- - Sunday, December 5, 2010

STATE

Clinton jokes about WikiLeaks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton knows how to try to get a laugh from a public embarrassment.

Ever since the website WikiLeaks started posting State Department memos — known as cables — and other classified government documents, U.S. officials have been turning a bit red as secret assessments of world leaders have become public.

She found time for a little light turn about WikiLeaks during a reception she hosted Saturday night at the State Department for recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors — who include Oprah Winfrey and Paul McCartney.

Mrs. Clinton said she found it extraordinary to greet so many talented people. She then said: “I am writing a cable about it, which I’m sure you’ll find soon on your closest website.”

HOUSE

Rangel calls censure painful

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, said Sunday that being punished by Congress has been an “embarrassing and painful experience.”

Mr. Rangel, former chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was censured Thursday for violating House ethics and fundraising rules.

However, he said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” he was relieved that everybody now knows there was “no evidence of corruption.”

His tone Sunday was more conciliatory than at times over recent weeks. Though Mr. Rangel has apologized, he also has said the censure — the chamber’s most severe punishment short of expulsion — was politically motivated.

“I am not going to be judged by this Congress, but I am going to be judged by my life,” said Mr. Rangel, who represents New York’s Harlem neighborhood.

SENATE

McConnell calls Assange a ‘terrorist’

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is calling the founder of the online site WikiLeaks a “high-tech terrorist” for releasing classified material from the U.S. government.

Mr. McConnell says that the online release of secret diplomat exchanges has done “enormous damage” to the country and to its relationship with its allies.

Mr. McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he hopes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be prosecuted for the disclosures. And he says that if it’s found that Mr. Assange hasn’t violated the law, then the law should be changed.

Of Mr. Assange, Mr. McConnell says, “I think the man is a high-tech terrorist.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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