Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican who is running to unseat Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, on Monday released a radio ad criticizing the Obama administration for leaking classified national security information.
Referring to the leaks as the work of "amateurs" or "traitors," Hoekstra asserts that the White House may have authorized them and criticizes President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for not appointing a special investigator.
"As a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, I know a thing or two about keeping our country safe,” says Hoekstra in the ad. “The latest intelligence leaks that some say are coming from or maybe even authorized by the White House have done serious damage to our national security."
Hoekstra continues, "Anybody who leaks highly classified information is either an amateur who has no idea how much damage they've done or they're traitors to our country."
"I'm troubled by the fact that President Obama and Attorney General Holder refuse to call for a special investigator to get to the bottom of this issue and how once again Debbie Stabenow is just following the president's lead," Hoekstra added.
Republicans and Democrats voiced concern after The New York Times published two recent articles with sensitive information about the president's terrorist "kill list" and the U.S. government's deploying cyberweapons against Iran.
For his part, the president has vehemently denied that his administration would purposefully leak national security information, calling it an "offensive" accusation.
On June 8 the Obama administration appointed two federal prosecutors to investigate the leaks, but Republicans such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have repeatedly called for a special counsel to be named. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party and chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has also said the current investigation does not go far enough.
Hoekstra, who has previously expressed concern about national security leaks, once committed his own blunder in 2009 when speaking to reporters about a classified House intelligence committee briefing. This led irked Democratic committee members to call it a "violation of the rules."
UPDATE: 2:45 p.m. -- The Michigan Democratic Party responded to the ad on Tuesday by launching Pete Leak-A-Lot Hoekstra, a website that includes instances in which media outlets have criticized Hoekstra's leaking of sensitive intelligence.
“Pete Hoekstra has repeatedly been ridiculed in the national media for leaking sensitive information, making this most recent ad breathlessly hypocritical,” states Mark Brewer, Michigan Democratic Party's chair, on the site. “Time and again, Hoekstra has acted with incompetence when it comes to keeping sensitive national security information secret and has shown he can’t be trusted."
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