Senate Democrats complain about security leaks that many believe are deliberate to help Obama re-election

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    Jun 05, 2012 10:24 PM GMT

    Senate Democrats blast national security leak on Iran cyberattack
    By Jeremy Herb - 06/05/12 03:02 PM ET

    The Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday expressed worry that leaks to the press about a cyberattack authorized by the Obama administration on Iran could lead to a counterattack on the United States.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined other senior Senate Democrats in expressing serious concerns about the leak, which detailed a cyberattack intended to hamper Iran's nuclear program. Some Republicans argue the information was leaked to help President Obama's reelection campaign.

    Feinstein said the fact that the United States is launching cyberattacks against other countries could “to some extent” provide justification for cyberattacks against the United States.

    “This is like an avalanche. It is very detrimental and candidly, I found it very concerning,” Feinstein told reporters Tuesday. “There’s no question that this kind of thing hurts our country.”

    Several Democrats noted the Iranian leak is just the latest in a series of media reports about classified U.S. anti-terrorism activity.

    “A number of those leaks, and others in the last months about drone activities and other activities are frankly all against national security interests,” said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. “I think they’re dangerous, damaging, and whoever is doing that is not acting in the interest of the United States of America.”
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    Jun 06, 2012 1:54 PM GMT

    McCain, Chambliss call for investigations into U.S. security leaks

    Senate Republicans are calling for an investigation into the recent leaks of classified information on U.S. intelligence operations.

    Arizona Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is among the GOP lawmakers and is accused the White House of leaking sensitive details on covert missions.

    He said the sensitive details were leaked, then reported in the New York Times to “paint a portrait of the president of the United States as a strong leader on national security issues.”

    McCain, a 2008 presidential candidate, said committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., had agreed hold hearings on the issue.

    GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joined McCain on the Senate floor Tuesday in urging for an investigation.

    “With each leak, our allies are left to wonder how much they can trust us with their secrets,” said Chambliss, R-Ga. “Some in the administration have decided that scoring political points in an election year outweighs intelligence operations.”

    California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and other congressional Democrats also have expressed concerns about the leaks.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday defended the administration’s effort to protect national security secrets.

    “Our interest is always in protecting sensitive information, protecting classified information, because it’s important for our national security,” he said.

    The Wall Street Journal has reported that the FBI is already investigating the leaking of information about a classified U.S. cyber program that The Times reported was to derail Iran’s nuclear program, based on two anonymous sources.