Dishonorable Disclosures – Loose Lips Sink Ships

Former Operators in operations and others talk about security breaches:

I always thought that some of the info that was released to the public seemed awfully sensitive.  Not ideal considering people’s lives are at risk.  The media is the worst for not keeping their mouths shut too.  I’m sure more often than not, people get paid for info by the top stations which ends up having devastating effects.  There doesn’t seem to be any liability, so it will likely just keep happening.

Thoughts?

28 COMMENTS

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NoiseMekanik August 18, 2012 at 03:59 am

Watching this video is kind of like reading a newspaper article written by Stalin about how Hitler is a dick.

I hate election years.

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MrMaigo August 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

Bad Mr. President! Bad!

I bet if you asked them, they’d say Iraq was full of WMD’s but GWB was such a bro for never mentioning it.

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Tomo August 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Pretty much spot on right there

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Cuban Pete August 18, 2012 at 06:08 am

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….oh, hi! Just woke up.

Please tell me something that this administration, or prior, have not done before? Leaking to the press for political purposes is part of the game. Everyone does it.

Heck, operators at the highest of military ranks do it to promote themselves in the eyes of influental press reporters!!

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Jim P. August 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

The example of Obama announcing OBL’s death within hours is the height of the destruction intelligence opportunities. If Obama could have kept his mouth shut for 10 days — we could have probably taken out another 7-10 Al Qaeda leaders, if not more.

Pfc Manning (of WikiLeaks infamy) should be shot. And if he is convicted, I volunteer to be on the firing squad.

I was in intel in the USAF in the 80’s and 90’s. The politicians would release photos and some signal intelligence info of the enemy. That never really hurt anyone other than to warn the bad guys we were on to them.

When you start releasing humint (human intelligence) you start killing your networks. The thought among the persons you are pumping is “I can’t trust anybody.” The semi-innocent housekeeper to the Ministry of Defense of X country will stop talking. The reason she stops talking is because the butler for the MOD was taken out and shot in the head with a Barret from close range in front of the staff.

Just look at this: Pakistani doctor jailed for helping CIA find bin Laden How many more Pakistani’s do you think want to help us now? The same with the case of the attacks that were stopped coming out of Yemen.

Politicians need to be retaught that what they say might kill people.

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SqDb August 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

Being locked in solitary (for how long now?), I’m sure Manning would gladly take a bullet.

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klyph August 18, 2012 at 02:08 pm

Ultra nationalist military vs. Socialist politicians
Can we just make both sides stfu?

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Saxon August 18, 2012 at 02:29 pm

The Media and most politicians used to have a sense of honor and loyalty when it came to shit like this. The media kept the Normandy Invasion information secret during WW2. Wheras today, we cant do fuckall in secrecy because damn near every journalist is a socialist traitor who wants a pulitzer prize, no matter the consequences. And trying people with treason and executing them for it has also become un-politically correct. Utter Bullshit! Washington needs to unfuck themselves and grow a pair!

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PJ August 18, 2012 at 06:39 pm

The media also used to cover for the government when they made mistakes (Spanish-American War yellow journalism comes immediately to mind) either out of, as you say, a sense of loyalty, or because the government was ignoring basic Constitutional rights to suppress criticism. There are cases when the media should report leaked information, for example if they obtained proof that false intelligence was purposefully being given to Congress and the President in order to push the U.S. into war. That said, the problem we have now is that the media instead reports EVERYTHING they find in fear that if they don’t report on it someone else will. We haven’t found a happy medium.

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M August 18, 2012 at 07:29 pm

That’s a great way to look at it! True balance is what we need.

If everything is secret then mistakes go on unchecked. Look at the news van that was blown up by a helicopter uncovered by wikileaks.

On the other hand, if you can’t keep any secrets then you loose valuable assets, like that pakistani doctor that ratted out Osama, and you loose the element of surprise.

It’s a fine line to walk, and admittedly without knowing everything it’s hard to be sure that the right choices are being made. The best that we can do is ELECT GOOD, HONORABLE, PEOPLE TO OFFICE, at all levels of government, and hope that they do the right thing.

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Jim P. August 18, 2012 at 07:46 pm

Look at the news van that was blown up by a helicopter uncovered by wikileaks.

I can agree with the idea that leaks of wrong doing should be disclosed.

The idea of leaking the information that the undersecretary of some country said “x” at a dinner with five people in attendance will get people killed

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Saxon August 18, 2012 at 02:35 pm

To Jim P: I would also add that the Obama Administration recently admitted that the Stuxnet Virus attack in Iran was ours, they even told about how they introduced it into Iranian nuke facility systems! This is what the people get when they elect egomaniacal idiots.

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Jim P. August 18, 2012 at 04:09 pm

I know. The Obama administration is desperate to look good at any cost, even in lives. The Bush administration did it too. But most of what was released was perishable intelligence, or could be documented other ways.

The Stuxnet was a few man operation that the Iranians can pinpoint the source.

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NoiseMekanik August 18, 2012 at 09:23 pm

They did a wonderful job blurring “Simon” @ 2:48, lol.

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Vhyrus August 19, 2012 at 12:13 am

They outed seal team 6? I didn’t realize that seal team 6 was a secret organization considering I have heard their name since I was in high school. They leaked info on stuxnet which let the Iranians know it was Israels fault… because Iran had no beef with Israel before that, right? And it is apparently ok for the president to order drone executions, he just can’t tell anyone… riiight.

So these guys are forming a group to stop government leaks by… talking very sternly? ‘You need to stop leaking info Mr. President!’ …. or what? Are you going to shoot him? Arrest him? Torture him? These guys have absolutely no weight behind their words. My guess is they will attempt to have the violators voted out but I don’t see them swinging a lot of votes one way or the other.

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elephantrider August 19, 2012 at 05:47 am

The point they are making is that no one would have know exactly who or how Bin Laden was killed had the Obama administration not publicly broadcast it. Naming SEAL Team 6 puts them at further risk if any bad guys can ever ID them, then they automatic high profile targets. There was no need to name SEAL Team 6 other than to get Obama’s name right next to in the the TV and newspaper reports. Simply saying that a team of Americans, or US allied forces killed Bin Laedn would have sufficed.

Offering up any information like this can only hurt you and in no way help you. Conflicts are progressive. With each enguagement each side learns more about the other and strategies and tactics evolve. The less your opponent learns about you the better off you are.

The only person this helped was Barak Obama. This was the first thing to happen during his tenure that Americans could universally get behind and he could hang his hat on come re-election time. The announcement of Bin Laden’s killing could easily have been postponed by weeks to attempt to exploit any gathered intelligence.

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librarian45 August 19, 2012 at 03:25 pm

Didn’t the Bush people out some active American CIA agents b/c of some political infighting?

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Jim P. August 19, 2012 at 05:50 pm

Yes, you are referring to the Valerie Plame case. Have you actually looked at the details and Richard Armitage being the leaker. They also knew that very shortly after the leak and then went on a witch hunt for an additional 2-3 years?

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matt August 20, 2012 at 08:53 am

You should have read librarians post in which s/he said “Bush people”. Armitage was a foreign policy advisory to Bush during his election campaign, and then was Deputy Secretary of State under Bush.

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Jim P. August 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

I know. Way back above I said both sides did leaks.

My disgust on the Plame leak was that if you look at the details, Armitage admitted he did it early on. The left then dragged it out for years. In the end it was determined to be an inadvertent leak, not deliberately done. If the investigators had concluded quickly, Armitage could have been dismissed, and he would have been used as an example to keep your mouth shut.

The current crop of leaks seem deliberate.

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Saxon August 20, 2012 at 01:46 pm

I understand and agree that anything seriously wrong should be reported, the problem with that is that everyone has a different definition of “wrong”, and I firmily belive that most journalists that leak information do so out of their own selfish reasons (Pulitzer, 5 minutes of fame, etc), not benevolent ones.

The one way to put a stop to this is to enforce the treason laws on the books, anyone who is found guilty of leaking classified information should be hanged, how many would dare leak then?

And the wikileaks people havent been doing any good either, they released docs that revealed names of Afghans who were working with us. Who the hell will want to work with the US now?

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Mark August 21, 2012 at 04:53 pm

We need more government transparency, not less. Too often, the notion of national security is used to disguise totally irrelevant crap just to shield beauracracts. And with no oversight into what’s marked as secret and what isn’t, the classifications are terribly abused.

But I guess that doesn’t sit well with the “law and order” right wingers.

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Jim P. August 21, 2012 at 08:31 pm

Most of the intelligence that I was exposed to was imagery or communications. The human intelligence was limited; by deliberate forethought. The humint side was generally handled specialized units that were cross-matched between military and civilians and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

As for transparency — every base I was ever on had an IG unit with at least three inspectors with a TS clearance. The Office of Special Investigations had two-three agents that had a TS clearance. And just for backup, usually one (if not all) of the clergy in the base chapel had a TS clearance.

If anyone had information about bad acts — and didn’t tell — that was their own moral and ethical failing.

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Mark August 21, 2012 at 09:28 pm

Thanks for the detailed info

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Jim P. August 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Please note that those that have a TS clearance don’t automatically have access to classified information. That is still on a Need-To-Know basis.

But if I (or any member of a unit) were to know that they were blowing up reporters or bystanders because they insurgents ran into the crowd and the helicopter fired — the unit members are responsible to report it.

I’m not saying that it is a perfect system — but the structure is in place to support a good outcome.

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Tom January 19, 2013 at 01:23 am

Lol…TS clearance is not that TS. Almost everyone gets TS. The security clearance assigned to those involved or take part in low intensity conflicts or so called “black” ops is classified. The name of the so called SEAL “team six” is also classified. And it changes quite frequently as does the name of other paramilitary teams/units like OMFGDELTA!!!!

That’s why the whole alphabet soup and secret ops are affectionately known as the great game.

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Tom January 19, 2013 at 01:37 am

Anyway, those in office always have their own agenda. We do what we do for the guys on our left and our right. Our brothers in arms. That’s it. Fuck the politics. Shit…almost every adversary was an ally at some point. Noriega, bin laden, Hussein, the muhj, were all CIA boys.

There is a reason for why people hate us. But they can eat a dick. We will do whatever is necessary to preserve our freedoms and our way of life. My life is a small price to pay for my children’s freedom and the freedom of my mom, dad, and loved ones.

If I die doing what I do…so be it. I knew the job was dangerous when I took it. I didn’t sign up for the college program. GI Bill or whatever. I joined to blow shit up and kill motherfuckers. Don’t get that shit twisted. I’m a realist. I signed up to do cool shit with a good bunch of dudes in cool places. I did it and I had fun doing it.

But at the same time, I was wounded too. Shot seven times. I lived…and no I’m not bitter. Four surgeries, eight months in recovery, one hernia surgery, and multiple bones broken and/or shattered. I’d do it all over again. I’d gladly give my life for freedom. Today, tomorrow, and any other time.

Be a part of something greater than yourself. All people seem to think about is themselves. We are too damn egocentric. Ok…y’all can return to your safe little bubbles now. Those who know…understood what I said.

Lo que sea, cuando sea, donde sea!

33D1 OUT!

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Reform School February 27, 2015 at 04:11 am

‘Saxon,’ ‘elephantrider’ et al should be thanked for their sage analyses as well as their service.

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