Ryun, Tiahrt vote to condemn media; Moore opposed and Moran is absent
Now everybody’s in on the debate over revelations – reported by the New York Times, L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal – of a program used to track the finances of terrorists.Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution – widely depicted as condemning the media – expressing its anger over those revelations.In the Kansas delegation, Reps. Jim Ryun and Todd Tiahrt voted for the resolution, as you can see here. Rep. Dennis Moore opposed it. Rep. Jerry Moran did not vote.The San Francisco Chronicle reports: “Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said the latest leak should be investigated. He called for the formation of a grand jury to find out who violated federal law by leaking the information to the newspapers. He said reporters and editors should be given immunity if they’ll identify the leakers, but should go to jail for contempt if they refuse.”The resolution, here, states that “the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive intelligence information inflicts significant damage to United States activities in the global war on terrorism by assisting terrorists in developing countermeasures to evade United States intelligence capabilities, costs the United States taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost capabilities, and ultimately endangers American lives.”And it ends with a statement that sounds like a warning to the media, saying the House “expects the cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt, and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program.”Bloomberg reports that there’s still plenty of action on the Senate side, with both Kansas senators involved._Earlier today, Texas Senator John Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, introduced a separate resolution calling on the Department of Justice to “vigorously and tirelessly investigate and prosecute any and all persons responsible for the unauthorized disclosure” of counter-terrorism programs. Cornyn joined Republican Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma,_ Sam Brownback of Kansas, _and Jon Kyl of Arizona in calling for a hearing on the leak of the information to the media._Sen. Pat Roberts asked this week for an assessment of damage done by the revelations — but Bloomberg reported that Roberts is uncomfortable with the tenor of the debate._Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said he’s “worried about freedom of the press.” __“You get into these kind of controversies and people immediately jumped to a conclusion, `Oh, let’s prosecute the newspaper or the reporters”’ he said. “And that’s the tail chasing the dog.”_Other links:Sam Brownback(Reuters)Senate sees progress toward July stem cell vote: Nearly a year after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist made his surprise endorsement of a bill to allow federally backed stem cell research, he has whittled down many obstacles to Senate passage, senators and aides said on Thursday. … Two other strongly anti-abortion Republican senators, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, say they will no longer block a Senate vote, even though both of them will vote against the House-passed bill.(Washington Post) Senate to Consider Stem Cell Proposals: Also included are two bills sought by conservatives, which stem cell research proponents have said they can support. One, sponsored by Pennsylvania GOP Sens. Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter, encourages the National Institutes of Health to finance work that might someday allow scientists to produce cells equivalent to embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos. The other, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and known as the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, would make it a crime for anyone to trade in tissues from fetuses that were conceived and aborted expressly for research purposes.(Wichita Eagle) Brownback pushes for nonfood ag expo: Sen. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he’s trying to bring an expo highlighting nonfood agricultural products to the Kansas City area next year. Brownback said agricultural appropriators in the U.S. Senate unsuccessfully tried to get funding for an expo that would feature how crops can be used for everything from fuel to clothing in this year’s agriculture spending bill, but he’s continuing to seek funding for such an expo. He said now is the right moment to show America how agricultural products can be used for more than food. “The economics work very well” for such products as America attempts to use more renewable products, he said.(Slate.com commentary) The Supreme Court busts Lindsey Graham and John Kyl: And along the way, the justices outed two of the law’s sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., for trying to manipulate the Congressional Record and the court itself. The justices weren’t fooled. And they wanted the senators to know it. … On Dec. 21, moments before the Senate closed for the winter holidays, Kyl and Graham inserted into the record a long colloquy in which they asserted that the DTA scotched Hamdan and everyone else. The senators followed up with an amicus brief for the Supreme Court that implied that the testimony was live (as SCOTUSblog and Slate called attention to). The colloquy was scripted to sound that way. It even included a fake “interruption” by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. In its own brief in Hamdan, the Department of Justice also relied on the colloquy as evidence that Congress passed the DTA intending to block the Guantanamo appeals.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation here.