Thursday, August 8, 2013

NSA, Leaks, Bin Laden Raid, Sustenex, Al Qaeda Terror Threat, Yemen

Osama bin Laden raid.

Secretary of Defense Gates confronts National Security Advisor Donilon about outpouring of leaks from White House regarding bin Laden raid: ‘I have a new strategic communications approach to recommend,’ Gates said in his trademark droll tones, according to an account later provided by his colleagues. What was that, Donilon asked? ‘Shut the fuck up,’ the defense secretary said.

Obama White House launches the Insider Threat Program to combat government leaks.

Sanger emails Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer with the subject line “Re: coupla book things":
“On the Sec., she knows I’m writing the book, so at most I’ll just remind her that at some point soon I’d love to get this going. I’m with you– we want to do Jake, Burns, etc. first."

Hammer emails his colleague Phillippe Reines with the subject line “RE: Sanger”:
“Yes, WH is cooperating, he has spent time with Donilon, others. They know he is looking to meet up with HRC and support."

Hammer email to chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns:
“Uzra- as I mentioned, David Sanger of NYT, is writing a book on the Obama administration’s foreign policy. We are coordinating with NSS, who has already spent time with him and supports Sanger’s requests to Interview the Secretary, Bill and others. Before he sits down with the Secretary- probably in late January -we hope we might find time for him to talk with Bill.”
“We are having Sanger Jake and Kurt next week and Einhorn in early January. If Bill is willing, It would be super to schedule in early-to-mid January. The session would be on background as a Senior Administration official. Anything on the record would be subject to our approval. I think we would need a solid 45 minutes."

Hammer emails State Department special assistant Colleen Neville:
“I think we should do Tom Friedman next- problem with him is that often he is on travel but if we have a window we can check if he is around. Otherwise, maybe we could do a chat with Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl of WaPo or Jerry Seib of WSJ.”
Sanger meets with State Department officials.

Hammer emails Jacob Sullivan under subject line "Sanger":
“Assured me all is for book and while they will be reporting on Israel/Iran but what you said is “walled off” and not for their reporting.”

Assistant Secretary Hammer emails Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, a Hillary Clinton appointee:
“Wendy- Sanger is writing a book on the Obama Admin’s foreign policy to be published this June. He has talked to scores of people, including the Secretary, Bill, Jake, Kurt, Bob Einhorn and over at NSC and other agencies. We have been cooperating with him on this project and the charts have all been on background with anything on the record to be approved by us. Shall we offer him a time upon your return?.”

Hammer memo to the Under Secretary under the sub-headline “Background and objectives of the interview”:
“Among other topics, in what he calls the realm of ‘surprises,’ he is exploring the steady strengthening of the sanctions regime on Iran to become one of the most rigorous ever.”

New York Times article by David Sanger details with classified material how President Obama ordered the Sustenex cyber attacks against Iran's nuclear program.

New York Times reports that former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired (8/2011) Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright was a crucial player in a cyber operation called Olympic Games, started under President George W. Bush.
Out of the Olympic Games program Obama ordered the cyberattacks using a computer virus called Stuxnet that temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

Defense Department strategy memo on the Insider Threat Program: Leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States.

Senator McCain on Senate floor:
“Madam President, over the past few months there has been a disturbing stream of articles in the media and common among them, they cite elite, classified, or highly sensitive information in what appears to be a broader effort by the administration to paint a portrait of the President of the United States as a strong leader on national security issues–information for which there is no legitimate reason whatsoever to believe should be in the public domain.
What price did the administration apparently pay to proliferate such a Presidential persona-highly valued in an election year? Access. Access to senior administration officials who appear to have served as anonymous sources divulging extremely sensitive military and intelligence information and operations. 
With the leaks that these articles were based on, our enemies now know much more than they did the day before they came out about important aspects of our Nation’s unconventional offensive capabilities and how we use them.

In the latest of the recently published articles – published on June 1, 2012, just a few days ago – the New York Times documented in rich detail the President’s secret decision to accelerate cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities with a computer virus that came to be known as Stuxnet. The author of the article, Mr. David Sanger, clearly states that former and current American officials spoke to him but refused to do so on the record because the program is both highly classified and parts of it are ongoing…an operation that was clearly one of the most tightly held national security secrets in our country until now.”

Report:  Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

NYT: Al Qaeda Message Prompts US Terror Warning
"The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the terrorists discussed attacks against American interests in the Middle East and North Africa, American officials said Friday."

McClatchy: "An official who’d been briefed on the matter in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, told McClatchy that the embassy closings and travel advisory were the result of an intercepted communication between Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and al Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri in which Zawahiri gave “clear orders” to al-Wuhaysi, who was recently named al Qaida’s general manager, to carry out an attack."

Washington Post: "Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the head of the terrorist group’s Yemen affiliate to carry out an attack, according to intercepted communications that have led to the closure of U.S. embassies and a global travel alert, said a person briefed on the case. In one communication, Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden, gave “clear orders” to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula..."

McClatchy: "U.S. officials have been secretive about what precise information led to the worldwide travel advisory and embassy closings, but a Yemeni official told McClatchy on Sunday that authorities had intercepted “clear orders” from al Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri to Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of the affiliate in Yemen, to carry out an attack."

Marcy Wheeler: Was It NSA or a Yemeni “Ally” Leaking the “Clear Orders” from Zawahiri to Wuhayshi?

McClatchy:  "A high-ranking Yemeni security official speaking on the condition of anonymity told McClatchy that the claims of a foiled plot had no basis in fact. That source bemusedly attributed media reports about imminent terror strikes to a single official’s comments, which he cast as a misguided attempt at shifting public opinion in the face of increasing and unpopular American drone strikes."

Fired White House Tweeter Accused Official of Leaking Stuxnet

Associated Press, AP, Al Qaeda, Yemen, CIA, Leaks, DOJ, Holder, Phone Records, Timeline

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