Espionage Act

Reality Winner Accepts Harsh 5-Year Sentence for Leaking Russian Hacking Report

Would she have gotten a better deal if she hadn't been denied bail?

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Bail cover
Reason

Reality Winner has agreed to serve 63 months in federal prison for leaking a classified document about Russian election meddling to the press.

Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor who worked near Augusta, Georgia, has been sitting in jail since last June, when she was caught passing along an NSA report detailing how Russian hackers tried to infiltrate U.S. voter registration systems prior to the 2016 presidential election. The Intercept published a news story based on the report, and Winner was tracked down as the source.

Winner was in a tough bind for two reasons.

First, she was charged under the Espionage Act. Although that law was intended to catch spies who give information to enemy governments, it does not have any exceptions for whistleblowing or divulging information in the public interest. That is why Edward Snowden fled to Russia.

Second, Winner had been denied bail. Although she was clearly no threat to others, judges accepted the argument that she might be a flight risk because of what happened with Snowden, even though she had handed over her passport and had agreed to electronic monitoring.

The fact that Winner has been behind bars since her arrest may help explain why she accepted a deal that is pretty harsh given the circumstances. Trevor Timm notes at The Intercept that Winner's sentence is the harshest so far for a media leak from a civilian. Had she been found guilty, she would have faced a potential sentence of up to 10 years, but possibly less.

Winner will end up serving two fewer years than Chelsea Manning, who leaked a whole lot more classified information than Winner did. Manning, who originally got 35 years, is free only because of President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

A study published in the February issue of the American Economic Review found that defendants who remained in jail before trial were more likely to plead guilty and more likely to be found guilty than defendants who were free. They also tended to receive longer sentences. The report's authors attributed the differences partly to the "strengthening of defendants' bargaining positions before trial." Defendants who are not in jail can meet and talk with their attorneys whenever they want, not just when the jail permits it, and they don't have to endure the harshness of life behind bars while they wait for the wheels of justice to turn, ever so slowly.

These disparate outcomes are part of the argument for reforming pretrial detention so fewer defendants are kept behind bars, as I explain in the cover story of Reason's August-September issue, which will hit mailboxes and newsstands soon.

Could Winner have gotten a better deal if judges had allowed her to remain free while she negotiated with prosecutors? John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst, was indicted under the Espionage Act in 2012 for revealing classified information about the CIA's role in waterboarding prisoners. He was released on bail and eventually agreed to a plea deal that included a 30-month sentence, half of what Winner faces.

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  1. Is that her birth name? Did her parents play a cruel joke or did she have it changed to that nonsense? Was she a contestant on American Idol or America’s Got Talent?

    1. I thought you were better than that. You know your kid on that bus probably ran into a few people with the attitude you just displayed.

      1. I went to high school with a guy named Forrest. Like the movie (which hadn’t come out yet). Care to guess his last name?

        Cutter. I shit you not.

        His mom was the local source for hash, so that probably explains a lot.

        1. I see your point now. I was a little touchy.

        2. Well, Forrest is a traditional name, and Cutter is a traditional (if relatively rare) English trade-name, like Smith and Carpenter.

          When I read the article, it took a while to realize that Reality Winner was her name and not a vague description.

    2. I once had a client named Richard Head. Just have been tough on high school.

      1. While in the military, I ran across a Major Richard Weed. And amazingly, he went by Dick.

        1. Had a health insurance broker named Dick Little.

          1. Worked with a guy named Dick Kuntz.

            1. Knew a guy named Dick Swinging.

              1. Let’s not forget famous race driver Dick Trickle.

                Plus I think 2 years for crime 3 years for stupid name was the breakdown.

                1. Also, former SF Giants pitching coach Dick Pole.

                2. Then there were the famous Hoggs – Ima and Youra. Guess they aren’t as famous as Dickhead David Hogg.

                  Was a plumber in Sacto named Harry Pitts.

  2. Sounds like the reality is that, just like most of the tools in the prosecutor’s arsenal, keeping defendants behind bars pretrial is a winner. Were the judges here former prosecutors? I’d wager they were.

    1. While I agree with the general sentiment here, I think we need to put this in its proper context. When this happened, leakers were absolutely rampant, and it was pretty obvious that the president was facing an insurgency from within his own executive agencies. The only way to stop that is to make some harsh examples of a few people and show that there will be consequences. That’s what happened here. And for the most part, it seems to have worked.

      For all the people who claim she was trying to do the American public a service, I call bullshit. By the time she disclosed, Mueller had already been appointed as Special Counsel to investigate this whole thing, and so it was very clear that Trump wasn’t going to get away with anything, if there was anything to get away with. And it is very likely that by leaking, she may have hurt the investigation – for example, if you believe the narrative about Trump being a Russian puppet trying to obstruct, this leak probably shined a bright light on several sources that needed to be fixed and telegraphed information about the investigations intent, allowing him to deploy effective countermeasures.

      So regardless of whether you think she is a traitor who tried to undermine our democratic process, like I do, or whether you think she was a misguided patriot, what she did was terribly harmful and stupid, and she deserved swift and harsh punishment.

      1. Agreed. Five years is not too much. Anything from 3 to 20 would be acceptable.
        Now, about Hitlery. She violated the Espionage Act about 35,000 times.
        Life with no parole? Death Penalty?

  3. Sorry, I’m having a hard time giving a single fuck. Unlike Snowden, she did this purely for partisan political purposes to try to undermine a democratically elected president because she thought that she could get away with this shit just like everyone else around her was. Essentially, she tried to take an active part in a soft coup by passing off complete bullshit to the media. I don’t care what happens to her. The only tragedy here is that it once again demonstrates that there are two sets of laws, one for the plebes, and one for the rulers. What she did is far less serious than what Hillary Clinton did. Yet our crack FBI couldn’t seem to put the obvious pieces together in the latter’s case, while the hammer falls swiftly in this one. The only reason I would be willing to cut this woman some slack is for that reason alone – if we’re not going to punish people who do far worse, her sentence is obviously disproportionate. But I would prefer that both she and Hillary rot in the same cell.

    And as an aside – invoking Bradley Manning is not a way to win points either. That little fuck should also still be in prison. Who are the nearly 18,000 morons in Maryland who voted for that clown in the primary?

    1. And where should Trump be? Trump has negligently and deliberately released more classified information and exposed more classified information to our enemies than Hillary’s negligence occasional use of a private server or Winner’s misguided effort to inform the American people. In fact I understand that Trump doesn’t even use the more secure phones in his communications with friends and officials leaving himself exposed in a way similar to the way Hillary’s private server was exposed. Likewise Trump exposes sensitive information when conducts official business from a dinner table in a crowded resort. And then there’s the notorious Whitehouse meeting with the Russian ambassador where Trump mindlessly exposed that Israeli intelligence. It’s even been reported and I believe it to be true that some of our “Five Eyes” allies have stopped sharing certain information with America because Trump is such an untrustworthy partner and these allies don’t want their methods or agents needlessly exposed.

      1. Like it or not, and unlike Hillary, Manning, or Winner, Trump is in a position in which he can legally declassify anything he wants merely by speaking it aloud.

        1. Correct but immaterial to the moral question and it’s the same damage to national security when things are released, i.e our allies withholding information from our govt.

          1. So unlike tariffs, Trump giving something that is not being reciprocated by other nations is bad?

          2. The contents of withheld information cannot be known because the very nature of withheld information is that you never received it. So even if you are correct that there is some moral calculus here, you do not have the variables to properly compute it. And Trump is the guy who gets to solve the equation as to whether giving up that unknown information outweighs what he achieves by disclosing our own.

          3. Why would you expect moral behavior from any politician?

          4. We talking “moral” or “legal”? Morally, I think those currently opposing Trump should, in the main, go home and kill themselves. Right now.

            Legally, they aren’t required to do that.

      2. The executive branch decides what is classified, and Trump is the head of the executive branch. He can say whatever he wants. Whether it is wise to disclose certain pieces of information may be debatable, but it is not criminal, and I notice that the country hasn’t fallen apart on his watch. In fact, it seems to be humming along nicely.

        1. Lefties think Hillary never did anything wrong by mishandling classified information.

          These people don’t like America and don’t understand how important real top secret material can hurt a nation.

          1. But Trump is a criminal when he has actual authority to disclose and does so. Honestly, these types of mental gymnastics make ME tired.

            1. I hear ya.

  4. Here the sickest part of all of it. She only leaked because our president the guy who swore to defend us from foreign enemies was lying to us all about what he knew about the Russian efforts to affect the outcome of the election so that he could undermine any inquiry into the Russian govts actions to intervene in our election. You couldn’t distinguish Putin’s lies and propaganda from Trump’s lies and propaganda at that time and even now. I understand some of you don’t remember this or believe it to be true but it happened. This poor girl sacrificed for herself for a country too fucking stupid or corrupt to help itself.

    1. Here the sickest part of all of it. She only leaked because our president the guy who swore to defend us from foreign enemies was lying to us all about what he knew about the Russian efforts to affect the outcome of the election

      Take it up with the previous occupant of the Oval Office, since he was apparently too busy fucking around with pro athletes to bother with countering it.

    2. The only russian efforts to affect the outcome of our election were either normal spying that every country does, incoherent shit-stirring to sow chaos or directly run by the DNC & Fusion GPS.

    3. hogwash.

      She “sacrificed” herself the same way other millennials have when they lean over the edge of a skyscraper to take a “selfie” – and slip.

      “Look at me! Aren’t I great! Ooops! …”

      Sometimes stupidity kills.

  5. I have a very hard time believing that Russians on Facebook influenced the election. I know Hillary supporters can’t accept their loss and must believe the election was stolen, but other than those retards I don’t see how any sane person could believe this nonsense.

    1. You don’t have to believe the results were changed by the Russian efforts. I don’t believe it necessarily. How could you even know it one way or the other. If the outcome was changed it wouldn’t have been the Facebook or other online propaganda the Russian govt regularly disseminated. It was hacking and release of the DNC and Hillary’s Campaign Manager’s emails that was the most consequential action. So when you only mention “Facebook” and then dismiss the whole question without accounting for the hacking it undermines your opinion.

      1. So, assuming it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and leaked Hillary’s campaign emails, am I supposed to be outraged that the Russians shared TRUE information with the electorate about corruption within one of our two major political parties trying to rig an election? It’s somehow wrong that we had more informed voters armed with truth going to the polls to cast votes?

        Because I think Putin deserves a medal if that’s what happened.

        1. If the Russians had also exposed Trump’s dirt, if the dirt if each side was all exposed in a truthful honest way so we could make a fairer more informed decision then you would have more of a point but the one sided nature of the exposure, the timing of it and the fact Russia doctored the emails in devious ways to make it look worse means we didn’t get the truth. We got a bunch lies mixed with some truth.

          1. We can only have full 100% truth or none? Yeah, not buying it.

            Also not buying that we didn’t get the full story on Trump. Did you forget that you’re commenting on an article about a leaker from a spy agency that was monitoring his campaign in order to favor Clinton?

            1. Trump’s campaign was never disadvantaged by our spy agencies. All his dirt came out after the election. Hillary in contrast was mortally wounded by the FBI’s improper conduct *deemed improper by the IG report.

              1. Trump knew he was being spied on before he became president and saw the spying reports with his own eyes.

                Hillary should have been arrested after her FBI interview. There was probable cause that she violated federal law.

              2. As “all his dirt” has thus far amounted to precisely “jack shit,” the reason his campaign was not disadvantaged was because there was nothing there to use.

                And I agree the FBI’s conduct was improper. In many respects. But I fail to see how clearing her, TWICE, mortally wounded her. And you conveniently ignore that at the time, Hillary’s supporters argued that this vindicated her candidacy and praised Comey.

                Once again, this is an area of deafening silence. Where is a single story of a voter who changed his mind based on Comey’s conduct? If this had been decisive, you’d think those stories would be all over the place.

              3. I might not have perfect memory, but there was a lot of dirt released on Trump.

                The only thing of any consequence that was released on Trump that wasn’t already known or highly suspected was that gal who got a meeting with Trump Jr. by pretending to be from the Russian government but then talked about a personal issue.

                Aside from that, not a thing on the Trump side has surprised me even slightly.

          2. Who cares how much lies and how much truth.

            The US media lies about 99% of the time.

            Releasing DNC info was never illegal. Hacking it was.

            1. You don’t understand how conspiracy works in criminal law. If releasing the emails was part of a larger conspiracy (with it clearly was) then the crimes committed up the stream (the hacking) may be attributed to co conspirators who acted down the stream.

              1. Conspiracy is a bullshit criminal law that should be declared unconstitutional as it violates the 1st Amendment.

                Talking about criminal actions/behavior is protected speech.

                Committing a crime is not protected by the Constitution.

          3. “the fact Russia doctored the emails in devious ways”
            citation needed as this is the first time I’ve heard that the e-mails where doctored in any way.
            you spew bullshit

            1. Russians hacked his brain. That is the full extent of their “meddling” and it’s turned half the country insane.

            2. Hilarious! The Russians hacking the DNC info is not enough. They needed to have ‘doctored’ the info too.

              These lefties have really lost their minds.

              1. Why even hack if you are just going to make shit up? Skip the middle step completely and release a bunch of fake crap, claim you stole it from them, and then make them look like liars when they try to claim they weren’t hacked.

                1. If you recall, that very thing happened to the Heartland Institute a few years ago. Peter Gleik stole a bunch of data about their donors and operations. However, it that was really quite boring. However, he then added a fake document that read like a supervillain manifesto, talking about “preventing schools from teaching science”.

                  It was this fake document that got all the media attention.

                  Peter Gleik actually publically confessed to doing it, and never received any sort of punishment.

      2. That idiot Podesta giving his password away =/= hacking the DNC

        1. Seth Rich downloading the emails and passing them to Wikileaks also =/= hacking the DNC. But him being killed for it is = politically motivated murder.

        2. Its illegal to access an account when your unauthorized, even if the account holder is a moron.

          There is nothing illegal about releasing any hacked information though.

          The lefties just dont like the release happened. People still would not have voted for Hillary as she was already shown to be a lying classified mishandling hag.

          1. *you’re unauthorized

      3. I don’t believe it necessarily.

        “I totally believe it but don’t want to come off as a wine-guzzling crank on a steady diet of anti-depressants, so I’ll make use of the passive voice.”

      4. It was hacking and release of the DNC and Hillary’s Campaign Manager’s emails that was the most consequential action.

        A PRIVATE entity being “hacked” (no evidence of that, mind you. They never did let the FBI investigate the server in question) is hardly a government issue. The DNC emails being released are no more a government issue than Sony’s emails being released were.

      5. So, basically, the Demoncraps lost because someone got the inside story – actual facts about how they operated – and let the voters know?

        Personally, I think Hitlery lost because she ran a shit campaign. She didn’t even go to some of the critical swing states. And she was lying about everything, from her health to her email. She appeared to believe herself entitled to win, which never goes over well, and frankly, I think the Nation was more than a little afraid of what 8 more years of Obozo-style government might bring – especially when conflated with the “Clinton Foundation” pay-to-play mode of operation.

        At the time, I thought, “How could the two major parties nominate the two least-qualified people in America to be president?”

        But I was wrong about Trump. Trump has done a damned good job (so far).

        Hiterly? If I stepped in a pile of Hitlery, I’d be left in a quandary. Can I just scrape it off my shoe? Or do I have to throw the shoe away?

    2. What’s really amazing is that for all this talk of election influence, I don’t recall seeing a single story about a single person who claimed to have been duped into voting for Trump because of the Russians. It’s possible that I missed it as I can’t read every news article every day. But you would think that if anything significant enough to alter the outcome of a presidential election had occurred, there would be no shortage of such stories, and we would still be seeing new ones every day. This is a case where the silence is deafening.

      1. I think the assumption is that if someone was stupid enough to vote for Trump, they were stupid enough to be influenced by the Ruskies and not even know it.

        1. Yeah, but surely some of them would have the light bulb go off by now. Assuming that’s the assumption, it’s ridiculous.

          1. You don’t get it. Hillary should have won. The fact that she didn’t win means some outside force caused the election to be stolen from her. The Ruskies engaged in shenanigans, therefore they cost her the election. That’s all the proof that a Hillary supporter needs.

            1. Exactly. Hillary supporters will never ever admit that Hillary sucked and that is why Pennsylvania, WI, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, and Ohio went for Trump.

              1. ^This. I dunno, but with Trump’s recent tariff moves, it seems that he was clever in pealing just enough voters in those states that would have been inclined to vote for the Democrat. I don’t agree with the result, but he has to be given credit in building that coalition.

                BTW, I’m a Republican that voted for Gary Johnson, as I couldn’t vote for Trump and certainly couldn’t vote for Clinton. While I agree with some of his moves, I hate what he’s doing to the Republican party in the long run.

                1. RT, Trump did exactly that and the supporters in those swing states have grown.

                  Those Americans feel like Trump is fighting for them and he is. Protectionism is not the long term answer but if it pushes other trading partners into lowering their outrageous trade restrictions, then the short term pain might be worth the long term gains.

                  Reagan also did this. Part of the reason he got a landslide in 1984.

                  Trump’s strategy with international trade is business 101. You weigh and bet on risks to pay off in the end. Most business focuses on short term gains but when a company tells customers “We have been in business for 50 years”, that is a long term risk/gain. Some companies sell out to a buyer at the first chance.

                  1. LC1789 – While I might agree with your analysis in the abstract, I think it would take a clear-eyed strategist to pull off, something I think is lacking in the oval office. At any rate, needlessly insulting allied leaders (in personal terms) is not helpful at all.

            2. You’re generally correct, but you disappoint me by failing to include the influence of misogyny and systemic patriarchal oppression.

      2. But you just made a big deal about the DNC rigging things against Bernie and I bet there were Bernie voters who it sat it out because the Russians released that information when they did.

        1. If non-Americans have some right to enter the USA, then Russians have a ‘right’ to release info about the DNC.

          If non-Americans have some Constitutional Due Process right to be granted asylum then Russians have a Constitutional right to freedom of the Press.

          Hacking the DNC was illegal but releasing the info publicly is perfectly legal for any person or group to do that for any reason.

        2. So where are those stories?

          And what does that have to do with Trump? Are you suggesting that if it had been Bernie versus Trump that Bernie would have won? Because, while he is definitely more likeable and principled than Clinton, his platform was also a hell of a lot more unpalatable. We of course will never know the results of an election that didn’t happen, but I would not have been surprised at all if Trump had kicked Sanders’ ass even worse than he beat Clinton.

          People who are mystified as to how Trump won obviously never watched a single one of his campaign rallies. Every one of them was packed with people, and they were extremely excited about him. Just watching it on YouTube, you could still sense the electricity in the air. While the media was busy painting him as a doofus with no substance, he was barnstorming the rust belt preaching the gospel of jobs, low taxes, and less regulation. Meanwhile, Bernie was meekly giving up his platform to BLM protesters who respected him so little that they derailed his rallies, and he didn’t have the sack to use the most potent weapon he had – Hillary’s emails and general corruption – against her. No way a guy like that was going to beat Trump.

          1. I’m not going to argue with someone who pushes that Seth Rich murder bullshit. I don’t trust your motives or your capacity to discern truth.

            1. At what point does a bunch of healthy people who died under suspicious circumstances and are risks to Clinton power go from coincidental deaths to intentional murder?

              1. Never. Because there is nothing suspicious with committing suicide by shooting yourself TWICE in the head.

            2. Says the person raving about a grand conspiracy for which zero concrete facts have yet been presented despite a year and a half of intensive scrutiny by congress, the FBI, DOJ, the media and an army of insurgent leakers.

              It is amusing that you question my capacity to discern truth when events played out to vindicate my observations – Sanders allowed his candidacy to be stolen from him and Trump won.

              Nitpicking a point of disagreement about my observation of a highly suspicious coincidence in another thread does nothing to distract from the point I just made about Sanders being an incredibly weak candidate when matched against Trump. And the facts I noted about his BLM and Hillary surrender-monkeying are out there on video for the whole world to see, as are Trump’s rallies.

      3. The amount of exposure the Russian ad buys had was a tiny fraction of 1%. And there were anti-Trump ad buys too. The evidence is the Russians were more interested in stirring up dissent than in anointing the next president. In that light, all the left-wing rabble-rousers are operating as Russian agents.

  6. This law and the Sedition act are both creatures of Woodrow Wilson . One of the worst presidents of all time.

    1. Releasing top secret information can seriously endanger all citizens of an entire nation. History is full of examples.

      This chick was stupid and is getting a light sentence. She should have gotten bail but she should do her time and count herself lucky.

      Edward Snowden also released classified information but revealed unconstitutional domestic spying by the US government. He’s a goddam patriot if you ask me. He also violated the law and should be punished. I would give him a year in a cushy minimum security federal prison for his ‘punishment’.

      All the Founding Fathers knew that if they got caught by England, they would have been hanged and accepted it as the risk. Snowden should too. That is what patriots do. They can also become martyrs.

      1. Releasing top secret information can seriously endanger all citizens of an entire nation.

        Yeah, except that these days everything is secret. When everything is secret, then it loses its meaning. So much stupid shit is classified that the stuff that actually should be classified is no longer treated with respect. Just like the law. When the majority of laws are unjust and immoral, when the majority of law is men imposing their will upon society instead of codifying the laws of society, people lose respect for all of the law. Even that which is just.

        1. ‘Everything’ is not secret but you are definitely correct that US bureaucrats have learned from past mistakes and now over-classify government info as a matter of policy.

          Over-classifying info is not unconstitutional. Domestic spying without warrants is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment. That is what should trigger a rebellion if the government does not fix it… fast.

          This is Trump’s fault for not ending this as he has not problem standing up to corrupt bureaucrats like Comey, McCabe, Mueller, etc. This is what the media should be rightfully hitting Trump on a daily basis.

          The media is fine with the Nanny and Police State so they dont really care and dont like the Constitution anyway.

          1. That is what should trigger a rebellion…

            There will never be a rebellion. Not while poor people are fat. We are the soft, domesticated descendants of the wild and free people who founded this nation. We won’t rebel anymore than milk cattle are going to rebel against their farmers. As long as there is bread and circuses, as long as people are fat and entertained, nobody’s going to give a shit about the government shitting on the constitution.

            1. Rebellions have happened under far less certain circumstances.

              There are not as many fat people as you think. You can just see them easier so you think there are more of them.

              1. Nobody goes hungry in this country unless they want to. People with full bellies rarely rebel, especially when the circuses are in full swing. It ain’t gonna happen here anytime soon.

                1. The Founders were all well fed. Benjamin Franklin was obese.

                  You might be right about no rebellion happening anytime soon but some Peoples reach the end of their rope sooner than later.

                  1. The Founders were a different breed. We are their domesticated descendants. I don’t think we’ve got it in us.

                    Suppose their was a rebellion, what do you think would replace our current government? With so many people indoctrinated into socialism and free shit from government, I fear liberty would be destroyed in the name of fairness.

                    1. Speak for yourself.

                      I stand up to cops, judges, and bureaucrats. I sue for Constitutional violations of my rights and those my clients.

                      Freedom is not free. Most people will not fight for their freedom but there are still people who will. There are plenty of people to undermine America, anarchists included.

    2. Yes. One of the worst of all time. Right behind Lincoln and FDR, but ahead of Johnson and Obozo.

  7. 8th Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Everyone is entitled to non-excessive bail no matter what the charges. There are no exceptions for flight risk, refuses to wear GPS trackers, charged with leaking classified info, etc.

    If a defendant fails to show for court one time, set a far higher ‘non-excessive’ bail amount.

    1. The law says differently. And the law is the law is the law. If you don’t like it, get your representative to change it. If they won’t change it, run for office and change it yourself. If all that fails, suck it up and stop complaining. Only anarchists complain about the law.

      1. Since you conveniently left out the part of my statement that includes Rule of Law if the laws are constitutional, you are just making a fool of yourself. Nice try anarchist.

        If laws are unconstitutional, then they are not laws under the US Constitution. The US Constitution is the supreme law which authorizes or limits all other inferior laws in the United States.

        1. It was called sarcasm. You know, like my name?

          And no you don’t support Rule of Law, because you support legislation that imposes the will of man upon society. My objection to the Rule of Man does not make me an anarchist.

          1. Oh now you want to use sarcasm?

            I don’t know what makes you an anarchist. You confuse things and probably have been confused for some time.

            The legislation that you want to differentiate from law comes from Constitutional authority. If its constitutional, then it legal. That does not mean that its a good law. We have multiple methods to prevent and get rid of bad laws. In fact we even have a method for changing the supreme law of the law to restrict government even more.

            1. Sorry, but legislation can be both constitutional and rule of man. I am not confused at all. The purpose of legislation is to codify the laws of society. Not to impose the will of man upon society. You see no difference between rule of man and rule of law, as long as the constitution says it’s OK. I do.

              1. You have some confusion about the philosophy of America and its Constitutional Democratic Republic.

                Rule of Man is a term used to describe arbitrary rule(s) by one person, regime, or small group.

                As designed, the United States, is to be ruled by the People. The fact that we have strayed into many arbitrary rules that are typically unconstitutional does not make this less true.

                The purpose of legislation is to codify the laws created by a legislative body, like Congress. The president makes law with EOs. The Courts make law by interpreting the Constitution, statutes, and rules into caselaw.

            2. By your reasoning, murder would be legal if all legislation against it were to be repealed. By my reasoning it would still be illegal because it violates the rules of society. People would be fully justified in taking justice into their own hands in absence of legislation against murder. You can call me an anarchist all day, but that doesn’t make it true. I see a valid role for government enforcing the rules of society through legislation. However just because something is legislated doesn’t mean it’s law.

              1. Murder would be legal if all laws against murder were repealed.

                Would people murder other people just because it’s legal?

                Murder having no laws would not make it any less immoral.

                “However just because something is legislated doesn’t mean it’s law.”
                Just admit that you refuse to acknowledge the power vested in small limited government to be okay. It does not matter that Americans vesting some of their individual power into a small limited government is still bad to you.

                Anarchy is the best to you, right?

                1. Anarchy is the best to you, right?

                  What part of “I see a valid role for government enforcing the rules of society through legislation” did you not understand?

                  Oh yeah, the distinction between government codifying the laws of society into legislation (rule of law), and men imposing their will upon society through legislation that conflicts with the laws of society (rule of man).

                  1. You want a commune without the Communism. Voluntary- all of it.

                    Good luck with that.

                    I guess that is why you hang here among Libertarians because anarchy is a pipe dream and Libertarians want the closest thing you can get to it- small limited government. Hopefully anarchists can destroy that small and limited government to get the voluntary ‘state’ of anarchy.

                    You people think you are so slick. Just like lefties trying to hide among Libertarians. We tolerate you because Libertarians are mostly tolerant.

                    Humans congregate into groups because it easier to survive. The problem is lazy or aggressive people who wreck it for everyone else. Which is why the Founders came up with small limited government. The best of both worlds. Safety of unity and rule of law while keeping aggressiveness to boss people around to a minimum.

                    Unfortunately, the aggressive progressives/socialists took advantage of rural America’s Silent Majority to nudge the USA into the leviathan it has become.

                    Trump is the American Silent Majority’s retort to that aggressiveness.

  8. “That is why Edward Snowden fled to Russia.”

    Correction: Edward Snowden fled to Russia because he is a traitorous piece of trash.

    YW!

    1. So you see exposing the rampant spying on US residents without due process of any kind as treason? Forcing our government to live up to the Constitution is anything but.

      1. Yawn. Snowden could’ve gone through channels, but decided to commit treason and flee the country. You and Oliver Stone should get a room together.

  9. The Intercept is mad she’s not Jewish then they’d be cheering at 63 months but begging for more

  10. >“Could Winner have gotten a better deal if judges had allowed her to remain free while she negotiated with prosecutors?”

    How about not committing crimes in the first place, hmmm?

    Over and over, we’re scolded that we must be kinder and gentler to criminals, traitors and invaders, but no one dare suggest perps not commit crimes. Noooooooo!!! We’ve got to coddle the crooks, rebrand traitors into “whistleblowers” and welcome the invaders over our open borders because shut up babies in cages!

    And Losertarians wonder why no one takes them seriously?

  11. The sentences that are handed out to little people in this country are ridiculous. If this is “rule of law”, give me anarchy.

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