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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clampnig down on foreign policy leaks

About a week ago, I wrote a post going off on all the leaking on the Afghanistan deliberation, saying that such policy/debate pushing "leaks" would undermine Obama's foreign policy cred around the world.

Since that Eikenberry "leak" that prompted my post, Sec Def Bill Gates issued public statements warning the military structure that "leaking" of this sort was a firing offense.

Now, in Beijing, Obama gives an interview to CBS' Chip Reid which reinforces the position.
THE PRESIDENT: “I think I am angrier than Bob Gates about it, partly because we have these deliberations in the Situation Room for a reason – because we are making decisions that are life-and-death, that affect how our troops will be able to operate in a theater of war. For people to be releasing information during the course of deliberation -- where we haven’t made final decisions yet -- I think is not appropriate.”

CHIP REID: “Firing offense??”

THE PRESIDENT: “Absolutely"

Let's see if that shuts it down.


  • Obama frames this in terms of "risking the lives of Americans serving in war." So wingers who leak -- or propagate leaks -- will be (rightfully?) accused of acting against American security and American servicemen. Maybe.

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:21 AM  

  • Trouble is firing them doesn't necessarily shut them up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 AM  

  • Though I guess it does get them out of the loop, he added.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:40 AM  

  • EPM, it's not the wingers doing this. It's military and administration officials trying to influence the media presentation to politically pressure the administration towards a certain course.

    In that first post, I likened it to all the internal leaking on domestic stuff in the early Clinton administration that got so messy they couldn't get much done.


    Anon, True. But at the level of most of these leakers, losing the job/being fired for leaking is more damaging to future prospects.

    These aren't disgruntled CIA officers or military captains.

    Most of this is coming from very top level folks who have real reputations to protect.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:58 AM  

  • Eikenberry may have been encouraged to make those comments. Maybe that's why he wasn't fired.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 AM  

  • Maybe, maybe not. From my memory, it was a "leaked" set of cables from Eikenberry.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:36 AM  

  • I was uncertain that it was the military who leaked the Eikenberry memo. I assumed it was someone at State or something.

    But I get your point.

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:07 AM  

  • Yeah. Eikenberry was definitely someone against surge, and the Pentagon appears for, but the military side has been also planting stories and incidents saying how it's lawless without more troops, etc...

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:59 PM  

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