While the world is reacting to leaks indicating that Saudi Arabia is funding Al Qaeda and Clinton ordered diplomats to engage in espionage, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have called for the prosecution of those responsible for the leaks.
The leaks also show the Saudis pressuring the United States to attack Iran — once again having the United States do the dirty work for regional interests. Then there is the revelation that Iran smuggled weapons in ambulances to Hezbollah.
Graham insists that the matter is clear “we’re at war . . . If you can prosecute them, let’s try.” McCaskill agreed, stressing “I hope we can find out where this is coming from and go after them with the force of law.”
As with the disclosures of the torture program, some of these disclosures are likely not new information for Senators. Members of the intelligence committees have often been criticized for knowledge of abuses or even crimes in our government without making them public or taking significant action. Thus far, there has not been a single suggestion of public hearings on these allegations — only a demand to prosecute the person responsible for making them public. The problem is that some of this information shows that the public has been given false or misleading information on major policies. I guess this is an example of what Senator Rockefeller said was the harm of media coverage denying the public of its sense of happiness and contentment in their government.
I am a firm believer in the need to maintain secrecy in areas of national security, but some of these leaks raise (again) a growing lack of confidence in Congress in serving as a true check and balance on abuses.