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DOES OBAMA KNOW THE LEAKER?
by Sharon Rondeau
Feinstein said she did not “know specifically where” the leaks had emanated and called upon “them” to “do something about it.”
The Republican Party has posted Feinstein’s contention. The Seattle Times is reporting that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney “is accusing President Barack Obama of leaking classified details about the U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden for political gain.”
Feinstein said it is “difficult” to know what Obama knows about the leaks. “With respect to intelligence, he is in a bubble,” Feinstein said of Obama. “He has his daily brief…early every morning, and so he gets a briefing of intelligence. I don’t believe for a moment he goes out and talks about it; I don’t believe the briefers go out and talk about it…but who knows who else?” she said.
Feinstein stated that “the president himself” has to “set the importance” on presumbly preventing further leaks. “Hopefully he will do it and I think he’ll most likely read the book and see it himself,” she said in a televised interview.
On June 6, 2012, Feinstein and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement which read, in part:
In recent weeks, we have become increasingly concerned at the continued leaks regarding sensitive intelligence programs and activities, including specific details of sources and methods. The accelerating pace of such disclosures, the sensitivity of the matters in question, and the harm caused to our national security interests is alarming and unacceptable.
As an investigation proceeded, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard McKeon, said after hearing closed-door testimony from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey that he was “convinced” that the leaks did not come from the Pentagon.
The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly also investigating the leaks, which included information about a computer virus launched against Iran to prevent it from launching a nuclear weapon as well as Obama’s “kill list” as reported by The New York Times.
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, an overt Obama supporter and nominee, as one of two investigators of the national security leaks, contending that Machen could conduct his work in an objective manner. On June 29, Deputy Attorney General James Cole stated that Holder would not be prosecuted through Machen’s office for the citation from the U.S. House of Representatives for contempt of Congress.
As a result, the evidence against Holder will not be presented to a grand jury, which is charged by the Fifth Amendment to examine evidence against defendants in criminal cases. U.S. Attorneys and judges now act as gatekeepers to federal grand juries, with citizens having no direct access.
Obama was initially “offended” that the White House was suggested to be the source of the leaks. It has been reported that “a high-level individual was involved in the media disclosures.” At the beginning of the investigation, it was stated that the leaks could bring about a “treacherous political path that could embarrass…Obama at the height of his re-election campaign.”
The number of people with access to sensitive national security information is reported to be almost 5,000,000 because of “new hires” to work in “expanded clandestine operations.”