Monday, March 6, 2006

Leak Much?

New Anti-Intelligence Leak Initiatives Adopted by Gov't
American Chronicle
, Jim Kouri, March 5, 2006

The United States government and its intelligence community are adopting a series of initiatives to discourage government employees from leaking classified information to journalists, The Washington Post reported in its Sunday edition.

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, the Post said.

During the Bush Administration, a nexus of politicians, government workers and members of the news media have worked overtime in leaking classified information. From the secret terrorist prisons to the National Security Agency's super-secret surveillance program, intelligence officials and the Bush Administration have had to watch their counterterrorism efforts neutralized for political reasons.

Special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently interviewed dozens of employees at the CIA, the NSA and other intelligence agencies as part of an intense and wide-reaching investigation. Many employees who possess security clearances at the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department and other agencies received letters from the Justice Department forbidding them from discussing even unclassified intelligence programs.

But people such as former deputy-undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin don't think the Justice Department investigators and prosecutors have the guts to indict a US senator. Babbin said it would cause a battle royal on the Hill, if not a constitutional crisis.

He did say, however, that any senator or Congressional staffer that holds a security clearance can be asked at any time to take a polygraph. The individual can of course refuse to take the test, but failure to do so is reason to remove that person's security clearance. Babbin further said that Senators Rockefeller, Durbin, and Wyden, and some on their staffs will soon be requested to take polygraphs.

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