If '06 is Year of the Frog, Old Gray Lady May Be Marching

Today the Justice Department finally opened an investigation into the leak of classified information on domestic surveillance programs.

There have been several predictions for ’06, but after today’s announcement, how about this one…

2006 Will be the Year of the Frog,
And, the “Old Gray Lady” will be marching!

After numerous media leaks jeopardizing national security operations in the past several months, it’s about time!

The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Times revealed the existence of the program two weeks ago in a front-page story that acknowledged the news had been withheld from publication for a year, partly at the request of the administration and partly because the newspaper wanted more time to confirm various aspects of the program.

Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for The Times, said the paper will not comment on the investigation.

Fox News has more on the investigation:

Officials have confirmed to FOX News that the FBI is involved in the investigation, but did not comment on whether other agencies were involved, or when the investigation began. One official has said the referral for the probe came from the NSA.

The White House is planning to hold a press conference at 12:30 EST.

This is interesting, Democratic members of Congress are weighing in:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the members briefed by the administration about the surveillance plan, expressed deep reservations about the program to the vice president in 2003. But he said he also would like hearings into whom leaked the story to reporters at the Times.

Reps. Peter Hoekstra and Jane Harman, the chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, on the House Intelligence Committee, also condemned the leak, saying it hurt national security.

While Harman, of California, said she believes broader oversight is needed of the NSA program, “its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.”

“These politically motivated leaks must stop,” Hoekstra, of Michigan, said in a statement.

The media will be regurgitating that line about Sen. Rockefeller’s statement in 2003 since it was posted on the DNC website. But, after he wrote the short memo in ’03, Rockefeller has been unclear on his security stands. It took Rockefeller over two years to publicly release his memo pertaining to his concerns about surveilance gathering and not until the security leaks were reported in the media.

Republican Senator Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, explained that, “A United States senator has significant tools with which to wield power and influence over the executive branch, feigning helplessness is not one of those tools.”

Yet, democrats claim they want Congress to stop playing politics with National Security!

Michelle Malkin is following the story with continual updates.

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