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Emails Show WH ‘Force Fed’ Stuxnet To Reporter

From the Washington Times:

In classified cyberwar against Iran, trail of Stuxnet leak leads to White House

By Rowan Scarborough | August 18, 2013

The Obama administration provided a New York Times reporter exclusive access to a range of high-level national security officials for a book that divulged highly classified information on a U.S. cyberwar on Iran’s nuclear program, internal State Department emails show.

Hey, it was important. Obama was in the middle of his re-election campaign, and he had to show that he was doing something to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

It’s not like this was the first time that national security had to take a backseat to Obama’s re-election. Nor the last. (Cf. Obama’s drone list, and the mission to kill Bin Laden.)

The information in the 2012 book by chief Washington correspondent David E. Sanger has been the subject of a yearlong Justice Department criminal investigation: The FBI is hunting for those who leaked details to Mr. Sanger about a U.S.-Israeli covert cyberoperation to infect Iran’s nuclear facilities with a debilitating computer worm known as Stuxnet.

Somehow we don’t see Obama ever being prosecuted by Eric Holder.

A New York Times story adapted from the book, “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” quotes participants in secret White House meetings discussing plans to unleash Stuxnet on Iran.

The scores of State Department emails from the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2012 do not reveal which officials told Mr. Sanger, but they do show an atmosphere of cooperation within the administration for a book generally favorable toward, but not uncritical of, President Obama. For example:

“I’m getting a bit concerned about the pace of our interviews — or lack of pace, to be more precise — for the book,” Mr. Sanger said in an email Oct. 30, 2011, to Michael Hammer, a senior State Department public affairs official. “The White House is steaming away; I’ve seen [National Security Adviser Thomas E.] Donilon many times and a raft of people below. Doing well at the Pentagon. But on the list I sent you starting on Sept. 12 we’ve scheduled nothing, and chapters are getting into final form.”

Mr. Sanger’s book debuted in June 2012 and brought an immediate call from Republicans to investigate the leaks. They charged that administration officials jeopardized an ongoing secret cyberattack by tipping off Iran’s hard-line Islamic regime about war plans.

They also charged that Obama aides were leaking sensitive materials on other issues, such as the Navy SEAL-CIA raid to kill Osama bin Laden, to burnish Mr. Obama’s credentials as commander in chief as the 2012 election approached…

What an outrageous accusation. Who could imagine such a thing.

The nonprofit Freedom Watch acquired the State Department emails via a Freedom of Information Act request filed days after the book was published. Larry Klayman, its director, said State at first had told him it did not have any documents. He then filed suit in federal court. In December, U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins ordered State to turn over emails relating to its cooperation with Mr. Sanger.

“When you read the totality of those documents, it’s a super-close relationship they are furthering with Sanger,” Mr. Klayman said. “They were literally force-feeding him.” …

By March 2012, Mr. Sanger had spoken with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns; Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who is now Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s national security adviser; Robert Einhorn, then a special adviser on arms control; Harold Hongju Koh, State’s legal adviser; and others…

Mr. Sanger wrote a June 1, 2012, article on Stuxnet that was adapted from his book, which debuted later that week. In the story, he quoted “participants” in White House meetings on whether to continue attacking Iran with Stuxnet, which somehow had broken free into the Internet.

“At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s ‘escape,’ Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised,” the story said.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.”

Republicans said those passages alone are evidence that Obama aides broke the law by publicly disclosing a covert program…

How can it be otherwise?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Emails Show WH ‘Force Fed’ Stuxnet To Reporter”

  1. Its all about Power.

    I read Gibbons Rise and Fall. This eternal story does not end well.

  2. Never let the fate of 300 million people get in the way of “the one’s” ego.




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