THE ISSUE IS GROWING – AT 8:48 A.M. ET: It's extraordinary. Some leaders in the Democratic Party – let's call them the grown-ups – are are joining Republicans in proposing legislation taking dead aim at a Democratic administration for leaking sensitive security information, presumably to bolster Obama's national-security credentials. From Fox:
WASHINGTON – Leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees said Thursday they were drafting legislation to further limit who can access highly classified information and possibly impose new penalties for revealing it.
The head of the House intelligence committee said he will investigate recent leaks, but the CIA and the Justice Department national security division said they would not cooperate.
The action comes after recent leaks of sensitive information about the covert drone and cyber wars against terrorism.
"There has been just a cascade of leaks coming out of the intelligence community in the last several weeks and months," the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss told reporters. "It's our clear intention to put a stop to this."
The bipartisan news conference of the four top lawmakers was spurred by a series of media reports detailing everything from White House policy on the highly classified targeting of Al Qaeda militants by drones and raids, to the White House reportedly deploying the cyber weapon known as Stuxnet, a malicious computer code that knocked Iranian nuclear processing centrifuges offline.
The House Intelligence Committee chairman, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, said his committee would formally investigate the leaks, though he said the process would be hampered because two critical government agencies said they would not participate.
"Just today the CIA informed the (committee) that it cannot respond to our request for information regarding the leaks, a very troubling event indeed," Rogers said.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Democrat Dianne Feinstein said Congress wants the White House to notify lawmakers at least 48 hours in advance and explain when it chooses to disclose national secrets.
COMMENT: Several journalists have reported being told by authoritative sources that the leaks are the worst they've ever seen in government...exposing sources and methods that should have remained highly classified.
The fact that the CIA and Justice Department will not cooperate in a congressional probe of the issue is outrageous. I can understand the position of Justice, an Obama administration political arm, but the CIA should have some modicum of independence. It apparently does not.
This is becoming a big story because our national security may have been seriously compromised. You may be sure, though, that elements of the mainstream media are working to make it an invisible story.
June 8, 2012