On Thursday afternoon, senators will be briefed by Administration officials on the recent massive leak of classified documents by the website Wikileaks, a chance for them to ask questions and determine if a legislative remedy is necessary. Several key members made clear that they stand ready to take legislative action, if necessary.
White House officials have said that everything should be on the table in response, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed that sentiment Thursday, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee, "We, as a country, need to make sure this never happens again. We, as a country, should do all we can."
This in response to a question by Sen. John McCain, top Republican on the defense panel, during a hearing on whether or not to repeal the military's current ban on gays serving openly. McCain said he was "concerned" about the leaks and that "someone needs to be held responsible."
Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., joined McCain in expressing alarm at the public release of information that officials have said damaged U.S. national security and put Americans in harm's way. Levin said Congress should act, if necessary, and afterward told Fox, "It may be appropriate. I don't have enough information yet."
The chairman said he would attend Thursday's closed-door, senators-only briefing, which includes top officials from the State Department, Pentagon, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to ask questions, and then make a determination at some point on what Congress should do.
The Justice Department has already announced a criminal investigation into the matter.