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This week on the journal editorial.
Former attorney general Michael -- -- on the legal case against Wiki leaks founder Julian Hassan plus.
The Obama Republican tax cut deal what's being sold as a second stimulus but is it.
And a group of California parents pulled the trigger in a bid to transform one of the State's worst performing public schools.
Could -- spark -- nationwide education.
Welcome to the journal editorial.
Report I'm -- ago as Wiki leaks founder Julian aside sits in a London jail facing extradition to Sweden.
On sex charges some American officials are demanding he be tried in the United States.
For the release of thousands of classified documents including last week's -- of sensitive State Department cables.
But -- -- be prosecuted under American law and should he be.
Michael -- is the former attorney general.
Of the United States he joins me now judge welcome great to have you back here -- So your successor as attorney general Eric Holder has said -- his department is investigating whether to prosecute.
A -- and that would like to.
If you were still attorney -- what statute.
Would you be looking.
I'd be looking at two sections of what's called the espionage act one of which.
From analyzes the circulation.
Of defense related information.
Which -- criminalized the publication.
Classified -- This is espionage act of 1970.
World War I statute an oldie but -- okay what you have to prove.
-- get a conviction.
On the SPD have to prove that for example that the leaks damage national security.
You have to prove that they were done with the intent to damage the United States.
You have to prove.
In order to get there there is one of those sections that carries the death -- If you proof that a result of the -- was disclosed the identity of the US agent and -- lost his life then.
A penalty up to death may be imposed.
Now what would the impact of a product on the prosecution be if you get a comment like we had the last week by the Defense Secretary Robert Gates who said well some of -- Criticism of this is over -- some of the fears about the damage done by the release of these diplomatic cables is over -- That would hurt the key prosecution potentially -- -- -- the prosecution potentially presumably the defense -- uses a government edition.
But it would not certainly would not bar the prosecutor.
Now the espionage act has never been used before it's -- my knowledge and you can correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I've looked back on it never been used against a publisher.
Not even in World War II when the Chicago Tribune disclosed that we had.
Suggestion that we have broken the Japanese code after the battle of midway FDR decided that administration not to prosecute.
Why would you make an exception.
In this case -- the reasons that they decided not to prosecute in World War II was not because the statute didn't line.
But rather because the Japanese apparently had picked up on the story can't read attribute their -- -- Printed circuit.
In subscription must've -- I don't know.
But they didn't pick up on the story didn't change their -- and was felt that if they prosecuted colonel McCormick.
That would give me an apparent that we publisher the publisher that -- That would have made it apparent that we had broken the code.
And therefore it would have made it worse from the national security's.
So as a matter discretion they stopped.
The investigation before with a returned an indictment and nothing to do with the question -- prosecutor and legally are scientists claim that he publisher just like -- just add one thing is in the in the these disclosures that the Ellsberg disclosures right.
And the Pentagon papers case in the in nineteen right seven.
The majority of the Supreme Court said that although they would not stop publication advance the question of whether they can be prosecution and after which was a completely different thing.
So I left that possibility -- the -- but a majority the court has never taken a position.
On the espionage act and whether it actually would violate the First Amendment that's an open question idea.
Well its -- open question theoretically.
Frankly -- the question you think it would stand yes why.
Because the First Amendment doesn't protect speech that causes certain prescribed certain defined injury doesn't protect.
Prosecution -- -- doesn't protect prosecution for shouting fire crowded theater doesn't protect prosecution for fraud doesn't protect prosecution for sedition.
On this interesting formulation in the First Amendment that says.
Make no law.
Abridging not doesn't say abridging freedom of speech it's as abridging the freedom of speech and it's the freedom of speech that was known.
At the time and that's been known since.
-- freedom of speech within.
Certainly within rational limits.
Well a lot of publishers would argue.
-- if you go after us -- -- Then how do you stop at.
Him and not go after say the New York Times or other newspapers and might have published.
The cables as well LB it was a little more responsibility and discretion sorting a model that you exercise discretion.
And the answer to that may be that perhaps the New York Times looked hesitate before doing something that.
So you would not stop necessarily just gradually in a -- In the abstract and no I think that.
In in this case from what I know I would stop with Julian so.
And those who are acting in direct concert with.
So -- and you would say because the times has just re publishing it perhaps -- not as culpable is that a distinction your drive.
The distinction I'm drawing is that it is.
From us from a policy standpoint of prosecutors on their case with respect to -- -- With regard to the times.
I think just as a matter discretion hopeful.
Let me ask you a related but slightly different question you've been and the government you've seen what is classified the the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan here to -- the government just keeps too many secrets.
You agree with yes.
They ought to declassify a lot more things so that we can focus on the part the secrets protecting the -- which were really need to protect I think that it would help.
And I think that would also help to put some controls in the same way that you're -- when you use your credit card.
At some point if if charges start being -- up.
That are usually get equal asking -- -- vacationing in the Bahamas and you just let.
With the stereo but right.
People have access to classified information.
And there are controls possible that should show that somebody in Toledo's dumping 500000 documents we ought to ask -- question.
-- just -- -- a fascinating.
Issue and going to be interest and see how it goes thanks so much for being here.
When we come back president Obama's tax cut deal White House is selling -- -- skeptics as a stimulus.
But is it.
This is going to -- the economy it is good to slow the economy is gonna increase the likelihood that we can drive down the unemployment rate.
That was President Obama this week trying to persuade skeptics mostly in his own party on his tax cut deal the White House has provisions to extend unemployment benefits.
-- rarely cut payroll taxes.
And provide tax breaks for investment.
Will help get the economy moving again.
But are they over selling.
The -- stimulative effects joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- here columnist Mary Anastasia O'Grady.
And senior economics writer Steve Moore so.
Mary looks to me -- most of this package is an extension of that tax status quo.
How much stimulus is in there.
Well -- you know usually stimulus is considered government spending and only in Washington.
Can letting people keep more of their own money.
Be considered government spending it makes you wonder.
Who these people whose money do they think it is right I think the stimulative effects may come from extending the unemployment benefits -- that really is government spending.
But I think -- not imposing a tax increase which is basically what's here.
Is going to you know just extend the status quo as far as the payroll tax cut goes I'm very skeptical about that because it's temporary and on the.
For one year and it's on the employee side it's the worker who saves them money that'll put more money in their pockets.
But does it give the business any more incentive to hire well not only that I don't think it does -- not only that I think there's a lot of evidence to show that when people see a temporary.
Increase in their income.
They don't necessarily -- spend that they use that to -- -- data or to get ready for when their income goes back down -- the fact that it's temporary.
I don't think necessarily means that it's gonna -- -- spending and consumption.
Okay Steve lot of people are saying so even some people on the right that this is this is a real change of intellectual course for the administration.
Is -- a real supply side tax cutting strategy.
Well first of all Pollock like the makes it make a suggestion that we -- from our vocabulary the term stimulus because.
The term has become so discredited by the Obama administration the last stimulus we had that was over trillion dollars actually lost two million jobs so right I just hate I hate that word okay -- -- is this is this what you would call a supply side pro growth.
-- -- -- I really think get it it will help the economy quite a bit of -- I'm very bullish on this plan.
Mary's right it's only keeping the tax rates where they are but if we haven't done this -- we would've been talking about raising the capital gains tax that dividend tax.
Income taxes on small businesses so I do think that this really I agree with Larry Summers -- I believe that this dramatically reduces the chances of a double dip recession it gives some businesses and individuals -- workers some certainty about what taxes will be next.
Are we L -- four but only for two years actor I don't and it only employs a tax increase even doesn't cut taxes any further for the most part of of them that right that one or two small.
Point is that Dan is this your idea of a growth policy it's -- Definitely not my idea of -- growth policy I think that's an important distinction we have.
-- politicians in Washington that are sort of presiding over a moribund economy it's like a patient who's in a coma right their idea of growth is that the patient comes out of the coma and opens his size.
I don't think that that is what we're talking about in terms of real economic growth.
And there's nothing in this package that is going to.
Make the economy grow at a strong rate and I think but the Republicans should do is take this and then -- -- -- Build on this as the basis for growing the economy but don't oversell it and don't oversell it can't just entering our copy out of the coma.
I think one that I had what.
Yeah go ahead Steve go ahead I just -- -- -- one point I think it's so important.
You know everybody Washington -- at least the people on the -- keep describing unemployment insurance extensions as a stimulus to the economy this will reduce jobs it will reduce employment if you pay people not to work you don't get more jobs I don't know where this idea came from and -- got some -- of evidence -- page that shows that we probably -- one -- two percentage points the unemployment -- -- we're giving people so long on the blog about.
That's what they claim it'll it'll boost their consumption somehow on the map well there for help -- help the economy -- -- Politically -- -- the house Democrats so angry about this.
Well this is religion.
And -- and if you notice taxes on the rich our religion they keep repeating over and over again that that this is somehow giving the very rich countries some kind of special break I mean I think the question we have to ask.
As it and in terms of understanding how how how good it will be for the economy as.
Does it put more money in the hands of the private sector because the private sector.
Is the -- engine of wealth is created and that and that net on that means this is actually a deal probably worth taking if you.
I -- I think that that that's the positive that the negative is the temporary aspect of it right businesses do not make decisions based on one era and particularly in hiring because went to hire someone it's not so easy to get rid of them a year later.
And so I think that you know in terms of just let Dan says keeping the patient alive.
It's all good but in terms of making the US economy more competitive which is what we really need to do.
Now Dan why would the president we -- of a lot of time but why would the president -- to kick this down the road for only two years right putting it right in the middle.
Of the 2012.
Election campaign to re litigate all of us.
Well because I believe he is a class warrior he does want to fight the upper bracket thing he said that he would repeal it if real I think it's good politics he thinks it's good politics and he has an alternative view of how an economy grows and it does not include lower tax rates for people in the upper brackets and he believes that wants the fight -- If he thinks that the and he thinks that the economy is better in 2012 the Republican argument that it.
Raising those taxes would hurt the economy that trump card will be gone and they can fight on fairness and win intently to point out.
I don't know your taxes may go up as when we come back California parents pull the trigger.
On school reform taking the fate of one failing public school out of the hands of the teachers union.
Could -- -- -- nationwide education revolution.
Well it could be the shot heard round the education world this week in Compton California more than 260 parents pulled the first ever apparent trigger.
In a bid to transform their children's failing public school.
-- state law passed earlier this year parents can trigger.
Changing governance at some thirteen hundred California schools if they fail to make adequate yearly progress for four years in a row.
If at least 51%.
From the parents signed a petition they can shut the school down.
Shake up its administration or invite a charter school to take over.
Compton's McKinley elementary school has made adequate progress only wants since 2003 in it is in the bottom 10%.
Of schools statewide so on Tuesday more than 60% of the parents of McKinley students turned in petitions.
Exercising that right to take over the school and turn it over to a charter school operator.
For more I'm joined by wall street journal editorial board member Jason -- and assistant editorial features editor David -- So David you've been following this where did this -- trigger move.
Can't it start.
Well it basically began with a a liberal Los Angeles parents group called parent revolution.
And they conceived of the idea and then got it passed into law in January as part of a package of reforms that tried to burn through the state legislature the state legislature by one vote with any liberal democratic sponsor Gloria Romero.
It's as one of the fascinating things about this to me -- mostly liberals and Democrats have opposed.
School choice and -- this is one of the most ambitious school choice proposals around because the parents themselves can trigger it.
You don't have to have a -- and public.
Debate and all that the parents -- a school exactly and it doesn't rely on the sort of circumstances that education reformers have relied on four for ten more years where you need the right -- and the right schools chancellor has in New York with Joe Klein.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Once it's once it's been program it started it works the the same way except for the crucial difference that you mentioned which is that.
Whereas Charter Schools and other areas have to hold lotteries because they have some idea what and -- -- -- that's right -- have to take all comers right because because they Symbian but don't have the space schools that are Charter Schools that are of the gun by the trigger option.
Will take all students -- students from the failing original school will be banished by lottery so what's happening -- -- what happened this week -- expecting.
What happened on Tuesday it was it to a sixty parents which is -- 61% of the parent body -- McKinley.
It went down to the superintendent's office and content delivered their signatures and began the charter process and what what they have called for in the petition.
All along is that the Slattery educational group a charter operator which is already running a couple of charter successfully.
Three quite successfully schools and Alan and and so there have been if petition for this it's a specific petition -- just Christian broadly for a chance -- you petition specifically for.
The -- to come in in this case.
What we now expect to happen is is lawsuits there there will be challenges the unions will challenge this and try to stop it but ultimately.
If the loss has what it it means what it says they should be successful since they've got 61%.
Of of this support the -- meaning of laws is quickly.
All right Jason you've been following education reform for a long time school choice pushing it pushing nets don't -- the mountain for a long time.
What do you make of this particular.
Well to the extent that it puts more choices in the hands of parents and kids.
It's all good I mean the problem of public education today.
Is that the teacher's union tells -- vice -- Right on on the some local -- on local governments and and the balance of power is out of whack here I mean the system set -- Two to benefit the adults that run system versus of the kids.
That are supposed to be several mean -- are bad schools closing because that means fewer jobs which means -- members for unions.
Not that that the the concern -- the kids are secondary right and so to the extent that this gives pat parents.
The ability to make choices.
It's -- -- I mean a lot of it I think will depend on the trigger.
That they decide to use I mean.
And if they decide to use it -- -- behind parents have had the option of transferring kids out of failing schools since 2002.
Very few have done so first he'll need parents take initiative to take advantage of this new life so there's going to be an education process and share your education and -- but also the that the specific -- they -- won't matter a lot of the turnaround models.
Aren't don't have a very good track record here but -- chanting down a school however and bringing in one of these high performing charter networks run like kept.
Our democracy -- that has a much more successful.
Track record and the charter in this case David Israel has a good track record right it's been around for a number of years -- -- -- schools are all -- form.
Okay all right thank you both we have to take one more break when we come back our hits and misses of the week.
Time now for hits and misses of the week stand for -- Well Paul this week to New York Jets football team called former pros safety Keith -- you to come back and play for them and mr.
-- you said no thanks but I've got a good job as a train conductor in Georgia.
Now you might say is the economy's so bad that -- would give up a chance to play in the NFL it's a little more complicated than that.
-- -- lives at home with his disabled father and as he put it.
You know I'd love to play in the Super Bowl but you only get one mom and dad in the NFL that's known as -- It -- right Jason.
-- earlier this week former president Jimmy Carter gave an interview to PBS -- sad I have serious doubts that we will prevail in Afghanistan.
And I don't think we have the capability or the will to actually prevail militarily over the Talabani.
That seems to me to be an almost hopeless case how's that for a holiday message to our troops and their families from former commander in chief.
-- I think the only hopeless case -- might be a former president the statements are not only incorrect but very irresponsible.
All right Jason Steve.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Franklin Roosevelt declared December 71941.
Should be a day that lives in infamy but this December 7 came along in the for -- immediate paid almost no attention to it they pay more attention to Lady Gaga has birthday this and then this important date -- we remember.
-- and 71941.
And we are memorialized.
I've paid tribute to that the man and woman who kept America free.
And the defeated tyranny I think we -- -- real service to the people who kept this a matter.
Our American country are right Steve thanks so much that's it for this week's edition of The Journal Editorial Report thanks to my panel and all of you for watching I'm -- -- you -- to see right here.
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