Thursday, June 7, 2012

Leaky Oval Office

The FBI will find the leaker [psst, he may have an X in his name]                            (c) Rogue Media

Click here for related story [The Hill]

He screwed up again!

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are outraged over unauthorized leaks about intelligence operations.  The result of these leaks is that the operations, operators, methods and sources have been compromised. The FBI has been unleashed to find the leaker.   Senator Feinstein, Chair, wants to create new legislation to prevent further leaks. 

Umm, Senator.  There is plenty of legislation in place. Don't create more. Read the National Security Act of 1947.  It defines and provides penalties for unauthorized disclosures, from minor infractions up to Treason.  No new legislation is necessary. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for their unauthorized leak.

Director of National Intelligence, Jim Clapper, wants to give everyone with access to Top Secret Codeword information a CI Polygraph.  That's a swell idea, but in Congress and the White House, staffers WITH clearances routinely pass sensitive information to their friends and family -- who then, sometimes pass it on to the bad guys.   
[The names Tip O'Neil and Ted Kennedy immediately spring to mind.]

We recall that Private Manning is in prison for the unauthorized release of restricted State Department cables; he will likely not be released any time soon, and there was, briefly, consideration to charge him with Treason.

Hello, NYT! I have another story
So, where did these leaks originate?

Hmm.  Each leak follows the same pattern, designed to gain the maximum publicity for President Obama, and apparently designed to demonstrate that he's a cool dude and knows how to nail the bad guys -- AND as an added bonus, the leaks demonstrate he is a "Friend of Israel." 

When the NYT runs this story, you'll be a hero!

Could the leaks have come from the White House; perhaps from Mr Axelrod?

Unfortunately, our Attorney General isn't about to move on these issues. 

So, Senator McCain has called for a Special Counsel to investigate.  

[We recommend Patrick J Fitzgerald since he did such a bang-up job investigating and indicting the last White House Leaker.]

We believe that an equal amount of energy and diligence should be followed as was employed to find out who "outed" Valerie Plame -- the bogus "spy" [in reality, she was just an Admin flunky] who fraudulently used CIA funds to underwrite her husband's boondoggle to Africa and deliver his classified report to the New York Times?    It shouldn't take a task force to figure this out; we'd suggest that Mr Axelrod be queried first; perhaps he could provide some leads.

[And, didn't Scooter Libby fall on his sword and go to jail to mollify the Mainstream Media and the Democrats?]

So far, the White House intelligence leaks have blown several key operations.

Can I get this DVD for my friend in NY?
In the now famous operation, the Source who provided the location of Osama bin Laden, enabling the SEALs to zap him, followed by international publicity showing the actual operation along with the White House Sit Room, and Obama sitting on the floor looking totally bewildered; possibly because he was just in from the golf course.

The result of that publicity put the SEALs in the cross-hairs of the terrorists, and put their families in danger as well since attacking families is normally how our operatives are neutralized. 

33 Years in prison for helping the US

The Pakistani doctor who fingered Osama suddenly found himself pictured on international television and on the front page of thousands so newspapers -- and the target of Osama's followers.  He was arrested and sentenced to 33 years in prison.

"My lieutenant works for the CIA?"
In another leak, the details of a penetration operation were disclosed, revealing the Target, the Source's relationship with the Target, how the Source had accessed the target, and finally, the follow-on action to eliminate the Target.

All that was missing was the identity/description of the Agent Handler, but that won't be hard for the bad guys to figure out since all they have to do is backtrack all the Source's contacts and narrow the search that way.

So, the cover of the Agent Handler/Case Officer is blown -- a professional intelligence officer who spent years putting this operation together and refining a "cover identity" to support this operation.

All those years of work, the thousands of man-hours by support agents, analysts, and cover specialists  -- blown!  For an instant of publicity for our POTUS - aka: Commander in Chief.

(c) Forbes

Finally, we come to one of the more spectacular intelligence operations, the creation and implementation of Stuxnet, the Virus Worm that disabled the Iranians' alleged nuclear weapons R&D centrifuge program -- the one for which Netanyahu insisted that the US declare war on and attack Iran -- possibly starting World War 3. 

So, the US creates this extraordinary mechanism to disable Iran's R&D computer servers, eliminating the need for a needless attack on Iran and putting our troops in harm's way -- once again to protect our Middle East Ally, amazingly enough, the details appear in the New York Times. 

(c) Veterans Today
The operation remained a secret during the Bush Administration, but, apparently, it became fair game for Mr Obama's reelection campaign.  In this disclosure, and front page story for the NYT, once again Sources and Methods were revealed.

The virus was introduced via a thumb drive brought into the Iranian facility by a recruited Agent, who likely suffered an untimely interrogation and death shortly after the NYT story.

So, an operation that took years to design and create, Access Agents it took years to identify and recruit, train, and support, and the operation itself were all compromised for the benefit of the President's reelection campaign. 

As a footnote to this compromised operation, we learn that our Ally, Israel, which participated in this operation, is believed to have modified the virus, and later inadvertently released it into the Internet -- endangering global IT systems.

We won't venture into the dangers of developing operations as sensitive and potentially disastrous as this with our Allies.  That's a topic for an entirely different discussion.

But, perhaps in an ironic twist,  IBM reports that the even more dangerous virus - Flame - which we described in a separate post, co-developer Israel now has the second largest number of infected computers.

But, we digress.

We were talking about unauthorized disclosures of intelligence information, to include Methods and Sources.

Presidents have been releasing classified information for as long as we've had intelligence operations.  The purpose has always been to manipulate our enemies, and sometimes our allies, using information gathered by our most sophisticated operations.

We recall our first exposure to this when we delivered the morning intelligence brief to a senior Army officer at the Pentagon.  He read the report -- classified at a Top Secret Compartmented level, and then pointed to exactly the same story on the front page of the New York Times. 

The Sources and Methods were not revealed, and the intelligence was simply tied to "...a senior White House official".  The impact of the disclosure of the information caused the Soviet Union to terminate what they thought had been a covert activity.  That is how the "Official Leak" system is supposed to work.  Nothing was compromised, but the Soviets knew we had the capability to monitor their activities.  Their dilemma was that they could not be sure HOW we knew -- which made them extremely paranoid, a bonus in the disclosure.

NSA  Headquarters      (c) Wired
In the current cases, the White House has not only publicized the operations' product, they have disclosed, or rather, publicized Sources, Methods, Access, and the full range of Operational Details, destroying the potential for continuing or enhancing or expanding the operation; the leak endangered all personnel, US and foreign, directly or indirectly involved in the operation.

This is not only stupid and clumsy, it verges on Treason.

As yet, Mr Obama sees Intelligence operations as merely campaign tools.