Politics behind national security leaks
KT McFarland, Marvin Kalb weigh in
- Duration 8:02
- Date Jun 11, 2012
KT McFarland, Marvin Kalb weigh in
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-- new developments today in the growing scandal over recent intelligence -- Senator John McCain now calling for a new independent investigation.
-- -- -- this morning.
Well here we are.
With the two most important it's Covert operations going on.
And they are should ongoing.
And clearly puts people's lives at risk -- I don't think there's any doubt that it came from the administration we need to find out.
What would The Who and what as best we can I would think that the person most eager to get this saying investigative would be the president understands.
Meantime President Obama senior campaign advisor David Axelrod.
Acknowledging the issue -- saying the leaks did not come from the White House.
There obviously -- leaks but they weren't from.
The -- -- is over I sat with -- president for two years.
When I was in the -- and you know I don't think there was anything that weighed on him more heavily than these life and death decisions he understands.
That when -- -- when he commits people to missions that their lives are at stake and the safety of Americans are safe are at stake in the last thing that he would.
Countenance or anybody around him would countenance our lease that would jeopardize.
The security of Americans on on on these secret missions.
And the the success of those missions.
All right we've heard both sides.
What does this mean for acts though the American people we take a step back from the politics of it all here now Fox News national security analysts keeps -- Brian.
And -- -- -- -- Marvin -- welcome to you both it's great to have you.
You both with -- with us today KT you've had the experience of working inside government inside the White House Marvin -- that experience of reporting.
On the White House and also coming face to face with some.
You know information leaks yourself so -- just -- you know as far as the -- it's the American people about what we need to know what we don't need to know.
It was a line crossed here has a line been crossed in it in this administration.
And what we've seen as far as information out in the public -- No in my view it has not been crossed and I think that one of the big issues before us right now is to understand what we mean by -- -- The idea of information being conveyed to reporters.
Happens every single day in every bureau in this country.
So the idea that something remarkable is now happening is simply not true.
The reporter David Sanger of the New York Times who broke the big story on the stocks net.
The -- Nuclear -- computer.
He has been working on that story for two or three years.
And along the way this story has appeared in the New York Times and many other news organizations.
The idea that at this particular point.
People who might not have been paying attention suddenly saying like god what's going on here.
That is what is remarkable and there is a lot of political hypocrisy.
-- hacks and I completely disagree.
I've -- in those meetings I was in the west wing of the White House throughout Watergate.
Those meetings are a handful of people and even.
If those handful of people went back and talk to their immediate -- are still talking they're a very small universe.
I'm David Sanger that Washington Post admit he's a period when your times are very careful reporter.
-- he has basically verbatim transcripts of meetings that were taking place in the Oval Office in the White House situation room.
So I do think it's a problem and -- tell you what starts happening now in the White House.
Somebody has done some leaking that person -- people are probably got in touch with some lawyers the lawyers have said to them be quiet.
Don't talk about it don't talk to anybody else about it then the other people.
I'm on those White House staffs are in the inner circle -- wondering who his talking I would didn't do it but maybe I should get a lawyer.
At some point some names are going to come out if they don't come out and it's a cover up that it means that the people doing -- investigating.
Are doing their job and I think this story has the ability to have very long legs and potentially impact the election -- If things that -- went out KT is that these -- have -- sure of were dragged many administrations so.
You know what makes this different.
This is different for a couple of reasons one is very highly classified information its sources and methods.
That being revealed in a public forum things that anybody in the intelligence and defense commuters would prefer not to have -- so heavily.
It's bipartisan the criticisms of this are coming not just from Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Not just from president Obama's political opponents.
This is coming from the leading Democrats.
In the house and senate on the Intelligence Committees all of -- -- saying this is something they've never seen before.
And third I think you've got a very.
-- data and a public which is very -- -- an alert to all these international terrorism issues.
Cyber security Iran's nuclear weapons program the bin Laden raid.
So there are a lot more people paying attention to this than maybe work during Watergate during the Watergate break and that Marvin and I -- well.
-- I want to get your thoughts in my KG just had to say it in a moment I actually came across sending this morning and I want to share with you both night.
My grandfather was a war corresponded.
It during world war two and they had -- field manual right here it's a photocopy of course and about what he can report on.
And what he can't when he's on the field her out in the field and I think it's there is a reminder Marvin that we are at a time of war.
And I'm curious here in this in this in this field -- -- basically.
My grandfather would not be able to.
Talk about secrets he would have to ask for special permission.
I've for reporting certain facts and he wise if you high handed in a document.
Eight the document could be censored before it was printed and -- I'm just curious singing your opinion having worked at times of war in times when we're not at war.
How does that.
Become a factor -- -- how we become a little insensitive to the fact that we're at war and maybe these leaks do you mean more at this time.
-- one of the things to bear in mind immediately is that the environment.
As a news environment of political environment in which your grandfather operated during World War II.
Is totally different from the environment federal reporter works in today's.
The idea that Democrats and Republicans are aligned and saying oh my god.
But terrible thing is now happened is perfectly understandable.
Nobody wants to be in favor of -- -- on national security.
But let us all be honest with one another.
The idea of the -- is simply the transmission of information.
It happens all the time if you go around saying right now that the earth is shattered because of this -- You'll misleading the American people.
We are now.
Observing something that is as much political as it is national security interest bear in mind.
That you're the administration.
Oh aren't usually do when you forget I ever went second I had to take a commercial breaks -- and get cut off -- it's a minute I'm back in you can finish that thought and landed there we'll be right back okay -- But the back everyone we're gonna finish up quickly or discussion are great discussion on national security leaks in mart and you.
I -- -- final thought -- -- this conversation with what this means for the American people and you were talking a little bit about the political environment.
-- the political environment is important please bear in mind that -- -- bush two administration George W.
Bob Woodward of the -- and impose.
Published four books.
On war and peace issues Iraq and Afghanistan.
With national security information.
The information came from the senior officials including the president himself.
Sometimes named most of the time not name this goes on.
All the time -- administration's.
Use information for their own political advantage.
KT get the final -- next time and you have nothing here are reporting segment this time it's different sources and methods and people are gonna die as a result.
We look for and you -- back an important discussion press today KT Marvin thank you very much.