Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Jim Risch has expressed concern over security leaks perpetrated by current and former administration officials regarding U.S. affairs in the Middle East. He led the effort and was joined by other senators in asking for information about the disclosure of classified information involving potential retaliation for the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Last week, the Associated Press published a story based on information provided "by three current and one former administration official, as well as an analyst who was approached by the White House for help. All four spoke only on condition of anonymity." These current and former administration officials go into details about "special operations strike forces" the movement of "drones into the skies above Africa" and "possible retaliatory strikes from Libya to Mali, if U.S. investigators can find the al-Qaida linked group responsible for the death of the U.S. ambassador in Libya."
The senators, all Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, want to know if the reports are accurate, if the information provided to the AP was authorized, and if not authorized, if criminal prosecution will be taken.
"If the information in the story is true, it doesn't make any sense why somebody would provide that to the press and give those responsible an opportunity to protect themselves. If this information is true and was authorized to be disclosed, we need to know who authorized it and why. If it was in fact a leak then we need to know what is being done to find and prosecute the perpetrators" said U.S. Senator Jim Risch.
Other signatories of the letter were Vice-Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Senator Risch is a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and also serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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