CybersabotageSophisticated computer viruses have been wreaking havoc with Iran’s nuclearprogram. Flame came from American-...
Aid to Syrian Rebels A June 21 New York Times headline reads, “CIA said to aid in steering arms to Syrian opposition.” The...
Obama’s Drone ‘Kill List’ In May, The New York Times, quoting officials present in meetings with President Obama and his i...
The British Mole  In May, the CIA announced it had foiled a new underwear bombing plot  directed at U.S. airlines and conc...
The Pakistani Doctor Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor, agreed to work with the CIA on a vaccine drive in Abbottabad as pa...
www.aei.org
The top 5 most damaging national security leaks of the past year
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The top 5 most damaging national security leaks of the past year

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  • I note that, even when there is no evidence of involvement by the Obama administration (as in the reporting in the British newspaper, the Guardian and the UK blamed on Pakistan), you imply that it was a leak by the Obama administration. Also, when the Obama administration identified a terrorist bomb plot, it had no way to know that the plotter was a British mole. Our intelligence people did their job successfully and, through no fault of our own intel, the Brits' mole was exposed. It is reminiscent of the 1950s, when there were so many FBI infiltrators in the Communist Party, USA that much of their time was spent informing on each other. It is interesting that you chose to use the passive voice, 'Blame for the leak was pinned on the Obama administration' which allows you too imply administration involvement with no evidence and no provenance. I could just as easily write 'Claims were made that Arthur C. Brooks, President of the AEI (American Enterprise Institute) likes to perform oral sex on small, decomposing road-kill animals at the side of the road in the moonlight.'

    Passive voice and no attribution makes the claim totally useless by any standard of logic or reason. If this is an example of your journalistic or scholarly standards, then no wonder the AEI is so often written off as a 'think tank' that starts with a desirable (to them) conclusion and then builds a torturous chain of logical fallacies to support it.
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  • The top 4 most national security leaks of the past decade.

    1. In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, VP Dick Cheney and General Richard Myers invited Saudi Arabian Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan to examine a highly detailed map of the United States' battle plan for the invasion of Iraq. The plan was detailed enough to show, not just conventional troop dispositions, but the classified positions and routes of insertion of all of the top secret special warfare forces.

    The prince asked if he could have a copy and Cheney said no, but did agree to leave the prince alone with the map for at least 20 minutes. Bandar took extensive notes and, upon leaving, bought a similar map at a local map store and recreated the battle plan from his notes. This was sent back to Riyadh, where the Saudis apparently gave a copy to the Russians, who in turn gave a copy to Saddam Hussein. It was found in one of his palaces after the invasion.

    The report was officially marked TOP SECRET NOFORN (do show to foreigners). There is no way to whitewash this breach of highly classified information and it fits the definition, not just of a leak, but of intentional treason for political gain.

    2. Cheney's office outed CIA covert NOC Valerie Plame, wife of long-time diplomat Joseph Wilson in an attempt to smear Wilson and discredit a report he had written after the CIA asked him to investigate charges that Niger was selling Iraq yellowcake. The original leak came from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to journalist Robert Novak, and was later confirmed by Scooter Libby and others on VP Cheney's staff to NYT reporter Judith Miller. The CIA has confirmed that, at the time she was outed, she was still working as a covert operative in the CIA's department investigating WMD distribution in the Middle East. The CIA has asked 4 times for a special prosecutor to be appointed, but the Bush administration rejected all requests. The result of her outing was that, not only was one of the CIA's top covert experts on WMDs neutralized, but so were all of the agents and contacts in the networks she had built up across the Middle East. In addition, the firm she 'worked for,' Brewster Jennings & Associates, was exposed as a CIA front company that shielded not only Plame but an unknown number (the CIA won't reveal the number) of other clandestine operatives who could easily be traced publicly to Brewster Jennings. All of the NOCs using Brewster Jennings as a cover were similarly compromised and outed. For this act of treason, the only consequence was the trial and conviction of Scooter Libby on relatively minor charges followed immediately by a grant of executive clemency by President Bush.

    3. Just after the 2004 Democratic National Convention, in order to minimize a 'bump' in John Kerry's poll numbers, the Bush administration leaked what it said were photos of buildings in NYC being targeted by al Qaeda and revealed the name of the person who had taken them. The photos turned out to be from 2000, well before 9/11, and did not indicate a current threat. In addition, by leaking the name of the person who gave them the photos, the Bush administration outed the highest-ranking mole that US and UK intelligence had managed to plant in al Qaeda's senior leadership.

    All of these were done, it should be noted, solely for partisan GOP political advantage, with, it would appear, not the slightest concern for the damage done to our national security by each of these leaks.

    4. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, members at the time of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), were tried and convicted of conveying classified U.S. information to Israel. Although Rosen (a founder of AIPAC) testified that numerous Bush officials used back channels to feed classified data through AIPAC to Israel, the only administration person to be tried and convicted was one of SecDef's aides, Larry Franklin. Rosen continues to insist that classified intelligence was routinely fed to Israel through AIPAC and has named Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Steven Hadley, and other top administration officials of either being directly involved or of approving of the ongoing violations of National Security.

    Please keep these overt and intentional acts of treason by the highest officials in the Bush administration, damaging our national security for their own benefit, when you start throwing out sensationalist stories like the one this post is commenting on.
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The top 5 most damaging national security leaks of the past year

  1. 1. CybersabotageSophisticated computer viruses have been wreaking havoc with Iran’s nuclearprogram. Flame came from American-Israeli collaboration, sources like a“former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official” told The Washington Post. Thisfollowed a similar revelation about the Stuxnet virus in the June 1 edition ofThe New York Times.
  2. 2. Aid to Syrian Rebels A June 21 New York Times headline reads, “CIA said to aid in steering arms to Syrian opposition.” The article, quoting Arab and American officials, detailed CIA efforts to gather intelligence on Syrian opposition groups and keep weapons headed for Syrian rebel fighters out of terrorists’ hands. The revelations, however, likely complicated both tasks by compromising sources as well as U.S. intelligence officials.
  3. 3. Obama’s Drone ‘Kill List’ In May, The New York Times, quoting officials present in meetings with President Obama and his inner circle, revealed that Obama approved every name on the secret terrorist “kill list.” Newsweek also published an excerpt from Daniel Klaidman’s new book, “Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency,” which discussed, among other details, how Obama, Gen. James Cartwright and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan collaborated on approved targets.
  4. 4. The British Mole In May, the CIA announced it had foiled a new underwear bombing plot directed at U.S. airlines and conceived by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The good news quickly turned into a PR fiasco, however, after The AP reported that the bomber wasn’t captured, but was, rather, a mole recruited by British intelligence. Not surprisingly, the British were unhappy that their asset was revealed. Blame for the leak was pinned on the Obama administration.
  5. 5. The Pakistani Doctor Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor, agreed to work with the CIA on a vaccine drive in Abbottabad as part of a plot to obtain DNA from Osama Bin Laden’s family. For his efforts, Afridi was rewarded with having the plot and his identity published in The Guardian as well as being sentenced to 33 years in a Pakistani prison. Rep. Peter King, R- N.Y., blamed the Obama administration for the leak, though officials insist the Pakistanis spilled the beans.
  6. 6. www.aei.org

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