2023年8月10日 星期四

Why Secrets Lost Their Sizzle 為何美國人已對洩密無感?

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2023/08/11 第445期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Why Secrets Lost Their Sizzle 為何美國人已對洩密無感?
To Fight Book Bans, Illinois Passes a Ban on Book Bans 抗議禁書令 伊利諾州通過禁「禁書」令
Why Secrets Lost Their Sizzle 為何美國人已對洩密無感?
文/Serge Schmemann


In April, secret documents allegedly photographed by a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard began making their way into the mainstream media. Many were briefings prepared by military intelligence services, and much of it dealt with the Russia-Ukraine war. They offered Americans a rare window into the government's most valuable intelligence on one of Europe's deadliest conflicts since World War II.


We've been here before. In 2010, WikiLeaks began churning out hundreds of thousands of secret documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that had been leaked by an Army private, prompting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare that such disclosures "tear at the fabric of the proper function of responsible government." Three years later, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, leaked another batch of highly classified documents. President Barack Obama warned then that if anybody who disagreed with the government could choose to reveal its secrets, "we will not be able to keep our people safe, or conduct foreign policy."


This time the reaction has been quite different. The Pentagon did say that the latest disclosures — widely known as the "Discord Leaks" — present a "very serious risk to national security." But there has been curiously little public interest in the spilled secrets.


Reaction to the indictment of Donald Trump has followed a similar pattern, though the case revolves around a former president's handling of classified files, not leaked secrets.


There's nothing especially surprising in the public fascination with Teixeira, nor with earlier lead actors in major security leaks such as Snowden, Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange. But why has this trove of information generated less excitement than previous leaks?


One reason cited by intelligence experts is that the Ukraine war is being reported in minute detail, and the batch of raw intelligence does not substantially change the overall perception of the state of affairs.


Another factor in the lackluster public reception may be that the leaks aren't politically scandalous. Though their disclosure is worrisome to intelligence agencies, embarrassing to U.S. diplomats and irritating to foreign leaders, there are no revelations of gross dereliction or covert iniquities, as have dropped in past leaks.


And for all the dire warnings from Clinton, Obama and others a decade ago, the far more voluminous and potentially harmful information leaked by Manning and Snowden did not wreck America's ability to function in the world.


To Fight Book Bans, Illinois Passes a Ban on Book Bans 抗議禁書令 伊利諾州通過禁「禁書」令
文/Orlando Mayorquin

抗議禁書令 伊利諾州通過禁「禁書」令

Taking a new tack in the ideological battle over what books children should be able to read, Illinois will prohibit book bans in its public schools and libraries, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker calling the bill that he signed Monday the first of its kind.


The law, which takes effect next year, was the Democratic-controlled state's response to a sharp rise in book-banning efforts across the country, especially in Republican-led states, where lawmakers have made it easier to remove library books that political groups deemed objectionable.


"While certain hypocritical governors are banning books written by LGBTQ authors, but then claiming censorship when the media fact-checks them, we are showing the nation what it really looks like to stand up for liberty," Pritzker, a Democrat, said at a bill-signing event at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago.


The law directs public libraries in the state to adopt or write their own versions of a library bill of rights such as the American Library Association's, which asserts that "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."


Libraries that don't comply could lose state funding, according to the bill.


Pritzker appeared to call out, although not by name, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican who has staked his 2024 presidential candidacy in part on his status as a driver of conservative policies addressing cultural issues. DeSantis supported state laws aimed, at least in part, at limiting access to some reading materials in public schools.


Other states, including Georgia and Kentucky, have followed suit with laws that could make it easier to lodge complaints about specific books and influence library or education boards, according to EveryLibrary, a political action committee that tracks proposed book regulation laws nationwide.


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