Puppies of war is probably more like it, given the obstructionist pace the Justice Department has adopted in the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal — to say nothing of other politically sensitive subjects.
Sure, Obama was in high dudgeon Friday, stating flatly, “The notion that the White House would purposely release classified national-security information is offensive.”
Fact is, most casual observers have concluded by now that Team Obama has turned The New York Times’ front page into a national-security newsletter — spilling such top-secret nuggets as:
* America’s role in creating the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program.
* News of that al Qaeda bomb plot in Yemen last month.
* Operational specifics of the SEAL raid that sent Osama bin Laden to his eternal reward — in such detail that future operations may have been precluded.
ï* And Obama’s oversight of a “kill list” of alleged terrorist targets for drone strikes
Republicans aren’t alone in their fury. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, plans to hold hearings into the leaks.
And as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said last week, “I’ve been on the Intelligence Committee for 11 years, and I have never seen it worse.”
It was so bad that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates felt compelled to offer National Security Adviser Tom Donilon “a new strategic communications approach.”
“Shut the f--k up,” Gates said. Spot on!
But the White House doesn’t seem willing or able to plug its holes, which place frontline agents in danger and are souring relations with America’s allies.
Obama has promised that “if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences” — but on Friday he clearly had no specific plan to root out anyone.
Then came Holder’s two cents’ worth.
True, Obama has prosecuted some leakers — but they’ve been small fry.
The big fish — like the so-called “members of the president’s national-security team who were in the room,” to quote from the Times’ “kill-list” story — seem to have nothing to fear. So even Levin’s Senate inquiry likely won’t be enough.
As for McCain’s call for a special prosecutor — well, this can be uncertain ground. Special prosecutors have been known to abuse power themselves — but the gravity of the offenses here, and Holder’s demonstrated past fecklessness make it a reasonable option.
At the least, the specter of jail time and real punishment should slow the flood of classified information. And if a prosecutor can “root out” Team Obama’s worst offenders, all the better.
The leaks amount to slow-motion treason, and must be treated as such. If Obama is as offended as he says he is, let him appoint that special prosecutor.