18 Times the Government Used The Espionage Act to Destroy Democracy

Since the Espionage Act was passed in 1917, the government has used it to bully journalists, and silence anti-war activists. Yes, there have been spies within the government who have been rightfully convicted of espionage, but let’s not overlook obvious cases of abuse. The Espionage Act limits our freedom of speech. Anybody who poses a serious threat to the Washington Establishment in D.C can be accused of espionage.

Below is a list of people who were convicted of Espionage: Cases of anti-war activism, or exposing government corruption were treated as treasonous acts of espionage.  


Jeffery Sterling – Former CIA agent who exposed wrongdoing of Clinton Administration

William Albertson – Member of the communist party in America. Later framed by the FBI

Ralph Chaplin – Encouraged people to avoid draft during WW1. Anti-war/pro-labor activist

Eugene V Debbs – Socialist / anti-war activist during WW1

Shaimi Leibowitz – Blogger who leaked FBI documents showing wrongdoing by the FBI

Marie Equi – Medical worker who opposed WW1

Richardo Magon – Wrote an anti-war manifesto

Chelsea Manning – Leaked documents and videos showing U.S military killing civilians in the Middle East

Emma Goldman – Convinced people not to sign up for the draft WW1

Bill Haywood – Encouraged draft desertion WW1

David Truong – Partook in the Anti-Vietnam War Peace movement. Caught with classified documents

Emil Herman – Socialist / Anti-war activist during WW1

John Kiriakou – Journalist/Author who leaked information about torture programs in USA

Frederick Krafft – Anti-war activist during WW1

Kate Richards O’Hare – Gave an Anti-war speech during WW1

Mollie Steimer – Distributed anti-war pamphlets during WW1

Reality Winner – Exposed documents from the NSA

Julian Assange* – Exposed a litany of USA war crimes

The Espionage Act is a threat to our democracy. It needs to be thrown out and rewritten. The law was originally passed in 1917. The law should be updated with specific protections for peace activists, whistleblowers, and journalists.

It’s important to note that this law has been used almost exclusively against people on the left. The law heavily targets communists and socialists. Most people on the left don’t understand the importance of rewriting such a dangerous law, and a lot of them don’t grasp the level of censorship that has been inflicted on left ideology throughout our history.

Written By: Chris Weber

current events education Mass Media politics progressive Uncategorized

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