Suddenly, congressional leaders of both parties are demanding investigations into serial disclosures of national security secrets on President Obama’s watch. The truth of the matter is that we already know what we need to about those leaks. The question is: Will anybody do anything about them? Of course, the leaks are already out there - prominently featured, for example, on the front pages of the New York Times. We know of the compromise of techniques used to defend our country through cyberwarfare, drone attacks, covert operations and what turned out to be other nations’ successful penetration of terrorist cells.
We also know that in every case, the leakers’ handiwork portrayed Mr. Obama as a highly effective, decisive, muscular and hands-on commander in chief. Sadly, the president’s overall record shows him to have been anything but, hence the need to pump up his street cred as part of the re-election campaign.
If the damage done for what are, on their face, nakedly political purposes were not so serious, the president’s remark last week that he finds “offensive” suggestions that his White House could have been responsible would be hilarious. Yet it seems certain that his Justice Department’s investigation will shed no helpful light on the degree of involvement by the executive office of the president or, in case he was parsing his words deliberately, the culpability of those who work for him elsewhere in the government. At a minimum, that certainly will be true between now and the November election. As former federal prosecutor-turned-best-selling author Andrew McCarthy has observed, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has jujitsued legislators’ demands for a special prosecutor into a review by two U.S. attorneys that will take, in all likelihood, a year or more to complete. Worse yet, their investigation will be used as a pretext to thwart congressional inquiries into the leaks for the duration of that probe.
This is all the more ridiculous in light of what we already know: People working for Mr. Obama have been talking to the media. Some, including longtime Democratic political operative and current National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon, have allowed themselves to be named as sources.
In other cases, the leakers are part of a very small universe, making a swift and rigorous investigation manageable. For instance, some of the leaks were attributed to officials among the presumably quite restricted number of subordinates who participate in highly classified meetings with Mr. Obama to target terrorists for assassination. One of them turns out to be none other than presidential campaign strategist David Axelrod. It should not take long to ferret out who among this small group said what on an off-the-record basis.
More important, the bottom line also is clear: Mr. Obama is the beneficiary of the spin associated with these leaks, not the American people. And that truly is offensive.
Unfortunately, the same can be said of a number of other actions for which the president can - and must - be held directly accountable. These include, for example:
Mr. Obama’s deliberate and far-reaching unilateral disarmament of both U.S. conventional and nuclear forces through budgetary actions and malign neglect.
Mr. Obama’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood - bringing it to power in the Middle East and encouraging its efforts to insinuate Shariah here. In fact, Mr. Donilon’s deputy, Denis R. McDonough, was in Qatar last week meeting with senior operatives of America’s two most prominent Brotherhood front groups, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), toward that end. We also just learned thatthe Obama administrationhas had “hundreds of meetings” with CAIR.
Mr. Obama’s buying time for Iran to complete its decades-long drive to acquire nuclear weapons and eviscerating the U.S. missile defenses needed to protect against that growing threat.
Mr. Obama’s alienating of Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and other allies in the vain hope of currying favor with their foes and ours.
Mr. Obama’s encouragement of other adversaries, from Russia to China to North Korea to Chavismo in our hemisphere, thanks to the weakness and irresolution that have characterized his policies to date and that his team feels the need to obscure with heavy spinning of the leaked secrets.
Mr. Obama’s diminishing of our sovereignty, notably by trying to ram through the Senate the Law of the Sea Treaty - the subject of two more hearings this week in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including the first in which opponents have been allowed to testify, led by former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Despite the likelihood that the American people will not learn who has been responsible for the damage done to our security through the serial leaks of highly classified information until well after Nov. 6 - if then - they are on notice about Mr. Obama’s priorities: emboldening our enemies, undermining our friends and diminishing our country. We simply cannot afford four more years of unaccountable and dangerous malpractice on the part of a commander in chief.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.