June 8, 2012 Leave a comment
WASHINGTON, June 6 (Xinhua) — The Federal Bureau of Intelligence has opened an investigation into possible White House officials’ leaks of classified information to the New York Times about U.S. cyberattacks against Iran, CNN reported on Wednesday.
U.S. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee said he was informed that an FBI inquiry was underway.
Chambliss also called for appointment of a special counsel to investigate leaks of recent stories in the New York Times that detailed U.S. cyberattacks on Iran.
“Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” the White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a briefing aboard Air Force One en route California.
He stressed that the Obama administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counterterrorism or intelligence operations.
Senator John McCain, Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign rival, on Tuesday slashed some senior administration officials of leaking classified information to media to enhance Obama’s image for his re-election bid but undermine U.S. national security.
“… what is grossly irresponsible is U.S. officials divulging some of the most highly classified programs involving the most important national security priorities facing our nation today,” McCain said on Wednesday following Carney’s response.
Some of Obama’s Democratic allies in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday also stepped into the ongoing disputes over a report by New York Times on U.S. cyberattacks on Iran.
The New York Times reported last Friday that Obama ordered stepped-up cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program months after taking office, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday expressed worry that leaks to press about U.S. cyber attacks on Iran authorized by the Obama administration could lead to a counter-attack on the United States.
She said the fact that the U.S. is launching cyber attacks against other countries could “to some extent” provide justification for cyberattacks against the United States.