To the Full Extent of the Law

With security clearances come legal obligations to keep the secrets one has been made privy to. Those who leak such secrets do so in violation of the law and of their oaths, and almost always to the detriment of National Security.

Former NSA executive charged with leaking information to newspaper
By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post

A former senior executive with the National Security Agency has been indicted on 10 felony charges related to the leaking of classified information to a national newspaper in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department announced Thursday morning.

Thomas A. Drake, 52, headed an office in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate at Fort Meade between 2001 and 2005, and continued to work with the agency as a high-ranking contractor through 2008, U.S. officials said. The indictment alleges that Drake exchanged hundreds of e-mails with an unidentified reporter[s] for a national newspaper and served as a source for its articles about Bush administration intelligence policies between February 2006 and November 2007, U.S. officials said.

Drake was indicted by a federal grand jury in Maryland, the Justice Department said.

The indictment does not name the newspaper. It also does not detail the subject matter of the classified information or the articles that contained the information.

Drake has been charged with willful retention of classified information, obstruction of justice and making false statements, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said.

I’ll help fill in the blanks.

The programs were the Terrorist Surveillance Program which tracked communications to known terrorist cells which had a terminus in a foreign nation, and the SWIFT Program which tracked (and interrupted) the international transfer of funds between terrorist entities and their supporters. The reporters are Eric Lichtblau and James Risen. The “national paper” is the Tired Gray Crone of New York.

If you subscribe to the NYT, today would be an excellent day to cancel that subscription.

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