Opposition is mounting against the new legislation that would make it a felony to disclose classified information, even if you had never signed a secrecy agreement. According to Secrecy News, pressure is building on the White House to veto the Intelligence Authorization Act containing the “leak” statute between now and November 4.

In a front page story today, the New York Times reported that “There is now strong opposition to the bill inside and outside the White House.”

“It’s potentially disastrous for a government spokesman,” Kenneth H. Bacon, assistant secretary of defense for public information, told the Times. “It’s disastrous for journalists. It’s disastrous for any official who deals with the press in national security, whether at State, the N.S.C. orthe Pentagon.” See:

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) asked President Clinton to veto the bill. Otherwise, “this bill …will have profound effects on the ability of an informed citizenry to keep our government honest.” See:

House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde and Ranking Minority Member John Conyers reiterated their opposition to the bill and asked the appropriators toadopt a legislative rider that would defer the effective date of the leak statute for a year. See:

Senators Leahy, Grassley and Schumer wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee seeking a similar deferral on the Senate side. See:

the new legislation would tend to diminish Congress’s own oversight capacity where it is most needed,” wrote Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post today:

in what is only the latest of dozens of editorials from around the country opposing the leak statute, the St. Petersburg Times today says, “Veto it, Mr. Clinton.” See:

{http://www.sptimes.com/News/103100/Opinion/Over_classifying.shtml

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