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Ex-special ops group hit Obama over leaks

Aug. 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A group of former special operations and CIA officials are accusing U.S. President Obama of leaking information about security matters for political advantage.

The group, the Special Operations Opsec Education Fund, in a 22-minute video, "Dishonorable Disclosures" featured on its Web site, accuses Obama of leaking information about the raid that led to the death of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden, among other things, The New York Times reported Thursday.

While describing itself as non-partisan, some of the organization's leaders have been involved in Republican campaigns and the Tea Party movement, and its message seems to be directed at the president by repeating charges made previously by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans, the Times said.

The Obama campaign compared the effort to the "Swift Boat" campaign against Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the 2004 presidential campaign, which attacked Kerry's military record in Vietnam.

Security officials and congressional members have criticized leaks about classified operations under Obama, and some Republicans complained about news briefings on the bin Laden raid and help provided filmmakers making a movie about it. The administration also has overseen a number of prosecutions for press disclosures. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in June directed two U.S. attorneys to investigate leaks discussed in the Opsec video.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told the Times Republicans "are resorting to Swift Boat tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, [presumptive GOP presidential nominee] Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric. His two major foreign policy speeches never even mentioned al-Qaida once, and he hasn't outlined a plan for America's relations with a single region of the world."

Chad Kolton, a spokesman for Opsec, said the organization's tax classification as an educational group means it isn't required to identify its donors.

Kolton also dismissed comparisons with Swift Boat advertisements, saying they reflected a difference of opinion about Kerry's war record. The Opsec group's purpose is to speak out against leaks and the politicization of the Navy SEALs and the CIA, he said.

"I realize you see a lot of criticism directed at the Obama administration. But that's the current administration," Koltron said of the video.

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