08.07.13

Leahy, Graham Send Bipartisan Letter To Secretary Hagel Seeking Accountability Over Security Leaks

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, August 7, 2013) – Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are seeking information from the Defense Department regarding its response to a pair of unauthorized national security leaks, including who will be held responsible for the leaks.

The lawmakers, in a letter sent Monday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, noted that the leaks involving Army Private Bradley Manning and National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden come two years after an executive order establishing accountability measures following revelations of previous security leaks.  While there are guidelines in place to respond to such security breaches, the two Senators wrote, “What does appear lacking [in] the aftermath of both leak cases is accountability.”

“We are not aware of any individuals or organizations that have been held responsible in the Manning or Snowden leak cases,” the lawmakers wrote.  “While preventing unauthorized disclosures is increasingly challenging, the Department of Defense employs a vast security infrastructure under the direction of numerous senior officials for precisely that purpose.  Have any of these individuals or organizations been held accountable, and if so, at what level, in what number, and in what manner?  Finally, what further steps are being taken to reduce the chance of similar incidents occurring in the future?”

Leahy and Graham serve as chairman and ranking member of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations.  They also serve together on the Judiciary Committee, which last week held a hearing focusing on the government surveillance programs that were the subject of some of the recent security leaks. 

A copy of the Leahy-Graham letter to Secretary Hagel is available here.

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