Republicans Call for Probe of Intelligence Leak on 'Black Sites'

By Melanie Hunter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and House Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) are circulating a letter calling for an investigation into who leaked information on secret U.S. interrogation centers, or "black sites," to the media.

The probe stems from a Nov. 2 Washington Post report on the existence of secret prisons in Eastern Europe used to hold terrorism suspects. The Bush administration has not confirmed or denied the report.

If Hastert and Frist "are finally ready to join Democrats' demands for an investigation of possible abuses of classified information, they must direct the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to investigate all aspects of that issue," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

According to Pelosi, "that includes the possible manipulation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq, and the disclosure for political purposes of classified information involving the identity of the CIA officer." She said "there is plenty to investigate" about the administration's "use and misuse of intelligence."

The letter, obtained by the Associated Press and sent to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), said if the report is true, "such an egregious disclosure could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks."

The letter questions what "the actual and potential damage" is to U.S. national security and the national security of "our partners in the global war on terror."

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