Journal: Wikileaks Inspires Panetta, Raises Mouse Turd Count

Intelligence (Government/Secret), Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy
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Impacts from Wikileaks continue to multiply.  Now, just getting a routine courier card renewed now involves pole vaulting over major mouse turds.

Message from the Director: Recent Media Leaks

November 8, 2010


We have seen in recent months a damaging spate of media leaks on a wide range of national security issues. WikiLeaks is but one egregious example. In some cases, CIA sources and methods have been compromised, harming our mission and endangering lives.

When information about our intelligence, our people, or our operations appears in the media, it does incredible damage to our nation’s security and our ability to do our job of protecting the nation. More importantly, it could jeopardize lives. For this reason, such leaks cannot be tolerated. The Office of Security is directed to fully investigate these matters. Unauthorized disclosures of classified information also will be referred to the Department of Justice. Our government is taking a hard line, as demonstrated by the prosecutions of a former National Security Agency official, a Federal Bureau of Investigation linguist, and a State Department contractor.

Here at the Agency, we are a family, which means we depend on each other—sharing burdens, challenges, and successes. But sharing cannot extend beyond the limits set by law and the “need to know” principle. The media, the public, even former colleagues, are not entitled to details of our work.

I would ask that every employee reflect on the responsibilities and privileges of service at CIA. Every officer takes a secrecy oath, which obligates us to protect classified information while we serve at the Agency and after we leave. A vast majority of officers live up to their oath, but even a small number of leaks can do great damage. Our adversaries benefit, while our credibility, our operations, and, ultimately, our ability to accomplish the mission all take a hit. Our sworn duty to the American people is to protect them and we must do nothing to violate the law or that sacred pledge.

Leon E. Panetta

Phi Beta Iota: Nothing has changed since the Moynihan Commission received testimony on CIA’s refusal to brief Congress on its “sources & methods” that were and are very well known because CIA is a bureaucracy and persists in operating out of official installations.  Its one very expensive attempt to create 21 non-official cover companies ended in failure, with 20 of the companies being closed down.  What Panetta simply refuses to compute is that bad management and poor tradecraft are a much graver offense deleterious to national security, than straight-forward critical commentaries such as appear in the See Also and Miscellaneous sections below.  We were surprised to see that Panetta now claims to oversee open source intelligence for the US Intelligence Community.  It’s hard to sink any lower in performance, but that does it for us.  CIA has hit rock bottom.

See Also:

Journal: Why Do We Need a CIA At All?
2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated
Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Lack Of)
Review: Nation of Secrets–The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life
Worth a Look: Secrecy as Fraud (2002)
Review: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy
Reference: 1996 Testimony to Moynihan Commisson

Miscellaneous:

Journal: CIA Denies Disability to Poisoned Officer
Journal: CIA Leads the “Walking Dead” in USA
Journal: The Truth on Khost Kathy
Journal: CIA Officer Blew Off Warning in Jordon Weeks in Advance of Jordanian Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan that Killed Seven
Reference: Panetta Puts Lipstick on the Pig (Again)