Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday night appointed two top prosecutors to lead a probe into recent leaks about classified national-security operations.
Ronald Machen, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, U.S. attorney for Maryland, will head the probe, Mr. Holder said Friday.
"I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice wherever it leads," Mr. Holder said.
He added, "The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated."
Mr. Rosenstein was appointed by former president George W. Bush and asked to stay on by President Barack Obama. Mr. Machen is an Obama appointee.
The naming of the prosecutors follows publication a week ago of details about a U.S. cybersabotage program, including the use of a computer worm called Stuxnet, which Iran has acknowledged it found in its computers. The New York Times on June 1 published an account of the U.S. cyberattack operation in an excerpt from a forthcoming book by one of its reporters, David Sanger. He said he had been working on the book for a year. Other news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, followed up with details about the program.
Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said the leaks might have been "an attempt to further the president's political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of our national security." Some Democratic lawmakers also criticized the leaks but said they didn't believe they were politically motivated.
I'm actually kind of relieved to hear this denial. The idea that a political staffer was part of national security meetings was repugnant to me, just as it was when Karl Rove was part of every decision in the Bush White House:
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