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