“Julian Assange and his cronies, in their effort to hinder our war efforts, are creating a hit list for our enemies by publishing the names of our human intelligence sources…. I simply will not stand idly by as they become death targets because of Julian Assange. Let me be very clear, WikiLeaks is not a whistleblower website and Assange is not a journalist.”
– Sen. John Ensign (R.-Nevada) introducing an anti-WikiLeaks bill that would forbid the disclosure of the names of intelligence agents and informants
Funny, I thought our legal traditions generally frowned on the notion that powerful government officials, particularly members of Congress, get to declare who is and isn’t a journalist?
Funnier still, I don’t recall similar umbrage from Ensign and his GOP colleagues when White House staffers on a political vendetta repeatedly disclosed the identity of a covert CIA official.
Oh, but here’s something (Gannett News Service, 7/15/05): Following the Bush White House’s Valerie Plame scandal, Ensign and most of his GOP colleagues voted against Harry Reid’s bill that would have revoked the security clearance of any federal employee who disclosed classified information.