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June 25th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

CNN EXCLUSIVE: Director of National Intelligence to crack down on classified intel leaks

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is rolling out new measures Monday aimed at ending what recently has been a spate of leaks regarding classified programs and operations.

Among Clapper's recommendations, to be instituted across the 16 intelligence agencies, are an enhanced counterintelligence polygraph test for employees who have access to classified information, and the establishment of a task force of intelligence community inspectors general that will have the ability to conduct independent investigations across agencies in coordination with the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.

CNN's Suzanne Kelly details the rollout on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" this morning.


Filed under: Intelligence • Leaks
June 8th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Newsweek/Daily Beast's Dan Klaidman reacts to Rep. Forbes on Holder and Axelrod fight in his book, says serous journalism not a handout

Newsweek/Daily Beast's Dan Klaidman reacts to Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) on Holder and Axelrod fight detailed in his book.

In this second clip, Klaidman and the Starting Point team discuss the history of intelligence leaks in the U.S., and how much power the government has to control a free press.

Filed under: Intelligence • Leaks
June 8th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

Intel leak latest: Rep. Rogers says it's '100 times worse than Valerie Plame'; Rep. Ruppersberger says it's worst he's seen

Where is the "cascade" of classified information leaks coming from and can it be stopped? There's a bipartisan effort underway in Washington from four top Republicans and Democrats in light of three glaring examples of leaks in the past month.

Last week, The New York Times reported President Obama ordered cyber-attacks against Iran's nuclear facilities, and that the president personally oversees a "kill list" for expanded drone attacks. In May, we found out a U.S. double agent helped foil an airline bomb plot out of Yemen.

The Obama Administration is being accused of leaking the secrets for political points, but the White House flatly denies that.

After meeting with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) remained ambiguous about whether he thinks the leaks were politically motivated.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and a ranking member of that committee Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) talk to Soledad about the severity of the leaks and possible ways that Congress could go about investigating it.

Filed under: Intelligence • Leaks
June 7th, 2012
12:41 PM ET

Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) calls for special counsel on intelligence leaks, says issue is 'bigger than party or politics'

From CNN wires:

Washington (CNN) - Congressional leaders on intelligence issues will meet Thursday with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on apparent leaks of classified information involving a cyberwarfare program against Iran.

The meeting comes amid bipartisan outrage over a report in The New York Times last week that provided classified details of what it described as a U.S cyberattack targeting Iran's nuclear centrifuge program.

Some Republicans led by veteran Sen. John McCain of Arizona alleged that the White House must be knowingly involved because of the nature of the leaked information. The White House rejected the accusations.

On Wednesday, a U.S. official said on condition of not being identified that the FBI was investigating the leaks. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson had no comment.

The White House says it is grossly irresponsible to even suggest that the administration would leak classified information for political gain. And in a rare display of bipartisanship, leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees warned the leaks threaten to do imminent and irreparable damage to our national security.

Armed Services Committee member Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) talks with Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" and says a special counsel needs to be appointed to investigate the matter.

"This is not a partisan issue," Cornyn says. "The chair of the intelligence committee, Senator Feinstein, said this is the worst leaking she's seen in her time here in Congress. And this is threatening not only the methods but also the sources and the cooperation of our allies when it comes to two of the most sensitive areas of national security, that is stopping the Iranian nuclear threat and fighting out and taking out al Qaeda through the drone program. So, this is very serious stuff. I don't think we can just let the White House investigate itself or take its word for it that it is not the source of these leaks."

"This is a serious matter," Cornyn reiterates. "It's much bigger than party or politics. And that's why I think you are seeing such bipartisan concern into leaks into one of the most sensitive national security programs that exist."

Filed under: Leaks • Security
June 7th, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) says McCain's charge that White House intentionally leaked classified intel 'very serious'

The FBI is now investigating whether the White House leaked classified intelligence information to try to score some political points. It's a claim that has the White House firing back hard.

Press Secretary Jay Carney says "Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible."

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) jumped into the conversation as well, saying he would 'expect nothing else' from the White House. "The fact is that portrayal of the President in these stories is obviously nothing short of heroic," McCain says. "I don't think there's any doubt, according to Mr. Sanger, that dozens of administration officials who were involved in this."

Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.), member of the Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning and says the leaks should not be considered 'political football.'

When asked to respond to McCain's comment, Casey says "that's a very serious charge that's been made against the administration. I think that the proposal that Senator Carl Levin has made, chairman of the armed services committee, to have a hearing in closed fashion makes the most sense. Any time you make a charge like that, it's very serious. We have to make sure that we're resolving this in the right way."

Casey also responds to whether the Wisconsin recall election results could affect the presidential race in 2012, and previews what he hopes to hear from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke in a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee today.

Filed under: Intelligence • Leaks • Security