Mitt Romney’s speech to the VFW convention in Reno will preview at least one national security issue. He’ll beg questions, and demand answers, on how the security apparatus has provided some leaks while “lives of American servicemen were at stake.” From the excerpts:
This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence. Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.
It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”
Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
And let me be clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.
Romney’s definition of “leaks” is extraordinary broad. He’s angry that “secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters,” which mostly refers to conference calls with the press that helped tell the story of the operation – not leaks of how programs worked. But he cites that because the Republican theory has the White House passing on info that makes Barack Obama look like a broadsword-swinging Decider, proof that this team doesn’t take foreign policy seriously. Romney’s ally of convenience is Dianne Feinstein, who’s said “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.” But the two politicians don’t agree about the solution or the scale of the problem.