Document Breach Threatens National Security
OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN
Langevin, Thompson Call For Investigation
"Document Breach Threatens National Security"
WARWICK, RI - Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack, today called on the committee's Republican leaders to immediately start an investigation into allegations uncovered in today's New York Times describing a U.S. government website that posted sensitive details about Iraq's former nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.
"We are keenly aware of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction to our citizens, our interests and our allies, and we have a responsibility to prevent the dissemination of any sensitive documents and information that could be used in a future attack against our homeland," stated Thompson and Langevin. "The U.S. has made it a top priority to safeguard nuclear materials and to prevent terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism from obtaining the materials, technology and information needed to develop their own WMD capabilities and this development seemingly flies in the face of those efforts."
According to experts quoted in the article, the "Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal" contained specific information and detailed instructions about how to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.
"It is ironic that the same Republicans who claim that National Security is their top priority continue to act in ways that make our nation less safe," said Thompson. "Our intelligence community has already told us that our invasion and continued presence in Iraq has resulted in an increase in the terrorist threat against us. Now President Bush, under pressure from Congressional Republicans, has posted sensitive documents that weapons experts have called a "cookbook" for nuclear and chemical weapons on the world wide web for all to see - including terrorists."
Because of the serious concerns raised in the article, Langevin and Thompson asked for an investigation into how such a significant breach occurred, what sensitive information was posted on the website, whether any foreign agents or terrorist organizations accessed the pages, and what potential harm can come from this breach. Additionally, they believe that, no later than the week of November 13, the Homeland Security Committee should hold hearings as well as schedule classified briefings for committee members to provide a candid assessment of the scope of this problem.
"Congress must demonstrate its serious commitment to preventing the proliferation of WMD," continued Langevin. "We need immediate action to examine what failures occurred that led to such a major breach of security."
Office of Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-2)