KATIE ZERR: White House needs to be held accountable

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It is an election year and if the citizens of the United States were not aware of just how important winning is to both Republicans and Democrats, this week was a prime example.

This week former reporter Ed Klein released a book on the Obama White House that shot to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list. “The Amateur” has been the topic of many discussions and depending on what side of the aisle a person sits, it is either the nail in President Obama’s political coffin or 400 pages of hogwash.

Klein is the former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, former foreign editor of Newsweek, and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. The book is said to be based on nearly 200 interviews with people close to Obama, and is said to feature blockbuster disclosures about one of the most secretive White Houses.

According to one reviewer, Klein’s book repeatedly calls the president a failure and a disappointment with regard to domestic affairs, but does not site specific examples.

Others have claimed his methods for gathering information to write the book were unethical and underhanded.

Klein appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity to explain how he threw Hannity under the bus during an interview with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Klein explained his bashing of Hannity and other Fox personalities as a ways to a means of getting Wright to give him inside information on Obama.

Whether or not this book holds any truth, it is an example of what this country will be facing in the next six months.

The battle has just begun.

On the other side of the coin, the New York Times reported earlier this month that the United States is using computer warfare to attack Iran’s nuclear program. David Sanger, the reporter who broke the news, said he learned from sources outside the White House that the so-called Stuxnet computer worm was a joint U.S.-Israeli intelligence effort code-named “Olympic Games.” The effort was started under President George W. Bush and continued by the Obama administration.

The New York Times story about the cyber war on Iran’s nuclear program is based on interviews over an 18-month period with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified.
The program was significantly expanded under the Obama Administration and is America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons. In the summer of 2010 an element of the program accidentally became public because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has harshly criticized the information leak and is asking for an inquiry into whether this is a breach of national security.
On Wednesday morning, Sen. McCain said that the White House released this information in order to present President Obama in the most favorable light.
He said that the White House had confirmed the information as being factual and administration officials at the highest level confirmed these facts.
McCain has called for an investigation into the leaks saying this kind of information that was leaked to The New York Times and other outlets are breaches of national security, otherwise they would not be classified.

McCain may also be playing the politics, but his claims that these leaks should be investigated are valid.

If the Obama White House allowed this information to be leaked to make the administration look good, despite what it means to the program and its future, questions should be asked and answers demanded.

If there is “no harm, no foul,” then the White House shouldn’t have a problem with it. If the Obama Administration endangered an established program that threw a wrench in Iran’s nuclear enrichment plans by releasing these details, then this administration and this president need be held accountable.

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