The Media Hypocrisy Over Trump’s Intelligence Leak

The media are in a froth over reports that President Trump revealed sensitive intelligence from a liaison partner to the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador.  The New York Times reports:

President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday. If true, the disclosures, which appear to be inadvertent, are indeed a disaster.

The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump … was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies….

Sharing the information without the express permission of the ally who provided it was a major breach of espionage etiquette, and could jeopardize a crucial intelligence-sharing relationship. In fact, the ally has repeatedly warned American officials that it would cut off access to such sensitive information if it were shared too widely, the former official said. In this case, the fear is that Russia will be able to determine exactly how the information was collected and could disrupt the ally’s espionage efforts.

What the Times describes, if true, is indeed a disaster.

But it’s hard to take seriously their sudden concern over the “disaster” of exposing sources and methods – including the identity of intelligence partners – from the same news outlets that regularly, and intentionally, published highly classified intelligence in recent years, based on leaks from the Obama administration.  The Times and other news outlets regularly published “disastrous” stories which damaged US national security and exposed the involvement of US partners.

Consider just a few illustrative examples….continue reading

 

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