Boxer, Ruppersberger condemn release of sensitive information on Libya attack

The move "shows a blatant disregard for safety and appears to put politics ahead of the security of our nation, which could have damaging and deadly results," Ruppersberger, the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement issued the same day. 

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The mounting criticism by Democrats against the release comes as President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney prepare to square off on national security and foreign policy issues in the third and final presidential debate Monday night. 

The Romney camp has slammed the White House for its shifting account of the consulate attack in Benghazi, accusing officials of taking too long to identify the attack on the compound as an act of terrorism and questioning why more security precautions were not taken before the assault.

However, during the second presidential debate last Tuesday, Obama argued he did characterize the Benghazi raid as an act of terror. 

On Sunday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said the disclosure was an "obvious [attempt] to make political hay out of this tragedy" and was another step by Issa's office "in advancing his partisan goals." 

“While I don’t see how Congressman Issa’s will succeed ... what is clear is that the reckless release of the names of Libyans who have worked with us could jeopardize the lives of those individuals and damage U.S. interests," Levin said in a statement. 

Issa came under immediate scrutiny from the Obama administration, even before the committee officially released the cables last Friday. 

On Oct 9, David Adams, State assistant secretary of legislative affairs, warned Congress the communications "contains classified and other sensitive information, including information about the security of U.S. diplomatic missions overseas, foreign government information, and personal privacy information." 

"The unauthorized release of [that information] could cause damage to national security and foreign relations," he wrote in a letter to the House Oversight panel. 

On Sunday, Issa fired back at Democrats, claiming the disclosures had not endangered lives and that the administration was seeking to deflect tough questions about the consulate attack.

“President Obama should be ashamed of yet another example where his administration has been caught trying to mislead the American people about what happened in Libya,” he said in a statement. 

“Obama administration officials and their surrogates are clearly reeling from revelations about how the situation in Benghazi was mishandled and are falsely politicizing the issue in a last-ditch effort to save President Obama’s reelection effort,” Issa added.