At least this leaker got caught:

A former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst has pleaded guilty to illegally holding classified documents and admitted in a plea agreement to passing “top secret” information to Chinese intelligence officials.

These days, Chinese intelligence officials don’t have to conduct deals with slime. They just have to read the New York Times, and they’ll learn all they need to know.

Ronald N. Montaperto, the former analyst who held a security clearance as a China specialist at a U.S. Pacific Command research center until 2004, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful retention of national defense information, according to court papers and law officials familiar with the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Montaperto admitted to verbally providing [Chinese military] attaches a considerable amount of information that was useful to them, including classified information,” according to a statement of facts submitted in the case.

Verbally? He had a conversation with them, and faces charges after admitting it? Boy, must he feel stupid now for pleading guilty and for talking directly to Chinese officials. All he had to do was talk to reporters, and he’d be in the clear. And China would still probably have learned all it wanted to know.

Note how long it took to catch this turncoat:

Montaperto, 66, joined the DIA in 1981 and eight years later sought a post at the CIA that eventually led to suspicions he was a spy for China. An investigation of his links to Chinese intelligence in 1991 was dropped for lack of evidence.

He had been part of a DIA program involving authorized contacts with Chinese embassy officials. However, the statement said Montaperto failed to report his contacts, as required by security rules.

After leaving DIA, Montaperto continued in government at the National Defense University and then became the dean of the Pacific Command think tank until his dismissal in 2004.

He first aroused suspicions in 1989, was investigated in 1991 and escaped that dragnet. Do we have 17 years to wait to catch the traitors who keep leaking to the Times?

I doubt it. If they keep leaking at the pace they’re leaking at right now, and if the Times keeps blabbing everything it can get its paws on, we don’t have that long. New York or some other US city will be a radioactive crater by then.

Tags: China New York