WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of two recent information leaks that threaten our national security and the well being of our soldiers, allies and coalition partners, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), has called for a hearing on intelligence and information security. This past weekend, 92,000 pages of classified documents were released through the website, WikiLeaks. Earlier this year, a video showing a U.S. military helicopter firing on individuals in Baghdad was also leaked.
Inhofe registered his request for a hearing with a letter to SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“The leaking of this information is a serious offense, and those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Inhofe said. “While everyone is focusing on this particular leak, what is more concerning to me is a seeming trend of leaking information that threatens our national security. Information leaks have long been a problem, and the increased use of technology makes such leaks even easier. Those of us in Congress should do all we can to ensure information security within the various agencies.”
In the letter requesting the hearing, Inhofe wrote, “While the leak of these documents is concerning, the manner in which they were obtained is even more so. We need to learn from these incidents and review and modify current procedures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. Our national security depends on the reliability of our intelligence and information security.
Inhofe also wrote, “I request that a Full Committee hearing be scheduled as soon as possible to address the security of classified documents within the Department of Defense and across national security agencies. This hearing should, at a minimum, address the Department of Defense procedures for the storage and access of classified documents, security clearance screening, physical security of access stations, operational and physical security oversight, counterintelligence efforts and lessons learned from these two recent incidents. Witnesses should include but not be limited to senior security experts from the Department of Defense, as well as appropriate members of the Intelligence community.”