By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner
President Barack Obama was compelled by media and bi-partisan Congressional force majeure to take the podium for a televised White House press conference this morning, to address, among other things, the apparent stonewalling being triangulated by the White House, CIA and DOJ, which is derailing investigations being conducted by both House and Senate Intelligence committees, regarding the parade of classified information leaks over the past two months.
Yesterday, in a now rare display of political unity and moral integrity, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who were joined by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), the Chairwoman and Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, held a joint press conference demanding White House action on the matter, according to an Associated Press article this morning.
“There has been just a cascade of leaks coming out of the intelligence community in the last several weeks and months,” the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss told reporters. “It’s our clear intention to put a stop to this.”
Over the past several months a series of explicitly detailed media reports have emerged, regarding everything from White House policy on the highly classified targeting of Al Qaeda militants by drones and raids, White House directed deployment known as “Stuxnet,” a cyber-weapon that injects malicious computer code, which knocked out Iranian nuclear processing centrifuges, and President Obama’s participation in producing terrorist “kill lists.”
Leading Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have accused the White House of “spilling” national security secrets to boost the president’s reputation as a feared “terrorist warrior” in an election year–a charge the White House dismissed Thursday.
“The president feels very strongly that we must prevent leaks of classified or sensitive information” that could jeopardize intelligence or other operations, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “Any suggestion that the White House has leaked sensitive information for political purposes has no basis in fact.”
Then why would the president lead the way in declining White House cooperation with the investigations, which was quickly followed by CIA and DOJ?
“Just today the CIA informed the committee that it cannot respond to our request for information regarding the leaks, a very troubling event indeed,” Rogers said.
The CIA has come under fire for allegedly sharing with Hollywood filmmakers classified details of last year’s U.S. raid into Pakistan that killed Usama bin Laden.
Rogers said the Justice Department’s National Security Division also withdrew itself “with respect to at least one investigation regarding disclosures.”
If this were just the first such instance of a failure in President Obama’s campaign promise to ‘have the most transparent administration in history,’ perhaps negative sentiments, particularly bi-partisan, would not run so deep.
But, it is just the next, in a long line of many political scandals that have plagued the Obama Administration almost from day one, including Solyndra Solar and Operation Fast and Furious, both of which appear to suffer from “stonewalling” by the government agencies involved.
For example, just yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder sidestepped questions by GOP Rep. Darrell Issa about whether he or other Justice Department officials had even started to pull together the ATF “Operation Fast and Furious” documents, requested in the October 2011 subpoena Issa sent the agency, according to a FOXNews article yesterday.
“Nothing has come from your department, not a shred of paper,” Issa said tersely during a House Judiciary Committee meeting.
“You are not a good witness,” Issa said in frustration, after Holder dumbly repeated Issa’s questions, in an obvious attempt at circumvention–while looking calm and unthreatened.
Eric Holder’s charade continued as he also appeared before the Senate counterpart committee…
GOP Rep. Lamar Smith asked Holder whether he or anybody else told the White House about so-called “gunwalking tactic” after it appeared to contribute to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, Holder replied “I don’t know.”
“When was anyone in the White House informed of the tactics used under Operation Fast and Furious?” asked Smith, R-Texas.
Holder replied: “I don’t know.”
When Smith asked Holder if he personally told the White House, Holder replied: “There was contact between staff … I don’t myself remember any direct contact.”
Even though Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is pushing for an independent investigation, saying that the Obama administration can’t be trusted to police itself, Obama’s remarks about existing mechanisms appeared to reject that idea, according to Oliver Knox excellent article in Yahoo News today.
“We have mechanisms in place where, if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences. 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,” Obama said.
Abu Grab was totally uncovered, with military courts martial engaged within months. But, the DOJ has not disciplined a single person involved with Fast and Furious since March 2011; and, the [DOJ] FBI investigation into crony capitalism surrounding the sudden bankruptcy of Solyndra Solar in September 2011–costing U.S. taxpayers $535 million dollars and 1,100 very short-lived “green jobs.”
This parade of wagon-circling makes it eminently clear that there is an unholy, protective alliance between U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder–as though the life of each person depends on it…
The easiest way to figure out which donkeys should have a tail pinned on them is simple; just find the donkeys that directly benefit from committing, or protecting someone from being discovered who committed, the illegal, unethical or immoral act in question in all of these cases.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder.