Joining Senator John MCain (R-AZ), Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Monday said: ”I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.” USA Today adds, “The leaks have included news that the U.S. has launched cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear program and details of an investigation into an al-Qaeda bombing plot.”
Calling the leaks a “crisis,” presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has just released a tough statement demanding the White House immediately stop “stonewalling” and begin “a full and prompt investigation” into the leaks:
“This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis,” Romney said. “And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, ‘I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.’ This conduct is contemptible,” Romney continued. “It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence. Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.”
In a highly anticipated speech before the VFW Conference in Nevada today, Governor Romney is expected to hit this issue again.
The leaks, of course, are those surrounding our national security that always-somehow-how-about-that? make Obama look like some sort of foreign policy super-hero. As my colleague Tony Lee pointed out earlier today, we’ve had more than one leak, and the implications of a President possibly leaking vital and strategic national security secrets in order to boost his polls numbers and reelection chances should only be the stuff of movies.
Moreover, Feinstein’s statement directly contradicts the White House’s talking points which, for months now — without the benefit of an investigation — have flatly denied the leaks came from the White House:
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” the President said in June.
What’s especially incredible about that denial is that it was made even as Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys to investigate where the leaks came from. Not exactly trusting Holder’s ability to run an objective investigation, some Republicans are calling for a special prosecutor. It’s worth noting that Romney makes no mention of a special prosecutor.
Obama’s real problem is that neither McCain nor Feinstein are the kind of senators the Obama White House and its media allies can demonize as rabid, right-wing McCarthyists only interested in partisan politics.
The leaks are real and now a high-ranking member of his own party is telling all of America that the President’s house is not in order.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC