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Palin Blasts Obama Administration's "Incompetent Handling" of Wikileaks

Sarah Palin has made plenty of headlines in the past for some of her more memorable choices of words. And she also made headlines this year for creating new ones. After taking heat for using the non-word "refudiate" during an interview on Fox News, the former Alaska Governor defended her choice on Twitter. ""Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!" she Tweeted. AP

While most politicians today focused their criticism on Wikileaks for releasing a quarter of a million classified State Department documents, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin instead took aim at the Obama administration for the leak.

In a Facebook note, Palin wrote the incident "raises serious questions about the Obama administration's incompetent handling of this whole fiasco."

Palin posed a number of questions for the White House. She asked what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from distributing the documents, especially after the site's previous releases of classified materials.

"Assange is not a 'journalist,' any more than the 'editor' of al Qaeda's new English-language magazine Inspire is a 'journalist,'" she wrote, suggesting no action has been taken against Assange. "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?"

Palin suggested the United States should have pressured organizations like NATO and the European Union to help disrupt Wikileaks' technical infrastructure, or instead unilaterally conducted a cyberattack on Wikileaks to dismantle the website. (Wikileaks appears to have servers in countries around the world.) She also asked whether individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks were investigated.

Wikileaks did undergo a denial-of-service attack ahead of its release of the State Department documents, but experts say it was unlikely the attack was carried out by the U.S. government.

Some lawmakers have also remarked that Wikileaks may have "blood on its hands." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today the leaks could endanger human rights workers, journalists or religious leaders who have shared information with the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder today said the leak "puts at risk our national security" and said the Justice Department is conducting an "active, ongoing criminal investigation with regard to this matter" in conjunction with the Defense Department. Holder said the Justice Department is not prepared to release any results of the investigation since it is ongoing.

"To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law and who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described, they will be held responsible," Holder said. "To the extent there are gaps in our laws, we will move to close those gaps, which is not to say, which is not to say that anybody at this point because of their citizenship or their residence is not a target or the subject of an investigation that is ongoing."

Assange is currently under investigation for allegations of rape in Sweden.

No one has been charged with passing the documents to Wikileaks, but suspicion focuses on U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak.

In her post today, Palin also asked how a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to such information.

She acknowledged that the White House has issued orders for federal departments to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks occur, but said the effort had come too late.

Wrote Palin: "Why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part? We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task."

In a press briefing today, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said

the White House is trying to strike a balance between "need to know and the need to share."

"We want soldiers on the front lines of battle to have the most up to date intelligence," he said, adding that controls need to be in place to ensure that the information does not fall into the wrong hands.



Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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