News / USA

Congressional Leaders: Recent Intel Leaks Have Hurt US Security

Cindy Saine
CAPITOL HILL - The four bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees have sharply criticized recent leaks to the press about ongoing covert operations and are promising to take action to try to stop such leaks.  The leaders met Thursday in a closed meeting with National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

In a rare show of unity in an often polarized Congress, the four top Republican and Democratic intelligence committee leaders came together to condemn a recent spate of leaks about secret U.S. intelligence operations.  The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Mike Rogers, said the leaks are the most serious he has ever seen.

"To have all four of us to come forward today, and talk about the severity of these leaks, I hope sends a very clear message," said Rogers.

Among recent leaks that have made headlines is a New York Times story alleging covert U.S. efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program through cyber attacks and stories about U.S. drone attacks.  Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said there have been too many leaks recently.

"I think it goes without saying that all of us are extremely upset about the fact that, not only have leaks occurred, but there has been just a cascade of leaks coming out of the intelligence community over the last several weeks and months, and it is our clear intention to put a stop to this," said Chambliss.

Earlier this week, Republican Senator John McCain stirred controversy by saying that one could draw the conclusion from reading recent articles that the leaks are an attempt "to further the president's political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of U.S. national security."  The White House angrily rejected the comments, calling them absurd.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said "any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible."

At a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, the four intelligence leaders did not blame the White House for the leaks, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating them and that House committees will also investigate the leaks and they did not want to judge prematurely. Senator Dianne Feinstein said she is not interested in a special prosecutor to investigate the leaks, because that could take years.  Feinstein said she wants to put forward bipartisan legislation soon to try to minimize any such leaks of sensitive information in the future. She said she is not blaming anyone at this point.

"This is not finger-pointing [casting blame] at anybody," said Feinstein. "What we are trying to do is say we have a problem, and we want to stop that problem.  We are not finger-pointing."

The congressional leaders were also to meet with FBI Director Robert Mueller to discuss the leaks.  Senator Feinstein said the leaks could prompt U.S. allies to be reluctant to participate in intelligence operations with the United States and could put lives in danger.

You May Like

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs