Sen. Leahy to FBI Director: Give Me Secret Information
The man known as the "Beltway Leaker" got thrown off the Senate Intelligence Committee for his treasonous activities. So what did the Senate do? They've put him in charge of the Judiciary Committee and now he can't wait to get his grubby little fingers on classifed information.
by Jim Kouri, CPP
While Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) isn't scheduled to takeover as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee until January 2007, he already sounds as if he's the man in charge of oversight of our nation's law enforcement and courts. And considering his history of being kicked off the Senate Intelligence Committee due to his propensity for revealing classified information, Americans should be afraid -- very afraid.
On Wednesday, Sen. Leahy -- or, as he's known inside the Beltway, "Leaky Leahy" -- rapped FBI Director Robert Mueller for refusing to show how the has curbed terrorist activity in the United States. Mueller said he was unable to talk about the warrantless spying program because it is classified. To reveal this information would also reveal sources and methods which, if known by the enemy, would cause extensive damage to US counterterrorism operation.
"What assurances can you provide that the program is worthwhile?" asked the Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. "Have arrests been made? Have terror cells been broken?"
The injustice of the last election that saw significant losses for the GOP is that one of the men who angers conservatives in this country is Sen. Specter, a Democrat in Republican clothing. He's a known collaborator with the Democrats, especially with the likes of Patrick Leahy.
The FBI has briefed congressional intelligence committees on controversial programs, but Mueller said he did not have permission to share that information with other lawmakers -- including the judiciary panels that oversee the bureau.
"I am prepared to brief whichever committee, to the extent that I am allowed to," he said.
In his opening remarks, Mueller provided Specter, Leahy, and other panel members a list of FBI cases targeting terror suspects since the 2001 attacks. They included "Lackawanna Six" who were accused of attending al-Qaeda training camps; an Ohio truck driver who plotted to attack the Brooklyn Bridge; and four men charged with planning to hit synagogues on US and Israeli facilities in the Los Angeles area.
But Mueller did not say if any of the cases resulted from the secret spying program, which was revealed last year. His answer annoyed senators, who said their constitutionally protected oversight was being hampered by the administration's stonewalling.
"When done poorly or without proper safeguards and oversight, data banks do not make us safer, they just further erode Americans' privacy and civil liberties," said Sen. Patrick Leahy
He said the administration "has gone to unprecedented lengths to hide its own activities from the public, while at the same time collecting and compiling unprecedented amounts of information about every citizen."
Later, Mueller also said the FBI could better fight terrorists if authorities had stronger subpoena power to determine if threats are valid, and if search and surveillance tools granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court could be expanded.
One only wishes Director Mueller would have told Leahy, in front of the TV cameras, that the FBI fears his grubby little fingers getting a hold of any classified information.
In a previous article, I provided readers with a brief history of Sen. "Leaky" Leahy's experience in handling top security information:
* Senator Pat Leahy was annoyed with the Reagan administration's war on terrorism in the 1980s. At the time he was vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Therefore, "Leaky Leahy," threatened to sabotage classified strategies he didn't like.
* Leahy "inadvertently" disclosed a top-secret communications intercept during a 1985 television interview. The intercept had made possible the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered a American citizen. But Leahy's leak cost the life of at least one Egyptian "asset" involved in the operation.
* In July 1987, it was reported that Leahy leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to topple Libya's Moammar Gaddhafi. US intelligence officials stated that Leahy sent a written threat to expose the operation directly to then-CIA Director William Casey. Weeks later, news of the secret plan turned up in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.
* A year later, as the Senate was preparing to hold hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal, Leahy had to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he was caught leaking secret information to a reporter. The Vermont Democrat's Iran-Contra leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the committee's 28-year history. After Leahy's resignation, the Senate Intelligence Committee decided to restrict access to committee documents to a security-enhanced meeting room.
Former Green Beret officer, now columnist, Geoff Metcalf is on record saying Leahy should have been indicted, arrested and tried long ago.
So where did the big mouth go? To the Judiciary Committee where he still has access to classified information and documents. He's known as a man who's more than willing to speakout on issues he knows absolutely nothing about. In fact, while attempting to sound as if he were a legal scholar, he's made several flubs. During a debate on the Geneva Conventions, for example, he finally admitted he wasn't familiar with the provisions he was debating.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, Leahy headed the Senate’s negotiations on the 2001 anti-terrorism bill, the USA Patriot Act. He was more concerned with protecting the civil liberties of the enemy than providing protection for Americans.
Patrick Leahy is not a very honest man either. When Senator Dick Durbin compared US military personnel to Nazis, Leahy said that Durbin made no such comment. Then when told Durbin indeed made the statement on the floor of the US Senate, Leahy amended his own statement claiming Durbin's comments were taken out of context. When the Durbin tirade was shown to Leahy, he began to denigrate Bush by saying he hurt the Iraqis as much as did Saddam Hussein.
Within the Beltway, Leahy is known as an extremely abrasive and "sneaky" man. He's the only senator in recent history to have an otherwise mellow Vice President tell him to "go f--- yourself."
And now this blabbermouth, who walks the line between politics and treason, will head one of the Senate's -- the nation's -- more important and sensitive committees.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.