Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, June 12, for a Justice Department oversight hearing. With politicians in a frenzy over leaking by the Obama administration, Holder was forced multiple times to defend and explain his plan to investigate and get to the bottom of the leaks. Republican senators took issue with Holder’s plan to have two US attorneys linked to the Justice Department investigate the leak when leaks likely came from the Justice Department.
A few senators made it clear in their questions that they would have no problem if investigative journalists became caught up in the kind of wide-range investigation, which they feel is warranted given the kind of information on kill lists, cyber warfare, and covert operations that is now in the public domain. Sen. Jon Kyl wanted to know if the investigation would require journalists “to reveal their sources if that information can’t be obtained otherwise.” Sen. Jeff Sessions read from the New York Times article on the “kill list” and said, “the President’s top aides, former top aides, some of your senior officials at the department are people that were talking to the New York Times and need to be interviewed in an aggressive independent way.” And, on CNN on June 6, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said journalist David Sanger, author of Confront and Conceal, where many of these so-called leaks can be found said:
He assured me that what he was publishing, he had worked out with various agencies and he didn’t believe that anything was revealed that wasn’t known already…Well, I read ‘The New York Times’ article and my heart dropped, because he wove a tapestry which has an impact that’s beyond any single one thing. And he’s very good at what he does. And he spent a year figuring it all out. And he’s just one. And this is a problem....read more