The Project On Government Oversight had obtained the draft copy of the report.
It said Panetta’s disclosures included “highly classified signals intelligence,” or, as the draft report put it: “Director Panetta also provided DoD information, identified by relevant Original Classification Authorities as TOP SECRET//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL, as well as, SECRET/ACCM.”
The “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award” is also being given to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who has a pro-defense record marred by his support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its propaganda arm, Al Jazeera.
The awards to Panetta and McCain will follow a “Reagan National Defense Forum” featuring General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Last July, it was disclosed that Panetta was writing a book about his experiences as CIA Director and defense secretary that drew an advance of close to $3 million.
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou wrote a column titled, “I got 30 months in prison. Why does Leon Panetta get a pass?,” about how he was sentenced to prison for disclosing the name of a colleague. He contrasted his case with that of Panetta, who was never prosecuted for his disclosures.
One month before he gets the Reagan award, Panetta is scheduled to receive “one of the nation’s highest honors,” the William J. Donovan Award, which will be presented in October at the annual dinner of The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society in Washington, D.C.
Donovan was the founder and director of the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.
A new book, A Very Principled Boy, by former CIA officer Mark A. Bradley, tells the story of communist Duncan Lee, who infiltrated the OSS for the Soviets and was never prosecuted or convicted. Communist defector Elizabeth Bentley exposed Lee, but he continued to deny serving the communists until his death. He was eventually exposed definitively as a Soviet agent by the Venona intercepts of Soviet messages by the NSA. One of the Venona messages named Lee, who worked directly for OSS director Donovan, by the cover name “Koch.”
Donovan called him a “very principled boy” who would not betray his country.
The NSA intercepts were not used at the time to prosecute Lee because of the need to keep the nature and success of the surveillance a secret from the Soviets.
“The sad truth,” notes Mark LaRochelle, “is that Lee was just one of many identified Soviet agents in the OSS. Others, as we now know from numerous impeccable sources, included Maurice Halperin, Carl Marzani, Franz Neumann, Helen Tenney, Julius and Bella Joseph and Lee’s Oxford classmate, Donald Niven Wheeler.”
In fact, says historian Harvey Klehr, there were at least 16 Soviet agents in the OSS.
The Office of Strategic Services Society says it exists to educate the American public “regarding the continuing importance of strategic intelligence and special operations to the preservation of freedom in this country and around the world.”
This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.