11 who leaked to news media ... and faced espionage charges

Bradley Manning, who was sentenced Aug. 21 to 35 years in a military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks and who wants to live as a woman named Chelsea, is the latest government leaker to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. The act, originally passed in 1917 to protect national defense information in times of war, was used sparingly to prosecute government leakers to the news media – until the Obama administration. Under President Obama, seven people have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified documents to the press, compared with three during all previous presidencies. Here's a breakdown of prosecutions by administration. 

1. The Nixon administration

Daniel Ellsberg speaks to reporters outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, in this Jan. 17, 1973, file picture. Ellsberg's co-defendant, Anthony Russo, is at center right.

1973: Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo

Ellsberg, a former US military analyst with RAND Corp., and fellow analyst Russo released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the Vietnam War, to several newspapers in 1971. Two years later, a federal judge declared a mistrial and dismissed all charges, citing 'improper government conduct' that 'offended a sense of justice.'

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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