Saturday, November 05, 2005

Powerline Joins the Fray

The blogosphere can be best divided into the "big blogs" (those with a large audience), and "little blogs" (including this one), that are still carving out their niche. Powerline definitely falls into the former category; with its coverage of the Rathergate scandal (and designation of "Blog of the Year" by Time magazine), the efforts of John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson and Paul Mirengoff have made them superstars of the blogosphere.

As a fledgling blogger, it's nice to see the big guys pick up a story that we've been following for sometime. Today, Scott Johnson has a lengthy post on the MSM's absolute hypocrisy regarding the willfull disclosure of classified information, with a link to a recent NRO commentary by Bill Bennett. The same liberal press that is shocked by the "disclosure" of Valerie Plame's identity, has no problem printing information that is far more sensitive--and far more damaging to national security.

Case in point: the recent article on secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, published this week by the Washington Post. In an on-line Q&A, the author of that article (Dan Priest seemed to gloat about the reprecussions of his article, noting that it was "boomeranging" around Europe). Meanwhile, the EU is promising an investigation, and as a result of the Post article, the CIA may lose its ability to house and interrogate captured Al Qaida leaders in clandestine locations. The Post believes that this process should be more transparent, but such "openess" could result in greater danger to CIA-run facilities, agency personnel, and unnecessary meddling by outside organizations, including the EU. Over the long haul, such "transparency" could actually impeded the extraction of information for Al Qaida operatives, increasing the risk we face.

If you're read this blog for any length of time, you know that security leaks are a frequent topic of discussion, and for good reason. There have been more than 600 inadvertent disclosures of classified information over the past decade (according to intelligence community statistics), yet there have been virtually no indictments, other than the recent charges filed against Scooter Libby. Collectively, these leaks have caused serious damage to intelligence sources and collection methods, resulting in less information on a wide range of potential threats. We've been following this story for more than six months, and you'll find numerous posts on the this subject in our archives.

Welcome, Powerline, and we hope you'll stay on the story. The MSM's absolute disregard for security in publishing and broadcasting classified information is a genuine scandal that deserves greater scrutiny.


Wanderlust said...

Has anyone (seriously) taken up the issue of Berger's antics in the National Archives - that is, once the 2004 election was settled? I don't recall having seen more than the odd mention or two, nothing more.

Unknown said...

Berger's "punishment" (and I use that term loosely) consists of a $10,000 fine, community service and suspension of his security clearance for three years. Had the same offense been committed by an "ordinary" gov't employee or military member, they would be occupying a federal prison cell right now.

And, BTW, the federal judge who sentenced Berger actually imposed stronger sanctions than those recommended by the Bush Justice Department. Go figure.