Friday, October 20, 2006

One More Reason to Worry About Trusting Democrats with National Security

Wow. I don't know what to say...
House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra has suspended a Democratic staff member because of concerns he may have leaked a high-level intelligence assessment to The New York Times last month.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press Thursday night, Rep. Ray LaHood (news, bio, voting record), R-Ill., a committee member, said that an unidentified staffer requested the document from National Intelligence Director John Negroponte three days before the Sept. 23 story about its conclusions.

The staffer received the National Intelligence Estimate on global terror trends on Sept. 21.

"I have no credible information to say any classified information was leaked from the committee's minority staff, but the implications of such would be dramatic," LaHood wrote Hoekstra, R-Mich., late last month. "This may, in fact, be only coincidence, and simply 'look bad.' But coincidence, in this town, is rare."

A spokesman to Hoekstra, Jamal Ware, confirmed that a committee staff member was suspended this week. He said the staff member is being denied access to classified information pending the outcome of a review.
To paraphrase Instapundit, maybe Pat Fitgerald has something real to investigate this time. A real breach of national security, as it were. TigerHawk has some comments as well. I also should note the new name given to the Democrats by Ace: "The party of leaking security secrets and sexual orientations."

Hey, if the shoe fits... Over at CQ, Captain Ed sums up what should happen rather well..
If this turns out to be true, the staffer should face several years in prison. After all, the Congressional committees have to protect national-security information, and the American people have to trust them to do so. Politicians have often been careless with classified material, but this will be the first time in recent memory that anyone involved in the committees have been identified as a deliberate leaker. That cannot go without serious consequences, or else politicians and their staffers from both parties will manipulate exposure of secret information for political purposes at their whim.

In fact, it's hard to see how this could have been anything but that kind of manipulation. Critics of the Bush administration have assumed that the leak came from people within the programs, nonpartisans who objected to the orders they were given. If this turns out to be true and he or she was the source for all the leaks, the leaks are anything but non-partisan. The staffer worked for the committee that conducted oversight on these programs, which means that Congress had full knowledge of the programs.

Hopefully, the DoJ will take over this probe immediately, and give us the answers to which we are all entitled as to how our secret efforts to defeat terrorism wound up on our newstands.
Whoever this person is, they should go away for a long time. There is no question this information was classified, as opposed to the identity of Valerie (shh!) Plame. But I'm not going to hold my breath for the New York Times to scream for an independent investigation of this leak.


Post a Comment

<< Home