On August 15th, host Margot Patterson talks to journalist, researcher and First Amendment expert, Chip Gibbons, about the complex history of the Espionage Act.


The Espionage Act of 1917 is a federal law that has been amended numerous times over the years. It was intended to prohibit interference with military operations or recruitment, to prevent insubordination in the military, and to prevent the support of United States enemies during wartime. The constitutionality of the law, its relationship to free speech, and the meaning of its language have been contested in court since its enactment.


Among those who have been charged with offenses under the Act are labor leader and five-time Socialist Party of America candidate, Eugene V. Debs, anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, former Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society president Joseph Franklin Rutherford, communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Cablegate whistleblower Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Defense Intelligence Agency employee Henry Kyle Frese, and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The FBI’s  raid of Trump’s Mar a Lago does make the topic of the Espionage Act and the history of the FBI that Gibbons is writing about very timely. Chip Gibbons is Defending Rights & Dissent’s Policy Director. He hosts the Still Spying podcast, which explores the history of FBI political surveillance. As a journalist and researcher, his writings on the abuses of the US national security state at home and abroad have appeared in Jacobin, In These Times, and The Intercept.

We bring you vital information underserved or ignored by mainstream media.  We pride ourselves on digging in and sharing the issues that entertain and inform our listeners by providing a curated, unique and independent voice.

On Jaws of Justice, we examine how to find justice in our society.  Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

Calendar for the week of August 15th:

  • The Kansas City Chapter of Missouri Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants has a monthly virtual meeting. MO CURE advocates for the human rights of prisoners in Missouri prisons and jails as well as those who have returned to society.   For info call Keith Brown El at 816-377-2873.
  • You can find Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense events at  Open to all, Mothers and others!
  • THURS, August 18th, 5 PM, Hope and Healing Support Group meeting for Survivors of Homicide will be at 3200 Wayne AVE, KCMO, contact Latrice Murray at 816)912-2601 or email mailto:[email protected]
  • FRI, August 19th, 11 AM, Empower Missouri’s Criminal Justice Coalition meets on zoom. Access info at
  • A list of services, meals, and hot lines are available at There are many demonstrations concerning reproductive freedom on that calendar.


Thanks to all our listeners, stay close to your dial and stay well!


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