The Obama leak campaign should be judged and acted upon in precisely the opposite way. There will soon be — if there aren’t already — assessments of the damage done by the leaks of the cyber attack on Iran, the Obama “kill list” program of drone attacks, and the other leaks being managed out of the White House. It is these assessments on which the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Romney campaign must focus.
Showy public hearings will not, as I pointed out above, accomplish anything because the White House officials called to testify won’t say anything important. They will claim that they cannot answer the important questions either because classified information would be publicly divulged or executive privilege prevents the disclosure of White House internal deliberations. Such hearings would fizzle. Republicans will be left empty-handed and look foolish for their trouble.
Instead, CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should be called before a joint closed hearing of both intelligence committees to explain their preliminary damage assessments. Waiting for final assessments could take years that the White House shouldn’t be allowed.
In those hearings, the committees can learn which sources and methods were compromised.