- Last Updated: 4:36 AM, June 8, 2012
- Posted: 1:11 AM, June 8, 2012
Democratic and Republican intelligence chiefs in Congress united yesterday to declare war on a sudden glut of jawdropping leaks of US top secrets.
They demanded answers from President Obama’s intelligence director amid growing bipartisan outrage over disclosure in The New York Times of the administration’s efforts to wage cyberwar against Iran and its nuclear program.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (DCalif.) said the leaking is so bad that the United States can’t wait for a special prosecutor’s probe.
“A special prosecutor can take years. We don’t have years,” she said.
Feinstein was joined by the three other ranking members of congressional intelligence committees, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (RGa.) and Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (DMd.) and Mike Rogers (RMich.).
Members of both parties expressed alarm over other leaks, including disclosures of how Obama targets terrorists on a “kill list” and about the existence of a double agent who penetrated a militant group in Yemen.
“It seems to fit a pattern that is growing worse and more frequent,” Rogers said.
He said the Obama administration’s “inability to keep a secret . . . has been as serious a problem as I have seen.”
“It puts lives at risk,” Ruppersberger said.
The congressional intelligence leaders summoned Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to Capitol Hill yesterday for a briefing.
Chambliss said Clapper was “extremely upset” about the leaks. CNN said Clapper wants more government workers who have topsecret clearance to face enhanced liedetector tests.
The issue flared Tuesday when Sen. John McCain (RAriz.), the ranking GOPer on the Armed Services Committee, accused the administration of leaking secrets to make burnish Obama’s nationalsecurity credentials in an election year.
The White House blasted McCain, who called for a special prosecutor.
“Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney said.
Obama has received high marks from the public for his handling of nationalsecurity matters, particularly the assassination of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and the winddown of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
But the bipartisan probe is a headache for Obama as he faces a tough reelection campaign against Mitt Romney. With AP