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Thursday, October 25, 2012

To What Not Dangerous Russia Was Obama Referring

--posted by Tony Garcia on 10/25/2012

When Obama mocked Romney in the 3rd debate about considering Russia a threat I began to wonder which Russia Obama was talking about. Was it this one with the leader who endorsed Obama?
That brings us to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who has eliminated most elections in his country, monopolized all major media and destroyed the political party system. ... In a letter to a major newspaper, the president of a group dedicated to expanding freedom around the world points out that under Putin there has been an “across-the-board crackdown on civil society.” The piece goes on to ask: “Will Obama stand up against Putin’s abuses?” Unlikely, now that the Russian dictator has extended his endorsement.
It could not be this Russia which is making any sharing of government information a crime of treason.
Russia's parliament has voted to widen the definition of high treason in a move critics say is a further attempt to stifle dissent in the country.

Under the proposed new law, high treason and espionage will include supporting "those seeking to damage Russia's security".

Those illegally obtaining secret state information could face an extended prison sentence.
Now I think is a good time to remind people that ANYTIME government gets in the business of controlling media it becomes dangerous. That is why things like the Fairness Doctrine were and will always be a danger to freedom.

This new bill in Russia has some scary implications.
The bill lists as high treason not only passing secret information to foreign governments, but also giving consultations or financial help, including to international organisations, in case the recipients engage in ''activities directed against the security of Russia''.

The bill also creates a new criminal charge, punishable by up to four years in prison, for people who receive state secrets through illegal means.

Rights activists and lawyers said the broader definitions laid out in the new amendments could criminalise sharing information with international organisations such as Amnesty International or even appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.
Picture this. Some illegal activity going on in a government agency and a moral person is going to blow the lid on it...or even just wants to get some amnesty in a different country away from the activity. By giving any information to a Russian reporter both the person AND the reporter would be held for treason. The reporter might not even know they are breaking the law.

The bill also changes the burden of proof from prosecutors having to show "hostile intent" to only needing to show a threat to state security.

Under the new legal definition going to the European Court of Human Rights about abuses in Russia could be prosecuted for revealing state secrets. Even the transmission of information on election fraud could be construed as state treason. Think about all of those stories in the United States about voter supression, intimidation, illegal activity, etc suddenly being illegal. Suddenly being illegal to even complain to anyone about it.

Go ahead, think of the implications beyond that. There are plenty. And with that kind of move away from a freedom-loving nation I think that makes them another step closer to the Big Bear they were in their days of the USSR. And that bear was dangerous to humanity in whole.

So which Russia was Obama thinking of when he said that Russia is not a danger?

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Blogger ThePete said...

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October 25, 2012  

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