Friday, December 30, 2005

Probing the Leaks

Finally, the leak causing the New York Times' NSA story is now under investigation:
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush's secret domestic spying program, Justice officials said Friday. The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Justice Deparment is also pursuing an investigation of the leak that led to the Washington Post's secret CIA prison story:
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a domestic surveillance program authorized by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, officials said today.

Justice prosecutors will examine whether classified information was unlawfully disclosed to the New York Times, which reported two weeks ago that the National Security Agency had been conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. citizens and residents without court-approved warrants.

The probe is the latest in a series of controversial investigations into leaks of classified information during the Bush administration, including the disclosure of a CIA agent's identity that has resulted in criminal charges against former vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The Justice Department has also opened a probe into whether classified information was illegally disclosed to The Washington Post, which reported on a network of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

It is long overdue that the administration investigate these leaks. When information gets released that damages national security, especailly in the disguise of a news story, the source of that information must be found, and dealt with.

But it won't be long before the left starts claiming that the NSA leaks were "necessary" leaks because they somehow protected our civil liberties. However, what the left fails to realize is that leaking classified information is always a crime, regardless of the motivation of the leaker. Thus whomever is found to be responsible for these leaks should be prosecuted accordingly.