“Top-down” review on sensitive data handling should include how WH handles it, too

The Associated Press reports this morning that the WH has ordered a top-down review of how various government agencies safeguard classified and sensitive information in light of yesterday’s WikiLeaks dump:

WASHINGTON — Bristling over the unauthorized release of more than a quarter million classified State Department documents, the Obama White House on Monday ordered a government-wide review of how agencies safeguard sensitive information. 

The weekend release of documents reflecting, in some cases, unflattering assessments of world leaders has caused embarrassment to the administration. The director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, Jacob Lew, said in ordering the agency-wide assessment Monday that the disclosures are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 

Publication of the secret memos and documents made public by the online whistle-blower Wikileaks Sunday amplified widespread global alarm about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It also unveiled occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea. The leaks disclosed bluntly candid impressions from both diplomats and other world leaders about America’s allies and foes. 

It was, said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, the “Sept. 11 of world diplomacy.” 

In the wake of the massive document dump by online whistleblower WikiLeaks and numerous media reports detailing their contents, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was expected to address the diplomatic repercussions later Monday. Clinton may have to confront the fallout first hand after she leaves Washington on a four-nation tour of Central Asia and the Middle East — a region that figures prominently in the leaked documents. 

Now that gives me a lot of confidence.  Not.

First things first: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and any other anti-war b*stards who were/are complicit with him in the handling, processing, and leaking of any sensitive classified documents that not only will aid in damaging relationships with longstanding allies but that has also put in danger US troops abroad as well as their allies on the ground and working on intelligence operations, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws of their respective countries.  And that includes US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning who, according to this morning’s NY Daily News, wanted to unleash “worldwide anarchy in CSV [comma separated value] format.”  Can he be tried for treason?

That said, I find it interesting that the WH is only just now ordering this top-down review, considering the information that was already leaked earlier this year to the oh-so-helpful New York Times and Guardian “news” outlets, the publishing of which has further solidified the very much founded assertions by conservatives over the last 10+ years that both are in fact left-wing agenda-driven “news” organizations who care not one bit about responsible journalism as long as it promotes their ideology, and that ideology in this case is “war is wrong.”  How fascinating, considering that much of the document dumps so far have to do with aspects of not just the Iraq war but also the war in Afghanistan – you know, the “right war” as per left wingers?  It’s Afghanistan we went into in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, a brutal terror attack on our nation’s soil which saw New York City – the NY Times home base – suffer the most lost lives as well as a serious loss of a basic sense of being able to feel safe.  And here the NY Times is, once again, printing and writing extensively about sensitive documents related to that very war.  The term “clueless idiots” doesn’t even come close to describing this despicable bunch.

But I digress …

The WH is only now demanding a top down review of sensitive document handling?  A day late and a dollar short, as always.  As usual, when illegal document dumps like these occur, one of the first things the administration does is to cite concerns for those directly in harm’s way who could be harmed or killed as a result of the leaks.  But as I wrote back in September regarding the administration’s concern about troop welfare in response to the Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Koran:

But I’m trying to figure out exactly where the President’s concern for the welfare of our troops was when he was busy last year making available for public (read: enemy) viewing papers on the aggressive interrogation techniques the CIA was using to obtain information from the enemy, and other classified documents related to Bush-era counterterrorism measures that should have remained secret.   While I’m glad to see the President is worried that the actions of the pastor could harm the mission, and also further endanger our men and women in uniform already in harm’s way overseas, I sure would have liked to have seen more of this concern last year when he was eagerly showing how “transparent” his administration was going to be – with secret documents from previous administrations.  

The fact of the matter is one of the worst – if not the worst – offenders of releasing sensitive and classified information that had the potential to either hurt or kill troops, intelligence agents and US allies in Iraq and Afghanistan – worldwide, for that matter, has been this careless, reckless, and derelict administration. I truly hope that during this assessment that they discover better ways to safeguard from discovery and release sensitive information, including documents on diplomatic dealings as well as classified intelligence.  And not just the information that comes from unauthorized leakers like Julian Assange and Pfc. Manning, but also from authorized leakers like President Obama himself, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I won’t hold my breath.

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