Everyone has something to lose in D.C.'s leak fever

National Journal file photo

Washington is united in outrage over a series of U.S. national security leaks, and it's far from certain who will get burned, but the crackdowns could backfire on the Obama administration, Republicans, Congressional members, and the press. Bending to criticisms that the White House leaked counter-terrorism stories to make President Obama look good, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two Justice Department lawyers to oversee an investigation into the leaks. While Republicans see an opportunity to tarnish the Obama administration's record, the investigation could easily backfire or takedown an unexpected actor. “In many cases, things have veered off in different directions," the Brookings Institution's Thomas Mann tells Politico's Josh Gerstein of previous leak investigations. "There are many cases of people being hoisted on their own petard.” Here's who could end up falling victim to "leak fever" this summer. 

The Obama administration. The White House is indeed nervous of where the investigation could lead, BuzzFeed's Michael Hastings reports. "The Obama White House appears to be entering the kind of perilous Fill-In-The-Blank-Gate terrain that has eventually engulfed most administrations in the modern era." He notes that the investigation could embroil a range of senior administration officials who've had extensive relations with the press, including Leon Panetta, Ben Rhodes, Tom Donilon, Gen. David Petraeus, John Brennan, Jim Jones, General Doug Lute and others. “It’s going to be trouble, “ says Steve Clemons, a policy analyst with ties to the administration, who also works for The Atlantic. “It’s going to be like the search for who leaked Valerie Plame’s name. If the truth does come out, I suspect it will be a major player. Of course the White House is very nervous.”



Read the entire story at the Atlantic Wire.

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