Did President Obama leak classified documents in an effort to forward his political campaign? That was the buzz this morning as Obama made an address regarding the economy. The leak was not the topic of Obama’s briefing, but he did address a question regarding it when asked.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama said in his briefing at the White House. “We are dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel or our allies. And so we don’t play with that.” He went on to add that those who leaked the documents will suffer consequences.
The leak included information about a U.S. cyber-attack against Iran’s nuclear program. It also looked at Obama’s role in directing drone attacks against terrorists. CNN reported that Obama may have been involved in creating a “kill list” against militants in Yemen and Pakistan. According to Bloomsburg Business Week, the New York Times and the Associated Press, among other news organizations, reported on the information.
Some argue that Obama’s team leaked the information in an effort to boost him before the election this fall. The Bloomsburg article included a quote from Senator John McCain of Arizona, who said he saw “deeper political motivation” for the leaks. “What is grossly irresponsible is U.S. officials divulging some of the most highly classified programs involving the most important national security priorities facing our nation today,” said McCain, according to Fox News.
Fox News quoted GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who said “It’s outrageous that the White House would allow these ongoing alleged disclosures to jeopardize the safety of our intelligence professionals and the well-being of the American people.” Blunt is one of many congressional lawmakers who want hearings and investigations to look into the leak. Blunt was also quoted in that article as saying “I fully support moving forward with a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation immediately so that we can hold the appropriate people accountable.”
Fox News reported that The Associated Press held their story for days due to the request of the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House. Some say that validates that statement that the Obama administration did not release the information.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “This administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counter terrorism or intelligence operations. Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” he said.
How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama or his administration had a hand in leaking the information? Comment with you opinion.