It’s above all a national security issue. Gov. Romney cannot remain silent about that.
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The Obama leak campaign should be judged and acted upon in precisely the opposite way. There will soon be — if there aren’t already — assessments of the damage done by the leaks of the cyber attack on Iran, the Obama “kill list” program of drone attacks, and the other leaks being managed out of the White House. It is these assessments on which the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Romney campaign must focus.
Showy public hearings will not, as I pointed out above, accomplish anything because the White House officials called to testify won’t say anything important. They will claim that they cannot answer the important questions either because classified information would be publicly divulged or executive privilege prevents the disclosure of White House internal deliberations. Such hearings would fizzle. Republicans will be left empty-handed and look foolish for their trouble.
Instead, CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should be called before a joint closed hearing of both intelligence committees to explain their preliminary damage assessments. Waiting for final assessments could take years that the White House shouldn’t be allowed.
In those hearings, the committees can learn which sources and methods were compromised. They can learn — to the extent our intelligence community knows — how Iran is responding to the disclosures, and how the Pakistani and Afghan governments are changing their behavior toward us as a result of the leaks.
When they learn these things, the committees can disclose their own judgments of how severe the damage is. They can’t disclose the details, but they can say that there was damage and characterize whether they believe it was significant.
But that is the limit of what Congress can do. It is up to Mitt Romney, as the leader of the Republican Party, to choose to make the Obama leaks a campaign issue.
So far, Romney has been silent on this and too many other issues. If he chooses to remain silent on the Obama leaks, he will surrender the issue leaving Obama to continue the leaking and gain whatever political advantage within reach. Instead, Romney could and should seize upon the issue. Romney should speak out quickly, joining in the bipartisan call for an investigation and asking the intelligence committees to hold the closed hearings to obtain the assessments of damage.
When — and if — the committees hold those hearings, Romney should use whatever they may disclose to make a major speech on the issue, calling the Obama administration to account for its actions against our nation’s security. It’s all up to Romney: he can be the leader of the Republican Party or sit silent, absorbing the damage to his campaign and ignoring the damage to our national security.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?