Leaks from inside supposedly secure organizations—such as White House leaks—titillate hearers because it is “inside stuff.” When the leaked information exposes security arrangements and otherwise compromises policymaking, it takes on a whole different character. This difference in gravitas is what has piqued the interest of such people as Sen. John McCain, who has called for a special counsel to investigate recent security lapses.
“If it is—and it certainly is—the most egregious breach of intelligence in anyone’s memory, that certainly requires a special counsel who is completely independent,” McCain said. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two federal prosecutors to look into the leaks, but the ability or willingness of prosecutors beholden to the administration to thoroughly probe the matter is viewed as suspect.
The leaked information is about such things as cyber attacks against Iran, the exposure of an agent in Yemen, a secret terrorist hit list, and a drone targeting policy of the administration. McCain was joined in his call for a special counsel by Republican senators such as Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Charles Grassley of Iowa, but the breadth and sweep of the leaks has led to bipartisan discomfort on the Hill.
Some Democrats also have expressed dismay. While California Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t ready to call for an independent counsel, she wants a thorough probe. “The investigation has to be nonpartisan, it’s got to be vigorous, and it’s got to move ahead rapidly,” she said in mid-June. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has dismissed the likelihood of the leaks originating inside the administration to enhance his standing as a national security champion, even though White House officials are quoted in some of the surfacing information. View additional political news video at, www.NewsEagle360.com, today.
Senator McCain enjoys special standing in matters of national security because of his almost legendary survival as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He also is known as a maverick, sometimes having openly disagreed with the administration of President George W. Bush. So when he singles out some leaks as especially repellent and dangerous to the security and policymaking of the U.S. government, his voice carries further than might that of an elected representative of lesser stature. He can be expected to continue to voice his concern.