Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Investor's Business Daily reams Senator Leahy a new one and reminds us why he's called Leaky Leahy.
Just a year before the 9-11 attack, a key Democrat on the Hill blocked reforms that would have made it easier for the FBI to monitor terrorist suspects. He's trying to do it again.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants to deny law enforcement a vital tool it needs to thwart another 9-11 — the ability to eavesdrop on al-Qaida suspects inside the U.S. without court delays.

By secretly authorizing such surveillance, he claims the White House has broken the law and must stop.

"This is a federal crime!" bellows the Vermont liberal, who may know a thing or two about federal crimes. He earned the nickname "Leaky Leahy" for his habit of disclosing sensitive national-security information to the press.

The anti-terror surveillance tool is similar to one he blocked before 9-11 that might have prevented the attacks. In 2000, the National Commission on Terrorism urged Congress to pass reforms to help law enforcement fight terrorists in the wake of the al-Qaida bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

One of the proposals made it easier for FBI agents to get authority from the Justice Department to conduct electronic surveillance on terrorist suspects in the Muslim community. Senate Republicans adopted that and other key provisions as part of a counter-terrorism bill.

But the bill was blocked mainly by Democrats who did not want the FBI "spying" on the Muslim community. Leading the charge against the bill was Leahy, who parroted the objections of then-Attorney General Janet Reno. They viewed the bill as too intrusive and discriminatory toward Middle Easterners.

Leahy fought the anti-terror bill in his role as ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the same seat from which he grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week about the legality of the special intelligence-collection program the White House put into effect after 9-11.

Leahy is nothing if not consistent.

He says he's only protecting the Constitution, but we have to wonder how much he cares about protecting the country from Islamic terror.

And given his almost traitorous past behavior on the Senate Intelligence Committee, we have to wonder whose side he's really on. Leahy had to give up his seat on the panel after he was found leaking intelligence reports on both Iran and Libya.

In 1985, Leahy threatened in a letter to the CIA to disclose details of a top secret plan to undermine the government of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. A few weeks later details of the plan found their way into The Washington Post.

Then he leaked a draft report on Iran-Contra to an NBC reporter. At the time he was vice chairman of the intelligence panel. In resigning his post in shame in 1987, he maintained that he didn't breach national security. He did admit, however, that he "carelessly" let the reporter "examine the unclassified draft and to be alone with it."
And this is one of the guys protesting that the administration didn't brief more senators about the NSA surveillance program. Geesh.