Legislators from both parties are condemning a string of leaks from the “highest levels” of the White House about the Osama bin Laden killing, President Barack Obama’s oversight of a terrorist “kill list,” and U.S. cooperation with Israel in creating the Stuxnet computer virus to target Iranian nuclear facilities, among others. The leaks, which always seem to make their way to selected mainstream media headlines, and which paint Obama as a tough-minded commander-in-chief, are being described as a threat to national security.
Senate Democrats, in particular, have been vocal. The Hill quotes Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee: “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.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added to the criticism, saying that the leakers–whoever they may be–were acting contrary to national security: “A number of those leaks, and others in the last months about drone activities and other activities, are frankly all against national-security interests,” he said, according to The Hill. “I think they’re dangerous, damaging, and whoever is doing that is not acting in the interest of the United States of America.”
It is commonly suspected that the leaks are coming from the commander-in-chief himself–or his surrogates. Sen. McCain told CBS This Morning: “This is the most highly classified information and it’s now been leaked by the administration at the highest levels at the White House and that’s not acceptable.” However, Senate Democrats are not ready to go that far. Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, pushed back against the idea: “”I just can’t believe that there’s a decision in any kind of a formal way to leak this kind of a thing,” he told The Hill.