The most ethical Congress evah.
On July 22, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) sent a letter to President Obama demanding that he appoint a special counsel to look into the Justice Department’s handling of the case.
On July 28, Gerald Reynolds — chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — sent Attorney General Eric Holder another letter once again demanding the testimony of Christopher Coates, who had been previously subpoenaed by the Commission. The former career chief of the Voting Section at the Civil Rights Division, Coates recommended that the lawsuit against the NBPP go forward.
Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has exchanged letters with the Committee’s seven GOP members, who demanded that an investigation be opened.
On July 29, Leahy denied their request in a letter filled with factual and legal errors.
Factual errors are nothing new for Leaky Leahy.
Some in Congress are squealing like stuck pigs after President Bush, prompted by leaks of classified information to the press about the U.S.’s war on terrorism, decided to limit top secret briefings to just eight House and Senate leaders.
“The defense bill is not moving until we are included,” Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, threatened in a private lunch with colleagues, reports Wednesday’s Washington Times.
Bush ordered the new secrecy rules after information from a classified congressional briefing last week was leaked to reporters. On Friday the Washington Post revealed that part of the briefing included the prediction that a new round of terrorist attacks was a “100 percent” certainty after the U.S. began air strikes on Afghanistan.
While some in Congress said the administration was being too sensitive, Bush has good reason to set new ground rules for the U.S.’s war on terrorism, a fight that will take years and may try the patience of political opponents in Congress.
Witness the example of Vermont Senator Pat Leahy, now the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, who lost patience with the Reagan administration’s war on terrorism in the 1980s when he was vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Back then “Leaky Leahy,” as he’s known to some in his home state, allegedly threatened to sabotage classified strategies he didn’t agree with`1 and, according to some reports, may have actually cost a U.S. intelligence asset his life.
“Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, inadvertantly disclosed a top secret communications intercept during a  television interview,” reported the San Diego Union-Tribune in a 1987 editorial criticizing Congress’ penchant for partisan leaks.
“The intercept, apparently of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s telephone conversations, made possible the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered American citizens,” the paper said, adding, “The reports cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation.”
In July 1987, the Washington Times reported that Leahy leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to topple Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddhafi.
“I thought [the operation] was probably the most ridiculous thing I had seen, and also the most irresponsible,” the leading Intelligence Committee Democrat allegedly said of the secret plan.
Unidentified U.S. intelligence officials told the Times that Leahy, along with Republican panel chairman Sen. Dave Durenberger, communicated a written threat to expose the operation directly to then-CIA Director William Casey.
Weeks later, news of the secret plan turned up in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.
Leahy of course denied it.
Leahy vehemently denied he talked to the press about any of the administration’s covert operations, saying, “I never have, and I’m not going to start now.”
But just a year later, as the Senate was preparing to hold hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal, the Vermont senator had to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he was caught leaking secret information to a reporter.
The ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat decided to let an NBC reporter comb through the committee’s confidential draft report on the scandal. The network aired a report based on the inside information on Jan. 11, 1987.
After a six-month internal investigation, Leahy “voluntarily” stepped down from his committee post, releasing a statement calling his resignation “a suitable way to express … anger and regret” over his lapse.
Leaky Leahy the Liar.
More recently Leaky Leahy the Liar sought even more classified intel:
On numerous occasions, leaks about U.S. intelligence operations, particularly those against al Qaeda, have damaged our ability to safeguard our nation. They also have endangered the lives of intelligence operatives and informants. So it’s hard not to be alarmed by a letter to Congress the Justice Department recently released – a letter indicating that Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, is seeking covert intelligence information.
On March 22, Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general of the Office of Legislative Affairs at Justice, sent Mr. Leahy responses to follow-up questions posed to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. following Mr. Holder’s Nov. 18 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee, which Mr. Leahy chairs, normally doesn’t deal with classified intelligence information. That’s good, because Mr. Leahy’s penchant for leaking classified national security information to try to sabotage American foreign policy decisions with which he disagrees has truly made him dangerous to U.S. national security.
It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that this guy is still in the US Senate instead of prison. Then again, he is a Democrat, and they have different standards. Now, according to Hans Spakovsky, a former career lawyer in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, Leaky Liar Leahy cannot get his facts right in blocking an investigation into the Black Panther voter intimidation case.
Sen. Leahy responded in a July 29 letter that ignores the sworn testimony of Adams, and simply parrots the left-wing talking points designed to downplay this case and spin it as a conservative political plot.
Leahy claims there is no need for a hearing because Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez about the NBPP case three months ago in an oversight hearing. Leahy sees “no credible basis to second guess the decision” to dismiss the case.
Of course, Leahy completely ignores the fact that the most damaging information about the Civil Rights Division has come to light since Perez testified before the Judiciary Committee. Perez appeared before J. Christian Adams told the Civil Rights Commission about Julie Fernandes and the Division’s pervasive and open hostility to enforcing civil rights laws in a race-neutral manner. Adams also testified that a minority employee was repeatedly harassed for working on another case where the defendant was black and the alleged victims were white and black voters, as well as the fact that attorneys in the Voting Section refused to work on the same case because the defendant was black.
Leahy does not want to hear from those who know this case best:
It’s curious that Leahy doesn’t want to hear testimony from the career lawyers who actually investigated and worked on this case. Coates has litigated civil rights cases for almost 40 years. He won the second-highest award given by the Civil Rights Division for his “extraordinary skill, dedication and integrity in written and oral advocacy.” Why wouldn’t Leahy want to hear from this exemplary professional?
The truth is unavoidable:
Department lawyers — both career staff and political appointees — tell me that Eric Holder is the most political attorney general they have seen. Politics, they say, seems to drive almost all of his decision-making, not just in civil rights, but in the areas of national security and immigration enforcement, too.
Leahy obviously was not trying to make a joke, but that is what his claim amounts to. And his letter makes it clear that Democrats intend to do everything they can to keep the truth from coming out about the NBPP case and the administration of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.