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Holder Appoints Fed Prosecutors to Handle Intelligence Leak
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On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two federal prosecutors to probe leaks of classified information amid allegations that the White House had made the disclosures to boost President Obama’s election chances. The two attorneys named to head the investigation are U.S. Attorneys Ronald Machen Jr. and Rod Rosenstein. The federal prosecutors would be “fully authorized to prosecute criminal violations discovered as a result of their investigations.”

Media has been reporting the leak of secrets including reports on U.S. cyber warfare against Iran, the existence of a double agent who penetrated a militant group in Yemen, and the procedures used to target drone attacks on militants.

The ‘leaks’ issue has entered the presidential campaign arena with some Republicans making allegations that the leaks were calculated to boost the re-election prospects of President Obama. However, Obama ignored the charges and said,

  
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“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive … It’s wrong and people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office.”

The Attorney General mentioned in an official statement, “The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans and it will not be tolerated.” The publication of the sensitive information has disturbed members of both political parties and lawmakers are thinking of brewing a new legislation with tougher penalties for those who leak information vital to national security.

Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee told Reuters, “Someone from a very senior clearance level has provided information, that’s very clear in the preliminary review.”

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Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, and House Judiciary Committee Chair man said, “We need to send a clear message to anyone who considers leaking sensitive information and putting Americans at risk: if you leak classified information, you will face jail time.”

President Obama, on Friday, said that he would root out those who leaked the information because, in some cases it’s criminal – these are criminal acts when they release information like this. And we will conduct thorough investigations, as we have in the past….Since I’ve been in office my attitude has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks and speculation.”



Democratic Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said that the president or any of his top advisers have the power to make authorized releases of information: “The president can declassify issues, the National Security Council can declassify issues … Sometimes you want to declassify because it’s important for your investigation, or it’s important to send messages. This is part of what we need to look at.”



 

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