Obama Administration Attempts to Shift the Focus on National Security Leaks
Once again, the Obama administration and its allies in Congress are getting away with murder in regards to intelligence. We have suffered a string of destructive national security leaks: the origins of the Stuxnet virus, the penetration of an al Qaeda bomber ring, the methods used to pick drone targets, etc. The most likely leakers may be Obama White House officials; the leaks appear designed to help President Obama's reelection chances by bolstering his national security credentials. The Obama Administration and its allies in Congress may well have decided that the easiest way to deflect attention from leaks is to propose legislation that targets career intelligence officers, who are the least likely here to be playing fast and loose with the nation's secrets.
Of course, the civil liberties community and the usual congressional skeptics will enter only a formality of a protest, if they enter one at all -- proving once again that their opposition to the Bush Administration's counter-terrorism strategy had more to do with the political party of the man in the Oval Office than high principle. The Obama Administration has already pursued leak investigations that would have launched a constitutional crisis if undertaken by the Bush Justice Department, with barely a peep in Congress or from the civil liberties crowd.
If the Obama Administration really wants to stop leaks, it should appoint a truly independent prosecutor, like the one Democrats demanded (and got) for leaks under the Bush administration of intelligence regarding the events leading up to the Iraq War. If Congress really wants to stop leaks, it should hold independent hearings to figure out who has been leaking, and whether it has anything to do with Obama's reelection campaign.