US senator slams White House over cyber leaks

Jun 02, 2012

US Senator John McCain on Saturday accused President Barack Obama's administration of leaking details of a reported cyber attack on Iran and other secret operations to bolster the president's image in an election year.

"Again we see these leaks to the media about ongoing operations, which is incredibly disturbing. Doesn't this give some benefit to our adversaries?" McCain told reporters in Singapore, where he was attending a summit on Asian security.

McCain, who was defeated by Obama in the 2008 presidential election, said there had been ill-advised leaks previously that revealed details of the US raid last year that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other operations.

"We know the leaks have to come from the . And so we're at the point where perhaps we need an investigation," said McCain, the most senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"So this is kind of a pattern in order to hype the national security credentials of the president and every administration does it. But I think this administration has taken it to a new level."

The New York Times reported Friday that Obama accelerated cyberattacks on Iran's using the Stuxnet virus, and expanded the assault even after the virus accidentally made its way onto the Internet in 2010.

The operation, begun under president George W. Bush and codenamed "," is the first known sustained US ever launched on another country, employing malicious code developed with Israel, according to the Times.

McCain said he believed the US president had authority to launch such an attack.

"But I also believe that it would be helpful if he talked to a select few leaders of Congress. Most presidents have done this," he said.

The White House "never" briefed lawmakers on the assault, he said.

The Times said its report was based on 18 months of interviews with current and former US, European and Israeli officials, and was adapted from the book "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power," by David Sanger, set to be published next week.

The cyberattack, aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, sowed widespread confusion in Iran's Natanz nuclear plant, the newspaper said.

Explore further: Twitpic to stay alive with new owner

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama stepped up cyberattacks on Iran: report

Jun 01, 2012

US President Barack Obama accelerated cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear program and expanded the assault even after the Stuxnet virus accidentally escaped in 2010, the New York Times reported Friday.

Iran 'mobilizing' for cyberwar with West: experts

Apr 26, 2012

Iran is busy acquiring the technical know-how to launch a potentially crippling cyber-attack on the United States and its allies, experts told a congressional hearing on Thursday, urging the US to step up ...

Report: Iran's paramilitary launches cyber attack

Mar 14, 2011

(AP) -- Iranian hackers working for the powerful Revolutionary Guard's paramilitary Basij group have launched attacks on websites of the "enemies," a state-owned newspaper reported Monday in a rare acknowledgment from Iran ...

McCain calls for special cybersecurity panel

Jul 13, 2011

Veteran US Senator John McCain on Wednesday urged the creation of a special Senate committee on cybersecurity and electronic intelligence leaks to cut through legislative delays to crafting a US response.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

Sep 17, 2014

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
And what reasonable intelligent person anywhere in the world did not know that the US and the Isrealis and probably others were involved. Who cares?
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
I am quite sure that I would not want to be associated with a criminal act of sabotage against another country that was essentially a failure, and provided that nation with the blueprints of the very weapon used against them.

Suxnet was an act of American and Israeli state sponsored terrorism. Nothing more.