The Pentagon Papers: remember that case?

Andrew P. Napolitano asks Can the media reveal stolen truths? – “The Supreme Court has confirmed that the First Amendment says yes.”

Moreover, the high court ruled, it matters not how the documents came into the possession of the media. The thief can always be prosecuted, as Mr. Ellsberg was, but not the media to which the thief delivers what he has stolen. In Mr. Ellsberg’s case, the charges against him were eventually dismissed because of FBI misconduct in pursuit of him — misconduct that infamously involved breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office looking for dirt on him.

The USOC is saying that the ends justify the means only at the risk of the path between them. There are issues and complications and complexity in these waters. The Snowdon case was one of espionage. The Clinton case one of avoiding FOIA that prompted a theft that illustrated why there was concern about state secrets. The Trump case was a theft of private papers, tax return information, that was sought only to serve prurient interests.

What is comes down to is the demands of the market. As long as there is a demand for goods, somebody will find a way to deliver. In current times, the costs of delivery are low and the demand might only be a niche market but it is a strong one. That means: watch out for your shorts as you don’t know who is going to be trying to prowl around inside them!

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