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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: Secret military satellite launched 3 July on Titan 4
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 15:16:04 GMT

In article <> (Mary Shafer) writes:
>H> This is also true in the US of information about nuclear weapons.
>H> It is "born classified", declassified only at the whim of the
>H> government.  This is probably unconstitutional, but in the handful
>H> of real court challenges over it, the government has always backed
>H> down rather than let the case go to the Supreme Court where the law
>H> might be struck down.
>Since the Government has always backed down, I'd say this indicates
>that it's not really the law.  An uninforced law is no law at all.

Yes and no.  The government has always backed down... but only after
causing the defendants serious hassles and heavy legal expenses.  The
government *does* fight such cases, in hopes of discouraging others; it
backs down only when the fight has escalated to the point where a Supreme
Court encounter starts to look possible.  See Howard Morland's account of
the Progressive case (in his book, "The Secret That Exploded"), for a
first-hand view of just how much grief is involved in getting to that

This law *is* being enforced, on everyone who lacks the courage or the
financial resources to take on the government in a major legal battle.
 ...the truly fundamental discoveries seldom       |       Henry Spencer
occur where we have decided to look.  --B. Forman  |

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