WASHINGTON: Legislation making it a federal crime to leak "properly
classified" government information has once again been put on hold, this
time following a lack of support from the Bush administration.
The chief sponsor of the proposal, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), agreed
to suspend his efforts to get the bill through Congress after several
members of Bush's team made it clear he did not have their support.
Originally vetoed by President Clinton in 2000, the bill would allow for
fines and up to three years in prison for any federal employee who leaks
classified government information. But the broad language of the bill
and the ease with which information can be classified concerned
Government communicators and journalists waged a campaign to stop the
legislation last year.