Comment Last Three
October 07, 2010
Treason used to mean something. People were sent to jail or executed for betraying our nation and leaking classified material. Now, individuals are not concerned about any legal or criminal action from leaking military or government classified documents. Look at Sandy Berger who was given a slap on the wrist for his actions or the soldier who sent Wikileaks information on the war or Congressmen who leak material for political purposes. As a retired military officer, I understand the oath I took, the reason for classification of documents, and the responsibilities of government workers who handle these types of documents.
The President says that he is angry over recent public disclosures of classified information in Washington and the intelligence community is re-evaluating the post-Sept 11 push for greater intelligence-sharing. Why doesn't the Department of Justice go after the individuals who leak classified materials?
The top intelligence officers in the various government agencies have an impossible job of securing documents if the system does not work and the rules are NOT enforced. "We are working on information-sharing initiatives across the board," Mr. Clapper said in a speech. "But the classic dilemma of need to share versus need to know is still with us. And I would observe that the Wikileaks episode represents what I would consider a big yellow flag. I think it is going to have a very chilling effect on the need to share."
The remarks at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington came in sharp contrast to his predecessors who called for increased information among the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, the need for greater interagency intelligence-sharing was a key feature of not only the Sept. 11 commission's final report, but later reviews of U.S. government lapses in attacks like the Fort Hood massacre and the near bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet on Dec. 25.
Wikileaks, a website that gathers and releases internal documents, made public in July thousands of U.S. military field reports from Afghanistan that included sensitive information, such as the identities of Afghan nationals who spied for the United States. The disclosures prompted the Taliban militia to announce a campaign to find and kill so-called collaborators.
Mr. Clapper said the leaks are upsetting Mr. Obama. "I was at a meeting yesterday with the president," he said. "I was ashamed to have to sit there and listen to the president express his great angst about the leaking that is going on here in this town." Well, what are you going to do Mr. President? Will you take action or just use the teleprompter for political speech?
It is time to start enforcing our rules and laws pertaining to individuals who leak classified materials. Real lives are at risk--this is not politics as usual.