In a Tuesday post at the American Enterprise Institute’s “AEI Ideas” blog, Marc Thiessen called out “The media hypocrisy over Trump’s intelligence leak.” While acknowledging that the Trump-related leak, if true (very big if), would be “indeed a disaster” — though, as National Review’s Andy McCarthy has noted, still within Trump’s unreviewable authority” as President —Thiessen noted that the current hyperventilation is coming from “the same news outlets that regularly, and intentionally, published highly classified intelligence in recent years, based on leaks from the Obama administration.”
Thiessen, a weekly columnist at the Washington Post, a former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, identified seven such instances.
Thiessen identified seven instances of Obama administration-tied leaks, and assured readers that “The list of leaks and liaison partners exposed during the Obama years goes on and on.”
Here are the seven (links added in instances where the writer provided them; bolds are mine throughout this post):
EXPOSURE OF US-ISRAELI ROLE IN “STUXNET” ATTACK ON IRAN.
Where was the outrage when The New York Times exposed the US government’s cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, including the fact that Obama personally ordered cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear program using a computer virus called Stuxnet?
… The Stuxnet leak exposed intelligence sources and methods, including the top secret codename for the program (“Olympic Games”) and the involvement of a US ally, Israel.
… Where was the concern for the exposure this intelligence or the involvement of our liaison partner? The damage this leak did — both to the operation and the trust between our two countries — is incalculable.
… EXPOSURE OF NSA ABILITY TO ACCESS TERRORIST COMPUTERS NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. (New York Times, January, 2014)
… EXPOSURE OF THE IDENTITY OF THE PAKISTANI DOCTOR WHO HELPED US FIND BIN LADEN.
Or how about the disclosure of classified operational details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including the identity of the Pakistani doctor who helped us track down bin Laden? (ABC News, May 2012)
… (That doctor) is still rotting in a Pakistani prison to this day. (serving a 33-year sentence — Ed.) Did his exposure by Obama officials bragging about the president’s accomplishment have a chilling effect on intelligence cooperation? You bet.
EXPOSURE OF SAUDI DOUBLE AGENT IN YEMEN.
Or how the Obama administration’s shameful exposure of the role of a double agent recruited in London by British intelligence in breaking up a new underwear bomb plot in Yemen? (UK Guardian, May 2012)
EXPOSURE OF LIBYAN COOPERATION IN CAPTURE OF AL QAEDA LEADER – WHICH LED DIRECTLY TO THE RETALIATORY KIDNAPPING OF THE LIBYAN PRIME MINISTER. (New York Times, October 2013)
… Not only was a liaison partner’s counter-terrorism cooperation exposed, the prime minister was kidnapped in retaliation for approving the raid!
Worse still, the Times revealed that a second raid had been planned, but not carried out, “to seize a militia leader suspected of carrying out the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi.”
EXPOSURE OF A SECRET US DRONE BASE IN SAUDI ARABIA. (Washington Post, May 2013)
EXPOSURE OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS ACTIVITIES AGAINST AL-QAEDA IN AFRICA.
On June 13, 2012, the Washington Post reported: ”… Under a classified surveillance program code-named Creek Sand, dozens of US personnel and contractors have come to [Burkina Faso] in recent years to establish a small air base on the military side of the international airport.” The Burkina Faso foreign minister, caught by surprise by the leak, is quoted as pleading, “This cooperation should be very, very discreet. We should not show to al-Qaeda that we are now working with the Americans.”
Thiessen’s harsh conclusion:
None of this excuses Trump’s accidentally sharing top-secret intelligence with Russian officials. But it takes chutzpah for the media to express outrage over his apparently inadvertent disclosure of classified information – or to feign concern over the effect his actions might have on cooperation by our intelligence partners in the fight against terror – when they regularly published often intentional leaks from Obama administration that exposed sources and methods and endangered our national security.
Trump may have stumbled badly in his meeting with the Russians, but he has a long way to go before he does the kind of damage that President Obama and his team of intelligence sieves did – with the help of The New York Times and other news outlets now crowing over his error.
At Powerline yesterday, shortly after Thiessen’s post appeared, Steven Hayward noted the following in light of the New York Times reporting which had just appeared (again, after Thiessen’s post).
The Times reported, as usual based on anonymous sourcing, that “Israel (was) Said to Be Source of Secret Intelligence Trump Gave to Russia.” Hayward’s reaction:
… yesterday the media was falling all over itself to declare how terrible it was that Trump had compromised a source. Today’s media line: Oh, by the way, it was Israel.
As usual and has been said so often, if the establishment press didn’t have double standards, it wouldn’t have any standards at all.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.