Patterico's Pontifications

7/8/2006

Another Leaker Damages Our Counterterror Efforts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:01 am



Another leaker has damaged our ability to catch terrorists. This time, someone prematurely disclosed the effort to catch those plotting to blow up the PATH train between Manhattan and New Jersey. Now we won’t catch everyone involved.

As is always the case with major stories on terrorism issues, Cori Dauber has excellent coverage.

They need to find the leaker and fire him (or her), at a minimum. Assuming classified information was disclosed, there should be a prosecution. I don’t care if it was Karl Rove himself. And the Daily News bears a heavy measure of responsibility as well. There are specific terrorists whom we could have caught, and now they are going to remain on the loose because of some damn loudmouth.

I’m sick of this happening again and again. This was just one operation, and not an entire program as happened with the Swift disclosures. But it’s symptomatic of an ongoing and very serious problem. I want to see Adminstration action on this, immediately.

27 Responses to “Another Leaker Damages Our Counterterror Efforts”

  1. The Daily News is on the other side.

    actus (6234ee)

  2. Bill Keller — Damn Yankee — Now I Know What That Really Means!…

    Although Oklahoma was not in the deep south, when I was growing up it seemed like for many there the civil war was still being fought. I often heard utterances of “damn Yankees”, especially in reference to folks from New England, and in particular to…

    OKIE on the LAM (e2cef7)

  3. A blogger who disclosed the tunnel threat would be:

    a) canonized
    b) arrested
    c) booked on O’Reilly
    d) b & c
    e) laughed out of the club

    steve (6810ef)

  4. Fire him? Disclosing an ongoing criminal investigation is not obstruction of justice?

    nk (d5dd10)

  5. First get everyone at the newspaper before a grand jury – when they clam up throw them all in jail until someone gives up the traitor/traitors in our government. Then charge, try and convict them of treason. Send a few of our public servants to jail for a decade or two and bureaucrats will start to honor their oath of office.

    Ray Simpson (75a3b5)

  6. What is curious to me is why our Counter Intelligence guys are not all the way around the leakers. This is exactly what they are supposed to stop.

    Pierre Legrand (3951c6)

  7. Then charge, try and convict them of treason

    How do you know they’re treasonous?

    actus (6234ee)

  8. If what they do gives aid and comfort to our enemies, isn’t that treason?

    sharon (fecb65)

  9. If what they do gives aid and comfort to our enemies, isn’t that treason?

    Is that what you got from the constitutional definition? because you’re missing the part on “adherence.”

    actus (6234ee)

  10. Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].”

    And if you don’t like “treason,” surely it could be “espionage.”

    “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
    For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

    Besides, I’m not convinced that thwarting our attempts to catch terrorists isn’t adherance to something.

    sharon (fecb65)

  11. actus,

    Do the people of the US have the right to create laws that classify certain government information as secret?

    Yes or no, please. It is an easy question.

    Bostonian (69704e)

  12. The suicidal tendencies of the Times…

    Eric Lipton must be suffering from depression and anxiety over the Government’s recent rollup of terrorists caught plotting to destroy PATH tunnels in and around Manhattan. How else to explain his (each hand holding up two fingers) news story entitle….

    Doug Ross @ Journal (59ce3a)

  13. If you’re looking for the leaker, look no further (until proven otherwise) than the two NY senators that have raised such a stink about the new funding from DHS.
    Do you really think that Schumer would (sort of) praise the Intel community if it had not been a NYC plot?

    themarkman (d8d7a6)

  14. “Treason” casts a wide net and I gather the case law is unsettled with respect to publishing.

    Imagine worst-case examples and work backward.

    Worst: Islamofascists publish data on active investigations from a stolen CIA laptop.
    Least: Major daily tipped that a missile really did hit TWA 800 and arrests are imminent.

    Both impact national security and ongoing case work. In the TWA example, does the paper print only with the FBI or U.S. Attorney’s permission? Their on-record reply may be officially “no” even though the leak had their implicit knowledge. I agree recklessness is abroad in the media, but drafting rules and sanctions is not a simple task.

    [Hey steve, did you see the update to the post about “pushback”? Looks like Luke Ford was dead-on when he used the phrase as a quote from Baquet. He recorded it, and you can listen to the audio yourself. — P]

    steve (6810ef)

  15. Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].”

    Did you try going to the constitution? That seems more controlling than a dictionary.

    Besides, I’m not convinced that thwarting our attempts to catch terrorists isn’t adherance to something.

    Right. A sensational free press with big screaming headlines.

    Do the people of the US have the right to create laws that classify certain government information as secret?

    Sure. But there are limits to what information, and to how this classification scheme can be enforced.

    actus (6234ee)

  16. Actus, so are you arguing that the present laws are somehow unconstitional?

    Bostonian (69704e)

  17. Actus, so are you arguing that the present laws are somehow unconstitional?

    Which present laws? I’m tempted to think that the prosecution of those Israel lobbyists is probably over the line — as in I have constitutional doubts about itw. But I don’t know many of the facts of the case.

    actus (6234ee)

  18. Well, gosh, actus, I am having a hard time understanding you.

    What exactly is your defense of the Daily News?

    Bostonian (69704e)

  19. What exactly is your defense of the Daily News?

    That they didn’t commit treason. And that the constitution protects what they did in terms of any laws about information. Specially if their motivation was the publication of a news scoop, rather than the thwarting of an investigation.

    actus (6234ee)

  20. Uh-huh.

    Please encourage everyone on your side of the aisle to make this case as often as possible, as loudly as possible.

    That ought to ensure your minority status for a good generation or so.

    Bostonian (69704e)

  21. That ought to ensure your minority status for a good generation or so.

    I’m not so sure about the rest of people. I’m not so concerned about my “side” and minorities when it comes to my principled view of freedom. Not when it comes to the constitution, whose rights protections are meant to be counter-majoritarian. Others may want to take the easy popular position. But thats just part of the struggle, part of why our rights come from struggle, not anything else.

    Whats your problem with the Daily News?

    actus (6234ee)

  22. This was a response to a post on various leaks at PowerLine, I think it fits this thread:

    As to the leaking of sensitive info from the government as a battle to influence internal policy: The only way to stop leaking is to have an “Official Secrets Act” and to enforce it with a “double-0 bureau”. Just like any mob, you don’t have to kill everyone, just the first couple through the door. Everybody else gets the message very well. There has to be some meaningful consequence to the breaking of oaths that result in serious damage to government (and in the case of our fight against IslamoFascism) and civilization. If Western Civilization ceases to exist, what good is the system of laws and its’ processes?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  23. As to the leaking of sensitive info from the government as a battle to influence internal policy: The only way to stop leaking is to have an “Official Secrets Act” and to enforce it with a “double-0 bureau”.

    I dont’ get it. What sort of information are they talking about making into ‘official secrets.’ And does someone at powerline want people to get killed? journalists or leakers? Its ambiguous.

    actus (6234ee)

  24. “someone at powerline” is me. If you don’t know what info comes under the auspices of an “Official Secrets Act”, I would suggest that you do some research. An OSA is used against the publicizers of the leaks, the leakers themselves get taken care of quietly (jeez, didn’t you ever watch “Condor”?). BTW, didn’t someone of some import once say that the Constitution is not a suicide pact?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  25. BTW, didn’t someone of some import once say that the Constitution is not a suicide pact?

    We haven’t committed suicide.

    An OSA is used against the publicizers of the leaks, the leakers themselves get taken care of quietly (jeez, didn’t you ever watch “Condor”?).

    So you want people killed?

    actus (6234ee)

  26. If you commit treason, the penalty is death.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  27. If you commit treason, the penalty is death.

    Ok, but who has committed treason here?

    actus (6234ee)


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