OPSEC

Classified Disclosures for Political Gain


English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...
English: President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent disclosure that Stuxnet was a US program was shocking.  The disclosure that SEAL Team Six killed Usama bin Laden was shocking.

Shocking, not because of the boldness of these military operations.  It was shocking because all these disclosures revealed classified information.

According to the New York Times article by David E. Sanger here, President George W. Bush met personally with incoming President Barack Obama in the Oval Office during the transition period and urged President Obama to continue Operation Olympic Games, or Stuxnet as the world has come to know it. This was a Special Access Program, where access to the information is restricted to a by-name approval process, at the senior-most levels.

The unit that killed Usama bin Laden, SEAL Team Six, was a previously classified unit, part of a code named program.  Disclosure of this unit gave President Obama an incredible amount of political clout.  President Obama’s approval ratings, as a result, rose to an unprecedented level.

These are only two examples of declassification for what appears to be purely political gain.

Operations Security or OPSEC is strictly enforced in the military, this is one of the basic tenets of Information Operations.  We have had problems with Senators and Congressmen in the past disclosing classified information when doing so suited their purpose.  Now the President has become the “Discloser in Chief” for apparently pure political gain.  Is there no accountability?

According to an informed source, and I quote:

  1. Senger is a favorite “Leak Receiver” for the liberal lefty progressives.
  2. A cyber attack demonstrates the administration’s determination to neuter the Iranian nuclear program
  3. This is a demonstration of “Defense” by non-kinetic means
  4. The story clearly states that it “started under Bush” which gives them political cover from criticism
  5. A page and a half is not a trivial story for the old gray lady

This is a long planned, well sourced highly edited piece that leaves little to the imagination as to Obama’s robust effort to neuter Iran’s nuclear program. The significant detail, diagrams and programs descriptions show a well researched tightly written piece.

Update.  In a completely unrelated but still pertinent story: National-security leaks must be plugged, written by By Dan Coats, Richard Burr and Marco Rubio and published today.

5 thoughts on “Classified Disclosures for Political Gain

  1. “Disclosure of this unit gave President Obama an incredible amount of political clout. President Obama’s approval ratings, as a result, rose to an unprecedented level.”

    Um, might his approval ratings have risen due to the fact that Bin Laden was killed, even without disclosing the unit?

    I don’t sense that disclosing the unit added or subtracted much to his approval ratings, although the surrounding story of how the decision was made probably bolstered some people’s view of his ability to make a decision as Commander in Chief

    1. Kevin, you’re absolutely correct. This begs the question “Why couldn’t the President NOT disclose a classified unit when he didn’t have to?”

  2. I think it was a simple screw up that occurred as part of their enthusiasm for showing how well they had done their job. Today’s story is another issue entirely….putting info like that into a book during an operation that supposedly is still ongoing is criminal

    1. De nada, Amigo, de nada. You and I busted our butt to never reveal anything even remotely sensitive during our military careers. Now I’m almost embarrassed by this disclosure.

      I have remarked with almost pride, that the origin of Stuxnet would never see the light of day. This is literally a shot to my pride.

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