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Thread: Major Scandal Unfolding - Leaks from the White House Threaten National Security

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    Major Scandal Unfolding - Leaks from the White House Threaten National Security

    [url]http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/231581-white-house-rejects-special-counsel-to-investigate-leaks[/url]

    White House rejects calls for special counsel for national security leaks
    By Jeremy Herb - 06/07/12 08:21 PM ET

    The White House on Thursday rejected congressional calls for a special counsel to investigate a spate of recent national-security leaks described as among the worst lawmakers have ever seen.

    Members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees have been particularly angered, prompting a rare show of bipartisan fire against the administration.

    “Leaks jeopardize American lives,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

    “I’ve been on the Intelligence Committee for 11 years and I have never seen it worse, I can tell you that,” Feinstein told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday in a separate interview.



    Outrage has snowballed since Friday’s The New York Times story detailing the “Stuxnet” cyberattack against Iran, in which U.S. officials were cited as sources. Other leaks have led to stories about a terrorism “kill list” and a double agent in Yemen.
    All three classified disclosures threaten national security, put U.S. interests at risk and reveal a disturbing trend in the intelligence community, according to lawmakers.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday said the president would not agree to appoint an independent counsel.

    But Carney said the president took the issue of the leaks “very seriously.”

    “This is something that the president insists, that his administration take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk our counterterrorism operations,” Carney told reporters on Air Force One, according to a transcript.

    The administration sought to calm matters by sending Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI Director Robert Mueller to Capitol Hill on Thursday for separate meetings with the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

    But after the meeting with Clapper, the four Intelligence heads — Feinstein, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) — held a joint press conference wherein they vowed to write new laws to stop the springing of intelligence leaks.

    While both Democrats and Republicans have criticized the leaks, Republican lawmakers have pushed harder against the Obama administration, with many lawmakers calling for a special prosecutor to investigate and a small group led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) accusing the administration of leaking to boost President Obama’s image in an election year.

    McCain told reporters Thursday that the latest series of leaks were the worst he’d witnessed, because of both the level of classification of the programs involved and that “you could, as I have, drawn conclusions that this kind of portrayal is bound to be enhancing to the president’s image in an election year.”

    Carney called McCain’s charges “grossly irresponsible” and insisted “any suggestion that the White House has leaked sensitive information for political purposes has no basis in fact and has been denied by the authors themselves.”

    Rogers offered support for a special counsel, saying Thursday it was possible that the “sources of these leaks could be in position to influence these investigations.”

    “You’re going to have to have at least some sort of outside look because of the nature [of the leaks],” Rogers said.

    But Feinstein, after meeting with Clapper, said she was not sure yet whether there should be a special counsel appointed.

    “A special prosecutor could take years,” Feinstein said. “We don’t have years.”

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a frequent ally of McCain’s, said he believed “completely” that the leaks came from the White House.

    [B]“Blow-by-blow description of what happens in the situation room — unless they’ve opened up the situation room discussions to tour groups through the White House, you would assume that people in that room are pretty high up,” Graham said on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends.”
    [/B]
    “You got three stories in about 45 days that paint a narrative of the president being strong on national security, disrupting al Qaeda bomber plots, cyberattacks against Iran that were a year or two ago,” Graham said. “Why are they coming out now, five months before the election?”

    Not all Republicans are calling for a special counsel, however. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was concerned about the leaks but did not directly answer a question about supporting McCain.

    “I think the administration should heed the advice of former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, who when after the [Osama] bin Laden raid a lot of details were coming out, he promptly went over to the White House and used some colorful language to try to prevent any more leaks from occurring,” Boehner said. The reference is to an anecdote in the newly released book from the Times reporter who broke the Iran cyber story, David Sanger, in which Gates said to “shut the [expletive] up” about the bin Laden details.

    McCain and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) have promised hearings on the leaks, and both attended Thursday’s briefing with Clapper. McCain told The Hill it was a “good briefing,” without going into details.

    While congressional Democrats have expressed outrage at the leaks, they’ve rejected accusations of political motivations.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that McCain’s accusations were “a sad statement,” and others, including Feinstein and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), have said there’s no basis to suggest a political dimension to the leaks.

    Feinstein said at Thursday’s press conference that her focus was on stopping leaks in the future. While she declined to get into details about legislation the House and Senate committees were planning, she said they are interested in limiting the number of people who receive classified information and possibly giving authorities more power to question journalists.

    — Russell Berman contributed.

  2. #2
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    Notice the bolded part of the article. Apparently the "sources" for the leaks included blow by blow details of conversations happening within the Presidents "Situation Room". These are closed door meetings between the President and high level cabinet ministers. It should not be hard to pinpoint who was in the room for these cabinet meetings and narrow down the list of suspects.

    Kudo's to some of the Democrats on the intelligence committee for speaking out on this issue. This rises above politics and I am encouraged that congressional Democrats are standing with the GOP in demanding an investigation. The idea that people within our high levels of government are leaking national secrets is disturbing to say the least.

    I also found it curious that the administration is refusing to bring in a special investigator. Wouldn't they want to get to the bottom of this? What possible motivation would they have to stonewall an investigation? It almost makes it seem like they have something to hide.

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    Forget about White House leaks. Our own president is a threat to our national security the way he bends over for the rest of the world and apologizes for us and how he talks about Israel.

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    Members of Congress and others in the intelligence community are growing increasingly outraged over leaks that some say threaten national security. “What we’re seeing…is an Anschluss, an avalanche of leaks. And it’s very, very disturbing,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
    Here is POLITICO’s list of five leaks that members of Congress and other officials have recently vented on:


    1. U.S. Involvement in Stuxnet
    A New York Times report confirmed the U.S. involvement in the development of the computer virus Stuxnet, which targeted nuclear centrifuges in Iran.
    “I read ‘The New York Times’ article and my heart dropped, because he [the reporter] wove a tapestry which has an impact that’s beyond any single one thing,” Feinstein told CNN.

    2. Underwear Bomber
    A leak led to an AP report in May that said U.S. national security agencies had foiled a sophisticated underwear bomber plot timed for the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. [B]Further leaks allowed news outlets to report that the U.S. had planted a spy in Al Qaeda’s Yemenese affiliate.
    “Leaks such as this threaten ongoing operations, puts at risk the lives of sources, makes it much more difficult to recruit sources and damages our relationships with our foreign partners,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller at the time.[/B]
    3. “Kill List”
    The New York Times published a story that revealed the president was personally involved in a selection process that designated terrorists for assassination, the “kill list.”
    “With each leak, our allies are left to wonder how much they can trust us with their secrets. Some in the administration have decided that scoring political points in an election year outweighs intelligence operations,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said, referring to both the “kill list” and Stuxnet stories.
    4. Identification of the Pakistani doctor who helped find bin Laden
    [B]The Guardian and the New York Times revealed last year that the CIA had staged a fake polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan in order to obtain DNA from bin Laden’s family.
    Sen. John McCain blamed a “flurry of anonymous boasting” over the bin Laden operation for leading to the identification of Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped with the clandestine campaign. Afridi was recently sentenced to 33 years in prison in Pakistan for high treason.[/B]
    5. Osama movie
    Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has suggested that Obama administration officials may have cooperated with – and leaked to – filmmakers working on a movie about Osama bin Laden called “Zero Dark Thirty” and directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow.
    [B]“The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrests of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission’s heroes and their families,” said King earlier this year.[/B]


    Read more: [url]http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77158.html#ixzz1xDXGAA00[/url]

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    I want to know what we're doing. Leaks are not always dangerous or irresponsible.

    That article argues that the Democrats are leaking for political motives, i.e. to look strong on national defense.

    As if they even have to, Chiefs. This President doesn't need to worry about looking soft on terrorism, Iran or the military. He killed Bin Laden, is actively f***ing with Iran's nuclear program and is pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan all while killing Al Qaeda wherever they pop up. It's actually quite f***ing scary how far he went, which is why reporting like this is important and patriotic.

    I'd always rather know, and a lot of other people think like that too.

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488001]I want to know what we're doing. Leaks are not always dangerous or irresponsible.

    That article argues that the Democrats are leaking for political motives, i.e. to look strong on national defense.

    As if they even have to, Chiefs. This President doesn't need to worry about looking soft on terrorism, Iran or the military. He killed Bin Laden, is actively f***ing with Iran's nuclear program and is pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan all while killing Al Qaeda wherever they pop up. It's actually quite f***ing scary how far he went, which is why reporting like this is important and patriotic.

    I'd always rather know, and a lot of other people think like that too.[/QUOTE]

    Cool. I see your point. Your need to know outweighs the life of the asset we were able to plant in to Al Quaeda in Yemen. Screw him and his family. Of course it is less likely that we will be able to convince people to work for us and infiltrate the terror groups but what evs right. That doctor in Pakistan that helped with the Bin Ladin operation can rot in hell for all you care. At least you got to read a cool story about one person that helped us out.

    Oddly even extreme leftists like Diane Feinstein are outraged by the massive national security leaks coming from this administration but what ever to her. She's probably a neocon in disguise.

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    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4488047]Cool. I see your point. Your need to know outweighs the life of the asset we were able to plant in to Al Quaeda in Yemen. Screw him and his family. Of course it is less likely that we will be able to convince people to work for us and infiltrate the terror groups but what evs right. That doctor in Pakistan that helped with the Bin Ladin operation can rot in hell for all you care. At least you got to read a cool story about one person that helped us out.

    Oddly even extreme leftists like Diane Feinstein are outraged by the massive national security leaks coming from this administration but what ever to her. She's probably a neocon in disguise.[/QUOTE]

    You know, if this were a declared war, I'd say you have a point. But in the never-ending "war on terror", I have no problem with journalism that reveals our tactics along with their results. Do you know who the operative in Yemen is, his name, anything about him?

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488083]You know, if this were a declared war, I'd say you have a point. But in the never-ending "war on terror", I have no problem with journalism that reveals our tactics along with their results. Do you know who the operative in Yemen is, his name, anything about him?[/QUOTE]

    Revealing to a terror group that we had an infiltrator in their midst that gave us the information that led to thwarting an actual attack is fine for you? How about the doctor that helped with Bin Ladin? We know who he is. He is rotting in a Pakistani prison.

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    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4488100]Revealing to a terror group that we had an infiltrator in their midst that gave us the information that led to thwarting an actual attack is fine for you? How about the doctor that helped with Bin Ladin? We know who he is. He is rotting in a Pakistani prison.[/QUOTE]

    It's like you're desperately trying to find weaknesses in what has been a complete rout of Al Qaeda in the past 3.5 years.

    Have at it.

    At least, for Obama's sake, you and the rest of the Romney supporters won't be coming at him from the libertarian perspective on foreign policy - because that could actually stick. Keep on with this "the Obama Presidency has strengthened al qaeda put us at greater threat" bullsh*t. See how that plays with OBL dead, Al Qaeda lieutenants being dropped daily and the US delaying the Iranian nuclear program with every option short of brute force.

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488137]It's like you're desperately trying to find weaknesses in what has been a complete rout of Al Qaeda in the past 3.5 years.

    Have at it.[/QUOTE]

    Only the last 3.5 years, eh?

    An interesting evaluation.

    Almost as interesting as Liberals defending Obama's validity for re-election based on his War/Killing/Violation of Human Rights record.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4488139]Only the last 3.5 years, eh?

    An interesting evaluation.

    Almost as interesting as Liberals defending Obama's validity for re-election based on his War/Killing/Violation of Human Rights record.[/QUOTE]

    I merely don't buy that the knock on Obama's foreign policy is that "Al Qaeda is better off and America is weaker".

    But look no further than the NYT article that was posted here by BonhommeRichard, wherein it details Obama's prosecution of the war on terror, and it's quite scary. As I said in this thread already, I think someone can come at Obama from a libertarian point of view on foreign policy - i.e. how far have we strayed from the constitution - but nobody can deny the results, al qaeda are dying by the droves, at little risk to American personnel.

    If Romney and the GOP come at Obama from an even more aggressive prosecution of the war on terror, it very well could be far too aggressive...

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488143]I merely don't buy that the knock on Obama's foreign policy is that "Al Qaeda is better off and America is weaker". [/QUOTE]

    Good for you.

    On matters of War, Security, the Patriot act, Torture, Detention, and a host of other topics, I think Libs don't have an intellectually consistent leg to stand on today.

    Your guy has been a clone of G.W. Bush, but worse in every category, going above and beyond what Bush did in every category of War, killing and rights violations. Instead of locking up people, like under Bush, Obama simply assassinates them. Less mess.

    On no subject is the hypocricy of politics more obvious and clear that of a Liberal in 2012 proudly proclaiming Obama's War Record.

    From demands of impeachment and War Crimes Tribunals before the World Court....to "Wow, Obama sure does kill those turrists good, you damn righties can fuk off!"

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4488147]Good for you.

    On matters of War, Security, the Patriot act, Torture, Detention, and a host of other topics, I think Libs don't have an intellectually consistent leg to stand on today.

    Your guy has been a clone of G.W. Bush, but worse in every category, going above and beyond what Bush did in every category of War, killing and rights violations. Instead of locking up people, like under Bush, Obama simply assassinates them. Less mess.

    On no subject is the hypocricy of politics more obvious and clear that of a Liberal in 2012 proudly proclaiming Obama's War Record.

    From demands of impeachment and War Crimes Tribunals before the World Court....to "Wow, Obama sure does kill those turrists good, you damn righties can fuk off!"[/QUOTE]

    There are anti-war activists and there are democrats/liberals. Sometimes these groups share a group, like a venn diagram. But even though part of the circle overlaps, a great area of the circle does not overlap. Those would be people like me who questioned the invasion of Iraq, both its "case for war" (WMDs) and its grand strategy (wisdom of invading Iraq to fight terrorism). Furthermore, there were those of us that thought Iraq would weaken the legitimate war in Afghanistan.

    BTW, do you think more civilians died from invasion and occupation or from the drone program?

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4488147]Good for you.

    On matters of War, Security, the Patriot act, Torture, Detention, and a host of other topics, I think Libs don't have an intellectually consistent leg to stand on today.

    Your guy has been a clone of G.W. Bush, but worse in every category, going above and beyond what Bush did in every category of War, killing and rights violations. Instead of locking up people, like under Bush, Obama simply assassinates them. [/QUOTE]

    And then administration officials brag about it to the press.

    And the Obama supporters who wanted to try Bush for war crimes are like, "Yeah, sweet, I can get behind this."

    Talk about a mind****.

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    [QUOTE=Bonhomme Richard;4488161]And then administration officials brag about it to the press.

    And the Obama supporters who wanted to try Bush for war crimes are like, "Yeah, sweet, I can get behind this."

    Talk about a mind****.[/QUOTE]

    Did Obama lie to start to a war? Or rather, did Obama manipulate intelligence to invade a country? Or rather, did Obama, on weak intelligence, invade a country?

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488289]Did Obama lie to start to a war? Or rather, did Obama manipulate intelligence to invade a country? Or rather, did Obama, on weak intelligence, invade a country?[/QUOTE]

    Now this is great originality:yes:

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4488289]Did Obama lie to start to a war? Or rather, did Obama manipulate intelligence to invade a country? Or rather, did Obama, on weak intelligence, invade a country?[/QUOTE]

    Obama pisses these tools off.

    Why?

    Because he has managed to get better results using less $$$ and spilling less American blood.

    Obama proved that you don't need a large scale occupation to achieve results. But the Kenyan wasn't supposed to do that.

    Remember? Obama was going to welcome Al Queda into the White House for tea and crumpets...not actually kill them at a higher rate than Captain Brush Clearer.


    Republicans have as much strategic intelligence as my dog trying to catch a squirrel. They're not good at it and they look f*cking retarded trying to do it....

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4488346]Now this is great originality:yes:[/QUOTE]

    If you don't want to answer the question, that's fine, because they were rhetorical questions.

    We all know the answers and we can all see the differences between the two administrations, specifically their handling of the War on Terror.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4488354]Obama pisses these tools off.

    Why?

    Because he has managed to get better results using less $$$ and spilling less American blood.

    Obama proved that you don't need a large scale occupation to achieve results. But the Kenyan wasn't supposed to do that.

    Remember? Obama was going to welcome Al Queda into the White House for tea and crumpets...not actually kill them at a higher rate than Captain Brush Clearer.


    Republicans have as much strategic intelligence as my dog trying to catch a squirrel. They're not good at it and they look f*cking retarded trying to do it....[/QUOTE]

    At least your dog doesn't leave you broke and bloodied after 10 years of chasing that squirrel.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4488354]
    Because he has managed to get better results using less $$$ and spilling less American blood.[/QUOTE]
    Wow. Slow down.

    You might want to review this link [url]http://icasualties.org/OEF/Fatalities.aspx[/url] before making broad assumptions based on what no longer dominates NYTimes headlines since 2008 ... ("quagmires" and body counts, for example)

    Obama escalated Afghanistan - and with it he significantly escalated American casualties there.

    Cheerlead for Obama as hard as you want, but please don't take your fellow Americans' sacrifice for granted.

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