Used to be a time when the media got all hot and bothered over national security leaks. Where have you gone, Richard Armitage? But hey, those were the Bush years, when a hyperventilating press corps practically had Karl Rove in leg irons being frog-marched out of the White House.
Now? They can barely stifle the yawns.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., called the recent slew of national-security leaks “probably the most damaging” in this country’s history, warning that people’s lives are in danger and families have already had to be relocated as a result of the public speculation about highly classified operational activities.
Rogers’s stark assessment, in an interview with National Journal, reflects some of the first tangible signs of operational fallout from the explosive leaks to the media, which have so far sparked accusations that Obama administration officials released the information for political gain ahead of an election.
The New York Times recently reported that President Obama attempted to derail Iran’s nuclear program by secretly ordering cyberattacks on computer systems that run its enrichment facilities, a mission that relied on spies — and unsuspecting accomplices — with access to the Natanz plant. An Associated Press report said that al-Qaida’s Yemen branch planned to send a suicide bomber to explode a U.S.-bound plane; later, it was revealed that an agent working for Saudi Arabia managed to infiltrate the terrorist network and smuggle the bomb out of Yemen. Other media reports have detailed the president’s secret drone campaign and an apparent “kill list” of counterterrorism targets.
Some articles within this “parade” of leaks, Rogers said late last week, “included at least the speculation of human source networks that now — just out of good counterintelligence activities — they’ll believe is real, even if its not real. It causes huge problems.”
“ … Somebody’s going to lose their life. We’re going to have operations that will cease. We’ll have lost opportunities. All those things are going to happen.”
Somehow this will be laid at the feet of Bain Capital.