Monday, June 11, 2012

Pressure Mounts Over Intelligence Leaks From White House

Lawmakers from both parties have called for an independent investigation into intelligence leaks after a series of articles published in the New York Times disclosed details from a number of opeartions ranging from drone strikes on the Arabian peninsula and Pakistan, a double-agent that infiltrated a Yemeni Al Qaeda cell, a secret 'kill list' and the 'stuxnet' worm that crippled Iran's nascent nuclear program.

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Community, said the leaks jeopardize American lives and would make recruitment of foreign nationals for clandestine counterterrorism activities even more difficult.

Feinstein said she had no reason to believe that the leaks to the New York Times originated from either the House or Senate Intelligence Committees. The articles cite a number of unnamed current and former advisors from the Obama Administration.

Top Republicans such as Arizona Senator John McCain and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King have accused the Obama Administration of passing on sensetive information to the New York Times to bolster his image of being tough and uncompromising on national security heading into the 2012 Presidential Election.
'This is the most shameful cascade of leaks I've ever heard or seen in government,' Mr King said [in an interview with] Fox.

'It's clear from those stories this came right from the White House, came right from the National Security Council, came right from the Situation Room... It has to lead to people very high up in the administration in his White House.'
Meanwhile, some agents with Israel's Mossad intelligence agency have not only claimed that the leaks from the White House put them in danger, but that the Obama Administration is taking credit for a computer virus that infected Iranian centrifuges as they attempted to refine uranium that was actually of Israeli design. Stuxnet surfaced in 2010 in Iran and targeted equipment operated by Seimens- including centrifuges- and would increase their operating speeds while continuing to provide operators with continuous false readings showing that the devices were running at normal speed.

Computer security experts believe that Stuxnet is closely related to the more recently discovered Flame or Wiper virus which has surfaced in computers used by Iranian government agencies. The flame virus would monitor keystokes and send screen captures of the infected computer back to a central command and control module before seeking out other systems to infect and then self-destructing via external command.

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