David Plouffe rebuffs questions on security leaks, investigation likely to involve White House officials

David Plouffe rebuffs questions on security leaks, investigation likely to involve White House officials

Washington : DC : USA | Jun 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM PDT
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White House senior advisor David Plouffe has declined to answer questions on a recent, alleged leak of classified information concerning counterterrorism programs by the United States. People familiar to the probe say that the investigation is likely to include scrutiny of White House officials.

While the exact nature of the leaks to the media has not been disclosed, it is believed to contain sensitive information about U.S.’ involvement in cyber warfare against Iran’s nuclear program and the president’s involvement in approving a “kill list” of terror targets for U.S. drone attacks.

People familiar with the investigation have said that since the media reports on the alleged leaks contain information regarding involvement of some officials of the White House, the investigations by prosecutors will not be completed without having a detailed interrogation from those officials. Individuals confirming this have requested anonymity because they are prohibited from speaking for the record.

As the presidential election looms, David Plouffe tells Fox News that the alleged leaks are nothing but a “game of distractions”. He also urged Republican lawmakers, who are demanding a special outside counsel to investigate the case, to let the Justice Department investigations run its course.

However, when asked whether Obama would let any of his administration's members, who may have been involved in the leaks, to step forward, Plouffe did not give a clear answer. "Everyone is obviously going to participate in the investigation," he said. When asked a second time, whether Obama would sit down for a complete interrogation, Plouffe held up his hand and briskly told host Chris Wallace, "I'm not going to answer his particular involvement right now, Chris."

Plouffe denied that Obama had anything to do with the authorization of the leaks, insisting that the president has zero tolerance for anything that could jeopardize the national security.

Attorney General Eric Holder said that the two U.S. attorneys from the Justice Department appointed for the investigations will be investigating “separate matters”. One will investigate the leaks concerning the cyber warfare with Iran, while the other investigation will involve the joint U.S.- British-Saudi operation against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to a report by Reuters. It is unclear whether any probe will look into the leaks of drone attacks.

Nonetheless, whether these two attorneys are enough to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest remains debatable, according to Senator Joseph Lieberman, who also fears that the cyber campaign against Iran could potentially invite a counterattack on the U.S.

Wendy Zachary is based in Texas, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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