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Md. U.S. Attorney 1 Of 2 Picked To Lead Government Leaks Probe

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- It's considered a major threat to the safety of the United States. And one of Maryland's top leaders will help spearhead an effort to stop leaks from within the government's own intelligence agencies.

Monique Griego has more on the investigations.

Maryland's U.S. Attorney is one of two men government leaders have appointed. Their job is to find anyone leaking classified information and prosecute them.

Army Pvt. Bradley Manning is accused of knowingly aiding al-Qaeda by providing thousands of classified documents to the whistle-blowing site, WikiLeaks. As he readies to stand trial at Fort Meade, the government is taking steps to find and eliminate any leaks from within.

"Whenever you have leaks it puts us, the United States, in a very bad position. It could risk lives," U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said.

Ruppersberger, a high-ranking member of the House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee, is now applauding a move by the government to fight leaks.

On Friday, the attorney general appointed two U.S. Attorneys to lead a criminal investigation into the releasing of classified details about the War on Terror and other sensitive information. One is from Washington, D.C. and the other is Maryland's Rod Rosenstein.

"He is very confident. He's qualified. He will be very focused. He has a good team of prosecutors and I'm very happy," Ruppersberger said of the appointments.

This week, President Barack Obama came under fire by conservatives who claim his campaign has been leaking sensitive information about the war on terror to influence positive news stories.

The president called the accusations "offensive" and said he had "zero tolerance" for leaks.

"What I'm saying is, is that we consistently, whenever there is classified information that is put out into the public, we try to find out where that came from," he said.

Ruppersberger says the recent leaks are the worst he's seen in his 10 years on the Intelligence Committee.

"This is giving information to the enemy. It's wrong and we have to stop it," he said.

Each U.S attorney will be handling their own separate investigation with the help of the FBI.

The attorney general also said he had full confidence the men would seek justice, wherever it may lead.

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