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  • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    We'll have to wait and see what the Supreme Court says, because that's where this case is ultimately headed. The key question is whether or not a president's order to declassify can be refused or overturned.
    It can be revised by POTUS. Potus1 starts the ball rolling, Potus2 stops it. No issues at all with that.
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
    “not all there” - you know who you are

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    • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      We'll see have to wait for the Supreme Court to make their decision, but I suspect they will determine that a president has broad discretionary authority when it comes to classification.
      Unless there's a claim in court that documents were declassified, the issue will never show up in front of the Supreme Court. And we all know that's not going to happen.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

        Unless there's a claim in court that documents were declassified, the issue will never show up in front of the Supreme Court. And we all know that's not going to happen.
        That claim, that the President does not have broad discretionary power when it comes to classification, is central to DOJ's case, so it is has already been made in court.
        Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
        But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
        Than a fool in the eyes of God


        From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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        • Bad Orange Man's claim that POTUS can basically declassify telepathically by a pure act of will is interesting. I think it's probably true, given that POTUS *is* the Executive branch, but without also telepathically creating observable evidence of the declassification, I wonder who has the "burden of proof" in establishing whether or not declassification occurred.

          I wonder if they have made, or will make, in official presentations, the claim that the act of removing the documents, in and of itself, was de facto declassification.
          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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          • Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            I wonder if they have made, or will make, in official presentations, the claim that the act of removing the documents, in and of itself, was de facto declassification.
            All the experts say no. There are repercussions for lawyers making false or spurious claims in court. And this one's a doozy.

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            • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

              That claim, that the President does not have broad discretionary power when it comes to classification, is central to DOJ's case, so it is has already been made in court.
              That's not the issue. What he can do doesn't matter if he didn't, and nobody's claiming he did. Not in court, where it counts, anyway.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                Bad Orange Man's claim that POTUS can basically declassify telepathically by a pure act of will is interesting. I think it's probably true, given that POTUS *is* the Executive branch, but without also telepathically creating observable evidence of the declassification, I wonder who has the "burden of proof" in establishing whether or not declassification occurred.

                I wonder if they have made, or will make, in official presentations, the claim that the act of removing the documents, in and of itself, was de facto declassification.
                This, again, is a question about whether or not there are limits to a president's declassification authority. As I understand it, the president can take a classified document at random and hand it to someone on the street, and it is declassified simply by his action. No formal announcement, no paper trail, no seeking the permission of subordinate agencies, it's just a done deal. Basically, it's effectively impossible for a president to violate laws governing classified information.
                Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                Than a fool in the eyes of God


                From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                  This, again, is a question about whether or not there are limits to a president's declassification authority. As I understand it, the president can take a classified document at random and hand it to someone on the street, and it is declassified simply by his action. No formal announcement, no paper trail, no seeking the permission of subordinate agencies, it's just a done deal. Basically, it's effectively impossible for a president to violate laws governing classified information.
                  Well, yes and no. He could do that. But at the same time, if he did that, without paper trail, etc. Then the person is effectively in possession of classified documents and a hope that the president backs him up when he says the president gave them to him. If the president does not, then he has no proof and any law pertaining to him and classified information will be able to be used.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                    Well, yes and no. He could do that. But at the same time, if he did that, without paper trail, etc. Then the person is effectively in possession of classified documents and a hope that the president backs him up when he says the president gave them to him. If the president does not, then he has no proof and any law pertaining to him and classified information will be able to be used.
                    If a government document is unclassified, that means that it's available to the public. If the public can't access it, because no one knows it's unclassified, then it's, just, not unclassified.

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                    • This is a really silly conversation to be having, but seeing as it's also an excuse to further delay some grading ...

                      I was half-listening to some YouTube videos last night when a lawyer was being interviewed who claimed this insufficiently documented declassification had been tried in court three times during the Trump administration, and it had failed all three times, including the time he himself argued a case and lost.

                      I'll try to find it again when I get time, but the basic logistics says it's simply not possible to declassify a document without some documentation to let the public know about it.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                        Well, yes and no. He could do that. But at the same time, if he did that, without paper trail, etc. Then the person is effectively in possession of classified documents and a hope that the president backs him up when he says the president gave them to him. If the president does not, then he has no proof and any law pertaining to him and classified information will be able to be used.
                        Sure, you can stretch the example, but the point is that the president can do pretty much whatever he wants with classified info. This was an issue that came up early in Trump's presidency when he mentioned something to a foreign leader that was classified, but his act of telling the foreign leader was sufficient in and of itself to render the information declassified.
                        Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                        But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                        Than a fool in the eyes of God


                        From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                          If a government document is unclassified, that means that it's available to the public. If the public can't access it, because no one knows it's unclassified, then it's, just, not unclassified.
                          That is not a true statement. Classification is used to identify information that would harm national security if released. Plenty of stuff falls into unclassified government documents that are not available to the public. The easiest example would be service member medical records.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                            This is a really silly conversation to be having, but seeing as it's also an excuse to further delay some grading ...

                            I was half-listening to some YouTube videos last night when a lawyer was being interviewed who claimed this insufficiently documented declassification had been tried in court three times during the Trump administration, and it had failed all three times, including the time he himself argued a case and lost.

                            I'll try to find it again when I get time, but the basic logistics says it's simply not possible to declassify a document without some documentation to let the public know about it.
                            That was my point. A declassified document, with no evidence of being declassified is, for all intents and purposes, still classified. That's why so few republicans are buying into the the "The president can think it declassified" excuse.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                              Sure, you can stretch the example, but the point is that the president can do pretty much whatever he wants with classified info.
                              Within the legal constrains of the law and use within the government, but taking them home no.

                              This was an issue that came up early in Trump's presidency when he mentioned something to a foreign leader that was classified, but his act of telling the foreign leader was sufficient in and of itself to render the information declassified.
                              This does not remotely related to the TOP SECRET documents involved. There is a specific procedure in the Laws and rules to declassify documents and Trump did not follow these procedures, as was em[hasised i the current hearings,
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                                That was my point. A declassified document, with no evidence of being declassified is, for all intents and purposes, still classified. That's why so few republicans are buying into the the "The president can think it declassified" excuse.
                                That is correct. If he has written record of it being declassified, but the markings were old, then its status can be challenged. Verbal declassification has to be accompanied by written approval from the original classifier. Trump's actions with the documents were lazy and sloppy. But there is no application of standards at that level, or else Hillary would have been punished according to the law.
                                That's what
                                - She

                                Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                                - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                                I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                                - Stephen R. Donaldson

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