VerDate 0ct 09 2002
It is the case, I mean, we have actually requested material that has been in the press, verbatim in the press, and we have been told, well, it is classified. We have got to go on the assumption— and again, it is not a liberal or conservative issue—we have got to go on the assumption of put things out unless it really does affect national security.
Mr. Mears, I take it from reading through your statement you feel the war on terrorism has changed the government’s attitude toward openness?
Mr. MEARS. I think that it has predictably led to a more restric- tive policy toward information. I suspect that it was also the case in such circumstances before my time. I grew up during World War II and I remember seeing the posters around that said, ‘‘Loose lips sink ships.’’
Senator LEAHY. Yes. Mr. MEARS. That presumed that people walking around Lex- ington, Massachusetts, knew where the ships were, which I don’t think we did.
[Laughter.] Mr. MEARS. But I think that instinct has been repeated over our history and I think it is in play now.
Senator LEAHY. When I was four years old, I can remember my father going out wearing this tin air raid warden’s hat going around urging the people in Montpelier, Vermont, to pull their shades. I did not really think that we were the number one target in the world, although when you read General Walters’ book, Vernon Walters’ book, you find that he was, as a young lieutenant, rousted out of bed in the middle of the night and asked if he spoke German. He said, ‘‘Yes, I speak about ten languages.’’ And he was at Fort Ethan Allen outside of Burlington and they were inter- cepting some radio messages from Stowe being sent to U-boats. Subsequently, they found out who the Nazi sympathizer was there.
I think sometimes we get—there are still things we do that make you wonder. Don’t photograph this site. Well, we have got a photo- graph of it here that has been published last year. That was last year. Don’t photograph it this year. I think we have to be careful.
Are there threats to the United States? Of course. Is there a real terrorist threat? Yes. I just, though, remind everybody what, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, who said that the people who would trade their liberty for security deserve neither.
Mr. Chairman, again I thank you for doing this. I want to put in the record a statement by Senator Feingold, if I might—
Senator CORNYN. Certainly, without objection. Senator LEAHY. —nd I will submit other questions for the record. Senator CORNYN. Absolutely. Senator LEAHY. Thank you. Senator CORNYN. Thank you. I think the discussion up to this point leads me to want to ask a little bit about process issues. One of the differences I found coming from the State government to the Federal Government is a lack of process by which people under- stood what their responsibilities were. At the State level there were consequences for not acting within a particular time period and there was actually somebody, if you had a dispute, let us say a le-
09:04 Nov 08, 2005