March 8, 2011 - The Constantine Report    
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Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

White Supremacist Leads the GOP’s Anti-Sharia Crusade (and He’s Pam Geller’s Attorney, to Boot)

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

“… The surge of legislation across the country is largely due to the work of one man: David Yerushalmi, an Arizona-based white supremacist who has previously called for a ‘war against Islam’ and tried to criminalize adherence to the Muslim faith. …”

By Tim Murphy
Mother Jones | March  1, 2011

Last week, legislators in Tennessee introduced a radical bill that would make “material support” for Islamic law punishable by 15 years in prison. The proposal marks a dramatic new step in the conservative campaign against Muslim-Americans. If passed, critics say even seemingly benign activities like re-painting the exterior of a mosque or bringing food to a potluck could be classified as a felony.

The Tennessee bill, SB 1028, didn’t come out of nowhere. Though it’s the first of its kind, the bill is part of a wave of related measures that would ban state courts from enforcing Sharia law. (A court might refer to Sharia law in child custody or prisoner rights cases.) Since early 2010, such legislation has been considered in at least 15 states. And while fears of an impending caliphate are myriad on the far-right, the surge of legislation across the country is largely due to the work of one man: David Yerushalmi, an Arizona-based white supremacist who has previously called for a “war against Islam” and tried to criminalize adherence to the Muslim faith.

Yerushalmi, a lawyer, is the founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which has been called a “hate group” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). His draft legislation served as the foundation for the Tennessee bill, and at least half a dozen other anti-Islam measures—including two bills that were signed into law last year in Louisiana and Tennessee.

With the exception of SB 1028, much of Yerushalmi’s legislation sounds pretty innocuous: State courts are prohibited from considering any foreign law that doesn’t fully honor the rights enshrined in the US and state constitutions. Because a Taliban-style interpretation of Islamic law is unheard of in the United States, the law’s impact is non-existent at best. But critics of some of the proposed bills have argued they could have far-reaching and unintended consequences, like undoing anti-kidnapping statutes, and hindering the ability of local companies to enter into contracts overseas.

But Tennessee’s SB 1028 goes much further, defining traditional Islamic law as counter to constitutional principles, and authorizing the state’s attorney general to freeze the assets of organizations that have been determined to be promoting or supporting Sharia. On Monday, CAIR and the ACLU called for lawmakers to defeat the bill.

“Essentially the bill is trying to separate the ‘good Muslims’ from the ‘bad Muslims,'” said CAIR staff attorney Gadeir Abbas in an interview with Mother Jones. “Out of all the bills that have been introduced, this is by far the most extreme.”

Reports about the rise of the anti-Sharia movement have typically focused on Oklahoma’s voter-approved constitutional amendment, which explicitly prohibited state courts from considering Islamic law (a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against the amendment in December). But the movement began much earlier, with a sample bill Yerushalmi drafted at the behest of the American Public Policy Alliance, a right-wing organization established with the goal of protecting American citizens from “the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially Islamic Shariah Law.”

In a 40-minute PowerPoint that’s available on the organization’s site, Yerushalmi explained the ins and outs of the sample legislation. His bills  differ from the failed Oklahoma amendment in one key way: They don’t mention Sharia. Instead, they focus more broadly on “foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines.” As Yerushalmi explained in an interview with the nativist New English Review in December, the language is “facially neutral,” thereby achieving the same result while “avoiding the sticky problems of our First Amendment jurisprudence.”

Since crafting the sample legislation, Yerushalmi’s services have been been in high demand as an expert witness. In mid-February, he flew to South Dakota to testify in support of a bill modeled on his “American Law for American Courts” plan. (He also offered to provide pro-bono legal support for the state if the law produced any legal challenges.)

Ultimately, the bill died in committee, after the state’s attorney general testified that the bill could lead to lawsuits. “I am a little chagrined by the fact that none of the opponents of the bill have actually read it with any care,” Yerushalmi told the committee. “Something else is at work here.”

But it’s not just Muslims who draw Yerushalmi’s scorn. In a 2006 essay for SANE entitled On Race: A Tentative Discussion (pdf), Yerushalmi argued that whites are genetically superior to blacks. “Some races perform better in sports, some better in mathematical problem solving, some better in language, some better in Western societies and some better in tribal ones,” he wrote.

Yerushalmi has suggested that Caucasians are inherently more receptive to republican forms of government than blacks—an argument that’s consistent with SANE’s mission statement, which emphasizes that “America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white.” And in an article published at the website Intellectual Conservative, Yerushalmi, who is Jewish, suggests that liberal Jews “destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.” Unsurprisingly, then, Yerushalmi offered the lone Jewish defense of Mel Gibson, after the actor’s anti-Semitic tirade in 2006. Gibson, he wrote, was simply noting the “undeniable Jewish liberal influence on western affairs in the direction of a World State.”

Despite his racist views, Yerushalmi has been warmly received by mainstream conservatives; his work has appeared in the National Review and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace. He’s been lauded in the pages of the Washington Times. And in 2008, he published a paper on the perils of Sharia-compliant finance that compelled Sen. Minority Whip John Kyl (R-Ariz.) to write a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Chris Cox.

More recently, Yerushalmi co-authored a report on the threats posed by Islamic law—among other things, he worries Sharia-compliant finance could spark another financial collapse—that earned plaudits from leading Republicans like Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra. The report was released by Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, for which Yerushalmi is general counsel.

In 2007, he pushed legislation to make “adherence to Shari’a” a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. That same proposal called for the deportation of all Muslim non-citizens, and a ban on Muslim immigration. The United States, he urged, must declare “a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful.”

Neither Yerushalmi nor the American Public Policy Alliance responded to a request for comment for this article.

If his racially infused writings and rhetoric are any indication, it’s Yerushalmi, not his Muslim bogeymen, who seems most determined to remake the American political system. Per its mission statement, SANE is “dedicated to the rejection of democracy and party rule,” and Yerushalmi has likewise criticized the universal suffrage movement. As he once put it, “there’s a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote.”

Click here to read David Yerushalmi’s response.

Tim Murphy is an editorial fellow at Mother Jones. Get Tim Murphy’s RSS feed

On David Yerushalmi and Pamela Geller

From:David Yerushalmi and (in)SANE,” by Sheila Musaji

… Yerushalmi is Pamela Geller‘s personal attorney and has represented her group SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America).  Yerushalmi incorporated American Freedom Defense Initiative which is the non-profit under which she and Robert Spencer produce their blogs.  He is also the legal counsel for Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy and served in the same role for Stop the Madrassa, the group which got Debbie Almontaser fired as principal of the Khalil Gibran Academy. **

Yerushalmi’s name comes up whenever anti-Sharia or “creeping Sharia” is the subject.  The most recent anti-Sharia bill in Tennessee was actually drafted by Yerushalmi:

“The Tennessee bill goes further by proposing criminal penalties for following Shariah. Matheny said the bill was model legislation, given to him by the Tennessee Eagle Forum, a conservative advocacy group.  Bobbie Patray, state president of the Eagle Forum, confirmed that the law had been drafted by David Yerushalmi, a Chandler, Ariz.-based attorney. Yerushalmi runs the Society of Americans for National Existence, a nonprofit that says following Shariah is treasonous.  He also has close ties to Frank Gaffney, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy.”  Bob Smietana

Yerushalmi also published a racist article that he must now be ashamed of, as Alex Kane points out “Yerushalmi has deleted as much evidence of the “On Race” article as he could; he removed it from the Internet Archive and the Google cache, and put his entire website behind a registration wall. But here’s a PDF that contains the full article, and it’s as ugly and twisted a piece of racism as anything I’ve ever seen. Yerushalmi opens by calling Islam “an evil religion,” and “blacks … the most murderous of peoples.”

Yerushalmi is also the former employer of Dave Gaubatz, his one-time “Director of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Studies” and author of a Muslim-bashing book. In 2007, Yerushalmi’s group paid Gaubatz $148,898 for “research.”    Gaubatz has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. He has called Islam an “evil ideology” and a “terminal disease.” Along with his past rhetorical attacks Islam, Gaubatz has called President Obama a “crack head” and wrote that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.” Nihad Awad

A key leader of the group opposing a new, Arab-focused public school in Brooklyn is a virulent opponent of a democratic Jewish state who denounces “Zionist Israel” and calls on it to “cast off the yoke of liberal democracy.”    Stop the Madrassa leader David Yerushalmi also condemns democracy in the United States and, in comments that evoke classical anti-Semitic stereotypes, says he finds truth in the view that Jews “destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.”  …  In a message to a pro-Israel rally last June he asked: “What interest does America have in a strong Israel? If your answer is democracy in a liberal or western sense, know you have sided with the Palestinians of Hamas.”  Jewish Week

Yerushalmi represented SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) in bus ad lawsuit

Geller founded AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative) with attorney David Yerushalmi **.  AFDI is the parent organization of SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) which has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

By Christopher Means
Pegasus News | February 11, 2011

The author says the story of Victoria Adams has been ignored. He tells her story.

Theories about the assassination of President Kennedy have lingered in the Dallas area since the event occurred in 1963. The landmark Dealey Plaza is one of the most scrutinized sites in the United States, and details of the assassination have been turned and twisted by researchers desperate to find clues about exactly how a president of the United States was shot and killed in full view of the public.

The assassination occurred quickly, but the investigation was large and cumbersome. It was a tapestry woven in haste and with questionable agenda; there have been enough loose ends to encourage lifetimes of examination. The thread that new author Barry Ernest has been pulling at is Victoria Adams.

Since his college days in 1967, Ernest has been studying and examining the assassination of JFK — and specifically, the Warren Report that concluded its official investigations. He was fascinated by the story of Adams. A lonely woman in the city, an orphan, she happened to be looking out the fourth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and saw the president murdered. She was standing in the same stairwell that Oswald himself was concluded to have hurriedly scaled down to make his escape. From the sixth floor, Oswald would have passed right by Adams, who swore she saw no such man.

After 35 years of searching for Adams, Ernest compiled his research in The Girl On The Stairs, a book that looks into the investigation and eventual discrediting of a valuable witness to the assassination of JFK by the Warren Commission.

A witness to a national tragedy, Adams was immediately the attention of authorities who hounded her about when and where she was at that moment. How quickly had she descended the stairs when the shots rang out? Exactly when did she leave the office building? She gave her answers but was quickly moved aside. There were no time tests of her actions, tests that had been done routinely on every other related aspect of Oswald’s escape. Ignored by the Warren Commission, she would eventually go into relative hiding to avoid the suspicious pressures of investigators and police.

The Warren Report would say that if Adams was correct, then she should have seen or heard the fleeing assassin. Because she had not, the report concluded she was wrong and therefore came down the staircase much later than she thought. Her testimony would throw doubt on a theory accepted by the Warren Commission. A national tragedy had to be put to rest and a grieving nation would know someone had paid for treason.

Ernest’s research in The Girl On The Stairs is not a smoking-gun theory of the assassination, but a look into contradictory statements, mishandling of investigations, and the marginalization of a key witness to one of the greatest national tragedies in our nations history. Many have gone looking for her, but only one found her. Now her truth can be heard.

The book was released on Amazon in December.

UPDATE: The book is not available in paperback or hardback; it’s available as a “Kindle edition” — though it is also accessible from an iPad or a PC. (Long story short: You don’t have to have a Kindle to use the Kindle edition.) Ernest says he went the Kindle route because it was a good way to get the book published. “Unlike most authors who have their book published as hardback and then put it up as an e-book for further distribution, I have been forced to go the opposite route. … All I want is the story to get out, so I actually suggested simply giving the story to a publisher — no up-front payment, no book-sale profits, nothing. My literary agent thought I was crazy!” he said via email. “Several publishers were actually interested in the book, but they wanted me to write a final chapter that theorized a ‘solution’ to the assassination, no matter how speculative that would have been. I would not do that, but that is another story!”

” … King said that it would be pointless to study other communities because the problem of religious extremism is solely confined to Islam. … “

King’s Anti-Terror Hearings Racist, Unproductive

By WSN Editorial Board
Washington Square News | March 8, 2011

Representative Peter King of Long Island will be holding open hearings this spring under the vague and controversial heading, “the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism,” sparking criticism as to why King has specifically chosen Muslim communities as part of his investigation.

In response, King said that it would be pointless to study other communities because the problem of religious extremism is solely confined to Islam.

While we do not dispute that terrorism is a relevant and necessary topic within the political and public discourse, these hearings are neither provoked nor productive. By targeting the Muslim community at large, Rep. King is creating a defamatory, divisive and very public arena which enables baseless blame, insults and harassment toward Muslim communities.

These hearings were not, to our knowledge, sparked by any particular event, nor do they seek to address any specific instance of terrorism or group of terrorists. While we understand that a discussion of terrorism is essential to its prevention, the fact that these hearings will be carried out in a blunt, public arena is troubling. For the security and dignity of the Muslim community, as well as that of the United States, such studies should be carried out with discretion, outside of the public eye, and brought to public attention only when, and if, important information is uncovered.

These hearings will only serve to stir up further anti-Muslim racist sentiment in the US, similar to post-9/11 paranoia and last year’s World Trade Center mosque dilemma. Numerous religious leaders including Rizwan Jaka, a board member of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society and Rabbi Mare Schneier, have come out both to criticize the unfair targeting of the Muslim community and to voice their desire to create a new, comprehensive and less inflammatory approach to terrorism.

If we are to better understand terrorism in the twenty-first century, we don’t need hearings without a basis or an end-goal. Rather, we seek a comprehensive investigation that does not single out a single ethnic group in a worldwide issue. These investigations cannot come from a place of hate, as Rep. King exemplifies through his angry and inflammatory language. Instead, they need to be the result of a desire to understand and protect. For this to happen, a holistic, diverse and respectful investigation is crucial.

Whenever Obama makes a major campaign promise, it’s certain that he means to do the opposite …

“… The U.S. intelligence apparatus … has pressured Obama’s Justice Department to get tough. … In just over two years since President Barack Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. …  That’s a sharp break from recent history, when the U.S. government brought such cases on three occasions in roughly 40 years. …”

Obama’s hard line on leaks

By Josh Gerstein
Politico | March 7, 2011

Barack Obama is pursuing an unexpectedly aggressive legal offensive against leakers. | AP Photo Close

The Obama administration, which famously pledged to be the most transparent in American history, is pursuing an unexpectedly aggressive legal offensive against federal workers who leak secret information to expose wrongdoing, highlight national security threats or pursue a personal agenda.

In just over two years since President Barack Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. And the government is now mulling what would be the most high-profile case of them all – prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

That’s a sharp break from recent history, when the U.S. government brought such cases on three occasions in roughly 40 years.

The government insists it’s only pursuing individuals who act with reckless disregard for national security, and that it has an obligation to protect the nation’s most sensitive secrets from being revealed. Anyone seeking to expose malfeasance has ample opportunity to do so through proper channels, government lawyers say.

But legal experts and good-government advocates say the hard-line approach to leaks has a chilling effect on whistleblowers, who fear harsh legal reprisals if they dare to speak up.

Not only that, these advocates say, it runs counter to Obama’s pledges of openness by making it a crime to shine a light on the inner workings of government – especially when there are measures that could protect the nation’s interests without hauling journalists into court and government officials off to jail.

“It is not to me a good sign when government chooses to go after leakers using the full force of criminal law when there are other ways to handle these situations,” said Jane Kirtley, a University of Minnesota law professor and former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Of course, the government has to have some kind of remedy, [but] I’d certainly hope they’re being very selective about these prosecutions.”

Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department attorney now with the Government Accountability Project, said it’s “very destructive and damaging to be going after people for leaks that embarrass the government.” The policy, she said, is “a disturbing one particularly from a president who got elected pledging openness and transparency — and someone who also got elected thanks to a lot of [Bush-era] scandals that were revealed by whistleblowers.”

But Jack Goldsmith, a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said the U.S. intelligence apparatus — which is perhaps most at risk from leaks of classified information — has pressured Obama’s Justice Department to get tough.

“Leaking has gotten a lot worse over the last decade,” said Goldsmith, now a law professor at Harvard . “It’s viewed as sort of crisis in the intelligence community in the sense that there is a strong perceived need to do something about it.”

Yet Goldsmith notes an apparent double standard: top White House and administration officials give unauthorized information to Washington reporters almost daily, but authorities will come down hard if rank-and-file employees get caught doing the same thing. “Top officials frequently leak classified information and nothing happens to them,” he said.

Still, leak prosecutions brought under Obama amount to “almost twice as many as all previous presidents put together,” noted Daniel Ellsberg, who changed history and helped set a legal precedent when he handed the Pentagon’s top-secret assessment of the Vietnam War to New York Times reporters four decades ago. “The campaign here against whistleblowers is actually unprecedented in legal terms.”

The stakes in the White House’s anti-leak drive could rise higher if the Justice Department decides to prosecute Wikileaks’ Assange for facilitating the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with thousands of sensitive cables from American diplomats overseas. Prosecuting the enigmatic Australian, however, is easier said than done.

Trying to extradite Assange and haul him into a U.S. court is certain to ignite hot debate over First Amendment protections and raise questions about whether mainstream journalists will be the next targets for prosecution. But if the Obama administration doesn’t move against Assange, it could spur outrage in the intelligence community and bipartisan anger on Capitol Hill.

It’s hard to say how much of the campaign to punish leakers stems from the current administration’s desire to make it a priority and how much stems simply from the glacial-paced investigation of cases left over from Bush’s term. Two of the five prosecutions brought since Obama took office pertain to alleged leaks that sprung under his predecessor.

The Bush-era cases include, former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake, who is set to stand trial next month in a case stemming from leaks that led to Baltimore Sun articles in 2006 and 2007 about alleged waste in classified NSA surveillance programs. In September, former Central Intelligence Agency officer Jeffrey Sterling is scheduled to go on trial for allegedly leaking information about a botched CIA covert operation to sabotage Iran’s reputed nuclear weapons program — a plot disclosed in Times reporter James Risen’s 2006 book, “State of War.”

Another three prosecutions relate to leaks on Obama’s watch, however, including the case of Army Private Bradley Manning — perhaps the highest-profile leak case in American history. Manning, a boyish, 23-year-old intelligence analyst, allegedly helped Assange and Wikileaks obtain hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables, many of them classified.

The military filed more charges against Manning last week including a count of aiding the enemy — a capital offense, though prosecutors say they won’t seek the death penalty.

Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller declined to comment on whether the Obama administration is taking a tougher line against leakers, but said “we take the leaking of classified information very seriously.” However, court documents indicate that punishing leakers seems to have become a higher priority.

In a brief filed in January seeking to deny Sterling bail, prosecutors argued that leaking is more pernicious and harmful to national security than old-school, cash-for-info spying. Unlike an intelligence swap or document transaction with a foreign agent, prosecutors wrote, Sterling “elected to disclose the classified information publicly through the mass media” where any U.S. enemy could read it, “thus posing an even greater threat to society.”

Nevertheless, despite talk of a scorched-earth campaign against leakers, there have been no charges filed in connection with some of the most significant secrets revealed during the past decade — including disclosures to The New York Times about the Bush-era effort to intercept some phone calls and e-mails without warrants.

The lack of charges over the warrantless wiretapping leak, which hit the front page of the Times in December 2005, is particularly notable since former Justice Department attorney Thomas Tamm told Newsweek more than two years ago that he was a key source for the story.

“He basically put a target on his head and said, ‘Come get me,’” said Steven Aftergood, with the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “And they didn’t.”

In addition, there have been no prosecutions or even signs of serious investigation into a large volume of classified leaks to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward for the books he has written on war policy under both recent White Houses. POLITICO reported last year that Woodward sometimes arrived for official interviews carrying classified maps.

While the Obama administration has, like its predecessors, steered clear thus far of charging journalists with receiving or publishing classified information, it has not shied away from using the courts to pry out information about a reporter’s sources. Last year, the Justice Department re-issued a grand jury subpoena to Risen in an apparent effort to determine his sources for the Iran nuclear story. Attorney General Eric Holder is believed to have personally authorized the subpoena, since under department rules, decisions to subpoena reporters are made at the highest level.

“I was extremely surprised that the Risen subpoena was reinstituted. That struck me as a battle that no one needed to have,” Hearst Corp. general counsel Eve Burton, a veteran of First Amendment court fights told POLITICO after word of the subpoena emerged last year. “I thought Eric Holder would be a more moderating force in that regard.”

A judge later quashed the subpoena at Risen’s request, heading off a confrontation that could well have resulted in him going to jail to maintain his silence.

The Obama administration’s angst over leaks begins at the top. In private White House meetings, the president has reportedly railed against disclosure of national security information, including the breaches that dogged his review of the U.S. Afghanistan/Pakistan policy in 2009. After one eruption from the president, National Counterintelligence Executive Bear Bryant was ordered to come up with new ways to plug the leaks.

Officials have been tight-lipped about Bryant’s review, but a source told POLITICO the administration will use not only the law but also employee discipline procedures and classified clearance cancellations to punish the suspects.

Some lawyers also believe that pressure from both parties in Congress, about Wikileaks in particular, is driving the administration’s tough line.

“This is worse than Ames and Hanssen combined because of the totality of the information,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), referring to former CIA analyst Aldrich Ames and former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, both of whom are serving life terms for spying for Russia.

Rogers said century-old statutes for dealing with national security information need to be updated.

Already, Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) have proposed a bill that would make it a crime to disclose the name of a classified U.S. source or informant. And Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has drafted legislation that would make it easier to charge and convict leakers.

An aide to Cardin called his measure “a balanced approach” and said it would enhance whistleblower protections, but critics warned Cardin’s bill edges close to Britain’s Official Secrets Act—a statute that makes it a crime to leak anything the government designates as secret.

“Sen. Cardin disavows the Official Secrets Act label, but the fact is that his bill would sanctify whatever is classified,” Aftergood said. “The bill says that whatever is classified is presumptively properly classified. That does not correspond to anyone’s experience of classification policy. Not even the president believes that. … So, why write it into law?”

Aftergood said that if the law passed it would discourage what he termed “good leaks,” which expose government wrongdoing or abuse.

“The downside is very serious,” he said. “Should disclosure of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison have been a felony just because the information was classified at the time? Should the disclosure of domestic surveillance that violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have been a felony. I say, no. By failing to allow for the possibility of good leaks, the bill sweeps too broadly.”