Squint, and you can see where the Obama administration has messed up its national security leak problem to the point where Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (up for re-election, by the way) feels the need to criticize said administration for its feckless, juvenile, and callous disregard for proper security and the need to put the country above petty partisan advantage*. Background: Sen. Feinstein was asked a question about the recent national security origins of leaks, and apparently** whether they were coming from the executive branch itself. Her response?
"I am aware of that, I think that’s a correct analysis," said Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from its ranks. I don’t know specifically where, but I think they have to begin to understand that and do something about it..."
Look at it with fully-open eyes, though, and you risk being blinded. Or, as Jim Geraghty helpfully (if not explicitly) notes, blindsided - which is what the Obama administration is having happening to them today at the VFW convention. Mitt Romney is running with this at his own speech. From Romney's prepared remarks:
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.
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.”
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 time for stonewalling may be over, but it will not actually end until Barack Obama is once again a private citizen. I say this because there is no indication whatsoever that the administration has a corporate (if you'll pardon the pun) understanding of what they're doing wrong. They assume that because leaks occur, then leaks must occur - and that leaks must be tolerated. At least, the leaks that come from political staffers. Leaks from civilian and military bureaucrats are a completely different issue.
You do not argue with people of this sort. You simply fire them.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*No, Senator Feinstein didn't put it that way. If she was the sort of person who had that kind of moral courage, she'd be a Republican Senator.
**'Apparently' because the question itself was apparently not worth reporting, and getting the full transcript up is a work in progress. Luckily, I am a polemicist. Or possibly just a propagandist. Certainly a partisan hack.