House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra suspends Democratic staff member over possible leak of classified info to the NYT

Via the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra has suspended a Democratic staff member because of concerns he may have leaked a high-level intelligence assessment to The New York Times last month.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press Thursday night, Rep. Ray LaHood (news, bio, voting record), R-Ill., a committee member, said that an unidentified staffer requested the document from National Intelligence Director John Negroponte three days before the Sept. 23 story about its conclusions.

The staffer received the National Intelligence Estimate on global terror trends on Sept. 21.

“I have no credible information to say any classified information was leaked from the committee’s minority staff, but the implications of such would be dramatic,” LaHood wrote Hoekstra, R-Mich., late last month. “This may, in fact, be only coincidence, and simply ‘look bad.’ But coincidence, in this town, is rare.”

A spokesman to Hoekstra, Jamal Ware, confirmed that a committee staff member was suspended this week. He said the staff member is being denied access to classified information pending the outcome of a review.

“Chairman Hoekstra considers security highly important, and the coincidence certainly merits a review,” he said.

I eagerly await the results of the review. Now, if it’s found that this Dem staffer was the person who leaked selected portions of the NIE to the NYT, I look for Congressional Democrats and MSM editorial pages to decry the “witchhunt”, condemning the administration for “striking at the heart of democracy by trying to silence whistleblowers” etc etc … all of which will be done in an attempt to try and shirk responbility for actions they’ve taken a part in which have given aid and comfort to the enemy, and helped further influence the American people that the Iraq war is the “wrong war.” Leakers of classified information, and their willing accomplices in the press remind me of little children who, when they get their hands caught in the cookie jar, look at their parents with a wide eyed but unrepentant look as if to say “but that’s what kids DO.”

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, by the way, is the same guy who pushed for and got the release of some of the post-war intelligence documents found in Afghanistan and Iraq. These documents have helped further our understanding of the enemy, of Saddam’s intentions towards the west as well as his WMD capabilities. Hoekstra is also the guy who (along with Sen. Rick Santorum) not only announced that we had indeed found WMD in Iraq, but issued a public plea to the intelligence community to declassify more WMD-related documents found in Iraq after the war.

In a time when we’re all frustrated with Republicans to varying degrees, remember that Hoekstra’s one of the good apples. Thanks to Pete Hoekstra for being tenacious and on the ball when it comes to getting the information out that we need to know, and trying to keep the information that terrorists would like to know out of the hands of the MSM.

Hat tip: ST reader DS

Update I: Read more via Malkin, Captain Ed, Iowa Voice

Update II: Surprise, surprise. Democrats like Jane Harman are outraged. (Hat tip: Malkin, who flashes back to comments Harman made back in April on Fox News about the leaking of classified documents)

Update 10:02 PM: The Dem staffer has been identified (hat tip: ST reader Stoo in the comments)


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