Thursday, December 16, 2004

Spy Satellite Leak

An AP story discusses a new Department of Justice investigation into the leak of top-secret information about a stealth spy satellite program.  According to the article:

The sources said a U.S. intelligence agency had referred the issue to the department, but did not identify the agency. The National Reconnaissance Office, which builds spy satellites, declined to comment.

The Washington Post said on Saturday the classified program was for a new generation of spy satellites designed to orbit undetected. It cited U.S. officials as saying its projected cost had almost doubled to nearly $9.5 billion from $5 billion.

The program was recently criticized, in very general terms, by Senator John Rockefeller (D-WVa) as being wasteful, and Senate Republicans are looking into making an ethics complaint against him. Leak investigations rarely result in prosecutions because it is so difficult to ever track down the ultimate source of the information, especially when it is in both the spy agencies and on Capitol Hill.  Moreover, extracting information from the press about the source of a leak is quite daunting, as the current investigation of the leak of the identity of a CIA officer shows. (ph)

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