Even as the White House hotly contests any suggestion that a flurry of recent intelligence leaks were political in nature, there’s no doubt that the top topic on the Hill this week could be a political quicksand for the administration in the coming campaign season.
The leaks range from Obama’s “kill list” for drone attacks to details of how the U.S. is using cyber-weapons to target Iran’s uranium enrichment activities. And FBI Director Robert Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee last month that his agency is already investigating leaks that compromised an intelligence operation targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and another underwear bomb plot.
The CIA has also come under fire for reportedly sharing details of the raid to kill Osama bin Laden with filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow.
The chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence panels — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) — issued a joint statement Wednesday conveying their concern over the recent weeks of leaks about intelligence programs and activities, including specific details of sources and methods.