Sunday, Sep 21, 2014
Columns

Leaky and leakier

Staff
Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 04:14 PM

New Washington ad: Wanted Master Plumber to help stop security leaks.

It will take more than a plumber to stop the flow of security information that has been emanating from some high administration officials. The president goes on TV to say he is offended by the suggestion that leaks are coming from "my White House."

However, when some of the information was known by only a handful of administration people like the bin Laden raid and details show up in the N.Y. Times it's a sure bet that the Times isn't bugging the situation room.  

It was reported that then Secretary of Defense Gates spoke to Obama's counterintelligence chief John Brennan and told him to keep his (expletive) mouth shut. That was one of the so called leaks which named Shakil Afridi as having assisted the U.S. in finding bin Laden.

His reward was arrest and conviction and then sentencing to 33 years in prison. If that is this administration's way of rewarding those who risk their lives to help us I suspect new recruits will be hard to come by.

There was the leak about the "underwear bomber" uncovered by an operative in Saudi Arabia who apparently had infiltrated al-Qaida and foiled that plot but the operative had to be taken out of the area and brought to the U.S. That ended our chances for gathering more Intel from that source.

Then there was a detailed account in the New York Times regarding how the president was picking targets for "Drone" attacks from a classified "kill list." Then again in the N.Y. Times a story detailing a so-called program called Olympic Games which was structured to mess-up Iran's nuclear program using computer viruses.

The story cited government sources as the authority for the story which went on to detail information on the here-to-fore unknown operation. That information is in the open now as is the involvement of our Israeli intelligence allies; nice going N.Y. Times and administration leakers.

There are more leaks but now Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two U.S. Attorneys to investigate the reported leaks for criminal prosecution. Let's hope that his appointees do a better job than he has in prosecuting the "Fast & Furious" debacle.

Interestingly there is criticism on both sides as Republicans and Democrats have expressed outrage at the leaks of sensitive information which compromise U.S. security interests. The claims of the administration being behind the leaks to enhance the president's image will be hard to prove unless there is a whistle blower willing to put country above politics.

We will see just how effective this investigation will be if it is concluded before Election Day 2012 or if it is just another white wash as so many previous investigations were. It needs to be given the intensity that was behind the Plame situation when the press had hundreds of stories about poor Valerie. But then that's because there was a Republican administration in power.  


Len Tria, a regular columnist for Hernando Today, lives in Spring Hill and is a former Hernando County commissioner.
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