WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Michael Mukasey and three other top Bush administration officials are weighing in against legislation that would allow reporters to protect the identities of confidential sources who provide sensitive, sometimes embarrassing information about the government.
The Free Flow of Information Act proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, could harm national security and would encourage more leaks of classified information, the four officials wrote in letters to senators made public Thursday.
The legislation gives an overly broad definition of journalists that “can include those linked to terrorists and criminals,” wrote Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.
“All individuals and entities who ‘gather’ or ‘publish’ information about ‘matters of public interest’ but who are not technically designated terrorist organizations, foreign powers or agents of a foreign power will be entitled to the bill’s protections,” Mukasey and McConnell stated.
Journalists, press freedom. How quaint. What an old fashioned idea.