One Step Closer to the Slammer

Great, great news:

A former National Security Agency employee has been subpoenaed by a U.S. grand jury as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information.

The subpoena — issued Wednesday by two FBI agents to whistleblower Russ Tice outside his Maryland home — was drawn up by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the letter accompanying it is signed by an attorney from Justice Department headquarters — a sign that the investigation is being overseen in Washington.

The subpoena says only that the grand jury is “conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.” But it is believed to be the first public sign of the Bush administration’s promised aggressive investigation into leaks about the National Security Agency’s highly secret program of warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists.

Excellent. Tice has virtually confessed in the press, and his testimony may lead to other criminals who can also be charged. This UPI article does its best to cast Tice as a hero, calling him a “whistleblower.” That’s wrong, of course. There is a federal whistleblower statute, which prescribes specific procedures if a federal employee thinks he has wrongdoing to report. Those mechanisms do not include leaking to the terrorists via the New York Times. That isn’t “whistleblowing,” it’s a federal crime. And here, the NSA’s international terrorist surveillance program was plainly legal under all federal appellate court precedents, as we’ve pointed out countless times. So let’s get on with the criminal prosecutions.

Via Power Line News.

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