Quotes from my favorite case — US v. Washington Post aka “Pentagon Papers”

At one time, back in 1972, Daniel Ellsburg was deemed by the FBI the country’s “most dangerous man”.

His crime (and he had his kids help him with this), he leaked to national media Pentagon Papers that indicated that 1) the war in Vietnam was a sham; 2) the Pentagon and executive branch was publishing outright lies about the war in order to promote it and lengthen it; and 3) this was done for the benefit of US mega corp war profiteers.

The district court dismissed the suit and the US government’s request for an injunction against publishing the Pentagon Papers, The Court of Appeals reverse and an injunction issued.  The US Supreme Court, in a 9 to 0 decision firmly told the US court system that the First Amendment is alive and kicking, and the lower courts should be ashamed for what they had done to Mr. Ellsburg.

They ended their 4 page main decision congratulating the brave news women and men that published the Pentagon Papers across the nation, even fearing a 10 year federal prison sentence hanging like the sword of Damocles over them.  The Justices commended those news women and men for what they had done–exactly what the founders of our country had envisioned when the First Amendment was enacted.

Mr. Ellsburg is now 83 and is trying to help Mr. Snowden, for about the same stupid issue–publishing old government documents that are nothing but the unvarnished truth that only hides the lies from US mega corp war profiteers and those in conspiracy with them for war fraud on the nation.

In a very short, four page, 9 to 0 opinion the Black/Douglas team reaffirmed the strength of the First Amendment.

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law abriding freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Next the court starts out with the fact Justice Douglas started the opinion with the statement “the injunction should have been summarily lifted without oral argument when the case was first present and every moment this injunction is effect amounts to a flagrant, indefensible and continuing violation of the First Amendment.”

The New York Times, Washington Post, etc., Should be commended for serving the original and true purpose of the First Amendment.

You might say, well this is a court, so certainly a court can get more discretion in First Amendment matters.  Not so, saith Justice Douglas:

“The government does not even rely on an Act of Congress. Instead, it makes the bold and dangerous farreaching contention that the courts should take it upon themselves to make a law abridging freedom of the press [and speech] in the name of equity or presidential powers or national security.”

A sincere thanks today for all the brave, honest justices on the Supreme Court in 1971 who reaffirmed freedom of the press and freedom of speech.  They make this blog possible, and my defense of all of you court victims out there–NOT the  IARDC who has repeated over and over this blog is like yelling fire in a crowded theater and so it must be crushed as dangerous dissent and inconvenient political speech.

The ARDC has become like the fearful executive and judicial branches in 1971 that feared the public’s knowledge of the truth about the Vietnam war and mega corp war profiteers might expose the rampant corruption in the executive branch, which it did.  For those of you too young or too old (haha) to remember, the US started drafting soldiers in 1965, a major escalation ensued, and by 1968 US involvement in war in Vietnam was at its height.  The publication of the Pentagon Papers and more information after that started to take serious wind out of the sails of the war, and by August 1973, a full scale withdrawal was underway.  But the bombing, the deaths, the crimes against humanity left their toll on the average citizen in that country.

JoAnne

 

 

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