CNN: Why can’t the White House keep a secret?

posted at 9:31 am on June 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

An even better question: do they want to keep secrets? Adam Levine analyzes the Stuxnet leak, as well as other recent leaks, and asks why this administration has suddenly turned into a sieve:

The level of detail spilling out through media reports about crucial national security operations is raising the question of whether President Barack Obama’s administration can keep a secret – or in some cases even wants to.

In just the past week, two tell-all articles about Obama’s leadership as commander-in-chief have been published, dripping with insider details about his sleeves-rolled-up involvement in choosing terrorist targets for drone strikes and revelations about his amped-up cyber war on Iran.

Each article notes the reporters spoke to “current and former” American officials and presidential advisers, as well as sources from other countries.

“This is unbelievable … absolutely stunning,” a former senior intelligence official said about the level of detail contained in the cyberattack story.

The official noted that the article cited participants in sensitive White House meetings who then told the reporter about top secret discussions.  The article “talks about President Obama giving direction for a cyberweapons attack during a time of peace against a United Nations member state.”

The article follows on the heels of what many considered dangerous leaking of details about a mole who helped foil a plot by al Qaeda in Yemen.  The revelations of the British national threatened what was described at the time as an ongoing operation.

Is this really such a mystery?  The White House has been leaking classified material for over a year, as long as it make Obama himself look awesome.  The most ridiculous part of this particular leak is that the cyberattack plan came from the Bush administration and their partnership with Israel; Obama wisely chose to continue the program, but didn’t originate it.  The leakers made sure that the New York Times and Washington Post gave Obama the headlines, though, mentioning Bush’s involvement only as a subsidiary fact to Obama’s alpha-male status.

This leak will complicate matters for the next administration, as CNN explains below.  Now that we’ve committed acts of cyberwarfare and have begun bragging about it, allies with more vulnerability than the US — such as Israel — might think twice about assisting us in the future.  It’s almost certainly going to complicate whatever negotiations take place with rogue nations in the future that might otherwise be inclined to reform.  But hey, as long as Obama can make himself look good, then why worry, right?

 

Update: Senators Marco Rubio, Richard Burr, and Dan Coats blast the White House for their lack of discretion in today’s Washington Post:

Sitting in a prison cell in Pakistan is one of those foreigners who trusted us. Shakil Afridiserved as a key informant to the United States in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. This brave physician put his life on the line to assist U.S. efforts to track down the most-wanted terrorist in the world, yet our government left him vulnerable to the Pakistani tribal justice system, which sentenced him to 33 years for treason. The imprisonment and possible torture of this courageous man — for aiding the United States in one of the most important intelligence operations of our time — coincides with a deeply damaging leak in another case.

The world learned a few weeks ago that U.S. intelligence agencies and partners had disrupted an al-Qaeda plot to blow up a civilian aircraft using an explosive device designed by an affiliate in Yemen. This disclosure revealed sources and methods that could make future successes more difficult to achieve. The public release of information surrounding such operations also risks the lives of informants and makes it more difficult to maintain productive partnerships with other intelligence agencies. These incidents paint a disappointing picture of this administration’s judgment when it comes to national security.

The stakes are high: success or failure in our campaign to defeat plots by al-Qaeda. These leaks are inexcusable, and those responsible should be held accountable. FBI and CIA investigations are a good start, but more must be done to prevent intelligence disclosures of this magnitude.

The problem stems in part from the media’s insatiable desire for real-world information that makes intelligence operations look like those of filmmakers’ imaginations. That is understandable, but this hunger is fed by inexcusable contributions from current and former U.S. officials.


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Just imagine the damage he will do with the secrets he has been given access to after he has been booted from office.

rjh on June 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Not just the Dog-Eater but all of the America-haters, Maoists, and general retards he has put into sensitive positions. It’s as if the Soviets got to populate the American defense complex at the highest levels. There are tons of people out to kill America who have given access to and put in charge of our most sensitive areas of defense.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

This reminds me of during the last days of the Carter administration just before the election they leaked the existence of the a stealth aircraft that could not be seen by radar, solely to enhance his image. Pundits got it then, and I think most people (except his sycophants) will get it now.

The victims, of course are the trail of blown covers that are tossed under the bus to keep this clown in office.

itsspideyman on June 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM

If 0bama wins a second term — look forward to Bradley Manning getting the Intelligence And/Or Lack Thereof Czar position after he receives his Presidential Pardon.

FlatFoot on June 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Reminds me of the desperate Jimmy Carter trying to convince the voters that he was pro-defense by announcing to the world that we had a super secret stealth fighter. Looks like the President-in-training doesn’t want to come in second to Carter.

Note to the President: You are neck and neck with Jimmy Carter, so keep it up.

WestTexasBirdDog on June 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Sorry itsspideyman, didn’t mean to walk on your comment. Have to say, I’ve never seen two comments come in so close in meaning.

WestTexasBirdDog on June 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

itsspideyman on June 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Even worse what about the failed alliances that will go to seed if not evaporate entirely.

No one trusts secrets to blabbermouths…not when your national interests are at stake…or existence.

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

The thing in the White House must go.

Romney is going to spend so much time pumping sewage out of the White House, how will he have time to get things done?

gordo on June 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Just imagine the damage he will do with the secrets he has been given access to after he has been booted from office.

rjh on June 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Not just the Dog-Eater but all of the America-haters, Maoists, and general retards he has put into sensitive positions. It’s as if the Soviets got to populate the American defense complex at the highest levels. There are tons of people out to kill America who have given access to and put in charge of our most sensitive areas of defense.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I’m also concerned about the massive numbers of civil-service hires in his administration, of far-left loons that can burrow into our government and are untouchable because of civil-service regulations.

To begin a repair of the enormous damage little Bammie is doing to our nation, we have to find a way to lay off significant numbers of civil servants. How for instance are we going to get rid of the thousands hired to run Obamacare?

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM

WestTexasBirdDog on June 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Np BirdDog buddy. I think someone posted this on the previous screen too. Interesting that we all notice it.

Great minds think alike. :)

itsspideyman on June 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I guess no one in this administration ever heard the phrase “loose lips sink ships”.
Hell, and that was before the internet!

RadioAngel on June 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM

It’s all open for discussion perhaps for all of the How Great I ART, OBAMA books to come.

Bluize on June 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM

It all makes a great deal of sense if you figure the basic goal of our POTUS is the destruction of the US as a financial and military power in the world leaving us a third world nation so deep in debt there could never be a recovery only default and zero credit rating.

He’s empowering Islamist nations and groups. Look at Egypt. Look at Libya. Look at Tunisia. Salafists are taking over in all three places. And they are setup to take over in Syria. He’s empowering the Iranian nuclear program by insisting on basically toothless sanctions. He is breaking security/secrecy on program after program that is aimed at defeating Islamic imperialism and terrorism. That drastically weakens us against our most pressing enemy. He’s destroyed most of our economy. That weakens us. He’s guaranteed our continued dependence on others for our day to day energy needs. He’s sold weapons or at least covered up the guilty parties who sold weapons to the Mexican drug cartels. He’s working to guarantee we cannot have proper citizens only voting once only elections.

WTF has he EVER done to strengthen the US? Zero, Zip, Nada, Zilch, NOTHING.

We have met the enemy and he is . . . Barack Hussein Obama.

{^_^}

herself on June 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM

People’s lives do not matter. Our ability to gather intelligence and protect ourselves does not matter. Our allies’ security does not matter. The only thing that matters is Obama and his ability to posture politically.

besser tot als rot on June 2, 2012 at 4:08 PM

“talks about President Obama giving direction for a cyberweapons attack during a time of peace against a United Nations member state.”

I guess the killing US servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t count.

tommer74 on June 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM

gordo on June 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I will be completely OK with President Romney getting very little done. As long as he signs the constitutional bills presented to him, vetoes the unconstitutional ones, and supports the true conservatives in Congress, the rest is speeches and statesmanship. Any pro-active moves by the next President are as likely to be detrimental as those of the current one.

I guess the killing US servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t count.

tommer74 on June 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM

It doesn’t mean what you read it to mean. Are aren’t actively at war against Iran, so our cyber-sabotage could be (mistakenly) seen by some as a defacto declaration of war against a nation with whom we are (not really) in peacetime. None of that matters a whit. To prevent Iran from gaining a foothold into the ability to conduct global atomic war, we engaged, in support of Iran’s primary target Israel, in industrial sabotage to impede Iran’s development of weapon-grade fissionable materials.

The extent to which this previously classified action succeeded cannot be known at this time, and likely won’t be known with accuracy for a very long time.

Freelancer on June 2, 2012 at 4:52 PM

If the same levels of security applied to Barky’s birth certificate, school records, and client lists were applied to national security secrets by the Obama administration we would all be much safer.

But c’mon, they have priorities. Extending Barky’s reign by four years is clearly more important to the nation than any national security secrets. If they are leaked in the service of his reelection efforts, then that is a good trade off, because what is good for Barack is good for the country. Right?

novaculus on June 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

To answer the question in the title- egomaniacs (narcissistic personality disorder)like to talk about themselves too much to keep a secret

pgrossjr on June 2, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Impossible to understand how someone that spent their formative years sucking on a bong would have a hard time relating to the concept of national security.

Hening on June 2, 2012 at 7:26 PM

So, let me get this straight.

Rags like the New York Times deliberately ran stories that would give away sensitive information during Bush’s term, despite explicit pleadings from the intelligence community not to, all to feed the meme that the U.S. tortures, Bush is Hitler, etc.

…..

Now, they again run stuff that ought not to be shared with the general population….all in service of performing political fellatio on their boyfriend.

(And again, in both cases, we’re talking about stuff whose revelation will cost lives. Period.)

……

After we’re done with the lawyers, can we kill all the press people?

Hawkins1701 on June 2, 2012 at 8:02 PM

CNN: Why can’t the White House keep a secret?

Because in a sea of economic, diplomatic and and healthcare failure the ONLY good news are drone strikes on terrorists and the ONE Seal Strike on Bin Laden. A “dumb” public might not give Obama proper credit for planning and risks all taken by others. In order to give DA MAN the right to say “CHECK ME OUT, DUDE” secret data (endangering the lives of the real heroes and compromising future nissions)has to be leaked to the ‘NY Times’.

MaiDee on June 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I’m wishing for some of that film-maker magic come January as well. Obama and Romney are standing at the door to the White House, posing for that final handshake and farewell from the Obama’s. As Barry steps over the threshold, four FBI agents step forward, ” Barack Hussein Obama, you are under arrest for treason.”

Nutstuyu on June 2, 2012 at 11:06 PM

As Barry steps over the threshold, four FBI agents step forward, ” Barack Hussein Obama, you are under arrest for treason.”
Nutstuyu on June 2, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Wow, that sure would restore my faith in many things..

Not gonna happen though, no matter what he has done, and even if (when) he does worse in the interim.

……………………………………..

Obama wisely chose to continue the program, but didn’t originate it.

You LIE!!! 0bama, wrote the code himself (with some assistance from Sasha), then parachuted out of AF-1 down an airshaft into the complex, inserted a USB drive into the Iranian Master Computer and uploaded it. He then skyhooked out.

That vacation to Martha’s Vineyard was just cover.

/lesster
/libin4life
/libfreeordye
/crr6
/NYT
etc.

LegendHasIt on June 2, 2012 at 11:45 PM

When you have 35k a plate fundraisers, With everyone checking in the phones and blackberries. There is corruption. Afraid to make a dime while being open to the nation. Every swing state Oboma is polling low in, He will be there soon in his shiny armor. When there is no chance to win that state. Said state will only know O in the history books. IE Idaho, Utah.

I wonder who the zombie killed in FLA voted for in 2008.

ACLU is now looking to defend face eating.

Planned parenthood will late term abort the fetus for free if you name it George W. (regardless of sex)

Gedge on June 3, 2012 at 5:12 AM

They don’t want to keep secrets.Full stop.

The administration either has no control over subordinates or is tacitly approving the leaks, much like the freshman nerd who slept with the cheerleader. They have to share, not for any other reason than to let others know they did something really cool.

However, unlike the nerd, people’s lives are at stake, and that is the treasonous part of the incompetence of this administration.

Jabez01 on June 3, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Why can’t the Obama Admin. keep a secret?

Because everything they do has a political component, to be weighed against the benefits of re-election and the casualties of disclosure.

BigAlSouth on June 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

CNN: Why can’t the White House keep a secret?

Valerie Jarrett or Mooch saying: “Does this secret make my butt look big.”

bettycooper on June 2, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Thanks for the chuckle. This infuriating saga is downright depressing.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

BECAUSE: OBAMA IS A FOREIGN ENEMY COMMUNIST THAT MUST BE DESTROYED, STOPED! HE’S A MAJOR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE AND NATIONAL SECURITY.!

THE WHITE HOUSE ADMINISTRATION ARE DOMESTIC TRAITORS ENEMYS OF THE UNITED STATES THEY MUST BE STOPED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OFF CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.!

DEMOCRATS TRAITORS, COMMUNIST DOMESTIC ENEMIES THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION FOR CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.
GEORGE SOROS FOREIGN COMMUNIST ENEMIES & A MAJOR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA NATIONAL SECURITY THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE ARTICLES OF THE CONSTITUTION FOR CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.

ALL UNIONS TRAITORS, COMMUNIST DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION FOR CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA

VAN JONES, BILL AYERS, STEPHEN LERNER, MUSLIMS, LOUIS FARRAKHA, AL SHARPYON, JESSIE JACKSON, BLACK PANTHERS, OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTORS, FRANCES FOX PIVEN TRAITORS DOMESTIC COMMUNIST ENEMIE & A MAJOR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA NATIONAL SECURITY THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.

ACLU DOMESTIC,COMMUNISTS ORGANIZATION & TRAITORS OF THE UNITED STATES & AA MAJOR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA NATIONAL SECURITY THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.

THE EPA ORGANIZATION DOMESTIC, COMMUNIST ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES & A MAJOR THREAT TO OUR ECONOMY THAT MUST BE DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION FOR CRIMES AGAINST AMERICA.

THESE ARE ALL OUR ENEMIES THAT WE THE PEOPLE MUST DESTROYED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION TO END THE TREAT OF COMMUNISM & DESTRUCTION OF OUR COUNTRY AGAINST ALL FOREIGN & DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF AMERICA DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION,

FREEDO, LIBERTY & CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ONE CHRISTIAN NATION UNDER GOD.

BREAKING: PixelPatriot says CNN COMMITTED FRAUD IN OBAMA “BIRTHGATE” – Eligibility Cover-Up Widens Exclusive Investigative Report | by Pixel Patriot June 2nd, 2012 | @ BirtherReport.com

” … Deceit or “Fraud” occurs when a person makes a factual misrepresentation, knowing that it is false (or having no belief in its truth and being reckless as to whether it is true) and intending it to be relied on by the recipient, and the recipient acts to his or her detrimen

The End Game

Does he look Worried?..

Obama administration, including his czars and his closest Progressive supporters, are planning a manufactured insurgency against America. Using the media to garner both sympathy and support for his unfinished goals.

Thx to : Douglas Hagmann..

Douglas J. Hagmann and his son, Joe Hagmann host The Hagmann & Hagmann Report, a live video Internet program broadcast each weeknight from 10:00 pm to midnight ET on the Liberty Broadcasting Network. Watch their broadcast live nightly.

Douglas Hagmann, founder & director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, and a multi-state licensed private investigative agency. Doug began using his investigative skills and training to fight terrorism and increase public awareness through his website.

Doug can be reached at: director@homelandsecurityus.com

Capt-Dax on June 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

The thought occurs to wonder, if indeed the White House can’t keep a secret, why haven’t catestrophic poll results re: Obama’s re-election been leaked? I’m constantly seeing pundits opining that there must be some really bad terrible awful poll results that Obama only is seeing to account for the panicky job he and his administration are doing, but if there *is* a bad terrible awful poll or two floating around the Oval Office, why don’t we know about it? We know about everything else due to open mike gaffes, Biden’s burbles, and carefully floated NY Times/ WaPo balloons — I’d like to know what poll numbers are Obama seeing that the rest of us don’t. And then I’d like to know how he managed to keep them secret.

NahnCee on June 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Why can’t the Obama Admin. keep a secret?

Because everything they do has a political component, to be weighed against the benefits of re-election and the casualties of disclosure.

BigAlSouth on June 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

You are right BigAl. Nothing, not treason, nothing…gets between a democrat and staying in power, if they cannot stay in power they cannot continue to destroy America one brick at a time. And under the POSOTUS there isn’t much remaining of the foundation…the rest will be rendered to dust if he is not removed.

insidiator on June 4, 2012 at 7:28 AM

I am not sure why, but I am reminded of this classic scene from “Airplane”:

Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We’re bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We’re coming in from the north, below their radar.

Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?

Ted Striker: I can’t tell you that. It’s classified.

Vintage on June 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

It is Jarret.

HOOLiBAR6 on June 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Can’t Obama figure out that what makes a secret weapon dangerous is the fact that it’s secret? Doesn’t Obama realize that our enemies are listening, including Ahmadinejad and Flexible Vlad?

What your enemy doesn’t know can hurt him, and what your enemy knows can’t hurt him. So, big O, STFU!!!

What would have happened to Ike and his brave boys if FDR had told Hitler where D-day would occur? Even though he was a liberal, FDR knew when to zip his lip. Obama needs to learn from him.

Steve Z on June 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

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