Passed during World War I, the Espionage Act was President Woodrow Wilson’s “firm hand of repression” that he used to silence antiwar voices.
Touted as a law against spies and saboteurs, the Espionage Act has in fact been a tool to control the flow of information and suppress dissent. Over the interceding years, the Espionage Act became a way to retaliate against those who publish “official secrets.” Today it is the government’s go to weapon against national security whistleblowers and even journalists who uncover abuses of power.
Host Chip Gibbons is joined by human rights attorney Carey Shenkman to learn more about the ignoble history of the Espionage Act and its century of silencing those who dissent on US national security policy.
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