Romney at the VFW: 'Lives Were at Stake' in 'Contemptible' White House Intel Leaks
Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, NV today. The governor will address veterans issues and foreign policy, and will also discuss the news today that a top Democrat is blaming the Obama White House for a series of damaging national security leaks. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asserted that the leaks came from the White House in a speech Monday.
In his VFW speech, Romney will outline the Obama administration's history of cavalier treatment of America's national security secrets: "It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration. After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.” He added a colorful word for emphasis.
"Lives of American servicemen were at stake. But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran," Gov. Romney will say in prepared remarks.
"This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis. And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”
Gov. Romney will call for a full investigation. "This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence. Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over."
The governor will add that the administration's current stance is unacceptable. "It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”
The leaks compromised ongoing US cyber warfare against Iran and detailed the president's terrorist "kill list." The contents of the leaks suggest high level Obama administration involvement. Gov. Romney will ask who may have been involved.
"Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
"And let me be clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t."
President Obama has yet to respond to Sen. Feinstein's explosive allegation.