Media handling of national security leak issue
Debate over coverage of controversy
- Duration 6:07
- Date Jun 8, 2012
Debate over coverage of controversy
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Now let's get back to the furor on Capitol Hill over recent national security leaks and suspicions among lawmakers Republicans and Democrats alike.
That members of the Obama administration are the source.
Our media watch panel -- joining us from Judith Miller is Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter -- power is a Daily Beast columnist for both are Fox News contributors.
The president got a little hot under the collar at his news conference earlier today Judy when he was asked about the source.
Of these leaks here's what he had to say and I'll get reaction from both you on the other side.
The notion that.
My White House.
Classified national security information.
-- people I think need -- have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me your approach this office.
Judy you and he seems to be saying it.
Wasn't us yes while the president -- protests to not stick if I can think I'm not going to frames look.
That thinks it's going to make its record look good but it's president look assertive and confident.
And it says.
Just despises and denounces.
Leaks that actually endanger national security and where that line is is often times difficult to tell.
That's the problem this is a very very gray area but this administration there is no doubt they've cooperated with stories that make them.
Look good because there officials are quoted by name whether or not the information was classified as a separate -- Right and -- -- one of the stories Judea I think he's referring to is the story that was on the front page of the New York Times about the process.
The president goes sure every time he orders so one of those drone strikes that takes out a terrorist -- -- thought to be terrorist.
There were people quoted you know -- said that the the president meets every week with his top dozen or so counter terrorism advisors.
The paper spoke to two of the people in in that room and got the information from.
There's no question that the White House.
These stories if not was directly involved in these stories it's quite clear by the quotes and that.
That you know secondhand people who are sitting with the president saying this is what the president said.
Or did I think it yet to pay attention to what Obama said technically what he said -- I think is probably true they probably didn't releasing classified information that you have to remember that they can declassified.
Said they get to decide.
What's what's declassified the part of the president or he doesn't mean somebody.
To declassify something.
And suddenly can be in the public domain and if you I I I worked in the Clinton administration -- a top secret clearances so I know how to -- stuff works and how classification -- -- They over classify everything.
You know eat you get people who are gonna you may -- something that doesn't really matter.
And still be you know prosecuted work for.
For releasing this information.
An and I don't think anyone even as saying that the White House has put anybody in danger that's not the complaints.
You know the complaint is that they're -- that they seem to.
Go after people of his aggressiveness.
And prosecute them and throw them in jail for leaks and then turn around and leak information.
Up when it benefits the White House well and and.
Even -- there are some questions about for instance how the packets Pakistani doctor.
Who is now facing 33 years at hard labor in a Pakistani prison because of his role in helping.
Helping determine the location of Osama bin Laden.
How -- that guy's name get out there.
Well we don't know but the first story you appear in the American press on this which was -- McClatchy report as far as I can tell quoted Pakistani sources.
In its original story I think much more troublesome -- as troublesome.
Is the leak of the existence of a double agent.
Who was one of the people who prevented.
-- -- -- in the Arabian Peninsula.
From putting a bomb on a plane that's the kind of leak which is really really damaging that someone.
Who was in play who -- his -- had access to senior ranks of this terrorist organization.
He's taken out of play because.
His existence is disclosed that's the kind of thing you have to worry about but I agree with Hairston.
This double standard of kind of prosecuting lowered levels people junior people for leaks you don't like.
And landing -- -- and White House leak when it chooses that's what's got people upset here.
And it even is a bipartisan.
Consensus -- there seems to be I mean senator Dianne Feinstein one of the president's strongest supporters -- and on many issues.
He's really fuming about these leaks some are saying there should be a special prosecutor -- -- -- -- -- You know.
I think that I'm not not a big Stanislas prosecutors should just because they tend to get out of control and make and they actually cost a lot of money they cost taxpayers lot of money -- Rarely anything good.
You know or helpful useful comes from it well but I certainly have reporters in jail and I'm happy SPI -- -- -- -- that I do have a little bit later yes but I think back as bipartisan really is it makes it harder for the White House -- -- this -- -- From under this because you do it at that I I spoke to -- -- Democrats initially so autism is typical election your stuff that's like not it's not typical election this opening -- Diane.
Feinstein sitting there really.
Quite obviously -- rates.
When you eat Judea and just one more thing and that is we are journalists and in general let's remember the lesson of the 9/11 commission.
Which was it's better to have too much information and not enough.
Having out a White House that suppresses information the public needs now is just as dangerous but do we need to know all of this -- we don't you know all of it some of that we do think it Judy Miller accused empowers thank you both.
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