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History can turn today’s traitors into tomorrow’s heroic patriot

President Donald Trump steps out of the Oval Office. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The president has said that leakers are traitors and cowards. But I think he must have been referring strictly to the bad kind of leaks.

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Because I think we can all agree that some leaks are good.

If the purpose of the leak is to warn us that someone in a position of power is endangering national security, it would be treason not to leak it. Leaks about government waste, sweetheart deals with lobbyists, compromising contacts with a foreign power; those are exactly the kind of leaks the First Amendment was meant to protect.

But then there’s leaking something just to get somebody fired.

If that person is dangerous and needs to be fired, leaking them out of a job may be nasty, but I don’t think the devil gets to claim you.

If, however, you want the person fired because that person is smarter than you and you hate them for it – best not to wander outside during a thunderstorm.

It strikes me that this current White House leak story seems a lot more difficult to solve than it should be. Which tells me that there is a struggle going on over whether this is a good leak or a bad leak.

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And yes, I realize that officially, all leakers are traitors and cowards. But it depends on what kind of leak.

History has a way of turning today’s cowardly traitor into tomorrow’s heroic patriot.

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