This is the third part of the Republican Trifecta–attacks on President Barack Obama.
The linked article, from Reuters, describes a situation where John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s White House Advisor on Counter-Terrorism, held a small, private telephone conference with former Counter-Terrorism Advisors who have become frequent commentators on TV news shows, http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE84H0OZ20120518. He told them about the Yemeni terrorist plan, which was similar to the so-called “shoe bomber” event, had been defused due to insider involvement.
The Associated Press originally broke the story; but, agreed to hold it back for a few days. Shortly after the conference call, however, Richard Clark, Counter-Terrorism Advisor during the Clinton Administration, went onto ABC’s Nighline and revealed that the event was totally defused since the Allies had someone on the inside. Mr. Clark made that mental jump, totally based on his years of experience. As it became public, however, the counter-terrorism operation had to be shut-down, displeasing the Allies.
Since the AP finally took the story which it had broken public, it was accused of divulging classified information. This led to the Justice Department seeking subpoenas on AP phone lines.
The real question here is: Why did John Brennan take this story public? The U.S. has been having problems with Allies regarding the handling of classified information. This exercise hardly helped that situation in any way. The key point here is why reveal information to people who no longer have security clearances, since they no longer work for the Government. Also, given their years of experience, they can jump to conclusions, even with non-classified information, and totally jeopardize intelligence relationships with Allies, as Richard Clark had done in this case. Brennan should be investigated for Breach of National Security.