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August 09, 2006

Government leaks

Disclosures of our most highly effective, classified intelligence-collection tools, which the U.S. government has used to disrupt al-Qaida terrorist plots against America citizens, have made us much less safe than we were eight months ago.

There is also no doubt that more leaks will only result in more damage and less safety for our citizens. That’s why legislation is needed to discourage leakers.

Government officials who take a solemn oath are not free to break that oath and put all Americans’ safety at risk for their personal political agenda or the desire of newspapers to sell hot breaking news.

There are adequate opportunities for whistleblowers to contact their superiors, federal inspectors general offices and congressional intelligence committees or representatives to raise legitimate concerns.

In the end, this legislation wouldn’t be necessary if the news media had showed restraint when publishing America’s intelligence sources and methods across the front page for all the world, including America’s enemies, to see.

Kit Bond
U.S. senator, Missouri

Comments

CRD

Nothing, Lloyd?

jack

And please remember, according to our Attorney General, it is impossible for the President or Vice President to "leak" anything. They just "instantly declassify" things.

"You have to remember, when you are talking about war, you are really talking about peace."---George W. Bush.

George Orwell must be laughing his head off in the afterlife.

jack

engineer: I'm disappointed in you. We all know, or should know, that the lack of an indictment, or even a "not guilty" verdict in a court room, does not equal proof of innocence. That isn't the way our system is supposed to work.

Our system is supposed to function on the "presumption of innocence". That means that there must be absolute proof of guilt, in a court of law, or the accused walks.

The lack of indictments in the Plame case only means that the prosecutor believed it would be extremely hard to get a guilty verdict. Considering that the President refused to issue the clearances necessary to do a thorough investigation, this should be no surprise.

I would think that you, as a time tested conservative, would be screaming about this abuse of power by our President.

Also, considerinng that our President promised to "fire" anyone involved in leaking Plame's name, where is your outrage that he didn't fire Rove and demand Cheney's resignation?

Didn't you notice that once it became obvious that "the Brain" and "Big Dick" were actively involved, our President went from saying he would "fire" anyone involved to saying he would only fire anyone "convicted"? That is a BIG change.

Then there is that inconvenient "innocent until proven guilty" stuff. Seems like that no longer applies to us common folks. Wire tapping phones with not even a suspicion of wrong doing. "Sneak and peak" searches without a warrant. Incarceration without access to the courts.

Nothing prevents them from saying, "Suspicion of being an unlawful combatant" about you or me. It doesn't have to be a person caught in a war zone to end up in Guantanamo. And there has to be no proof. You just disappear into the prisons until they decide to let you talk to some one. You could just disappear forever.

I would think that a true conservative would be up in arms about this kind of thing. And saying, "They'd never do it to me" is a total cop-out. Is it okay that they do it to others? And who says they'd never do it to you? What prevents them from it?

I wonder if your reaction to all these abuses of power would be the same if the President's name were Clinton, or Gore, or Biden. I doubt it. I'd have thought better of you.

CRD

It'd be nice to see him make a case for his claims. "From the partial information revealed" -- so, what information are you talking about? And what was the actual harm to national security that occured?

Kansasdog

"From the partial information revealed, resulting in the resignation of one transgressor, it appears that the CIA is a shelter of "hold overs" who are ready to violate laws if they think their crime will reveal things that will harm the Bush Administration, even if they also harm their Country."

strong words, any proof?

CRD

"The difference is that there was no law regarding National security violated in the "Plame Case"."

Only if you think that the law against revealing the identity of a covert agent doesn't concern national security. Simply because there's not enough evidence to indict someone for revealing that info doesn't mean that the law wasn't in fact broken.

As for the rest of your response to Kansasdog, if there were "clear violations of law," then that begs his question below, why do we need additional legislation? If there's a violation of law, then prosecute under that law.

Bond is engaging in political posturing, nothing more. He's acting as a puppet for this administration that has seen fit to run roughshod over and around our constitutional protections at will. That's not gonna fly -- and, though Bond's not up for reelection this year, it's gonna hurt fellow Republicans like Senator Talent at the polls.

Engineer

The difference is that there was no law regarding National security violated in the "Plame Case". Even Fitzgerald does not claim thre was. In the incidences Senator bond is addressing there were clear violations of law. From the partial information revealed, resulting in the resignation of one transgressor, it appears that the CIA is a shelter of "hold overs" who are ready to violate laws if they think their crime will reveal things that will harm the Bush Administration, even if they also harm their Country.

Kansasdog

Why do we need additional legislation? Aren't there existing laws for prosecuting the 'bad leakers', hence the security clearances?

Stifled Freedom

If we are worried about our public servents upholding thier oath of office, we need to start at the top. President Bush is not upholding his oath by utilizing selective law enforcement.

Old Drum, your right, they just dont want thier power compromised by the potential of whistle blowers.

As long as we have the kind of corruption we have in Washington now (and I think most people agree that the people and common good are not being represented anymore), we need the whistleblowers.

Joe Barone

Come on, Kit! If the administration can out a CIA agent, surely the New York Times can reveal an operation the details of which were known to terrorists already. This admnistration is way too secretive. Perhaps if George Bush doesn't like what the Times and others are writing, he can just get the newspaper and use its margin to pencil in a signing statment. After all, he does that all the time with congressionally-passed laws.

Old Drum

I wonder why the senior Senator doesn't seem upset that major advisors around our President and Vice President leaked the identity of a CIA operative.

And, this is a lie.

"There are adequate opportunities for whistleblowers to contact their superiors, federal inspectors general offices and congressional intelligence committees or representatives to raise legitimate concerns."

We know from out Attorney General that Bush refused to grant the security clearances for Department of Justice lawyers to investigate whether the NSA wiretapping violated the Constitution.

Bond wants to make sure there are no whistle blowers. That does not make us safer.

We became a country because brave men and woman did not want to be safe if that meant they could not be free.

 
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