The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.
In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.
Numerous employees at the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and other agencies also have received letters from Justice prohibiting them from discussing even unclassified issues related to the NSA program, according to sources familiar with the notices. Some GOP lawmakers are also considering whether to approve tougher penalties for leaking…
In July 2003, Scooter Libby, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, knowingly and intentionally leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative who had worked for years investigating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to numerous reporters. He compromised not only the safety of individual American intelligence agents, not only an entire intelligence gathering aparatus, but the safety of each and every American.
This is the big nightmare. The one with which the Bush administration scared the nation into a war with Iraq--tearists could get a WMD and kill millions of Americans!
And Scooter Libby, the Chief of Staff of the Vice President of the United States, leaks classified information and makes that nightmare that much more possible. Intentionally. And why? To punish Joe Wilson. Because he wrote an Op/Ed piece that Karl Rove didn't like. For political purposes.
And, don't forget, Libby just didn't intentionally leak classified information--he was authorized to do it.
And don't be confused. This wasn't whistleblowing. There was no noble purpose. These guys hadn't wrestled with some internal conflict between their desire to behave lawfully and their innate sense of what is right or wrong.
They broke the law, compromised national security, and put you and your family's lives at risk for no other reason than it gave them a hard-on to totally ratfuck some guy who said something they didn't like. The Chief of Staff of the Vice President was authorized to leak classified information which might get people killed, might get millions of Americans killed, for no other reason than to wreck Plame's career, fuck up Wilson's marriage, and intimidate critics of this administration.
These Bush jokers leaked highly classified information to stop people from talking about stuff that wasn't classified.
That's how concerned they are about classified information.
Well, that's not really how unconcerned these jokers are. The White House intentionally leaked classified national security information in July of 2003, and no one--particularly not the White House--did shit about it until the CIA lodged a formal complaint and forced the Justice Department to investigate the leak. Two months later.
And how did the White House, which is so concerned about the leaks of classified information assist this incredibly important investigation? Well, they denied they had anything to do with it. Which turned out to be objectively untrue. And they also destroyed evidence pertaining to an investigation they knew had begun.
To beat it into the ground, two things:
One: if a dirty bomb or a suitcase nuke goes off in downtown Manhattan, the Bush administration was more than willing to risk those American lives to send a stupid, petty political message. And;
Two: these guys not only don't give a fuck about leaks of classified information, they encourage those leaks when it benefits them and break the law to frustrate any attempts to discover who compromised our national security.
Presidents have also long complained about leaks: Richard Nixon's infamous "plumbers" were originally set up to plug them, and he tried, but failed, to prevent publication of a classified history of the Vietnam War called the Pentagon Papers. Ronald Reagan exclaimed at one point that he was "up to my keister" in leaks.
See a pattern here? Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. Really concerned about leaks. Nixon was concerned about leaks that ultimately led to his resignation for being a criminal. Reagan was concerned about leaks, which led to congressional investigations into the widespread criminal behavior of his administration. And, now, Bush is concerned about leaks.
Gee, why do you think that is?
Because he's been breaking the law for the last five years?
Bush administration officials -- who complain that reports about detainee abuse, clandestine surveillance and other topics have endangered the nation during a time of war -- have arguably taken a more aggressive approach than other recent administrations, including a clear willingness to take on journalists more directly if necessary…
Sorry. I guess I got too partisan and emotional there! Bush administration officials have been complaining to the "liberal" media that leaks jeopardize our incredibly important torture programs, our secret prisons, and the spying on Americans.
In other words, the Bush administration is totally pissed off that somebody keeps telling journalists that Bush and his whole rotten administration keeps breaking the law.
At Langley, the CIA's security office has been conducting numerous interviews and polygraph examinations of employees in an effort to discover whether any of them have had unauthorized contact with journalists…
I guess, then, we can expect Cheney and Bush and Rove to all undergo polygraph examinations regarding whether they ordered or approved or even knew of Scooter Libby leaking highly classified national security information. I guess Bush, who is so concerned about national security leaks, will be more than happy to undergo a polygraph to determine if he authorized such a leak, or whether he knew who leaked such information when he denied any knowledge of the leaker to both the American people or to FBI investigators.
But the vice chairman of the same committee, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), complained in a letter to the national intelligence director last month that "damaging revelations of intelligence sources and methods are generated primarily by Executive Branch officials pushing a particular policy, and not by the rank-and-file employees of the intelligence agencies."
As evidence, Rockefeller points to the case of Valerie Plame, a CIA officer whose identity was leaked to the media. A grand jury investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald resulted last year in the jailing of Judith Miller, then a reporter at the New York Times, for refusing to testify, and in criminal charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who resigned as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff. In court papers, Libby has said that his "superiors" authorized him to disclose a classified government report.
Bring it on, bitches. Let's polygraph everyone.
I'm sure the Preznit won't object. He's already told us that he had nothing to do with breaking the law. And he's telling us now that the secrecy of classified information--whether or not it has been even remotely shown to protect the American people at all--is so crucial to winning the War on Terra that government officials need to submit to polygraphs to determine their involvement in these leaks.
Fine. So be it. If it has to be done, it has to be done.
You go first, Bush. You. Then Cheney. Then Rove.