If the media would like to go after someone for leaking identities, they should look closer to home, at the Obama Administration itself. Have they forgotten how Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then CIA Director, “recognized the unit that conducted the [bin Laden] raid and identified the ground commander by name…” at “a ceremony at CIA headquarters honoring personnel involved in the May 2011 bin Laden raid,” as recounted by the Project on Government Oversight? Panetta’s remarks contained Secret and Top Secret information, yet a Hollywood screenwriter for the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” was in attendance. As for Panetta, he claimed that his disclosure was inadvertent, just like the Obama administration’s recent disclosure of the Chief of Station’s identity has been excused as a “mistake.”
Perhaps this naiveté is just integral to the administration’s leadership. “A number of the new appointees, both senior and junior, seemed to lack an awareness of the world they had just entered,” former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates recounted about the fresh Obama team in his memoir Duty. “Symbolic of that, I noticed at our first meeting in the Situation Room that fully half the participants had their cell phones turned on during the meeting, potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers.”
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“I mentioned it to Jim Jones, the new national security adviser, after the meeting, and the problem did not recur,” wrote Gates. How many other moments like this have the Obama team experienced?
Maybe there’s some sheer naiveté going on here, but the administration has had more than five years to improve on this situation since the day former Secretary Gates just described. For the sake of our nation, they need to learn a little faster.
This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.