Haggerty accuses Pentagon official of leaking information for political gain

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Since Thursday, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Haggerty has been on a tear against a particular Biden appointee to the Pentagon who the senator says has leaked classified information in an attempt to shield the president from criticism.

Haggerty seems to have been spurred to action after two of his fellow Republican senators, Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Marco Rubio of Florida, alleged that Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, was the Pentagon source who initially leaked to the press that Chinese spy balloons had entered the United States during the Trump administration. 

“Dr. Kahl appears to be spearheading a communications strategy that aims to hide the administration’s early missteps,” Wicker and Rubio wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. They continued, “In addition, soon after the balloon became public knowledge, Dr. Kahl leaked previously classified information to the press about prior Chinese surveillance balloons during the Trump administration. It remains unclear whether this leak was cleared internally through the proper channels. Either way, it was a brazen attempt to shift blame.” 

Haggerty, who opposed Kahl’s appointment when President Joe Biden nominated him in 2021, said he had clarity on the matter and accused Kahl of playing politics with America’s defense secrets. 

“Here we go again: looks like the DOD’s #3 official Colin Kahl is back at leaking classified national security information just to score partisan political points,” Haggerty tweeted Thursday as part of a thread. “Given his track record, this should surprise no one.”

He added, “Colin Kahl cannot EVER be trusted with classified information. It was malpractice for President Biden to place him anywhere near a position of trust.”

In 2021, Haggerty accused Kahl of leaking information both as an advisor to then-Vice President Biden during the Obama administration and as a private citizen on Twitter during the Trump administration. 

Specifically, Haggerty, wrote to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee alleging Kahl had leaked information from a meeting about U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, which Haggerty says Kahl gleaned by soliciting information from former colleagues after he left office, and of sharing “information about the internal processes of the National Security Council not readily available from any open source.” 

“It has become more clear than ever: Colin Kahl cannot be trusted with classified information,” Haggerty tweeted Saturday. “It was malpractice for @POTUS to place him anywhere near a position of trust.”

Regardless of the source or motivation, the timing of the revelation that spy balloons had entered sovereign U.S. airspace during the Trump administration was at least convenient. 

At the time, Biden was under intense scrutiny for his handling of a Chinese spy balloon that entered the U.S. through Alaska and was allowed to float east-by-southeast across the nation before being shot down over the coastal Carolinas.