, names of spies, war plans, and location of ships should be classified.

The machinations of a government agency attempting to sway an election should never be classified. That is exactly the kind of information that the public has a right and a need to know. When Trump declassified a binder full of documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, Peter Srzok's brainchild for carrying out his vow to his mistress that "we'll stop him," he ordered the DOJ to release the now de-classified documents. He ordered that declassification in writing, so it wasn't about taking his word for it that he declassified them.

View attachment 701492
View attachment 701493

We, the American people, still do not have access to that binder which is our property. It appears that Trump's copies of these de-classified documents were exactly what the FBI was looking for when they raided Mar-a-Lago.

How could that be, when it is unclassified?

The answer is a new kind of privilege that our agencies have granted themselves. The spousal privilege, the lawyer-client privilege, the clergy-communicant privilege, and the doctor-patient privilege were all well established in common law before the U.S. even existed, and our courts have applied it consistently.

Our agencies have developed a bizarre legal theory that they have not named, but which I call "the investigatory privilege." Under that invented privilege, any agency can refuse to turn over any information to any citizen or elected representative of the citizens on the grounds that it is "part of an ongoing investigation," or "may potentially be part of a future investigation," or the incredibly vague, "due to law enforcement sensibilities/equities."

Oh. That's why you're hiding the ball. This is an oldie, but one of the more crazy examples. Trey Gowdy asks for a video made with tax dollars that has no classified information whatsoever, and the head of the Secret Service refuses to give it to him because the Office of the Inspector General has an ongoing investigation.


I wouldn't buy the "investigatory privilege" under any circumstances, but in the case of the DOJ/FBI attacks on Trump, they don't buy it themselves. They are constantly leaking anything they can come up with that might be damaging for Trump, so any claims of being tight lipped are laughable.

Why did he need the letter if he could just think it all declassified?
 
OP
Seymour Flops

Seymour Flops

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Why did he need the letter if he could just think it all declassified?
He wasn't just declassifying the documents, he was also ordering the DOJ to release them to us, the American citizen/taxpayers who own those documents. He wanted evidence that he had ordered them, so he seems to have anticipating they would mutiny. In 2025, Garland and Wray will be out moments after the inauguration.

You've never said how you felt about the fact that an agendized radical liberal Senior FBI official instigated Crossfire Hurricane to show off for his mistress. I guess I know how you feel about it, though . . .
 

Golfing Gator

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He wasn't just declassifying the documents, he was also ordering the DOJ to release them to us, the American citizen/taxpayers who own those documents.

Well, where the fuck are they? Why have we not all read them?
 
OP
Seymour Flops

Seymour Flops

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Well, where the fuck are they? Why have we not all read them?
Because the DOJ is witholding them.


The raid on Mar-a-Lago happened exactly one week after Judicial Watch sued for the release of the declassified Crossfire Hurricane documents.

Co-ink-ee-dink? I think not . . .
 

Golfing Gator

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Because the DOJ is witholding them.


The raid on Mar-a-Lago happened exactly one week after Judicial Watch sued for the release of the declassified Crossfire Hurricane documents.

Co-ink-ee-dink? I think not . . .

I have heard multiple times that Trump had them and that is what the FBI was looking for.

IF this is true, why did Trump not give them to We the People during the 560 plus days he was out of office prior to the FBI searching his home?

IF he had them that whole time and did not release them, is he any better than the people you rail against daily?
 
OP
Seymour Flops

Seymour Flops

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I have heard multiple times that Trump had them and that is what the FBI was looking for.
I don't know if you believe that but it seems very likely and there is just as much evidence for that as for it being NUCLEAR SECRETS! and the other nonsense the media keeps reporting.
IF this is true, why did Trump not give them to We the People during the 560 plus days he was out of office prior to the FBI searching his home?
I don't know but he clearly should have. My speculation is that he hoped the DOJ would for once do the right thing or be forced to by the lawsuit.
IF he had them that whole time and did not release them, is he any better than the people you rail against daily?
Far better, he just made an honest mistake by erring on the side of caution. He should have released them the same day he declassified them.
 

Golfing Gator

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I don't know if you believe that but it seems very likely and there is just as much evidence for that as for it being NUCLEAR SECRETS! and the other nonsense the media keeps reporting.

True, which is why I have never latched onto to stories.

I don't know but he clearly should have. My speculation is that he hoped the DOJ would for once do the right thing or be forced to by the lawsuit.
Far better, he just made an honest mistake by erring on the side of caution. He should have released them the same day he declassified them.

Did it even for one tiny second, occur to you that he is just as bad as "them" and was holding on to them to use for his own personal power/gain?

I have never understood how anyone can look at Trump's life history and see any sort of benevolence or "looking out for the little guy" attitude.
 

DGS49

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If I'm not mistaken, the OP is actually a well-considered and researched bit of informative writing.

Good heavens! How did it happen???
 

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