President Obama in Oval Office with National Security
advisor Tom Donilon and counter terrorism advisor
John Brennan. Photo, Pete Souza/The White House
There's a developing political story with some intrigue involving the Obama White House that's not exactly flying below the radar, but has caught the attention of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress focusing on stories leaked or authorized by administration "officials" to New York Times reporters and subsequently published in the paper.
The Times articles, one on the "Stuxnet" cyber warfare computer worm that reportedly was authorized by the Obama administration to counter Iran's nuclear program by disrupting Iranian centrifuges from enriching uranium to suspected bomb grade levels while the other story revealed secret "kill lists" drawn up by Obama and his advisors authorizing drone strikes and missile attacks to assassinate suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
The Republicans, particularly Senator John McCain wants a special prosecutor investigation, accusing the Obama administration of authorizing the "leaks" for partisan political reasons to make the president look "tough" on defense.
Democrat Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin "worry" these stories, and the release of this information, undermine national security. Levin's office announced his Armed Services Committee would hold hearings "pertaining to the recent public reports of classified information".
Meanwhile Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday the appointment of two federal prosecutors to investigate the "leak" allegations while the president has vehemently denied his administration sanctioned the leaking reported in the Times stories.
So what is really going on here?
Did the Obama crowd miscalculate that the Times stories, intending to make the president look "tough", didn't "play well in Peoria" and now appear indignant they didn't intentionally plant the stories after all? The Times reporter on the "Stuxnet" story, David Sanger defended his reporting saying on CNN he got the information "from the ground up. Did I talk to a lot of people in the administration? Of course."
From here, other than the public becoming informed about some of the Machiavellian inner machinations of the Obama White House and his assuming powers not granted in the Constitution or authorized by the Congress, the rest is all so much soap opera, obfuscation, dissembling and grandstanding.