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Coats Questions Defense Secretary on Intel Leaks

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Location: Washington, DC

Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today questioned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on recent intelligence leaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing. In the hearing, Coats received a commitment from Panetta that the Department of Defense will work with him and his Senate colleagues to review and reassess current procedures to halt the flow of leaks.

During the hearing, Coats asked Panetta to clarify what details were shared with Hollywood filmmakers regarding the Osama bin Laden operation. Coats said, "As CIA director, you had operational control over the bin Laden raid…One of the areas of concern is the accommodation and access given to Hollywood filmmakers regarding the bin Laden raid. It has been alleged that the name of one of our uniformed participants in that raid has been made public. What other details have been shared about that?"

Coats continued, "This comes on the heels of a series of devastating leaks that have compromised very sensitive operations and put people's lives at risk…We're looking at every possible avenue to try to minimize, mitigate and eliminate these types of leaks. We need to thoroughly investigate all this and put in place measures to prevent this from happening in the future."

Panetta denounced the disclosure of classified information and said, "I think it is something that needs to be fully investigated."

Panetta added, "I also want to make clear that no unauthorized disclosures were provided to movie producers or anyone else."

Coats is calling for a thorough analysis of all current policies and procedures surrounding sensitive information and received a commitment from Secretary Panetta that the Department of Defense would participate in such a review.


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