Panetta says the CIA will investigate the Wikileaks leak. That’s good. The leaks were made with the intent to damage the United States and our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the guilty parties should pay the price, up to and including treason for any American officials involved. But, why is the CIA so silent on other leaks? Former Defense Intelligence Agency official W. Patrick Lang admitted a few years ago in the American Prospect that CIA employees were leaking to impact an American election:
The fact that the agency was leaking isn’t denied by some. “Of course they were leaking,” says [former DIA official] Pat Lang. “They told me about it at the time. They thought it was funny. They’d say things like, ‘This last thing that came out, surely people will pay attention to that. They won’t re-elect this man.’”
Certainly, such behavior undercuts trust in the intelligence community. Any honest and incorruptible U.S. intelligence official should be aghast at such things. And yet, Mr. Panetta and his predecessors have shrugged it off. Perhaps Mr. Lang was lying for the sake of getting his name in the paper, and perhaps he was telling the truth. If the later, however, it’s time to determine which intelligence officials believed their personal political predilections justified putting themselves above honor and law.