Leon Panetta’s “good” leak
While the Obama Administration was busy treating reporters at the Associated Press and Fox News like foreign espionage agents, because they dared to leak such hyper-sensitive information as the shocking revelation that North Korea is run by belligerent psychopaths, senior Administration officials were leaking like crazy. There’s never been much official outrage at leaks helpful to Obama’s reputation or electoral prospects, such as former CIA director Leon Panetta’s handing delicate information about SEAL Team Six to Hollywood filmmakers. Politico reports:
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the Navy SEAL unit that carried out the Osama bin Laden raid and named the unit’s ground commander at a 2011 ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal.
Panetta also discussed classified information designated as “top secret” and “secret” during his presentation at the awards ceremony, according to a draft Pentagon inspector general’s report published Wednesday by the Project on Government Oversight.
The patented Obama Administration “Incompetence Defense” was swiftly deployed:
A source close to Panetta said Wednesday evening that he was unaware anyone without the proper security clearances was present at the event, which included both CIA and military personnel.
“He has no idea who all is in the audience. He was told everyone got the requisite clearances,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
Panetta’s prepared speech was classified “secret,” according to the source. That may have led the CIA director to believe he could speak freely about the operation.
The leaked version of the report does not address whether Panetta knew Boal was present at the ceremony, held under a tent at the CIA complex on June 24, 2011. “Approximately 1,300” people from the military and the intelligence community were on hand for the event, according to a CIA press release issued the following week.
Come on, people, you can’t expect the director of the world’s best-funded intelligence agency to know who’s in the audience when he starts tossing out sensitive information.
This is another one of those Inspector General reports that was mysteriously delayed until after the election, just like the blockbuster IRS Inspector General Report that kicked off the greatest abuse-of-power scandal in modern history, and all the Benghazi dirty laundry we didn’t hear about until 2013. Funny how that worked out. Ironically, we’re only learning about it now because a draft of the IG report has been leaked.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who requested the inspector general’s review, said he was disturbed by the report’s findings and by the delays in its official release.
“It does raise issues about a lack of security at the CIA and at DoD,” King told POLITICO on Wednesday. “The most important issue right now is why this report was held back for so long. Inspectors general are supposed to be independent. It’s the integrity of the process. … It’s important to know where that pressure [to withhold it] was coming from.”
The congressman said he also wants an apology from Carney for statements he made in August 2011, when the press secretary called King’s claims about security breaches related to the film “ridiculous” and “simply false.”
I would caution Rep. King against holding his breath waiting for that apology. Not even Navy SEALs can hold their breath that long.