On Sunday, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said whoever leaked the underwear bomber story must be prosecuted. Does that include White House officials?
We ask because today we learned that the White House may have inadvertently leaked details leading to the disclosure of the joint U.S.-British-Saudi sting operation that foiled al Qaeda's latest underwear bomb plot. It's an uncomfortable revelation for some Democrats who demanded the prosecution of the leaker—the most prominent being Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein. "The leak really did endanger sources and methods," she said on Fox News Sunday. "The leak, I think, has to be prosecuted." We've placed a query to the senator's office asking if she'll call to extend the current investigation of the leak to the White House. (Currently, the investigation ordered by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper only covers the 16 agencies he controls, not the White House or National Security Council.)
The reason this particular leak has been so widely-criticized is because it cut short an incredibly daring and successful intelligence operation: The infiltration of al Qaeda's Yemen branch. Once U.S. headlines screamed that the U.S. had a spy inside al Qaeda's branch, the operation had to be shut down.