Saturday, July 31, 2010

deep state reaction to narrative game change


Video - Gates asks FBI to catch leaker.

NYTimes | Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Thursday denounced the disclosure this week of 75,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war by the Web site WikiLeaks, asserting that the security breach had endangered lives and damaged the ability of others to trust the United States government to protect their secrets.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Mr. Gates portrayed the documents as “a mountain of raw data and individual impressions, most several years old” that offered little insight into current policies and events. Still, he said, the disclosures — which include some identifying information about Afghans who have helped the United States — have “potentially dramatic and grievously harmful consequences.”

“The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world,” he said. “Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures, will become known to our adversaries.”

The Times has taken care not to publish information that would harm national security interests or disclose anything that was likely to put lives at risk or jeopardize military or antiterrorist operations, withholding any names of operatives in the field and informants cited in the reports. It also has not linked to the archives of raw material.

Mr. Gates said the documents’ disclosure had prompted a rethinking of a trend nearly two decades old, dating from the Persian Gulf war of 1991, of trying to make intelligence information more accessible to troops in combat situations so they can respond rapidly to developments.

“We endeavor to push access to sensitive battlefield information down to where it is most useful — on the front lines — where as a practical matter there are fewer restrictions and controls than at rear headquarters,” he said. “In the wake of this incident, it will be a real challenge to strike the right balance between security and providing our frontline troops the information they need.”