There aren’t many ways to get intimate access to the behind-the-scenes of government as a photog. Your best option is probably to try and snag a spot as the official White House photographer, but those jobs are hard to come by. A senator from Vermont, however, has found another way: get a day job as a Senator and moonlight as an amateur photographer.According to an article in USA Today, that’s exactly what Senator Patrick Leahy has been doing for a long time now. And once you get past the irony that he is from the same state that recently proposed a bill to ban public photography, you start to appreciate the level of access the Senator enjoys, and the quality of his work.
Senator Leahy is the most senior member of Congress. Including this year’s inauguration, he has attended 10 in total, and he has the pictures to prove it. From the presidency of Jimmy Carter on up, the Vermont Democrat can be easily distinguished from his congressional peers by the SLR hanging from his neck.
Here is a selection of Senator Leahy’s photos, including some from President Obama’s inauguration this year, former President Reagan’s inauguration in 1985, and a few events in-between:
I applaud the effort to require warrants to search email. Even if it’s old email. Kudos to Sen. Pat Leahy. If I had my way significant parts of the Patriot act would have had their sunset and began the trip into history along with Osama Bin Laden. It’s a rare thing for liberties or civil rights to be restored without far more drama than like a bill going through due process. Please contact your representatives and encourage this requirement.
A Senate committee on Thursday unanimously backed sweeping digital privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, amends the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The amendment would nullify a provision that allows the government to acquire a suspect’s e-mail or other stored content from an internet service provider without showing probable cause that a crime was committed.
The development comes as e-mail privacy is again in the spotlight after FBI investigators uncovered an affair between then-CIA chief David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell after gaining access to e-mail accounts used by Broadwell.
Currently, the government can obtain e-mail without a warrant as long as the content has been stored on a third-party server for 180 days or more, and only needs to show, often via an administrative subpoena, that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful in an investigation.
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has killed a controversial portion of a bill he proposed that would have allowed more than 20 government agencies to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, CNET reports.
Leahy originally proposed the bill to increase email and Internet privacy. But he received pushback from law enforcement interests, so he amended it to allow warrantless access to email by a bevy of government agencies, from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission. That revised version sparked outrage among civil liberties proponents and a coalition of technology companies. On Tuesday Leahy abandoned the offending amendments altogether.
Leahy’s office said Tuesday on Twitter the proposed changes were only “ideas,” and would not withstand the mark-up phase of the bill process in the Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.
U.S. senators scandalized by Pakistan’s jailing of a doctor for helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden voted on Thursday to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million — one million for each year in the doctor’s sentence.
“It’s arbitrary, but the hope is that Pakistan will realize we are serious,” said Senator Richard Durbin after the unanimous 30-0 vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“It’s outrageous that they (the Pakistanis) would say a man who helped us find Osama bin Laden is a traitor,” said Durbin, the Senate’s number two Democrat.
The amendment was offered by Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. Earlier in the week an appropriations subcommittee slashed aid to Islamabad and warned it would withhold more if Pakistan does not reopen supply routes for NATO soldiers in neighboring Afghanistan.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) on Friday delayed indefinitely a vote on the Protect IP Act, the proposed anti-piracy legislation that drew a widespread internet revolt Wednesday.
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act,” the senator said in a statement.
Reid urged Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vermont) and the chief sponsor of of PIPA, to “continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet.”
PIPA was scheduled for a procedural vote on the Senate floor on Tuesday, the first step toward breaking a rarely used hold on the measure imposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
The public outcry over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act seems to have gotten so loud that even members of Congress can hear it. On Thursday we covered the news that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was expressing second thoughts about SOPA’s DNS provisions. He said he changed his mind after he “heard from a number of Vermonters” on the issue.
On Friday, several Republicans started backpedaling as well.
SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced that he would be pulling the DNS-blocking provisions from his own bill. “After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision,” Smith said in a Friday statement.
Meanwhile, six GOP senators who served on the Senate Judiciary Committee (which unanimously approved the legislation last year) wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking him to postpone a vote on PIPA to give them more time to study the legislation.
“We strongly believe that the theft of American intellectual property is a significant problem that must be addressed,” they wrote. But since the Judiciary Committee last considered the legislation, “we have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal concerns about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights.”
The current plan for the full Senate to consider the bill on January 24 “may not permit us to work through many of the concerns that have been raised,” they warned.
What is it about the Left and the negative support of Israel?
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy is promoting a bill to suspend U.S. assistance to three elite Israel Defense Forces units, alleging they are involved in human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Leahy, a Democrat and senior member of the U.S. Senate, wants assistance withheld from the Israel Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit, the undercover Duvdevan unit and the Israel Air Force’s Shaldag unit.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a long-time friend of Leahy’s, met with him in Washington two weeks ago to try to persuade him to withdraw the initiative.
According to a senior Israeli official in Jerusalem, Leahy began promoting the legislation in recent months after he was approached by voters in his home state of Vermont.
…Leahy says these units are responsible for harming innocent Palestinian civilians and that no system of investigation is in place to ensure that their members are not committing human rights violations. According to Leahy’s proposal, U.S. military assistance to Israel would be subject to the same restrictions that apply to countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan.