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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, for over 60 years, the United States and Israel have forged a very unique relationship. A friendship built upon trust and shared sacrifice and common values. But our relations with Israel, as with a growing number of long-held alliances, seem to be negotiable with this administration.

A stream of highly sensitive information continues to be leaked to the press--information that includes U.S. and Israeli military and intelligence operational capabilities, as well as classified negotiations between Israel and other countries.

On March 20, The New York Times, citing senior administration officials, reported the conclusions of a classified war simulation conducted by the United States that analyzed an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

On March 28, Foreign Policy magazine, quoting four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers, referred to a report that Israel would be granted access to air bases in Azerbaijan as part of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, a move clearly designed to undercut cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel.

Further degrading Israel's ability to defend itself, The Washington Post's David Ignatius on February 3 reported that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta believes there's a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May, or June, which reportedly sent Iran's air defenses on high alert.

The release of this classified information not only puts at risk fragile negotiations between countries but also the very lives of the men and women called upon to carry out this mission.

I recently traveled to the Middle East, where we met with senior Israeli officials. Their number one concern was that for the first time in our long relationship, United States was releasing classified operational information and capabilities, willfully putting at risk the lives of Israeli people.

Mr. Chairman, our actions are not the actions of a friend or an ally. A couple of weeks ago, I joined with 22 other Members of the House of Representatives and sent a letter to President Obama calling for an investigation into these leaks by senior administration and intelligence officials. We have yet to receive a response.

Now it's no secret that this administration is seeking to dissuade Israel from launching an airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities, but risking Israeli and American lives and undermining our alliance is unacceptable. The Israeli people should not have to question our support for their security.

So I offer this amendment with Representative Pat Meehan and Representative Randy Hultgren. Our amendment calls for the Attorney General to investigate these leaks and bring those responsible to justice. Trust and cooperation are vital to securing a strong alliance and a future of peace. The persons responsible for this breach of faith should be held accountable, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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