Administration Threatens Veto of Shield Law

August 27, 2008

 Top Bush Administration officials are signaling they will recommend veto of a bill to shield reporters from being compelled to disclose their confidential sources. The House has passed a shield law bill, but a companion bill is awaiting action when the Senate returns from its August recess.

Both Attorney General Michael Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell objected to the legislation in an August 22, 2008, letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). The Justice Dept. published the text of the letter.

The administration, whose credibility on claims of national security critics call threadbare, based its objections to the bill on claims that it would harm national security. Efforts to cover up possibly criminal wrongdoing within the federal government could be aided if whistleblowers who spoke to reporters about it could be exposed and retaliated against.