The Corner

Re: Intelligence Leakers

But Kathryn, intelligence leakers have a higher purpose than fighting terror.  Note this excerpt from the American Prospect:

The fact that the agency was leaking isn’t denied by some. “Of course they were leaking,” says Pat Lang. “They [CIA officers] 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.’”

 Some of the intelligence leakers’ greatest defenders are so-called intelligence and national security correspondents.  If they treat the intelligence leakers too skeptically, they risk having their sources dry up.  Employees of intelligence agencies, of course, know they can use such overly ambitious reporters.  Whether authorized by higher-ups or unauthorized, such “leaks” also constitute information ops on U.S. soil.

What I’ve always found amusing is that some of these beat reporters come to rely on sources who stopped working in the community years before.  Two possibilities exist here: (1) The intelligence community is a sieve; or (2) the former intelligence analysts are lying about their contacts.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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