Sunday, June 10, 2012

Republicans renew attacks on Obama administration over leaks

(Reuters) - Republicans on Sunday renewed their attacks on the Obama administration over suspected leaks of classified security information, with one influential senator saying the Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.

Among the government secrets leaked to the media in recent months were reports on U.S. cyber warfare against Iran, procedures for targeting militants for drone attacks and the existence of a double agent who penetrated a militant group in Yemen.

Republicans have also criticized the administration for disclosing details of the Navy SEAL team that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid on his Pakistan hideout last year.

"Our intelligence people say this is the worst breach they've ever seen," Senator John McCain, senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"It's very clear that this information had to come from this administration. It couldn't have come from anywhere else," McCain said. "This needs a special counsel - someone who is highly independent of the Justice Department."

While government leaks are a staple of Washington political life, the issue has taken on a special significance ahead of the November 6 election, with some Republicans charging that the leaks appear calculated to boost the President Barack Obama's re-election prospects. Read More