Friday, April 16, 2010
A DOJ Press Release tells of a 10-count Indictment (Main Justice Blog has Indictment here) against a former senior National Security Agency official. The charges include "the willful retention of classified information, obstruction of justice and making false statements." The allegations are extremely serious - although he is not charged with leaking information, but rather the retention of national security information and then "short-cut" after the events type of offenses.
The immediate question one has relates to motive. If the allegations are true, why would a senior NSA official do this? There are no allegations of money being received by this individual. Nor are there any allegations of political power as a motivation. The best one sees in this Indictment is a reference to a person A, a former congressional staffer, and Reporter A, from an unknown newspaper. With respect to Person A, the indictment states that the accused "had a self-described 'close, emotional friendship' and 'different and special' relationship with Person A that included the unauthorized disclosure of unclassified and classified information to Person A . . ."
So what was the motive for releasing this information to the press, if it in fact happened? And was it a good motive? This is definitely a case to follow.
See also Scott Shane, NYTimes, N.S.A. Official Facing Charges In Leaks Case