Senate Dems angry at leak on Iran cyberattack
I don't think "national security" means the same thing to Obama than it does to the rest of us. At least, as far as using top secret info to show what a stud our president is when it comes to fighting the bad guys.
Even members of his own party are criticizing the flood of national security leaks from this administration over the past year.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday blasted leaks to the press about a cyberattack against Iran and warned the disclosure of President Obama's order could put the United States at risk of a retaliatory strike.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said the leak about the attack on Iran's nuclear program could "to some extent" provide justification for copycat attacks against the United States.
"This is like an avalanche. It is very detrimental and, candidly, I found it very concerning," Feinstein said. "There's no question that this kind of thing hurts our country."
The FBI opened its own probe Tuesday into who disclosed information on the Iranian attack, The Wall Street Journal reported. On Capitol Hill, the Senate Armed Service Committee promised hearings, while two Republican senators called for a special counsel investigation.
Several Democrats noted with alarm that the Iranian cyber leak is just the latest in a series of media reports that disclosed classified information about U.S. anti-terrorism activity.
"A number of those leaks, and others in the last months about drone activities and other activities, are frankly all against national-security interests," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "I think they're dangerous, damaging, and whoever is doing that is not acting in the interest of the United States of America."
Kerry and Feinstein dispute the idea that the leaks are being orchestrated from the White House for political purposes. John McCain thinks otherwise:
McCain accused the White House of planting the story for political purposes, and on Tuesday joined with Intelligence Committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in calling for a special counsel to investigate and prosecute whoever is responsible for the national-security leaks.
"The only conceivable motive for such damaging and compromising leaks of classified information is that it makes the president look good," said McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "They are merely gratuitous and utterly self-serving."
McCain said Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has agreed to hold congressional hearings on the leaks.
It is doubtful they will find a smoking gun. Whoever leaked the info covered their tracks or used a cut out to protect themselves.
The NSC has several political appointees who may have slipped word to someone in the intelligence community with contacts at the NY Times. Such a scenario would be extremely hard to trace back to the White House. But the pressure may have the desired effect of stopping the leaks before real damage is done to our national security.