The White House is going to crack down on leaks, leaks won’t be tolerated, they endanger national security. Those have been the empty words that have been the soundtrack accompanying the incessant flow of information, much of it classified, since President Trump took over. They told us it won’t be tolerated but it’s been tolerated to this point.
The first time portions of the President’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked was in February, six months ago. A Vanity Fair article from February 17th on the topic indicated the source of the leaked information, stating, “Citing senior U.S. officials, The Washington Post reports that Trump tore into Turnbull when the Australian leader sought to confirm…”
That was the first instance of those conversations being leaked, with the source at that time being senior US officials. Those are the folks in charge, the veterans, the ones that should be making sure things like this don’t happen. If your enforcers are the perpetrators there is no order. The White House has been enduring a cascade of roughly a leak per day since that time and has at best been chasing its tail in their “efforts” to stop it.
Supposedly, when President Trump returned from his first overseas trip, heads were going to roll. Three White House staffers had been identified, had been reported to the Office of Government Ethics and would be fired as soon as President Trump returned from abroad. We were told they would be prosecuted. That never happened, we never heard from the President or AG Sessions.
Now more of the specifics of those conversations, in the form of transcripts, have been released and this has done some real political damage to the leaders of the other nations, Mexico and Australia, domestically. The reputation of the United States and its trustworthiness abroad have been significantly diminished.
This time we’re still getting talk, but it is much more intense and it does seem to at last have more determination and some action associated with it. Attorney General Sessions and DNI Coats held a news conference Friday to announce their focus on identifying and prosecuting leakers. From their remarks it is clear that substantial resources are now being dedicated to putting a stop to these attacks from treasonous enemies within.
AG Sessions said, “This culture of leaking must stop. No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight to advance battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information.’
Kellyanne Conway was asked on Fox and Friends if lie detectors might be used. She replied, “Well, they may, they may not. What really should concern everyone are these leaks that imperil national security. Leaking the phone calls between our president and other heads of state is nothing short of a national disgrace.”
We really are concerned, Mrs. Conway. Dispense with the trite ‘maybe we will, maybe we won’t’ routine and hook everybody up, bring in the FBI polygraph teams. It’s amazing that this isn’t done on a periodic or random basis as it is. The private sector drug tests on a random basis and the stakes are much lower there. How can you say you care about security and not randomly polygraph those with access to classified information? You should also be targeting those who are suspected for more frequent testing.
Actions speak louder than words and often the words of a politician ring completely hollow. Hopefully AG Sessions and DNI Coats are going to make some significant progress and some high profile firings and prosecutions will be forthcoming. The NSC is the logical place to begin, from an outsider’s perspective. Two names, Dina Habib Powell and H R McMaster come to mind to lead off the testing.
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