Ron Johnson’s Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released a report documenting unauthorized disclosure of national security information from January 20, 2017 to May 25, 2017, with a chart, showing how serious these leaks have been.
President Trump himself had often expressed his frustration while pointing out the dangers of classified information being leaked to the MSM, information no member of the media holds security clearance to see, much less report on. Trump supporters also expressed their desire to see the new president "clean house," yet knowing that he couldn't simply clear everyone out and leave the nation blind to threats while he attempted to fill those positions all at once.
"The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!"Trump tweeted on Feb. 15.
So that left one other option... a crackdown.
CRACKDOWN ON LEAKERS IN PROGRESS & THE MEDIA WANTS US TO FEEL SORRY FOR THE 'LEAKERS'
The Trump administration has been quietly putting security measures in place in what is being called a "stealthy operation to smoke out the leakers," in order to 1) Stop the leaks, and; 2) Determine who is leaking information to the press.
These measures are suspected to include restrictions on who can access sensitive information, tracking what members of the intelligence community is doing and who they are talking to, tracking what they printed to know what information they are accessing, and limiting the number of people even read into certain sensitive matters, so that if something leaks, the suspects are obvious.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 13, and issued a warning to the intelligence community, stating "I fear that some people may find that they wish they hadn't leaked," and has multiple investigations going into exposing the leakers.
Before getting into the "spin" the media is starting to put onto this crackdown, it is prudent to remember that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2017, stating "Leaks have become a very significant, played a very significant, negative role relative to our national security. The release of information not only undermines confidence in our allies about our ability to maintain secure information that we share with them; it jeopardizes sources and methods that are invaluable to our ability to find out what's going on and what those threats are."
Coats went on to add "Lives are at stake in many instances and leaks jeopardize those lives."
The scope of tone deafness and lack of concern for national security on the part of the mainstream establishment corporate media is astounding as we read though a Politico article concerning this crackdown, where their obvious sympathies lie with the deep state operatives within the intelligence community, claiming that cracking down to prevent the leaking of classified information to the media is creating a "culture of fear," and "sends chills through national security world.'
One U.S. official voiced concern over even talking to their superiors about a benign call from a reporter. The agency this official works for had started limiting staff’s access to information, they said, and it would make it far easier to figure out who was talking to people in the media.
Red State writer Streiff, who dealt with highly classified information on a daily basis during parts of his military career, explains why that U.S. official should be concerned, stating "You shouldn’t be taking 'benign' calls from reporters if you aren’t a leaker. Press contacts are passed to an agency communications office and they decide who will speak for the agency and what the main talking points will be. You shouldn’t be gossiping with colleagues about classified information you have access to but which they don’t. If you are afraid your boss is going to be monitoring what you are printing, maybe you shouldn’t be printing it."
Exactly why the crackdown and the strategic measures being taken are critical, because anybody that suggests that random members of the intelligence community should be talking to members of the media or that any such communications could be considered "benign," has no clue how the process works or are deliberately lying to their audience.
The point being, if they are talking to the press, as members of the intel community, those interactions should be scrutinized given the level of classified data that was being leaked in the first few months of the Trump administration.
More from the Politico article:
"The circles on this are so small," one U.S. intelligence official said of the various Russia investigations that have cast a shadow on Trump’s White House.
Information on Trump and Russia has been so limited there would be fewer and fewer sources, the official said, putting those who are talking at risk. "Confirming [Russia news] is almost impossible," the official said.
In some cases, the official added, information has been so "choked down" that if something comes out in the press, "it’s either a bogus leak" or, the official said, the relevant agency will know exactly where it came from. And, the official said, they had heard several other government organizations had started doing the same.
The Politico writers, Ali Watkins and Josh Dawsey, seem to be so concerned about drumming up sympathy for those willing to leak unauthorized national security information to the press that they do not appear to understand the importance of what they just said there.
Any leaks of classified or national security data to the press are "bogus." If not, the Trump administration has put measures in place where they will know who leaked the information. They just confirmed the DOJ warning which sent the MSM into a tailspin in June, about why Americans should be "skeptical about anonymous allegations" and "exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials'."
Perhaps the most egregious portion of the Politico spin, comes at the end of the article:
Rumors have ricocheted among national security officials and journalists in recent weeks that Trump- or GOP-related operatives have hired private eyes to try and intimidate reporters, or run rogue operations to find their sources. Some U.S. officials voiced concern to POLITICO that the White House could be seeking out amenable employees in different agencies to do its bidding, effectively sanctioning its own, parallel — and informal — intimidation measures.
The Obama administration was known to be hostile towards reporters’ sources, prosecuting more leak investigations than any of the previous administrations combined. But there was a standard — though still worthy of criticism — that leak prosecutions involved clear and present threats to national security.
"There is an established procedure for initiating leak investigations. And it includes a finding by an agency that not only is the leak accurate, but that it also damaged national security in a way that can be articulated," Aftergood said. "There are many leaks that simply do not meet that standard."
But that bar, under Trump, appears to be recalculated. There are early indications that the White House considers the release of embarrassing information a transgression tantamount to the unauthorized disclosure of state secrets. Under Trump, there is concern that the full weight of these probes could be used to find political dissidents within the ranks — with the violation not being rooted in a criminal statute, but instead in Trump’s expectation of loyalty.
There is so much spin contained in those four paragraphs it is hard to know where to start, so, lets start with the first paragraph.... utilizing whatever measures are necessary to stop the leaks to the press from the intelligence community is supposedly considered "intimidation?" Newsflash to the writers, setting up measures to stop the unauthorized dissemination of intel is not "intimidation, it is President Trump doing his job. Also it should not take "intimidation" to keep government workers from leaking, it should only take integrity. Only those with no integrity would attempt to harm the nation by working against the president and the country, to whom they serve.
Second and third paragraphs, they babble about a "standard? The "standard" is the law. Specifically 18 U.S. Code § 798 - Disclosure of classified information, which states "Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information.......... Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
THAT is a standard.
As to the last paragraph about concern regarding the probes being used to find political dissidents....... errrrrr..... that is whole point of the probes, to find the traitors within that do not have the integrity to simply quit if they disagree with the official U.S. policy, but instead break the law to leak unauthorized information to the press.
Basically the whole Politico pieces reads like "feel sorry for those illegally leaking information because they are feeling pressured to stop or *GASP* at risk of criminal prosecution."
THE RESULTS OF THE CRACKDOWN
The results to the leaker crackdown in progress now by the Trump adminsitration can be seen in a variety of ways.
We are no longer seeing the daily "leaks" that jeopardize national security, rather the MSM is busy now frothing at the mouth over every tweet the President issues, from Mika's face face lift to "psycho Joe" to a funny wrestling GIF. When the media does claim to have something huge, citing their anonymous sources, they are now being forced to retract and delete them because they are "fake news," such as the recent CNN report which cost three CNN employees their jobs and made CNN issue an apology.
Another result is that the media, having nothing "anti-Trump" that can be considered substantial, are whining about a lack of "cameras" during press briefings, so CNN's Jim Acosta considers the socks he wears to be "news."
That is not a joke, Acosta is literally tweeting our pictures of the socks he is wearing while complaining about whether cameras are on or off at the WH press briefings.
In fact, with the media's refusal to report the actual news, like manufacturing is up, illegal immigration is down, the travel ban has been implemented without a hitch since the Supreme Court weighed and allowed the majority of it to go through, and any other number of events happening now, all going under-reported because they don't have the "anti-Trump" spin the MSM wants, they have also taken to publishing more fake news stories, (or 'reporting' on their socks!), and picking fights with the entire internet by hunting down an anonymous internet user that created a GIF meme that hurt CNN's feelings, and threatened to reveal his identity unless he stopped his bad behavior, which in turn has now seen the creation of hundreds, if not thousands of new anti-CNN memes. (More on that here and the hysterical fallout here)
The media wants you to feel sorry for intelligence community leakers, and without those leaks because of the Trump administration's crackdown, the media has exposed exactly how irrelevant they have become.