Skip to comments.Blowing It: My Two Cents on Leaks
Posted on 01/11/2006 4:42:14 AM PST by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net
My Two Cents on Leaks
By David J. Aland [10 January 2006]
As a new naval officer and engineer, I quickly learned the difference between a blowing whistle and a leak. Working around high-pressure steam, I learned that if you hear a high-pitched whistle nearby, stay away. It doesnt matter if it is a whistle or a leak because if the whistle is being caused by escaping steam at over 1,000 pounds per square inch and almost 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, itll kill you if you get too close. Thats the thing about distinguishing between whistle-blowers and leaks. They both can hurt the incautious.
Last week, Senator Schumer attempted to define the subtle differences between a whistle-blower and a leaker. Apparently, whistle-blowers are patriots who spill secrets for noble reasons; leakers are just traitorous scum. I suspect his criteria separating patriotism from treason has more to do with political fallout than the actual damage to national security -- in fact, I would go so far as to suppose that any leak that hurts the Bush administration would be considered the righteous blowing of a whistle to Schumer.
And thats where the Senator and the rest of the dolorous Left are blowing it they no longer distinguish between the fortunes of their own political agenda and the welfare of their nation. Keep in mind that this is the same Senator whose staff was caught fishing up a credit report on an opponent and leaking it (whistle blowing?).
The New York Times, ground zero for whistled (or was it leaked?) information about NSA surveillance has already staked out a position that echoes the dubious logic used by Senator Schumer: those that leaked the details of a highly classified anti-terrorist operation are heroes, not leakers. Im sure we can trust integrity of the Grey Lady on this one, but what both the good Senator and the not-so-good newspaper miss is the simple truth about dangerous materials: a leak is a leak, and someone is liable to get hurt.
This is not an area where we should be giving out As for effort, or sanctioning good intentions. The road to hell, as my mother would say, is paved with that kind of stuff. It is a uniquely liberal trope that doing bad things for the right reason should somehow excuse the bad things, and especially if it hurts a Republican. But its exactly that kind of moral insouciance that convinces our enemies we are too weak to defend ourselves, and encourages global thugs like Wahabbist fanatics to attack our troops, our ships, and our cities.
A leak is a leak, and, as in the case of the NYT publishing details of a program critical to our national defense, this leak was bad, and ennobles no-one. At best, it is treason in a time of war. All things considered, one must then question their motives. The timing of the NYT story, given the coincidence with the Congressional fight to renew the Patriot Act, and the not-so-coincidental release of a book by an NYT reporter simply filled with classified leaks, is, to say the least, suspicious. In context, there can be little doubt that the Times intended only to damage the President, and Schumers apologia sounds more like an al-Zawahiri quote on al-Jazeera than a U. S. Senator on CNN.
But there has been a veritable rash of American liberal luminaries doing cheap impressions of al-Quaeda leadership in their public utterances. Senator John Murtha, for example, has rapidly gone beyond his already loony insistence that the United States pull out of Iraq immediately (a notion that nearly every Congress-member, Democrat or Republican, resoundingly rejected in a vote) to insisting that young men and women should not enter the Armed Forces. At a recent town meeting in Virginia, both Murtha and his host, Democrat Jim Moran, were called to answer for these outrageous comments, and were inarticulate at best in their responses.
Employing the logically lame notion that by making such outrageous statements, one can still somehow support the troops while opposing the war, Mr Murtha is, in fact, giving aid and succor to the enemy. His status as a veteran and senior lawmaker only serve to encourage the fanatics, and explain the popularity of his statements on Arabic networks.
This is where the Left is blowing it. Loose lips really do sink ships. Even more so in the Information Age, undisciplined use of information can be deadly. Forget the moral equivocations and rhetorical slight-of-hand of the Murthas and Schumers weapons-grade information, once out of the bag, can kill. It doesnt matter why it got out, but were all liable to get hurt by it.
David J. Aland is a retired Naval Officer with a graduate degree in National Security Affairs from the U. S. Naval War College.
Not to be trite, but the point about "Left is blowing it" is well taken
The Left blows!
Inspite of the 9-11 hearings, the testimony by Richard Clarke...a whole day hearing...is impressive and will answer many of your questions regarding surveillance.
This entire leaking problem needs to be stopped, post haste. Examples made of the leakers by giving them 10-20 year sentences and loss of pensions and benefits.
Then the Justice Department needs to march into Congress and start prosecuting them.
In context, there can be little doubt that the Times intended only to damage the President,
and Schumer's apologia sounds more like an al-Zawahiri quote on al-Jazeera than a U. S. Senator on CNN.
Is there a difference?