July 7th, 2017

National security leakers upset at being monitored for leaks

Or something like that.

The premise of this Politico article initially seems so bizarre it’s hard to fathom. The title, “Trump’s leaks crackdown sends chills through national security world,” had me scratching my head and asking, “Isn’t that what’s it’s supposed to do?”

Here are some excerpts:

National security officials across the federal government say they are seeing new restrictions on who can access sensitive information, fueling fears in the intelligence and security community that the Trump administration has stepped up a stealthy operation to smoke out leakers.

Officials at various national security agencies also say they are becoming more concerned that the administration is carefully tracking what they’re doing and who they’re talking to — then plotting to use them as a scapegoat or accuse them of leaks.

One U.S. official voiced concern over even talking to their superiors about a benign call from a reporter. The agency this official works for had started limiting staff’s access to information, they said, and it would make it far easier to figure out who was talking to people in the media.

There was suspicion, the official said, that the agency was even tracking what they printed, to keep tabs on what information they were accessing.

For quite some time there have been an unconscionable number of leaks of national security information from those working in the field. This is not only potentially damaging, it’s often a criminal act. If a person is hired to work in national security, that’s one of many things that person learns at the outset and is expected to respect.

And yet the leaks keep coming, and they are aimed at damaging the Trump administration. Is Trump just supposed to shrug and say “Oh well, all in a day’s work for someone in national security?”

It’s too bad it’s come to this. But what else is the administration to do? The article continues:

In some cases, the official added, information has been so “choked down” that if something comes out in the press, “it’s either a bogus leak” or, the official said, the relevant agency will know exactly where it came from…

But as anxiety grows — and as the fog surrounding the Trump-Russia question gets thicker — there is a tangible fear of the unknown. No one knows how far Trump and his affiliates would go to silence their critics, or the reporters they talk to.

Rumors have ricocheted among national security officials and journalists in recent weeks that Trump- or GOP-related operatives have hired private eyes to try and intimidate reporters, or run rogue operations to find their sources. Some U.S. officials voiced concern to POLITICO that the White House could be seeking out amenable employees in different agencies to do its bidding, effectively sanctioning its own, parallel — and informal — intimidation measures.

The Obama administration was known to be hostile towards reporters’ sources, prosecuting more leak investigations than any of the previous administrations combined. But there was a standard — though still worthy of criticism — that leak prosecutions involved clear and present threats to national security.

Excuse me, but why would it be “worthy of criticism”? Even when Obama the Great did it? My guess is that the press believes it has a right to all information, classified or not, and that leakers are heroes who facilitate their glorious work, and therefore should be allowed free rein.

[NOTE: Boy, I’m sick of writing about the press. But these days, so much seems to come back to issues involving the press.]

12 Responses to “National security leakers upset at being monitored for leaks”

  1. Kyndyll G Says:

    What’s truly terrifying are the comments on that article.

    I honestly cannot see how even the most partisan lefty can defend leaking classified information. (If the roles were reversed, I would still consider it wrong.) Regardless of political orientation of the major players, people with access to classified information face very strict rules about how they access and use that information, and how (if!) it can be shared. Breaking those rules means your job, and probably prison time. How is this in any way controversial?

  2. vanderleun Says:

    “I honestly cannot see how even the most partisan lefty can defend leaking classified information. ”

    The scales need to fall from your eyes. These people are depraved.

  3. Kyndyll G Says:

    Sadly, Vanderleun, I do see. It’s just that the better part of me fails to understand why anyone capable of basic cognition is so willing throw away civilization. The rule of law is one of the foundational planks of Western civilization and it clearly means nothing to them.

    The lesser part of me sees them as depraved pond scum, and that scares me. I don’t want to be like them, seeing all people who disagree with me as an evil, subhuman life form, but every day I get hit over the head with reinforcement that to think otherwise would be unwise.

  4. Tatterdemalian Says:

    They make the same realization Marx did, that civilization, like God, is imaginary. And that means, like God, it is Wrong and Must Be Destroyed in order to progress.

    It helps that Marx’s bible, The Communist Manifesto, is a tried and true plan for doing exactly that, while being hailed by the useful fools as a hero the entire time.

  5. Paul in Boston Says:

    During the second Iraq War the NYT found out that the Bush administration was successfully tracking the jahadis via their bank accounts. Despite pleas by Bush and Cheney to keep it secret they published anyway no doubt thinking in their usual self important way that they were “speaking truth to power” and ignoring the dangerous consequences of what they did. Although what they did wasn’t officially treason it certainly qualified as objectively treasonous and endangered the lives of US soldiers and civilians. No doubt had they and the leakers of the information been prosecuted the whining about their First Amendment rights would have been off scale. I have no sympathy for the press now nor do I think that what they are doing is anything but an attempt to wreck the Trump administration.

  6. steve walsh Says:

    Personally I would like to see more transparency from our government, whether it involves run of the mill government domestic programs or national security matters. And it does seem that much information that is classified is unnecessarily so designated.

    But… BUT…

    What they are talking about is officially classified information, the leaking of which is treasonous; and fully distinct from whistle blowing. Moreover, the leaking appears to me to be 100% motivated by political considerations, not national security concerns, and, in fact, damages rather than improves our national security.

    Find em’, lock em’ up, throw away the key.

  7. The Other Gary Says:

    My guess is that the press believes it has a right to all information, classified or not, and that leakers are heroes who facilitate their glorious work, and therefore should be allowed free rein.

    IMHO, this all derives from the ongoing mass tantrum that began the moment Ms Clinton lost the election.

    The left needed some explanation to justify their crazed, over-the-top hysteria. And their brilliant answer was/is: Trump is Hitler.

    If this is true, then almost any action is justified to stop him or slow him down. A few legal infractions are small potatoes compared to the overwhelming need to Stop Hitler at all costs!

  8. Oldflyer Says:

    Hear. Hear.
    I hope that they are nervous; further, I hope that some leakers are caught, and prosecuted mercilessly.

    I have wondered if there were not a plan to leak bogus information to suspected individuals and then to track its progress.

    I would also like to see the idea that the press is protected by the First Amendment, when publishing leaked classified information, tested before SCOTUS. But, that should probably wait until Trump has made another appointment or two.

  9. n.n Says:

    The press is placing not only the administration at risk, but also Americans and people around the world. Their change of heart with a change in administration is a clear and progressive affront to our Republic, democratic process, and global reform.

  10. AesopFan Says:

    But as anxiety grows — and as the fog surrounding the Trump-Russia question gets thicker — there is a tangible fear of the unknown. No one knows how far Trump and his affiliates would go to silence their critics, or the reporters they talk to.
    * * *
    I guess we’ll find out.
    If you aren’t willing to go to jail for breaking the law, then you aren’t a whistleblower, you’re just a leak.

    I sincerely doubt that President Trump and his administration will do anything more than apply the laws as written — and as they are applied to everyone in America except the Clintons and the NYT.

    The Other Gary Says:
    July 7th, 2017 at 6:00 pm…
    The left needed some explanation to justify their crazed, over-the-top hysteria. And their brilliant answer was/is: Trump is Hitler.

    If this is true, then almost any action is justified to stop him or slow him down. A few legal infractions are small potatoes compared to the overwhelming need to Stop Hitler at all costs!
    * * *
    I’ll believe Trump is Hitler when he starts acting like Hitler.
    Which he has not.

    Poland doesn’t think so either.
    * * *
    steve walsh Says:
    July 7th, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Find em’, lock em’ up, throw away the key.

  11. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Even when Obama the Great did it? My guess is that the press believes it has a right to all information, classified or not, and that leakers are heroes who facilitate their glorious work, and therefore should be allowed free rein.

    [NOTE: Boy, I’m sick of writing about the press. But these days, so much seems to come back to issues involving the press.]

    A press is a printing press. When they deluded Americans into accepting the treasonous concept that a “free press” was a bunch of aristocratic humans that should be given authority on what should and shouldn’t be published, you had already given up the free press.

    The journalist overlords believe they have the right of information, because every time you talk about the “press”, it is an icon of the Authority and Power you as Americans have given them. And they know it.

  12. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The scales need to fall from your eyes. These people are depraved.

    The idea that they are people… is going to be successfully challenged later.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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