**Posted by Phineas
Remember when I blew my stack over “someone” (*cough* White House *cough*) leaking classified information about the development of the Stuxnet virus, aimed at Iran’s nuclear weapons program, to the New York Times? It was evident that these and other leaks were being made to boost Obama’s reputation in a difficult reelection race.
Well, well. Surprise, surprise. It seems President Look-At-Me has been caught claiming credit that wasn’t his to claim:
In his book [NYT reporter David] Sanger argues that it was an American idea to attack Iranian nuclear installations with sophisticated and clandestine cyberspace warfare – planting viruses and worms in Iran’s computers. According to the writer, the operation — code-named ”Olympic Games” — was initiated in 2007 by the Bush administration and sped up under President Obama. In an excerpt adapted from his book by the Times, Sanger wrote that only at a later stage were Israeli intelligence experts and computer wizards were brought in and joined forces.
The Israeli officials actually told me a different version. They said that it was Israeli intelligence that began, a few years earlier, a cyberspace campaign to damage and slow down Iran’s nuclear intentions. And only later they managed to convince the USA to consider a joint operation — which, at the time, was unheard of.
The author of the article, former Haaretz reporter Yossi Melman, also quotes these officials as saying they were reluctant to get involved because they realized the US is deep into its election season. But… come on. Melman would never have been told this information if someone high up didn’t want it to get out. The message is clear: “We did the hard work; stop being a schmuck!”
So now we know(1) not only the president is self-centered enough to leak classified information to make himself look good, but he has to exaggerate his role, too.
But, then again, this is a man who (or whose flunkies) thought it a good idea to insert himself into the official biographies of his recent predecessors, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
We should just roll our eyes, instead.
via Joel Pollak
(1) Sure, I recognize the Israelis could be telling their own fibs for their own purposes. Maybe. Given recent history of leaks all designed to make the boss look good, however, I’m inclined to credit Melman’s reporting more than the White House.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)