WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two top federal prosecutors to lead criminal investigations into the recent leak of U.S. classified intelligence information, acting on a pledge Friday from President Barack Obama that his administration will not permit the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive materials.
The prosecutors – U.S. Attorneys Ronald Machen in the District of Columbia and Rod Rosenstein of Maryland – were tasked to open criminal probes into several recent disclosures after the New York Times printed detailed accounts of cyber warfare, the slaying of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and alleged “Kill Lists” maintained for targeting foreign terrorists.
The White House has come under intense criticism by conservative critics who contend his campaign has been leaking the information to win positive news stories about his efforts protecting the U.S. and fighting global terrorism.
At a news conference Friday, Obama said he has “zero tolerance” for leaks of classified information and that his administration investigates every such instance.
“We don’t play with that,” Obama told reporters.