Small Wars Journal

National Security Leaks, Difficult to Prosecute, Just Why is That?

This is criminal and traitorous, welcome to the new politics as usual. Meanwhile, some GS-9 in some obscure government office losses his/her career for leaving an over-classified secret document on their desk overnight concerning the economic forecast for East-Bum Provolone. Go figure.

For US Inquiries on Leaks, a Difficult Road to Prosecution by Charlie Savage of The New York Times.

Anger over leaks of government secrets and calls for prosecution have once again engulfed the nation’s capital. Under bipartisan pressure for a crackdown, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday announced the appointment of two top prosecutors to lead investigations into recent disclosures.

But the prospects for those efforts are murky. Historically, the vast majority of leak-related investigations have turned up nothing conclusive, and several that have been prosecuted - six already under the Obama administration, and just three more under all previous presidents - collapsed…



Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:19pm

Perhaps this is an explanation:'One thing I learned living in Washington is that intelligence leaks are usually the losing side of an argument. I was at a meeting recently at which an old intelligence hand made the same point rather forcefully. Leaks are a way of appealing a decision through the media and political opposition'.



Mon, 06/11/2012 - 8:29am

As an outside observer from the UK of matters within 'The Beltway' I do find this all very odd. After Abbottabad there were a few comments on SWC indicating some matters should never have been placed in the public domain and the recent infiltration into AQAP is a more recent example.

Why odd? Simply as the USA went to extraordinary lengths to warn the UK over information provided through the "normal channels" should remain within the intelligence agencies, not the courts - a civil court case, under disclosure law, required disclosure of the information.

Secondly there has been regular criticism in the CT arena that information passed to the USA somehow enters the public domain, notably when an investigation was very active.

Like others I doubt the appointments will make any difference, simply as too many within 'The Beltway' are addicted to "leaking" and the perceived gains they make - ostensibly in the public interest.


Sun, 06/10/2012 - 11:50pm

Brought to us by a bipartisan political class which has crafted and executed a revenue (~15.8 percent of GDP) and spending ( ~23.4 percent of GDP) plan which does not strengthen our nation. A bipartisan political class which attempted to default upon our nations debt in 2011 and in so doing engineered a credit rating downgrade from AAA to AA+. The nation's credit rating is once again under review due to the ongoing economic actions of our current bipartisan political class.……

Perhaps the time has come for all of us to instead elect political representatives who concern themselves with the needs of the nation before individual gain?

We have the option of applying the death penalty for espionage and rightfully so due to the risk this activity can pose to our National Security, yet our civilian leadership can intentionally leak the same classified information to the media that is then shared with our foes and somehow that isn't illegal? Didn't we put an E-4 in jail for "leaking" material to Wiki-leaks? That is the new media, so why did he get prosecuted, while Congressional aids and White House interns (or higher) enjoy the protection of the law? Is this the new (or old) espionage loophole, where someone in the political system (not the military) can leak information to the media that is then published for our adversaries to exploit, but hey that isn’t against the law, and if this information results in America soldiers or intelligence operatives being killed, I guess that is just too bad.