A senior U.S. intelligence official with close ties to top Democratic Party and White House personnel provided the following assessment of the ongoing scandal involving leaks of classified material to the New York Times and other news outlets, to bolster President Obama's credentials as a "tough on terrorism" leader. The source confirmed that at least eight U.S. intelligence community case officers have provided assessments to the House Intelligence Committee on the magnitude of the damage done by the series of recent leaks.
The source traced the origin of the leaks campaign to the mounting desperation in the Obama campaign over the past months, as Obama's lead among women voters eroded after his same-sex marriage statements, and his attacks on Mitt Romney over his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital badly backfired. According to the source, at that point, the Obama campaign operatives concluded that they could not just attack Romney. They had to promote President Obama's accomplishments. The only area where they could actually tout any accomplishments was in the area of covert intelligence operations. Out of desperation, they leaked the stories to the media—and things totally blew up in their faces. Now, the scandal "has real traction," and Obama only made things worse at the end of last week by claiming that he was "outraged" at being accused of having anything to do with the leaks. He went so far as to say that no one in his White House had anything to do with the leaks and they had nothing to do with politics or the reelection campaign. Similar words were spoken by Richard Nixon right after the arrests of the Watergate burglars, and those words came back "to bite him in the ass."
The source noted that the leaks could have come from the campaign organization—given that David Axelrod was attending some of the Tuesday "kill list" sessions, even though he is no longer in the government. Whether it was via the campaign apparatus or the White House staff, the source concluded, "it came from Obama. And it is going to be very hard for the President to dodge this."