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Thread: Romney Blasts Security Leaks as an Obama Betrayal

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    Romney Blasts Security Leaks as an Obama Betrayal

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/us...rayal.html?hpw


    RENO, Nev. — On the eve of a trip abroad intended to burnish his qualifications to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney accused Obama administration officials on Tuesday of betraying the country by leaking national security secrets for their own political gain and failing to stand up to adversaries like China, Russia and Iran.

    Mr. Romney’s address, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here, was the most expansive foreign policy speech of his candidacy and opened a new and aggressive attack on President Obama on national security.

    The Republican challenger has struggled to gain traction on foreign policy issues against Mr. Obama, who has enjoyed public support for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and good marks in polls for his handling of American diplomacy.

    “This conduct is contemptible,” Mr. Romney said of leaks for which he blames the administration. “It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence.”

    The speech highlighted a broader theme that Republicans have been pressing: that Mr. Obama and his administration “betrayed” the trust of America’s closest allies — Mr. Romney used a form of that word three times in the speech — forsaking nations like Poland, the Czech Republic and particularly Israel, whose leaders the president “is fond of lecturing,” Mr. Romney said.

    “He has undermined their position, which was tough enough as it was,” Mr. Romney said. “And even at the United Nations, to the enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, he spoke as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.”

    While Mr. Romney’s speech was notable for the intensity of his attacks against Mr. Obama, it was also notable for a lack of new policy specifics. That seemed to underscore how much his campaign has struggled to find sharp contrasts with the White House on foreign policy, outside of a few clear differences, like Mr. Romney’s call to reject a new strategic missile treaty with Russia and his opposition to engaging the Taliban in peace talks in Afghanistan. Some experts also say that Mr. Obama has been a strong supporter of Israel and that Mr. Romney has offered little tangible policy to illustrate how he would significantly improve on that.

    The focus on Israel comes as Mr. Romney begins an overseas trip on Wednesday that is to take him to Britain, Poland and Israel. His meetings with Israeli leaders are expected to provide a sounding board for his concerns about the Iranian nuclear threat and what he considers the Obama administration’s lack of resolve in confronting it.

    Mr. Romney’s provocative choice of words added to Republican efforts to define Mr. Obama as out of step with basic American goals and values at home and abroad. High-profile Republicans have been attacking Mr. Obama as hostile to free enterprise and intent on a greater government role in the economy. In his speech Tuesday, Mr. Romney cast himself as an “unapologetic believer in the greatness” of the United States while characterizing Mr. Obama as a leader who has “given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due.”

    His critique of Mr. Obama’s record in the Middle East came against the backdrop of especially intense criticism of the administration from the right. Neoconservatives have assailed the White House for not taking a harder line against Iran. Evangelical Christians are demanding more robust American support for Israel. And a group of Congressional Republicans including Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has claimed without any evidence that a top State Department aide has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an assertion that other Republicans, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, have excoriated as ludicrously false.

    Criticizing Mr. Obama for not doing more to support Iranian democracy demonstrations, Mr. Romney said dissidents in Tehran “should hear the unequivocal voice of an American president affirming their right to be free.” The people of Israel, Mr. Romney said, “deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world.” (Some Israeli leaders do not share this view; Ehud Barak, the defense minister and former prime minister, said last year that Mr. Obama had been an “extremely strong supporter of Israel in regard to its security.” They also have praised Mr. Obama for opposing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations.)

    The Obama camp continued to pound Mr. Romney’s coming foreign trip, calling it short on substance and light on stops.

    Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, declined to comment on Mr. Romney’s criticism of an investigation into leaks but said Mr. Obama “has made abundantly clear that he has no tolerance for leaks.” And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. assailed Mr. Romney’s speech as “empty rhetoric and bluster.” Mr. Biden said, “He reflexively criticizes the president’s policies without offering any alternatives.”

    In his speech, Mr. Romney for the first time demanded that Iran halt all nuclear enrichment activities, but he did not say what he would do as president if the Iranians failed to accede to his demand. Both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama have said that military action is an option should the Iranians pursue construction of a nuclear device. The Romney campaign also said Tuesday that it would make $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt conditional on that country’s maintaining a peace agreement with Israel.

    Republicans appear to be hoping the controversy over leaks will snowball into a major political issue before the election.

    Two federal prosecutors appointed by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. are investigating the disclosure of details of cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear program as well as leaks about the foiling of a plot by Al Qaeda in Yemen to bring down an airliner with an underwear bomb. Republicans have also objected to leaks about the direct role Mr. Obama plays in ordering assassinations through drone strikes.

    In making such a stark accusation about White House complicity in leaks, Mr. Romney and his aides pointed to Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who on Monday was quoted as saying that “some” national security leaks had to be coming from the White House but that Mr. Obama was not behind them.

    Immediately after Mr. Romney’s speech here, Ms. Feinstein backed away from her comments and said she was “disappointed” in how Mr. Romney had characterized her statement. “I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information,” she said. “I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.”

    During the speech, Mr. Romney vowed that while he was overseas he would keep with tradition and not criticize the incumbent’s foreign policy — though that did not stop him in Reno from attacking Mr. Obama before he stepped on the plane.

    “I will tell you right here — before I leave — what I think of this administration’s shabby treatment of one of our finest friends,” Mr. Romney said, describing what he said was Mr. Obama’s weak support for Israel.

    And while Mr. Romney has taken criticism for refusing to commit explicitly to a drawdown of nearly all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014 — the timeline backed by Mr. Obama and NATO leaders — he reiterated his “goal” to have combat troops out that year but suggested the timing would still depend on feedback from military commanders about conditions on the ground.

  2. #2
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    Two questions...

    Do you think someone from the President's inner circle has leaked information that negatively impacts our national security/foreign policy...

    Why did you bold the portion of the article that has absolutely nothing to do with the title of the OP, as the NYT main point here seems to be saying that Romney is calling Obama treasonous, which if he assisted in leaking the information, I completely agree with...

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    Mr. Obama, who has enjoyed public support for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and good marks in polls for his handling of American diplomacy.

    I call BS, BusterBot: no one gives Dumbama good marks for diplomacy.


    On second thought, the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and Islamofascists do.

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    Immediately after Mr. Romney’s speech here, Ms. Feinstein backed away from her comments and said she was “disappointed” in how Mr. Romney had characterized her statement. “I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information,” she said. “I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.”
    Bull. She obviously got her chain yanked by the DNC after saying, truthfully, that she believed someone in the White House had leaked this stuff. Can't believe she didn't know as she was saying it that it would end up in a Romney ad or speech

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Bull. She obviously got her chain yanked by the DNC after saying, truthfully, that she believed someone in the White House had leaked this stuff. Can't believe she didn't know as she was saying it that it would end up in a Romney ad or speech
    +1
    Someone from the Romney campaign said she got "Cory Bookered." This administration is starting to genuinely disturb me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    +1
    Someone from the Romney campaign said she got "Cory Bookered." This administration is starting to genuinely disturb me.
    "starting"? where you been?

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    +1000 on Paulie's point...the administration is out of control

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    You all blame the media for how they're reactionary and don't do good work, then when they do their job and find out things, you all call it a threat to national security.

    I want to know what's going on and No, I'm not worried about a war with Russia - the Cold War is over and we won - and neither should any of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    You all blame the media for how they're reactionary and don't do good work
    I blame the media for being political and biased, and no, they do not do "good work".

    , then when they do their job and find out things, you all call it a threat to national security.
    I blame the leakers who leaked for leaking.

    Not the media.

    I want to know what's going on
    Our despire to "know whats going on" must be tempered with National Security and Operational risks.

    I love transparency, but to operate in a world where birtch certificates and college transcripts are deeply held national secrets, but millitary operations, tactics and foreign policy info is leaked almost daily is, as I see it, backwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    You all blame the media for how they're reactionary and don't do good work, then when they do their job and find out things, you all call it a threat to national security.

    I want to know what's going on and No, I'm not worried about a war with Russia - the Cold War is over and we won - and neither should any of you.
    Oh you want to know whats going on then? Thats different then. Lets release the lists of all the covert agents we have working under threat of their lives because SafetyBlitz wants to know whats going on out there. I didn't realize your curiosity was more important then the trust of our allies or the lives of our agents abroad. Case closed then nothing to see here.

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    Don't tell me you don't believe our Media In Chief oops Commander in Chief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Oh you want to know whats going on then? Thats different then. Lets release the lists of all the covert agents we have working under threat of their lives because SafetyBlitz wants to know whats going on out there. I didn't realize your curiosity was more important then the trust of our allies or the lives of our agents abroad. Case closed then nothing to see here.
    Having a well informed electorate is more important to me than keeping non-secrets secret.

    That is to say, if you know anything about geopolitics, current events, diplomacy or planet Earth, than you know the Israelis and Americans are covertly trying to stop Iran from getting the bomb. That is no major f***ing revelation.

    But a Navy Seal raid into Pakistan where we kill Osama Bin Laden, I mean, what a joke it is that your side has made this into a national security threat that we showed the world and our own people, how we did it. For a unique situation like that, where confirmation that it actually was Bin Laden was completely necessary, considering the ramifications of breaking Pakistani national sovereignty, there is not much the World can gather about Navy SEALS other than that they are completely badass. We couldn't just bomb that compound because we'd never know for sure, nor would be able to tell our own people, the rest of the world and our enemies that America will have her justice, even if it takes a decade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I blame the media for being political and biased, and no, they do not do "good work".



    I blame the leakers who leaked for leaking.

    Not the media.



    Our despire to "know whats going on" must be tempered with National Security and Operational risks.

    I love transparency, but to operate in a world where birtch certificates and college transcripts are deeply held national secrets, but millitary operations, tactics and foreign policy info is leaked almost daily is, as I see it, backwards.
    Whomever reported for the New York Times on the Obama drone program did an excellent job. That was excellent reporting and whomever leaked that or confirmed it within the Obama administration is a patriot in the best sense of that word.

    Birth certificates - were released, unnecessarily I might add.
    College Transcripts - really? Who gives a flying f***.

    And what military tactics, operations and foreign policy info are you privy to now, Warfish, that you don't think you should be privy to?

    Furthermore, what military tactics, operations and foreign policy info are you NOT aware of now, that you think you and other Americans should know?

    Didn't we learn from Iraq II that the more the public knows the better? The more Americans were informed about that hot mess and the non-existant causes for going there in the first place, the more they became against it. If only we had that information beforehand...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Whomever reported for the New York Times on the Obama drone program did an excellent job. That was excellent reporting and whomever leaked that or confirmed it within the Obama administration is a patriot in the best sense of that word.
    Agree to disagree.

    Recieving a leak is not special.

    Making an unauthorized leak is treason.

    Birth certificates - were released, unnecessarily I might add.
    College Transcripts - really? Who gives a flying f***.
    As a voter, I do, for all Presidential Candidates.

    The first should be rote, part of teh process.

    The second a part of getting a measure of the men running.

    So agree to disagree.

    Didn't we learn from Iraq II that the more the public knows the better?
    That is not the lesson I took from Iraq II.

    War isn't a popularity contest amongst the masses.

    Informed (minority) or not (majority).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Agree to disagree.

    Recieving a leak is not special.

    Making an unauthorized leak is treason.
    I want to know about the drone program. I want to know about rendition.

    I don't need names that jeopardize American personell.



    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    As a voter, I do, for all Presidential Candidates.

    The first should be rote, part of teh process.

    The second a part of getting a measure of the men running.

    So agree to disagree.
    I don't need to see Mitt Romney's birth certificate.

    You know, I couldn't care less about Romney's tax returns. I know he's rich and I'm sure he took advantage of as many loopholes as he could because he's a smart, rich man and that's par for the course.

    But if you're going to ask for Obama's college transcripts, which I have no idea why they are relevant other than "getting a measure of the men running" (which if they're 20+ years removed from college, confounds me as to your process on making judgments about politicians), then I'll await for your clamoring for Romney's tax returns. Even though that shouldn't matter either!



    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    That is not the lesson I took from Iraq II.

    War isn't a popularity contest amongst the masses.

    Informed (minority) or not (majority).
    I don't understand the point you're making about popularity contests re: Iraq II.

    When a majority of the public thinks Al Qaeda is in Iraq, pre-invasion, or that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11, that's inherently dangerous. Unnecessary wars are started that way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    I want to know about the drone program. I want to know about rendition.

    I don't need names that jeopardize American personell.
    If the policy is domestic, I want to know (generally) that it exists.

    If the policy is War Fighting, no, I maintain my disagreement and the right to non-disclosure during operational lifetimes.

    I don't generally trust the Govt, unlike many of my liberal friends.

    But I believe we have to when it comes to fighting and winning Wars.

    I don't need to see Mitt Romney's birth certificate.
    I do.

    You know, I couldn't care less about Romney's tax returns.
    You're not in the majority on the left then on that.

    But if you're going to ask for Obama's college transcripts, which I have no idea why they are relevant other than "getting a measure of the men running" (which if they're 20+ years removed from college, confounds me as to your process on making judgments about politicians), then I'll await for your clamoring for Romney's tax returns. Even though that shouldn't matter either!
    I guess you'll have to be confounded.

    I support the release of the birth certificates, college transcripts and tax returns. For both parties (and my own sorta-party the Libertarians as well).





    I don't understand the point you're making about popularity contests re: Iraq II.
    The public is generally 80% totally ignorant, 10% semi-informed, 10% informed.

    The public "knowing more" does not taranslate into good policy, not does it translate into only fighting the "right" Wars.

    But it sure makes fighting those right wars harder, as the usual cast of protesters and politically correct second-guessers come of the woodworks.

    I am convinced a major factor in the failure of Iraq II is that we fought it as the most PC War ever. We did not dominate, we tried to win hearts and minds and build schools.

    Thats not how a SuperPower wins a conflict. And I maintain the "public knowing more" was a primary cause for that style of war Fighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    If the policy is domestic, I want to know (generally) that it exists.

    If the policy is War Fighting, no, I maintain my disagreement and the right to non-disclosure during operational lifetimes.

    I don't generally trust the Govt, unlike many of my liberal friends.

    But I believe we have to when it comes to fighting and winning Wars.



    I do.



    You're not in the majority on the left then on that.



    I guess you'll have to be confounded.

    I support the release of the birth certificates, college transcripts and tax returns. For both parties (and my own sorta-party the Libertarians as well).
    Agree to disagree on all this. About the only thing I want to know about candidates along the lines we're debating about is where the money in their campaigns and superPACs are coming from.

    If I know that, and listen to what they have to say/propose and observe their political record, I'm good.






    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    The public is generally 80% totally ignorant, 10% semi-informed, 10% informed.

    The public "knowing more" does not taranslate into good policy, not does it translate into only fighting the "right" Wars.

    But it sure makes fighting those right wars harder, as the usual cast of protesters and politically correct second-guessers come of the woodworks.

    I am convinced a major factor in the failure of Iraq II is that we fought it as the most PC War ever. We did not dominate, we tried to win hearts and minds and build schools.

    Thats not how a SuperPower wins a conflict. And I maintain the "public knowing more" was a primary cause for that style of war Fighting.
    You know, people knew in WW2 that we were bombing cities filled with civilians. But in an all-out war like that, I doubt most of us would have cared. There are always pacifists.

    It's the wars of choice where large segments of the population start to question your tactics. And in those cases, I think it's a good thing.

    I would not have supported carpet bombing Libya or Yugoslavia. But I did support targeted strikes against their militaries. I'm no isolationist. And I think with great power comes great responsibility (Uncle Ben!). But those situations are exactly the type where I want to know the details.

    Iraq II might have been winnable, as you say, if we had been brutal. But in a war where we didn't need to be there in the first place, being brutal only further brings people to ask the quesiton of "Why are we here?". I feel like the Bush administration knew this, and they knew that a draft would bring those questions too. That's why it didn't happen.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Agree to disagree on all this.
    Fair enough.

    You know, people knew in WW2 that...
    The amount people knew in WWII was vastly exceeded by what they did not know.

    It's the wars of choice where large segments of the population start to question your tactics. And in those cases, I think it's a good thing.
    No.

    The good thing is to have a National Secueity Policy that does not involve the U.S. in "Wars of Choice". If it is not an absolute vital National Interest/Defense, we should never be involved int he first place.

    Afganistan was (albeit horribly waged by both Bush and Obama). Iraq was not.

    I would not have supported carpet bombing Libya
    Take that up with Obama, who picked a side, and bombed the piss out of the other side, killing plenty of innocents and civilians. That just doesn;t get much coverage.

    I'm no isolationist. And I think with great power comes great responsibility (Uncle Ben!).
    Always enjoy a good comic book reference, even if I disagree that it's a good way to run a foreign millitary policy.

    ...That's why it didn't happen.
    Agree to disagree. I maintain it was due to modern-day PC regarding War and projecting power as a "moral" Nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Whomever reported for the New York Times on the Obama drone program did an excellent job. That was excellent reporting and whomever leaked that or confirmed it within the Obama administration is a patriot in the best sense of that word.

    Birth certificates - were released, unnecessarily I might add.
    College Transcripts - really? Who gives a flying f***.

    And what military tactics, operations and foreign policy info are you privy to now, Warfish, that you don't think you should be privy to?

    Furthermore, what military tactics, operations and foreign policy info are you NOT aware of now, that you think you and other Americans should know?

    Didn't we learn from Iraq II that the more the public knows the better? The more Americans were informed about that hot mess and the non-existant causes for going there in the first place, the more they became against it. If only we had that information beforehand...


    Wow....just wow. I would say "traitor", myself. How is that patriotic, even a little bit?

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    In a world of perpetual and undeclared war in the name of terror where the executive branch has unprecedented and growing power, I am willing to become a bit more lax in my opposition to national security leaks and making accusations of treason.

    We're getting to a point where non-disclosure is the treasonous act.

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