The chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee said today that the Obama administration’s disregard for previous congressional concerns about intelligence leaks shows that an independent investigation is needed into the broad leaks that stole headlines last week.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), along with 20 other House members, sent a letter to President Obama back on April 26 calling for an investigation into leaks about Israeli defense planning.
“There are some who believe that these leaks are intended to selectively release sensitive information about Israel’s military, intelligence, and operational capabilities which may, in turn, undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself,” the letter stated.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, which passed the House on May 18, also included an amendment sponsored by Price requiring the Department of Justice to order an investigation into those leaks.
“Since our initial calls for an investigation in the wake of leaks regarding U.S. and Israeli defense planning, additional media accounts have shown leaks of defense and intelligence information on a number of national security issues making this an even larger and growing concern,” Price said today. “The delay on the part of this administration in responding to previous inquiries for an investigation coupled with its delays in taking the level of action necessary undermines confidence that the Obama Administration can attempt to investigate this matter on their own.”
Attorney General Eric Holder announced late Friday that he had appointed two U.S. Attorneys to investigate the broad spectrum of leaks, drawing criticism from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), who suggested an independent investigator in the vein of former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah).
“More must be done beyond what has already been announced by the Department of Justice. As has been suggested, an independent investigation is needed to determine who is responsible,” Price said. “These leaks threaten the safety and security of the American people, put in danger the lives of those who have volunteered to defend this nation in our armed forces and intelligence community, and undermine the security of our allies and their trust in the United States.”