Monday, October 22, 2012

He did it again!

You may remember a couple months back when the House Oversight committee was having hearing on the Operation Fast & Furious debacle. You may remember Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of that committee, demanding sensitive documents that he claimed would be used to help the committee better understand the nature of this operation and who to blame. You may then remember that Issa leaked all those documents to the media (specifically, FOX News), a major breach of ethics, discretion, and privacy that caused major backlash. One of the issues was that the documents were never redacted, meaning the names of several individuals who were helping US officials were leaked along with the documents, putting their lives at risk.

Well, he's done it again. During his most recent investigation into the events leading up to and following the attack in Benghazi, Issa demanded and received some 166 pages of documentation about the incident. He promptly handed them all over to the media, once again without having them redacted, and once again exposing Libyan individuals who had helped the US before and after the incident on 9/11/12.

Now, there's plenty of criticism to go around for Benghazi. I would point out, though, that while it is an unfortunate incident that could have been prevented, so was the original 9/11 terrorist attacks, and no one seems to be pointing out that the people who defended Bush in those days are attacking Obama now. In the days and months following the 2001 attacks, anyone who criticized the POTUS for his handling of the situation was blasted from all sides. Now, Obama is presiding over a terrorist attack, and those same people are attacking him for it. Really?

Back to the story at hand. Issa has now given large amounts of sensitive documents to the media on two occassions. He is being skewered for his clear intentions to smear the administration as much as possible. Has no one suggested that he is a national security risk? As I posted earlier this month, he and one of his friends also outed a CIA operation during this hearing as well. It just doesn't seem to stop.

Of course, Issa has not apologized for any of this, and he has his defenders. Many point out that one of the people named in the documents was already known to have been working with the US. Of course, that says nothing of the other names in the documents. They also claim that the timing of this outrage is suspicious, since it is just before a presidential debate on foreign policy. I would argue that Issa's release of documents pertaining to a damaging foreign policy issue so close to a foreign policy debate is also suspicious. So, both sides are playing politics with a mistake made by an incompetent politician.

From this point on, I don't think Issa should be allowed within 10 feet of sensitive documents. He should not be allowed to leak them to the media as a way of trying to attack the administration, and he should not be allowed to use his power as a way of spying on the White House. That's not what he's there for, and not what he should be doing.

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