Of Leaks and Whistleblowers

08.02.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Senator Christopher Bond (R-Missouri) introduced legislation today to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

“We need to send a message that leaks will not be tolerated and give prosecutors a modern and appropriate tool to go after those who do leak,” he said.

The new Bond bill is identical to the controversial anti-leak legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Shelby in the FY 2001 Intelligence Authorization Act that was vetoed by President Clinton in November 2000.

See “Bond Legislation Targets Intelligence Leaks,” August 2.

Meanwhile, a new U.S. intelligence policy on unauthorized disclosures of classified information is pending, the Director of National Intelligence said last week in a progress report.

“The DOJ and ODNI are … working closely on leaks issues,” he wrote (at page 8). “In March 2006 the ODNI issued policies to consolidate IC reporting of leaks and is now preparing to issue a Community-wide directive on [unauthorized] disclosures.”

The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition disclosed last week that former NSA employee Russell Tice had been summoned to appear before a grand jury investigating the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. See related background, including a copy of the grand jury summons, on the Coalition web site here.

Mr. Tice and other national security whistleblowers testified before the House Committee on Government Reform last February, and the record of that hearing has just been published.

See “National Security Whistleblowers in the post-9/11 Era: Lost in a Labyrinth and Facing Subtle Retaliation,” February 14, 2006.