My Thoughts

With the trial upcoming, I would like to share my thought on Wikileaks v. United States.  The major precedent in this case is New York Times Co. v. United States, the case in which the publishing of the Pentagon papers were found to be constitutional.  These cases differ because the Pentagon papers were published after the Vietnam war was over and extensive research had been done on the papers.  The Iraq War files were leaked and published during an ongoing war, arguably putting American lives in danger.

In my opinion, I feel like the endangerment of lives and the effect on the war effort is the major point in this case.  Was it Constitutional to release those document?  They did reveal some polarizing information and showed a few gruesome and hard to believe videos.  Going into the case, I am leaning towards this being Constitutional based on the First Amendment, of which I am a major proponent.  However, I am not entirely sure and it is entirely possible I will change my opinion after hearing the arguments of both sides’ representatives.

(Edit) Ramifications

If the case is decided for Wikileaks (as I currently think it will be), I foresee a surge in documents related to things in which the government is involved.  I do not think that we will see any groundbreaking documents about anything current that will need a leak, as the Manning trial has shown that leaks are unconstitutional.  However, I do feel any newly released documents will be eye opening for events that have taken place in the past, such as the Gulf War.

-Thurgood Marshall

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