Hoekstra: Leak crackdown’s a-comin’

posted at 9:39 pm on July 11, 2006 by Allahpundit

Just like it was a-comin’ when Porter Goss took over at the CIA, just like it was a-comin’ on our launch day when Mary “Who?” McCarthy was all over the news.

Trust me. It’s not a-comin’. If it was, it already would have a-came.

Re: the following, I don’t know if he believes it or if he’s just talking tough to get back in the Bush camp’s good graces after his own letter got leaked to the Times. But either way, I likes it. None dare call it treason … except Pete Hoekstra:

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.

I don’t think he believes we’ve been infiltrated, he’s just making a point about motives. However well intentioned the brave, truth-speaking patriots are who are feeding this stuff to the Times, the practical effect is the same as if they were double agents intent on sabotage. Culpability is subjective, damage to the war effort isn’t.

All of this stuff, by the way, comes from Hoekstra’s remarks this morning to the Heritage Foundation — and none of it has much to do with what he was there to talk about. For that, and for A/V of his speech, you’ll have to click here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I think it is two factors, one is BSD, just pure insane hatred,and the other factor is too much Saudi money flowing into Washington PC.

bbz123 on July 11, 2006 at 10:34 PM

Money is usually the key to these double agent things, and the Saudis and al Qaeda both do have a lot of money to throw around.

But Allah’s right: The crackdown ain’t a-coming.

Bryan on July 12, 2006 at 12:42 AM

I don’t think he believes we’ve been infiltrated, he’s just making a point about motives. However well intentioned the brave, truth-speaking patriots are who are feeding this stuff to the Times, the practical effect is the same as if they were double agents intent on sabotage.

He seems to be talking about motives, but you’re talking about effects. I find both arguments (that the motives may be to cause us harm or that the effects are the same as if they were) somewhat sketchy. If the government is secretly doing X in order to thwart terrorists, and terrorists or their sympathizers found out about X, why would they alert the government that they knew about X? Why not feed bad intel to X and change the M.O. secretly? The only benefit resulting from a public leak is that the American people and Congress and the courts become aware of the things that the executive branch has been doing and the concerns that some have about the legality of those programs. There is no additional benefit provided to terrorists by a public leak, and the is a definite detriment (that the government knows that X no longer is working, and something else must be done).

I think that Hoekstra realizes that the revelation of his private letter regarding his concerns about the executive branch’s secret unilateral actions makes him look like he’s going against Bush (when really it was more of a well-intentioned intervention by someone who is a supporter of the President). Hoekstra wants to be reelected, and while being closely associated with the President isn’t the goal, complete alienation might be just as bad. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and Bush at a comfortable medium distance.

And I doubt crackdowns are coming. Crackdowns on speech-related crimes are not going to be very popular, especially considering the questionable legality of the programs revealed by the leaks. It would also be used as ammo for those who argue that the programs were illegal… it would look too much like a coverup if the administration started gunning for people who revealed its programs. I think Bush played it as well as he could… said he supports the First Amendment, but expressed incredulity that people would reveal these programs, which the administration intends to use to make America safer. People like the idea of freedom and people like the idea of safety. Bush plays to both, and people forget that they’re practically antithetical concepts.

Mark Jaquith on July 12, 2006 at 6:02 AM

“I think Bush played it as well as he could… said he supports the First Amendment, but expressed incredulity that people would reveal these programs, which the administration intends to use to make America safer.”

Mark
I’m no lawyer but when these traitors were hired they signed an agreement not to reveal classified information. Doesn’t this,in effect, relinquish their First Amendment right? If so, then they should be fired immediately and charges brought against them (treason?). These people should not be allowed to break the law and just go on with their lives because nobody in the government has the guts to bring charges. These people who are revealing all the classified info are left-over Clintonites who were put in sensitive positions with the sole purpose of undermining the Bush Presidency. Bush’s greatest mistake from the beginning was not getting these people out of the government before they could do the damage. If the government really wants to know who these people are they should give Bill and Hillary lie detector tests. Think I’m crazy? Maybe so.

OBX Pete on July 12, 2006 at 9:35 AM

You’re naive, Mark. There is definitely a benefit to the terrorists when these secret programs get disclosed, aside from the destruction of the programs themselves. Too many Americans, and I won’t name names here, have made a fetish out of bashing Bush for every wartime action he has taken. Every single one, even the ones that even the NYT admits are perfectly legal and effective. Disclosing secret wartime actions he has taken hardens the domestic opposition to him and ratchets up the pressure on him and his administration to be “more open.” Which is foolish. But that’s where we are.

You ought to read up on General Giap, North Vietnam’s commander during that war. He laid out the blueprint for defeating America using its press and domestic opposition. The NYT and Democrats are reprising their roles in that strategy today, either out of stupidity or voluntarily–or both.

Bryan on July 12, 2006 at 9:40 AM

The Loch Ness Monster will be discovered before a Republican with a spine comes forward to do something about these leaks.

Slublog on July 12, 2006 at 10:40 AM

And I doubt crackdowns are coming. Crackdowns on speech-related crimes are not going to be very popular, especially considering the questionable legality of the programs revealed by the leaks. It would also be used as ammo for those who argue that the programs were illegal… it would look too much like a coverup if the administration started gunning for people who revealed its programs. I think Bush played it as well as he could… said he supports the First Amendment, but expressed incredulity that people would reveal these programs, which the administration intends to use to make America safer. People like the idea of freedom and people like the idea of safety. Bush plays to both, and people forget that they’re practically antithetical concepts.

Speech-related crimes? Since when is revealing classified information, after having signed a legally binding agreement not to do the same, merely a speech-related crime?

And how is it a first amendment issue? The first amendment in no way confers upon anyone the right to publicly divulge classified information helpful to our enemies in a time of war.

People like you have an extreme fetish for freedom and civil liberties to the point you cannot see the forest for the trees. If we lose our freedoms it will most likely from following your approved path that allows no room for the recognition that our enemies use those freedoms against us.

thirteen28 on July 12, 2006 at 11:03 AM

Problem here has to do with oversite, and the amount of people who HAVE to know about certain programs.

These people perpetrated a felony by leaking this information… and the NYTs phones should be tapped to find out who they are… leaks are still happening and need to be plugged.

I don’t believe that our counterespianage units don’t know who the leakers are, but somehow they have political cover… enought so the Bush admin does NOT want this information out just before the election cycle..

IMO Bush and the Dems are playing politics with National Security… and OUR RIGHT TO KNOW is not being helped by the Press…

Tell me… why not a SINGLE article on who the rest of the Press thinks these leaker are?

Romeo13 on July 12, 2006 at 12:11 PM

and everytime a leak is revealed that will aid al quaida,
Arlen Specter steps up to the plate….to investigate the president.

gary on July 12, 2006 at 5:53 PM

CIA CRACKDOWN: Poley moley!

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 12, 2006 at 8:08 PM

There is definitely a benefit to the terrorists when these secret programs get disclosed, aside from the destruction of the programs themselves. Too many Americans, and I won’t name names here, have made a fetish out of bashing Bush for every wartime action he has taken.

I only “bash” (criticize) him for the ones that negatively affect my freedom or my Constitutional rights or are of questionable legality.

Disclosing secret wartime actions he has taken hardens the domestic opposition to him and ratchets up the pressure on him and his administration to be “more open.”

If his wartime actions lack due process (warrants, Congressional information, etc), stretch the limits of executive power and affect American citizens, he brought this domestic opposition on himself. I voted for him, and support war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, and military actions against terrorists, but I’m not willing to give him a blank check, even if the “memo” line does say “Terrorism.” It’s not enough that he has America’s interests at heart or that he is targeting our enemies… his methods have to be legal, appropriate, and subject to checks and balances.

Speech-related crimes? Since when is revealing classified information, after having signed a legally binding agreement not to do the same, merely a speech-related crime?

It’s not “merely” a speech-related crime, it is additionally a speech-related crime.

And how is it a first amendment issue? The first amendment in no way confers upon anyone the right to publicly divulge classified information helpful to our enemies in a time of war.

“time of war” is misleading. We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but “war on terror” is a euphemism, and that’s the “war” at issue with these programs.

People like you have an extreme fetish for freedom and civil liberties to the point you cannot see the forest for the trees. If we lose our freedoms it will most likely from following your approved path that allows no room for the recognition that our enemies use those freedoms against us.

If we lose our freedoms, it will be from people like you advocating that we abandon them in order to become more secure. The fact that bad people can use freedom in destructive ways is an unavoidable consequence of freedom. If you value freedom, you’ll attack our enemies, not the freedom that enables them. This whole idea that we need to abandon our freedom so that we can preserve it is ludicrous. Terrorists don’t pose a risk to our freedom. They are far too few in numbers, limited in resources, and disorganized. The best they can hope for at this point is bloodshed and financial damage. They don’t care about our freedom… that’s now what motivates them. It’s not that I don’t recognize that freedom is what enables terrorism. I’ve explicitly said that freedom is the enabler of terrorism. I just think that freedom is worth the price.

Mark Jaquith on July 13, 2006 at 3:45 PM