WASHINGTON -- Senior members of Congress -- both Republicans and Democrats -- are reacting with shock and awe at the tsunami of national security leaks emanating from the Obama administration. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Channel that the unauthorized disclosures of classified information are "the most egregious breach of national security" he ever has seen. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told reporters this week, "The accelerating pace of such disclosures, the sensitivity of the matters in question and the harm caused to our national security interests is alarming and unacceptable."
McCain and Feinstein -- and others in both parties expressing dismay at the disclosures -- shouldn't be surprised. The officials in the Obama administration who tell reporters classified details about SEAL team raids, Stuxnet, "kill lists" for targeted attacks on high-value targets and ongoing covert operations in foreign countries are doing exactly what the commander in chief wants. He told us so on the day of his inauguration.
Reading from a teleprompter in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the new president instructed his senior White House staff and Cabinet: "The way to make government accountable is to make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they're being made and whether their interests are being well-served. ... For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city. ... Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known."
The leakers simply are following his orders. That's what makes the quotes attributed to "unnamed senior administration officials" or "anonymous White House sources" so curious. If the O-Team really is intent on letting us "know exactly what decisions are being made" and "how they're being made" so we can determine whether our "interests are being well-served," why doesn't it let the names be used by reporters, writers and producers?
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.