At Turkey's insistence, Israel was not invited to the June 7 meeting in Istanbul of the new Global Counterterrorism Forum. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) wrote to Secretary of State Clinton on Monday to protest the Obama administration's decision to exclude Israel from the new forum. "As you know, there are few countries in the world that have suffered more from terrorism than Israel, and few governments that have more experience combating this threat than that of Israel," they wrote.
"Obviously the U.S. is looking to adhere to the wishes of Turkey," said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. "But since this is a U.S.-sponsored event, hosted in Turkey, the U.S. should not be listening to anybody about whom they should or should not invite." (Foreign Policy)
and MUCH WORSE THAN THAT
News reports on Tuesday disclosed that the FBI is probing the leaking of information about a classified U.S. cyberattack program aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, but a close look at recent developments uncovers a broad and disturbing pattern of leaks of some of the nation’s most guarded secrets by the Obama administration.
|This photo taken on July 9, 2010 shows Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi. |
Defense Secretary Bob Gates, for one, was shocked.
“Too many people in too many places are talking too much about this operation,” Gates said, adding that the level of disclosures and blabbing violates an agreement reached in the White House Situation Room on May 8, 2011, to keep details of the raid private.
“That lasted about 15 hours,” Gates said with chagrin.
Then came disclosures that directly revealed secrets helpful to the enemy, that could endanger lives, and undermine trust by other countries and potential informants in U.S. intelligence operations.
Soon after the bin Laden raid, word began leaking to the press that a Pakistani doctor had helped the CIA operation.
In fact, Dr. Shakil Afridi reportedly provided critical intelligence on the location and identify of the al-Qaida leader. He had set up a fake vaccination program to obtain DNA during a visit by bin Laden.
Following the leaks, Afridi was arrested and on May 23 he was sentenced to 33 years in prison on a charge of conspiring against the state.
"The blame has been placed on my brother because of America," Shakil's brother Jamil told Fox News.
The protection of secret sources of the United States is not only good sense, it is vital for continuing operations and getting new sources that could improve our security and prevent the loss of American lives. But who will trust us if we leak sensitive information?
And critics of the Obama administration point to a pattern of leaks over a long period:
- On May 9, The Associated Press reported that a CIA asset from Saudi Arabia had infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and thwarted a planned “underwear bomb” attack on an airplane bound for America. As a result of that disclosure, the asset had to be extracted and brought to the United States, possibly precluding opportunities for obtaining future inside information from within the terrorist group.
- On May 29, The New York Times ran a detailed account of how President Obama directs U.S. drone attacks based on a classified “kill list” of terror suspects. The story rightly credited Obama with killing top al-Qaida leaders. Sen. John McCain has charged that the kill list leak was politically motivated.
- On June 1, The New York Times ran a story revealing an alleged U.S. covert action program called Olympic Games, designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear program with computer virus attacks utilizing first the Stuxnet computer worm and later the Duqu malware. Thanks to the Times article, which cited U.S. government sources, details of the previously unknown operations are now public, including how the programs were supposed to operate and the involvement of Israeli intelligence. Up to that point, the possibility that the U.S. or Israel was behind the cyberattacks on Iran’s computers was pure speculation. In effect, the Times story provided Iran with a roadmap on U.S. efforts to defeat its nuclear bomb efforts.
- Another front-page New York Times article in 2011 disclosed that the Obama administration had agreed to sell to Israel bunker-buster bombs capable of destroying buried targets, including suspected nuclear weapons sites in Iran.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch cited Turner’s election in a Newsmax column explaining why he had decided to back Obama for re-election in 2012. He referred to a New York Times article reporting that the United States had agreed to back Israel’s call for a return to negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions, saying the agreement was “affected” by Turner’s win, and stating that “the president should be praised” for “providing the Israeli military with bunker buster bombs” — a clear reference to the Times story about the bombs that had the effect of bucking up Jewish support for Obama.
The leaks — which have accelerated as Obama’s re-election efforts have stumbled — have provoked bipartisan outrage.
“In recent weeks, we have become increasingly concerned at the continued leaks regarding sensitive intelligence programs and activities including specific details of sources and methods,” said a joint statement released by the top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The accelerating pace of such disclosures, the sensitivity of the matters in question, and the harm caused to our national security interests is alarming and unacceptable,” said the statement from Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. — the chair and ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee — and Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-Md. – the chair and ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
“These disclosures have seriously interfered with ongoing intelligence programs and have put at jeopardy our intelligence capability to act in the future. Each disclosure puts American lives at risk, makes it more difficult to recruit assets, strains the trust of our partners, and threatens imminent and irreparable damage to our national security in the face of urgent and rapidly adapting threats worldwide.”
Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the New York Post that the leaking of vital secrets reflects an “amateur hour” style of management at the White House.
“It’s a pattern that goes back two years, starting with the Times Square bomber, where somebody in the federal government, probably the FBI, leaked his name before he was captured,” he said.
Read more on Newsmax.com: Pattern of White House Leaks Threatens Nation’s Security
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