Congress must now be notified by the Pentagon “whenever a DoD official discloses classified intelligence to a reporter on an authorized basis, or declassifies the information specifically for release to the press,” Secrecy News reported Tuesday, citing a new Department of Defense Directive.
Per the Senate Intelligence Committee, “This provision is intended to ensure … these authorized disclosures may be distinguished from unauthorized ‘leaks’.”
Pointing out parallels and equivalence between “authorized leakers” and “Authorized Journalists” hardly seems unfounded. Extrapolating the same principle, it’s easy to envision Dianne Feinstein demanding special protections for “real leakers,” and Joe Biden envisioning how “legitimate news leakers” can help the administration advance its goals.
Add to this a documented history of retaliation against whistleblowers, with the latest revelation that ATF was just “joking” about putting them in front of a firing squad in its training manual, and the effect on insiders aware of government corruption is chilling. That is why extraordinary measures were needed to induce Fast and Furious whistleblowers to come forward. They were, by all “official” criteria, unauthorized, unreal and illegitimate.
In other words, to continue with wholly called-for comparisons, anyone who wishes to shine a light on institutional wrongdoing in the future, without approval from those he’s exposing, can be dismissed as #JustALeaker, with all the personal vulnerability that implies. And government-sanctioned stooge media will continue to get, parrot and disseminate calculated, controlled-release talking points from their government handlers.
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