Sen. Lieberman, Gen. Hayden on damage caused by leaks
Key security players on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 10:15
- Date Jun 17, 2012
Key security players on 'Fox News Sunday'
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Can you are examination now of the recent disclosure of top US secrets with two of the nation's leading experts on national security.
Joseph Lieberman as chairman of the senate Homeland Security -- And general Michael -- is former director of the CIA gentlemen welcome back and -- as you look at this extraordinary.
Series of -- everything from the double agent inside al-Qaeda in Yemen.
To the -- -- about the US and Israeli joint cyber campaign against Iraq and let me start -- you senator Lieberman how much damage has been done to our national security.
In my opinion an enormous amount of damage has been done to our national security have been in the case of the cyber attack on Iran -- the articles are true this is -- first confirmation of that.
Of of how it was carried -- telegraph to the Iranians I think there's a danger that it may legitimize.
A an Iranian are terrorists counter cyber attack on us because.
We did it and in the case of the underwear bomb from al-Qaeda and Arabian Peninsula again we'd be -- that -- leaks.
-- I is that that.
Are potentially put the individual who courageously.
Eight Q and there -- -- peninsula endangered his family.
-- it will discourage people and foreign intelligence of those services from cooperating with us in the future finally in the in the case of the Osama bin Laden kill.
The fact that we delete.
The of this story that.
Who who doctor was retained to carry out a vaccination program -- try to get DNA from people in bin Laden's compound led the Pakistan is to the doctor.
And he's now been convicted and sentenced to 33 years in jail -- -- -- which who's gonna cooperate with us next time as a result of us -- yes these -- Compromise the security of every American.
Federal right now I'm gonna pick up on what senator Lieberman said are some of these leaks giving.
What's known as sources and methods the holy Grail of intelligence.
And especially in the case of the alleged US Israeli cyber attack against Iran.
Does it invite.
Retaliation by the mullahs in Tehran.
Like I think selling to -- really enter it appoint the senator made these don't have to be true.
To be harmful.
Please take the the the steps that story.
It's almost like computer virus that -- allegedly we used against the rights that's taught me that the Iranians have imagined this my counterpart.
I was director CA Wisconsin -- money.
I can just picture him now going to the supreme leader -- and I.
And saying you know those things we discussed a year or two ago mr.
supreme leader and you -- would've put on the back burner.
Well I think it's now time to resurrect those ideas I mean it's sort of legitimate.
And Iranian response whether the story is true or false.
I generally in the cyber warfare story that appeared on the front page of the New York Times you are quoted as saying this and let's put it on the strength.
This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyber attack was used to -- -- physical destruction somebody crossed the rubicon.
Didn't you at least in directly confirm the late.
No back that was quite clear until -- agnostic as to who did this.
But it is accepted knowledge and public knowledge that this happened who ever did it.
Crossed a policy barrier made a decision that in a time of peace.
One could use a cyber weapon to affect physical destruction on what another nation could only describe.
As their own critical infrastructure -- No way confirmed well that the US was involved no not at all a cut.
As we discuss with David -- some of the people quoted.
In these articles not saying that they were the ones who gave up these specific secrets.
But this national security advisor Tom -- in the former White House chief of staff.
-- Bill Daly and quoted as specifically giving up some of this members of the president's national security team who were with him in meetings.
In the situation room question for you senator Lieberman.
Do you have any thoughts about who was leaking these stories and -- And I don't have any thoughts about who's linking the stars of but so we ought to try to find out and that's what an investigation in the -- Justice Department ought to do.
There's nothing new here about leaks in Washington -- this happened.
During the Clinton bush and earlier Obama administration and Bob Woodward's books for instance.
But but the recent series of leaks -- the worst in a long time I think -- a slippery slope where people think.
There's no accountability if you leak and we've got to change that I think we -- to changed the law that supplied here the last person.
To be convicted of of a crime for leaking to the media was more than 25 years ago were still using -- 1917.
Espionage -- -- requires some showing of intent.
And knowledge and -- -- would harm the security of the United States but.
Chris -- if you it seems to me that the law artists say simply.
If you disclose without authority classified information you've committed a crime.
Because for information to be classified there was a judgment made that its disclosure.
Would cause damage in the case of top secret information which a lot of this was.
It would cause exceptionally grave damage to the security of the United States so this this is something that has to be found -- what one -- point.
David Sanger says in the it was a fellow who wrote wrote -- New York Times that cyber warfare and he's written a book on this right he says that his.
The writing is based on conversations with high ranking officials in the US government and other governments.
Who don't want to be identified.
Because the information they shared is highly classified.
And relates to some ongoing operations.
Well that's an acknowledgment.
Of of a crime in my opinion.
And and that's where the a Justice Department to get.
The -- -- -- let me follow on this with you general -- because you've been in these meetings you've been in the situation -- how closely -- is this kind of information.
You know we are talking about sources and methods we are talking about.
About agents that we had in those countries we are talking about a major campaign against Iran how closely -- -- is the information and do people just leave the room and go out on their own and late this kind of thing from -- While they shouldn't certainly and and this is very closely held information again without commenting on whether the stories are true or false.
If you follow the story line that David sang -- lays out this would have been a Covert action.
Covert action requires the personal involvement of president.
His personal approval.
And there are few things in the American government -- closely protected as Covert actions are I mean after all.
The word Covert has some meaning or at least it's supposed to do think that it was political do that this was inoperative.
-- that the president's.
Record on foreign policy I've done that on the steps that -- -- that on the center article but first bomb I'm reluctant to pass judgment and I'll I'll believe what David Sanger said.
This wasn't in any way a press release from anyone so to speak he picked this up in bits and pieces through a very good reporting.
That that however doesn't indicate that some of that reporting didn't come from sources who were privy to this information.
-- -- let me ask -- some of the same questions that I ask.
David off do you think the president should as George W.
Bush did order his entire staff anyone who knows about these lakes comes war.
I do I the president made very clear in the statement that you put it earlier that.
He was our version anybody would think that anybody in his warehouse was -- quest for an information I think the next step -- All of them to come forward and just -- you so do you think he should agree as President Bush did to sit down with federal prosecutors for interrogation.
Well that's up to him -- -- look at where a situation where I think the administration ought to do everything it can.
Any appearance that people in the administration.
Leaked this highly -- -- -- information.
For political or other personal purposes and on leave it to the president's attorneys were depart reversing -- He should sit down and talk to the investigators.
Finally Bakken in 2003.
You said that we needed a special prosecutor and independent counsel in the Valerie Plame case given.
The extent of these lakes and the fact that top administration officials.
Not by name but are quoted as having been the sources.
Does there need to be a special process.
Our Chris -- thinking about -- -- these -- came out and and -- -- conclusion which is that we do need a special counsel.
And we need a special council because a special counsel.
Avoids any appearance of conflict of interest special council's independent counsel's.
Before them were created.
For a situation exactly like this where people might reach a conclusion.
Investigators US attorneys even working for the attorney general who was appointed by the president cannot.
And without bias investigate high officials of their own governments are saying -- US attorneys have been appointed by general holder attorney general holder not enough.
Special prost at the end not not enough -- -- -- -- -- -- I have I have no reason to distrust or disrespect either of these.
US attorneys were here we go one gentleman who give a contribution of -- Obama no matter what he concludes.
People are gonna say it was.
Biased here's the big difference between a regular US attorney in a special counsel.
The special counsel is not under the day to day supervision of the attorney general he's really much more independent and I think that's what.
Frankly I think attorney general holder would do with the administration and himself a favor.
If he appointed special counsel's in this case because it would remove any appearance of anybody and administration was trying to block a full scale.
Investigation and protect anybody in the administration who may have -- -- have to leave it there senator Lieberman general Hayden thank you both so much for coming in today to discuss these matters.
National security thank you gentlemen here.