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File under: Not helping
Author: Raine    Date: 06/18/2012 12:58:03

Good Morning and welcome to another version of Thanks for the help, Joe Lieberman.
A special counsel should investigate leaks of national security secrets to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said on Sunday.

“Counsels, independent counsels, were created for a situation like this, where people might reach a conclusion that investigators, U.S. attorneys -- even working for the attorney general, who was appointed by the president -- cannot independently and without bias investigate high officials of their own government,” said Lieberman.

"I've been thinking about this since these leaks came out and I've reached a conclusion which is that we do need a special counsel," said Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee, on Fox News Sunday. {snip}

Lieberman said, “I have no reason to distrust or disrespect either of these U.S. attorneys.” But he joined Republicans in noting that one of them -- Ronald C. Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia -- gave a contribution to Obama. "No matter what he concludes, people are going to say it was biased,” Lieberman said.
Sounds to me as though the lame duck senator has already come to a conclusion. He decided to go after the administration during a campaign. Sound familiar? Need I remind you of Whitewater?

While Republicans are calling for the heads of those that may have leaked this information, it should be noted that the Obama administration actually has a strong record with regards to national security leaks.
The administration has brought a total of six cases under the Espionage Act, which dates from World War I and criminalizes disclosing information “relating to the national defense.” (The Department of Justice has five criminal cases and the Army has one against alleged Wikileaks source Bradley Manning.) Prior to the current administration, there had been only three known casesresulting in indictments in which the Espionage Act was used to prosecute government officials for leaks.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice told us the government “does not target whistleblowers.” (Read their full statement below the timeline.) As they point out, government whistleblower protections shield only those who raise their concerns through the proper channels within their agency—not through leaks to the media or other unauthorized persons. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper summed up the government’s approach in a 2010 memo: “people in the intelligence business should be like my grandchildren—seen but not heard.”

Here’s a timeline of leak prosecutions under the Espionage Act, showing how they’ve picked up steam under Obama.
We all know about Bradley Manning, but there HAS been a significant uptick in prosecuting those that leak information from this administration. I would like to see the Justice Department be able to do its job and find out how this information became public. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the GOP itself may not be as pleased with the results as they are with the ongoing witch hunt. Why? There are a number of people who think that it is quite possible that Darrell Issa may be behind these leaks. He's leaked information before, most recently, last month.
WASHINGTON -- House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has taken the unprecedented step of leaking a secret U.S. trade document, in hopes of pressuring President Barack Obama's administration into disclosing the details of a major trade deal with far-reaching implications on everything from "Buy American" contracting rules to prescription drug prices to internet freedom.
And let's not forget this interesting ponderance from our friend Karoli over at Crooks& Liars.
For nearly three years, national security leaks were few and far between. There were leaks from the White House, but most of them centered around domestic policy. Then John Boehner appointed Michele Bachmann to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Please, no snickering. For 2011, Bachmann was preoccupied with her primary run at the GOP nomination. Few national security leaks occurred, and none of consequence.

Now we come to 2012, and since Mitt Romney won the nomination for President, there have been several major national security leaks, which the press questioned President Obama about at last week's press conference, and to which Michele Bachmann has responded.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to ask you about another issue that came up at the president's press conference on Friday, those national security leaks. We have two investigations now being ordered by the attorney general.

And the president said that he was offended by any suggestion that these leaks were for political purposes by his White House aides. Michele Bachmann responded to that.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course the White House leaked it and of course they did it, to make Obama look like he was tough on terror. I am offended that he lied to the American people this afternoon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I see you smiling in response to Michele Bachmann. And I take the president's point that this was not for political…

AXELROD: As I often do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That this was not for political purposes. But if you look at these articles that were in The New York Times, on both the Stuxnet worm that went after the Iranian nuclear program, and the president's going over this so-called "kill list" for drones, in both cases they quote members of the president's national security team who were in the room.

So somebody who was in the room with the president was giving out some of this information or at least discussing classified information.
You know who else is privy to briefings like the ones about Stuxnet and the drone "kill list"? That's right. Michele Bachmann. Even Orange Man Boehner was concerned about her loose lips:

Bachmann may have justified Boehner’s faith in her abilities, but he wasn’t always so confident. When he appointed her to the committee last December, he made a special point of sitting Bachmann down to warn her that she could not let national secrets slip.
There is more at the link. Perhaps those calling for a special independent council might want to cool their heels. Even Darrell Issa appeared to do so before Mr. Lieberman went full throttle asking for a special investigation. On Friday, he said he was willing to postpone a contempt vote against the Attorney General in the case of Fast and Furious.

I think that some people may be overreaching in their desire to 'get the administration'. This could be quite interesting, and not at all like Whitewater, after all.


46 comments (Latest Comment: 06/18/2012 19:57:13 by Mondobubba)
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