Senate and House Intelligence to Investigate – DoJ and FBI recused

By Scott W. Winchell and Denise Simon

Speaking about recent intelligence leaks, and specifically the ‘Stuxnet Attack’, Sen. Diane Feinstein said: “The leaks have to stop”. She was noticeably upset, so are the Senate and House Intelligence Committees; quite incensed. They have now conferred between the two committees and the investigation begins, why did they have to confer? Because, unfortunately, they will not have the aid of the FBI and the DoJ. Why?

From CSPAN:

HOUSE AND SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE Press Conference Thursday on Classified Leaks The four leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees will hold a news conference to discuss the recent spate of classified national security information leaks. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Feinstein and Vice Chairman Chambliss and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger called the leaks damaging and intolerable. WHO: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) 12:30p-1p 216 Hart SOB Alcove

In the video Senator Rogers of the House Intelligence Committee mentions in the post hearing press conference that the DoJ and the FBI have recused themselves from participating in the intelligence leaks investigation despite the probe they already opened as seen in the article below. Why the recusal, why are the two committees coming together as one to investigate? Because there is no one else to do it now.

The iceberg has shown itself, and these two committees must have seen a huge amount of fire and ice below the surface. The result will be that this investigation will get much less truth and cooperation because our investigative branches cannot be involved. What about a ‘Special Prosecutor’? How is this going to work?

President Barack Obama opposes the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether vital national security secrets were improperly disclosed in a wave of news reports detailing sensitive operations, the White House said Thursday.

“No,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked whether Obama would support such a move. Carney referred reporters to government agencies already tasked with ferreting out leakers. Some Republicans, like Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, have said the administration cannot be trusted to investigate itself. (Read the rest here.)

This is all coming out in campaign season. What is more important, US security or re-election? The Intelligence committees, populated by both parties see something very bad here, and are acting quite united in their angst.

So who conducts the investigation then? Will anyone in DC shut up and stop the leaks…and stop spiking footballs for the sake of an election.

This is about our security, not the ballot box. The Eric Holder Department of Justice is in up to its eyeballs in so many other problems, and should be the investigative arm in this issue, combined with FBI, who reports to the Deputy Attorney General, but both are out now…why?

Its obvious that CIA is beyond mad as well, since the Israelis are now mad, and no one trusts the US intelligence services anymore. In a Donald Rumsfeld radio interview a few days ago, he said that Israel cannot trust Obama now. Even Robert Gates is incensed:

Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, reportedly blasted the national security team in the Obama White House for blabbing about the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. “Shut the f— up,” Gates told Tom Donilon, who is now Obama’s national security adviser, according to a book by New York Times reporter David Sanger. (Read the rest here.)

James Clapper is even getting in on the case:

As he briefs top intelligence lawmakers who are outraged over a series of recent leaks of classified information, Clapper wants to widen the numbers of people across government agencies who would be required to take the “Counterintelligence Polygraph,” the source said.

This may also be related to the debacle in Pakistan. Panetta admits he is running out of patience with Pakistan’s role as an ally of the United States, so is this just about the doctor that cooperated on the Osama bin Ladin event or is there something more?

See the video of the Senate Committee’s statements here.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Cal) Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee

FBI Probes Leaks on Iran Cyberattack

By EVAN PEREZ and ADAM ENTOUS

WASHINGTON—The FBI has opened an investigation into who disclosed information about a classified U.S. cyberattack program aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The investigation follows publication last week of details of the cyber-sabotage program, including the use of a computer worm called Stuxnet, which Iran has acknowledged it found in its computers.

The Central Intelligence Agency ran the operation in conjunction with Idaho National Laboratory, the Israeli government and other U.S. agencies, according to people familiar with the efforts.

The covert effort also includes drone surveillance and cyberspying on Iranian scientists, the people said.

The New York Times on Friday published an account of the U.S. cyberattack operation in an excerpt from a forthcoming book by one of its reporters, David Sanger, that he said he has been working on for a year. Other news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, followed up with details about the program.

Paul Bresson, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declined to comment.

The probe comes on the heels of another leak investigation involving revelations about a double agent who infiltrated al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers recently the FBI was looking into how news leaked about the double agent and a new-generation underwear bomb the al Qaeda affiliate had hoped to use in an airliner attack.

The Associated Press, which first reported the Yemen news, has said it held the news for several days at the government’s request.

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, in speeches on the Senate floor Tuesday, called for the president to appoint a special counsel to investigate what Mr. Chambliss called “a pattern of leaks.”

Mr. McCain said the leaks raised the prospect that they are “an attempt to further the president’s political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of our national security.” Some Democratic lawmakers also criticized the leaks but said they didn’t believe they were politically motivated.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Friday brushed aside suggestions that the information was intentionally leaked.

“It’s classified for a reason, because publicizing that information would pose a significant threat to national security,” he told reporters. White House officials had no immediate comment on Mr. McCain’s comments or on the FBI probe.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Tehran denies that and says the program is for peaceful purposes.

The reports on the Iran cyberattacks said the operation, called Olympic Games, began in the Bush administration and accelerated under Mr. Obama.

The New York Times account attributed some information to officials who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Mr. Sanger, in an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” program Sunday, suggested that deliberate White House leaking “wasn’t my experience.”

He added: “I spent a year working the story from the bottom up, and then went to the administration and told them what I had. Then they had to make some decisions about how much they wanted to talk about it…I’m sure the political side of the White House probably likes reading about the president acting with drones and cyber and so forth. National-security side has got very mixed emotions about it because these are classified programs.”

A spokesman for New York Times Co. declined to comment, and Mr. Sanger said he stood by his comments from Sunday.