This piece from Matt Vespa at TOWNHALL appeared on Tuesday, before the arrest of the latest leaker of classified information from the U.S. government. Vespa didn’t know then that the leaker, a member of the intelligence ‘wing’ of the Air National Guard from Massachusetts, had THE highest level of security clearance at the tender age of 21. At least that’s what we’re being told about him.
THE GUARDIAN had speculated that the leak was “probably not some dastardly hacking or disinformation plot by Russia or the US, but rather another example of how carelessly Washington handles its secrets.” They apparently were right. And that truth, they said, “may be more worrying for the U.S. and its allies than a Russian hack.”
The leaked documents, they said, appeared to have been put together for Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other top military leaders but were available to other personnel --- and contractors --- with “the right” security clearances.
The point here is not so much to examine the content or potential fallout from these particular leaks --- that’s elsewhere in the newsletter --- but rather to address the carelessness and inconsistency with which we deal with our secrets. Do you know how many people have a top-level security clearance? In 2019, the latest year for which we have the figure, it’s 1.5 million. With that many people having access, it’s almost a statistical certainty that restricted-access material will find its way online.
And with the stunning policy currently in place, those who leave or retire from the FBI and other intel agencies retain those clearances right along with their pensions. John Brennan, former head of the CIA and major proponent of the Russia Hoax, still has his security clearance while working as an analyst for MSNBC. When the intel agencies finally get their badly-needed overhaul, this policy needs one, too.
When Trump was accused of keeping classified documents at Mar-A-Lago --- never mind that as President he could declassify whatever he wanted to --- all we heard was how dangerous to national security it was to have those materials in that storage room. Why, the nuclear codes might have been just sitting there in Trump’s closet, maybe laid right out on the floor in full view, like in the picture! Never mind that the FBI agents had placed those papers on the floor themselves to take the photo, or that even if Trump had some nuclear codes, they would’ve been long-outdated, as they’re changed regularly, certainly with an incoming administration. But partisan hysteria transcended rational thought, as is typical these days.
Later, when the story broke about Biden having classified documents scattered all over the northeastern United States, the narrative changed. It suddenly wasn’t that big a deal. The FBI wasn’t about to send armed agents to storm Biden’s library in Delaware…or his garage, next to his Corvette...or a storage warehouse in Chinatown...or his office at the Washington DC Penn Biden Center...or the University of Pennsylvania...or his lawyer’s office in Boston...or any other place where he might have deposited some classified documents. They left Biden’s attorneys in charge of the retrieval, even though these documents seem to have been much more vulnerable in those locations than the ones at Mar-A-Lago, which were behind a secure door in a building with armed security.
As Vespa said, this “highlights once again how anything Trump-related is treated as an unprecedented event when it’s not...The allegations of Trump’s mishandling classified documents were treated as an unprecedented event until Biden’s state secret snafu, which suddenly led to multiple stories about how everyone in DC [had] leaked these documents since the Kennedy presidency.”
“The Left’s myopia for most of their attacks on the former President has been nothing short of stunning,” he said, “almost comical.” Now that we see the extent to which Biden has made off with classified documents from his entire time in politics and squirreled them away, they’ve had to cut ol’ Joe some slack by switching to an attitude of “everybody does it.” (Hillary did it with thousands and thousands of easily hackable electronic State Department records.) And it seems everyone gets away with it whose last name isn’t Trump.
It was in that context that we all learned of these new leaks. Vespa theorizes that “the endless cycle about classified materials, leaks, and their related dangers, all hyperbole, saturated the media to the point where we might have one that could impact national security, and no one cares.”
It doesn’t inspire much confidence in federal investigators that NEW YORK TIMES reporters actually beat them to the house where the suspect, Jack Douglas Teixeira, lives and knocked on the door first. I suppose the feds just didn’t have enough agents because most of them are busy investigating Trump supporters and traditional Catholics.
The WASHINGTON POST had already identified the leaker. More details...
These leaks do show the government has been lying to us about the fight in Ukraine and our role in it. Yet the reporters at the NYT and WAPO helped the feds catch the leaker and, ironically, maintain secrecy. Their job seems to be to help the government lie. Here’s part of independent journalist Glenn Greenwald’s take, which also pretty well summarizes what we’ve learned through these leaks:
“If you’re a real journalist, somebody who’s devoted to transparency...shining a light on the most powerful government actors in the lives of the American people, and informing the public, you would be celebrating this person [as with Ed Snowden and Julian Assange], who stepped forward and risked his security to show his fellow citizens that the government was lying about this incredibly important war with a nuclear-armed power --- that we have actual troops deployed on the ground in Ukraine, there’s going to be no diplomatic resolution through at least 2023, that Zelenskyy is planning to use our weapons to strike deep into Russia, which we were told would never happen, risking escalation. He [the leaker] did the job of what journalists came to do, which is show the public the truth.”
Certainly, it was in Ukraine’s interest to keep all this secret. And, of course, the intel community hates the leaker because he’s shown that they’ve been lying.
As for the so-called ‘journalists,’ Greenwald nails them to the wall: “They love leaks when the CIA and Homeland Security tell them to leak. That’s when they disseminate propaganda to the American public, like they did during the Trump years, when they leaked the transcript between Michael Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak...The WASHINGTON POST did that; nobody looked for that leaker, nobody cared, everybody cheered, because it served the interest of the security state.”
But when a leaker undermines these agencies and tells the truth, he said, the “journalists” take the government’s side and are out for blood. They don’t think like journalists anymore; they’re working for the administration.
We would add that when a Republican comes in, they’ll be working against the administration.
RELATED: Matt Taibbi has similar thoughts to those of Greenwald, plus he believes the media are already starting the spin that this leak shows how dangerous it is to allow rightwing “incels” and “gun enthusiasts” to speak privately on the Internet, sharing “dark humor” and “innocuous memes” that might be taken the wrong way by some people. So obviously, we need to pass the horrifying RESTRICT Act to allow the government to keep lying with impunity while spying on and silencing anyone who might complain about it under the guise of “national security.”
ALSO RELATED: China sends not-so-subtle message to President Biden
Speaking of foreign powers benefiting from secrets, the WASHINGTON TIMES reports that by giving Senate Republicans the financial records showing millions of Chinese dollars flowing to the Biden family, a Chinese-American bank has in effect “fired a warning shot” at the President.
These are the records requested of Cathay Bank by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, and no subpoena was required. They handed them right over, no questions asked, and “will continue to cooperate with the committee,” they said in a statement. “In my mind,” said Sen. Johnson to the TIMES, “it’s the Chinese government telling Joe Biden, ‘We got the goods on you, buddy, and we’re willing to dish it up.’”
The TIMES has details of those financial transactions. I hate to keep using the word “shocking,” but this really is. And knowing the Chi-Comms, they’re probably holding something back, perhaps the worst of it, just to maintain leverage over our Commander-in-Chief. That would certainly explain a lot.