Monday, July 18, 2005
The debate over the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity has caused a curious about-face by Washington politicians, with Democrats who have long favored a laissez-faire attitude toward leaks of classified information now decrying them, and Republicans who once wanted to criminalize every such leak suggesting that the one involving Ms. Plame wasn't so terrible.
Indeed. And heh:
Mr. Schumer, who staged three press events last week about Mr. Rove's alleged role in the leak of Ms. Plame's identity, is facing particular criticism for his stance. In an e-mail to reporters, Republican Party officials noted that in 1982 Mr. Schumer was one of 32 House members who voted against the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the law at the center of the investigation that has swept up Mr. Rove and other White House officials.
A spokesman for Mr. Schumer, Israel Klein, said the senator has been consistent. "Senator Schumer, who has been a longtime advocate for whistle-blower rights, felt that the initial law that was passed was a little bit too broad," Mr. Klein said.
Mr. Schumer also denounced the anti-leak legislation Congress passed in 2000. "We should never forget that one of the core purposes of the First Amendment was to prohibit government from suppressing embarrassing information, not criminalizing its release," the senator said. He complained that the measure "would require all current and past government officials to guess at what might be illegal, while the threat of serious jail time hangs over their heads."
"Senator Schumer,...felt that the initial law that was passed was a little bit too broad,"
That's hysterical. Everybody who talks about that law talks about how narrow it is and how hard it is to convict anybody using it.