June 6th, 2012
06:10 PM ET

Feinstein: "Avalanche of leaks"

by Suzanne Kelly

As lawmakers call for formal investigations into the sources of recent leaks that have divulged details of highly classified national security programs, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is looking to the Intelligence Authorization Bill as a way to make people who leak such information more accountable.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room, Feinstein said, "I think what we're seeing, Wolf, is an avalanche of leaks and it is very, very disturbing. It's dismayed our allies. It puts American lives in jeopardy. It puts our nation's security in jeopardy."

Ranking members of both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees have joined Feinstein, D-California, in her calls for adding provisions that would require that lawmakers be notified in a more timely fashion when authorized disclosures are made, and for individuals to report the rationale behind those decisions. Other provisions are expected to call for more robust investigations of unauthorized disclosures of information and are expected to ask for additional authorities that would make it easier to drill down on the source of leaks and then prosecute those found to be responsible.

Government employees with access to highly classified information are violating federal laws and nondisclosure agreements if they pass classified information to persons who have not been cleared to receive it.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to add the leak provisions when it takes up the FY13 intelligence authorization bill later this month. The plan is for the full Senate to vote on the measure before the summer recess. Although the House has already passed a version of the bill without the leak provisions, they would likely be added during a conference with the Senate.

CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report


Filed under: Barack Obama • drones • Iran • Israel • McCain • Obama • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence • Stuxnet
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. gabe

    The historian John Prados wrote an e-single on how our current concept on national security needs to be re-tooled. An interesting piece, for those interested: http://goo.gl/EV3Ou

    June 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  2. kimmie

    Attractive component to content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing for your feeds and even I success you access constantly quickly.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  3. Mark

    Politicians never get busted for revealing classifed information. But some poor PFC who inadvertanly commits a security violation will get hanged for it.

    June 8, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • chefdugan

      Putting someone like her anywhere near security is a national disaster. If a person leaks classified materials but happens to be a minority she will open the jail cell herself and then approve welfare payments to the offender.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  4. Rob

    Feinstein, liberal, left-wing traitor to all Americans, needs to be removed from office in November. She and her kind have done enough damage to America over the last 30 years. She's a poster child for term limits.

    June 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  5. Richard Diamond

    What's new here? The Nixon Plumbers tried and failed and we had a failed Presidency. Leaks are as old as the Republic.. Interesting, but not NEW news.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  6. tbrow

    What's really hilarious is that Congress and the executive branch are now up in arms about it. Most of the time, it's not your normal government employee leaking but politicians (Congress are the worst offenders) and executive branch officials just trying to score political points. If anyone needs lie detectors, it's elected officials. They also should revisit just automatically granting elected officials security clearances and make them go through the same process as everyone else.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  7. I am the Public

    I am blown away that the media still stands behind the public's "right to know" when reporting matters that could impact national security or endanger our military troops and operations. If we have the "right to know" everything, then I want the names of their sources as well as full disclosure of the deals cut to obtain the information they report.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
  8. facefur

    Security and information leaks are severe problems. A lot of time and effort goes into development of special capabilities and information gathering, and the leaks destroy or greatly reduce their effectiveness. That said, Congress does NOT need to add more laws, as the existing ones are more than adequate, and a new law will not prevent future leaks. They need to let law enforcement do their jobs, find the releasing individuals, and bring them to the courts for whatever justice prevails. We do not need more posturing.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
  9. brown

    We have a bunch of f ock ing morons running America into the ground!

    June 7, 2012 at 4:07 am | Reply
    • Bayousara

      Please give us a list of these morons. Can't generalize.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  10. Portland tony

    Either the President is surrounding himself with quislings, total incompetents or political foes. These fools are doing nothing to enhance his political standing. Even if the leaks are deliberate, they hurt rather than help the Presidency politically. Time for the President to look around and see just who is with him and who wishes him ill. Then rid his house of scoundrels!

    June 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  11. The Obama poll boosters come in the form of leaks .

    The problem the obama gang has is that the American people are NOT BUYING the obama spike the football events on any level .

    June 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • TomGI

      Hey dummy, how come you don't capitalize the president's given name?

      June 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  12. Spartan

    Just like Israel stealing classified info from American business and military establishments??

    June 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply

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