The governed can’t knowingly consent when deceived by their government

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … — Declaration of Independence

Judge Andrew Napolitano, a notoriously law-and-order proponent, has a point.

Is 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner, arrested this past weekend and charged with espionage, a traitor or a patriot?


Columnist and Fox News commentator Napolitano notes that what Winner revealed is that Russian hackers in 2016 planted cookies on the websites of 122 American local government clerks responsible for counting ballots in the presidential election.

Reality Winner mugshot.

“This means that if any employee of those clerks’ offices clicked onto any cookie, the hackers had access to — and thus the ability to interfere with — the tabulation of votes,” Napolitano writes.

But this information was classified top secret. Who was being protected by this classification? The Russians? The sources are undoubtedly computer geeks and not spies in any danger of being exposed. No, the only people being kept in the dark are the American voters who must judge whether their government is competent enough to ensure election integrity.

“Doesn’t the American public have the right to know what the Russians did in the election?” Napolitano asks. “Is it necessarily criminal to make such things public? Isn’t the NSA supposed to protect us from foreign hackers who are attempting to interfere with the core American electoral process — the election of the president — and not keep us in the dark if it fails to do so?”

As with the Pentagon Papers, the question is: Who is being kept in the dark and why?

The Pentagon Papers were assembled at the request of Secretary Robert Strange McNamara in 1967 and was basically a history of the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg copied the report and turned it over to The New York Times, which published excerpts.

The Supreme Court ruled the paper was within its rights to do so even though some material was classified.

The Pentagon Papers revealed that successive presidential administrations had misled the public about the war.

It is difficult for the governed to knowledgeably consent when the government is deceiving them.


16 comments on “The governed can’t knowingly consent when deceived by their government

  1. Rincon says:

    Although our past governments have deceived the people in some instances over the years, it is highly damaging to chronically view the government as untrustworthy and incompetent – unless you advocate a revolution. You guys give Trump every break possible, but instantly declare the government to be criminal without any benefit of any doubt. Is it possible that the information was classified because our government didn’t want to reveal to the Russians that we were now able to identify and track their activity in this regard? Giving this information to our people in this case also means giving it to our enemy.

  2. Rincon says:

    Sorry, my bad. I forgot that Conservatives don’t believe that Russia hacked the election in the first place: “Shortly after exiting the ballroom where the luncheon was held, Teresa Riley was checking her phone for updated news on Comey’s testimony. Upon hearing that Comey testified that Russia unequivocally interfered in the 2016 presidential election — consistent with the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community generally — Riley dismissed the news with a wave of her hand.”

    “Knowing what I know about computers and computer hacking, anyone can make a hack look like it’s coming from anywhere. So I don’t know if I believe that,” she said, without explaining her line of work or level of interest in computers.”

  3. The real investigation needs to be directed towards the illegal unmasking and leaking of the identities of US citizens by numerous operatives of the Obama Administration. The fact that Obama allowed this classified material to be spread among the 17 security agencies by signing Executive Order 12333, rather than be kept to a small group of intelligence agents, virtually assured the kind of attacks and leaks documented in Mr. Mitchell’s story above. Reality Leigh Winner proclaimed she wanted to “burn this White House down!” The Obama inner intelligence circle have refused to appear and participate in the Senate and House hearings…they need to be subpoenaed and instead of the round robin Senate Dinosaurs trying to score political points…there should be a trained federal prosecutor handling the cross examination. Senator Grassley has indicated that he will begin an investigation into this mess…hopefully sooner rather than later.

  4. Rincon says:

    So Reality Winner leaks classified information and she’s performing a valuable public service. Obama’s kids do the same and they should face charges. Got it.

  5. […] The governed can’t knowingly consent when deceived by their government As with the Pentagon Papers, the question is: Who is being kept in the dark and why? […]

  6. deleted says:

    For anyone interested; orange man doesn’t like anyone finding out much about what he’s doing, especially democrats.

  7. Rincon says:

    Weren’t you the one criticizing the “you did it too” argument?

  8. Steve says:

    With Patrick, there is no “you did it too”. Patrick is certain his peeps never do anything wrong.
    Patrick needs to be taken down a notch or two once in a while.

  9. deleted says:

    Rincon as the article says, this has never been done before.

    For a president to instruct the entire government at his disposal, to refuse to even acknowledge the existence of more than 50% of the country’s representation’s right to know what the government is doing is unprecedented.

  10. Steve says:

    Ya see?

    hate to say it…..

  11. Rincon says:

    I was referring to you, Steve.

  12. Rincon says:

    How Patrick responds to your argument has no effect on the composition of said argument. So far as I can see, “Obama promised transparency. But his administration is one of the most secretive” is equal to “You (liberals) did it too”,

  13. Steve says:

    You jumped in, Rincon. My statement was about Patrick from the start.
    His peeps, in his mind, do no wrong; ever.
    there for it was, in no way, “your guys do it too”. For Patrick it was clearly saying since he never sees wrong in his side, then the same thing on the other side cannot be wrong either.

    On the other hand, you (and I) are clearly able to call out our own sides when we detect them at their various versions of gamesmanship.

  14. Steve says:

    (auto correct!) therefore! not there for……

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