Jul 11 2006

Leak Prosecutions Coming Soon

The long awaited announcements that investigations into leaks are turning to prosecutions may be starting. Pete Hoekstra enlightens us on the Bush adminstrations pending actions:

The Bush administration is preparing a crackdown on intelligence leaks to the media and will try to pursue prosecutions in some recent cases, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra also suggested some unauthorized leaks could have been deliberate attempts to help al Qaeda.

“More frequently than what we would like, we find out that the intelligence community has been penetrated, not necessarily by al Qaeda, but by other nations or organizations,” he said.

“I don’t have any evidence. But from my perspective, when you have information that is leaked that is clearly helpful to our enemy, you cannot discount that possibility,” he added.

In recent months, two major intelligence operations were leaked to the media: the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department’s tracking of international banking transactions.

“There will be a renewed effort by the Justice Department in a couple of these cases to go through the entire process … so they can prosecute,” Hoekstra said in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

I am with Mac Ranger on this, I think the recent court decision upholding the search warrant on Congressional offices was the final nail in the coffin. The inside buzz from Mac and others (along with some simple common sense regarding who knew) points to Senators, Congressman and their staffs. Especially in the NSA surveillance story from last December which was completely incorrect on the relationship between the NSA and FISA and the source of the friction (NSA leads being passed to FISA, not going around FISA). Those errors were necessary to creat propaganda that would possibly impact Bush’s support and poll numbers. That right there is a tell when the errors all line up and point to one result. Errors are supposed to be random when they are truly errors. Lies line up in one direction.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Leak Prosecutions Coming Soon”

  1. crosspatch says:

    A bang of a summer indeed!

  2. edray1 says:

    Let us hope this will be a bang of a summer! However, summer is about 1/2 over and we still have no hint of any catches or indictments. Let us hope the rst of this summer will provide some fantastic news!

  3. MerryJ1 says:

    Patience, Edray1, the wheels grind slowly, even when it’s a mortal lock. In this type of case, failure to dot an “i” or cross a “t” would be worse than a run-of-the-mill suppression of evidence order or some such.

    The Jefferson office raid, let’s hope, was just a warming up exercise.

  4. luc says:

    I wonder if one would be too optimistic to put some FACTS together:

    – Bush’s poll numbers going up steadily for the last two months
    – Prosecution of leakers contemplated, with announcements coming within the next few months
    – Mid-term elections in November

    This certainly points to a Democrat romp. BDS is a humorous illness.

  5. carol johnson says:

    As per the editors at NRO:

    “While we believe the Times made a terrible judgment in publishing the story, we do not question the paper’s legal right to do so (calls for an Espionage Act prosecution of the Times are pure fantasy). But we also do not question the government’s legal right — indeed, its obligation — to find, prosecute, and punish those who are responsible for leaking details of this highly classified program. They have recklessly and illegally harmed an important program in the War on Terror. It used to be thought that leak investigations always went nowhere, but now we have the experience of the Fitzgerald investigation to show us that reporters can be subpoenaed and leakers found out.”


    Sigh. When “reasoned with” by Treasury, two members of the 9/11 commission, and everybody else…the Times rejected ALL arguments and published anyway. For NRO to say that the Times made a “terrible judgement” is utter NONSENSE!!! How the hell many times do papers and media like the NY Times have to cross the line before they are stopped. IF it can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Times is or was colluding with the leakers to expose national secrets, then they damn well better pursue Espionage charges! Make no mistake, that puts an incredibly high burden of proof on the Justice Department but SO BE IT!! The question NRO and everyone else should be asking is how much more damage can the Times be allowed to do before they are stopped? We are at WAR! This has become a power struggle between this White House and its domestic enemies during a time of war, but that by no means it is less of a issue. For the press to hide behind their credentials and destroy our national security is dangerous and unacceptable!


  6. Retired Spook says:

    Carol, I could not agree with you more, but as a long-time ovserver of the interaction between politics, the media and the intelligence community, I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that there will be no prosecutions of any consequence as a result of these leaks. You might see a couple low-level Senate or Congressional staffers thrown under the bus for appearance sake (I wouldn’t even bet on that), but I would be shocked to see any Congress critters indicted. I hope I’m wrong, and if I am, I won’t hesitate to come back and admit it, but my idealism for Right winning out in the end was pretty well dashed by all the felonies gotten away with during the Clinton years.

  7. carol johnson says:

    You may be right RS but I hope that we can get “some” prosecutions out of this. Look, alot of people said that the raid on Wm Jefferson’s office was without precedent, but it just was upheld by a federal judge. That gives me some slim hope here. In any case, in order to find all the leakers they at least have to haul the press before a grand jury and question the snot out of them! If, in the course of the investigation, it comes out that there was more to the “arrangement” than someone in Congress or the CIA picking up the phone to call their favorite “publisher”…then they should vigorously pursue that. The notion that this was simply a lack of judgement on the Times’ part is absolutely ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that the New York Times etc. (because I do not leave out the Washington Post or others) are repeat offenders. How long do they get to use the bad judgement defense…and, anyway, they are saying that they DIDN’T use bad judgement but just the opposite. Infuriating ain’t it?


  8. Retired Spook says:

    It is infuriating Carol, and you’re right, it certainly wasn’t a lack of judgement. They (NYT, WAPO, WSJ & LAT) made a very precice judgement that this was going to sell a lot of newspapers. Just the newest version of 30 pieces of silver.

  9. MerryJ1 says:

    WSJ does have the defense that they were called in by the Administration once it was clear the NYT was going to publish, and were essentially asked to run the story “straight” to try to take some of the edge off of the NYT’s, et. al., too-generous application of “literary license.”

    That the WSJ (it was their news department running the SWIFT story, not editorial, big difference) then ran an editorial explaining their cooperation with the Administration and distancing themselves from NYT and LAT, set off the co-howls from the latter two. But it is a valid defense, and the Journal story was a better, less damaging and more straight-forward piece.