Intelligence leaks concern many, but not Obama White House: Officials

Jim Kouri by Jim Kouri on July 30th, 2012

This is article 78 of 128 in the topic National Security

What many intelligence, military and law enforcement officials believe is an out-and-out scandal and one of the most important issues facing this nation — the intentional leaking of classified intelligence for political purposes — received short shrift by members of the news media on Sunday’s national news shows.

National security and homeland security officials in the Obama administration should be outraged at the number of incidents in which “secrets are thrown around like confetti at a parade,” according to an intelligence source who spoke to the Law Enforcement Examiner on the condition of anonymity.

“There are significant questions about the role of the White House with regard to the widespread disclosure of sensitive national security information,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) on Sunday.

Rogers serves as the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Committee is the House’s primary panel responsible for authorizing the funding for and overseeing the execution of the intelligence activities of the various intelligence agencies or the intelligence-gathering components of the military and federal law enforcement.

“I have had serious doubts about the ability of the Executive Branch to investigate itself, but at a minimum, to restore confidence that the White House is not politicizing intelligence, it should immediately explain whether and how it is fully cooperating with the DoJ investigation,” Rogers stated.

“Full cooperation means submitting to interviews and surrendering documents, including phones messages, calendars, and emails revealing contact with the reporters in question. The President should instruct his staff to fully cooperate with the Justice Department,” said Rogers.

While in office, President Barack Obama’s administration has had a number of incidents involving leaked intelligence including the so-called “underwear bomb” operation by a British intelligence asset who managed to infiltrate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and whose cover was “blown.”

During an appearance on Fox New Channel, FNC’s regular intelligence analyst Mike Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit under George W. Bush, said the leaking of British intelligence was “despicable and would make a repeat of the operation [that thwarted an attack] difficult.”

“MI6 should be as angry as hell. This is something that the prime minister should raise with the president, if he has the balls. This is really tragic,” said the refreshingly blunt terrorism expert. He added, “Any information disclosed is too much information. This does seem to be [a leak] for political reasons.”

There are some who believe this episode reduced the trust factor between the U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies in Britain, Israel and other allies. Former military intelligence officer and NYPD detective Michael Snopes claims that intelligence agencies in Israel and Europe believe that the American intelligence and law enforcement communities are too leak-prone.

“There’s always been a problem with politicians and bureaucrats leaking classified information for political purposes, but now it appears to be standard operating procedure,” said Snopes. “In my opinion, that’s what you get when you have a community organizer as your Commander in Chief.”

“After all, it was the White House that rejected calls for a special prosecutor claiming it was unnecessary due to the appointment of U.S. Attorneys. The burden is on the White House to explain how they are fully cooperating with that investigation,” said Rep. Rogers.

“This has gotten more serious over time. Weekly I hear of governments and individuals thinking twice about helping the United States because they fear we cannot keep a secret. The Commander in Chief has a duty to protect the vital intelligence on which our national security depends and to show that he takes his responsibilities seriously by fully cooperating with the Justice Department,” Rep. Rogers said.

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