Clamping Down on Leaks—Finally!

 

The first 10 months of the Trump administration were flooded with government leaks that seemed to come from everywhere and the media and the Left were eating it up. Reports ranging from infighting and disorganization to Trump’s private meetings and telephone conversations were being leaked. But I have sensed a turn for the better in the last few weeks.

First, AG Jeff Sessions announced a stepped-up effort on leak investigations. Just last month he confirmed that there were 27 ongoing investigations into leaks. He declined to give any more information.

I noticed that the leaks from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s meeting with Andrew McCabe were minimal. According to a report from James Rosen at Fox News:

Congressional investigators tell Fox News that Tuesday’s seven-hour interrogation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe contained numerous conflicts with the testimony of previous witnesses, prompting the Republican majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee to decide to issue fresh subpoenas next week on Justice Department and FBI personnel.

He also reported on McCabe’s comments on the Trump dossier and his claim he didn’t remember when he learned that the Clinton campaign had funded it, even though related forms had his signature.

Considering that McCabe was questioned for seven hours, it could make me wonder why the leaks were so limited and unsurprising. I suspect, however, now that people complicit with the Democrats are being questioned, the Democrats are not so anxious to tattle on them. After all, James Comey lost his job.

The press is also getting nervous about these investigations:

Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post, told CNN last month that he thought the August announcement was “an effort to try to intimidate the press from doing its job.”

He said it’s possible that some Post reporters are ensnared in leak investigations right now, but the Post wouldn’t know unless there was a subpoena, a search warrant or “an actual leak about the leak investigation.”

We all know that leaks will never be completely stopped. But now that the press might reconsider welcoming leaks from their collaborators, especially those that damage the Progressives instead of the Trump administration, and the Democrats are shaking in their boots with the truths that may be revealed, maybe people will show some integrity.

Since I’m not counting on that, let’s just make it all public. I’m ready!

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  1. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Susan Quinn: the Democrats are shaking in their boots with the truths that may be revealed . .

    It creates such schadenfreude in my heart that I fear it’s battling with my Christmas spirit for primacy ;P

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Trink (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: the Democrats are shaking in their boots with the truths that may be revealed . .

    It creates such schadenfreude in my heart that I fear it’s battling with my Christmas spirit for primacy ;P

    Oh I know, Trink, but we can indulge that just a little bit, can’t we?  ;-)

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I suspect, however, now that people complicit with the Democrats are being questioned, the Democrats are not so anxious to tattle on them.

    And we have a bingo!

    • #3
  4. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Yeah, slowly but surely they’ve gotten more professional.  A lot of this happens with a new administration but it’s doubly worse with Trump since he and his origianl supporting picks were outside the conventional.  I hope it keeps getting better.  I want Trump re-elected.  But you’re right, quite a number of people, even from the Republican side, had knives out for Trump.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Trink (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: the Democrats are shaking in their boots with the truths that may be revealed . .

    It creates such schadenfreude in my heart that I fear it’s battling with my Christmas spirit for primacy ;P

    Send them a lump of coal, it’s being deregulated.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Manny (View Comment):
    Yeah, slowly but surely they’ve gotten more professional. A lot of this happens with a new administration but it’s doubly worse with Trump since he and his origianl supporting picks were outside the conventional. I hope it keeps getting better. I want Trump re-elected. But you’re right, quite a number of people, even from the Republican side, had knives out for Trump.

    That’s true, Manny. But now that Trump is showing some accomplishments, they’d better choose which side they’re on. If they leak, and we discover them, off with their heads!

    • #6
  7. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    I pray regularly that God would out the corruption in DC. All of it, no matter the party. So hope for perp walks on the leak stuff also.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    I pray regularly that God would out the corruption in DC. All of it, no matter the party. So hope for perp walks on the leak stuff also.

    We’re both praying, Kevin.

    • #8
  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Just curious, what actually happens if you get caught leaking?  What is the likelihood of getting caught?  Since leaking seems a way of life in DC it seems that they have little fear of getting caught or the ramifications of being caught.  So I expect nothing much will come from Sessions efforts except a few personnel shuffling around.

    • #9
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Just curious, what actually happens if you get caught leaking? What is the likelihood of getting caught? Since leaking seems a way of life in DC it seems that they have little fear of getting caught or the ramifications of being caught. So I expect nothing much will come from Sessions efforts except a few personnel shuffling around.

    We’ll have to wait and see, there’s a young lady from Georgia that has been caught leaking secrets from her employer, the NSA. She has been charged and is awaiting trial.

    • #10
  11. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Susan Quinn: Considering that McCabe was questioned for seven hours, it could make me wonder why the leaks were so limited and unsurprising.

    Anyone who has ever heard a Congressional committee “question” a witness knows that the “questions” consist of speeches which are in equal and contradictory parts self-serving and incoherent.  The Congress-critters don’t even let the witness answer before launching into their next question.  And when the witness does manage to get a word in edgewise, it is never actually responsive to the question.  Seven hours of questioning had might as well be 70 hours, for all the information it would elicit.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Just curious, what actually happens if you get caught leaking? What is the likelihood of getting caught? Since leaking seems a way of life in DC it seems that they have little fear of getting caught or the ramifications of being caught. So I expect nothing much will come from Sessions efforts except a few personnel shuffling around.

    According to this article , the punishment varies a great deal. Clearly, the key is leaking classified information. I would hope, though, that Sessions would take action, putting pressure on the departments whose employees violate confidentiality, and not just shuffle them to another department.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Considering that McCabe was questioned for seven hours, it could make me wonder why the leaks were so limited and unsurprising.

    Anyone who has ever heard a Congressional committee “question” a witness knows that the “questions” consist of speeches which are in equal and contradictory parts self-serving and incoherent. The Congress-critters don’t even let the witness answer before launching into their next question. And when the witness does manage to get a word in edgewise, it is never actually responsive to the question. Seven hours of questioning had might as well be 70 hours, for all the information it would elicit.

    You may be right, Larry. Keep in mind, though, that this was a closed session where they would only be grandstanding to each other. I suspect that they at least shortened their speeches without having a TV audience. It would be interesting to know if they behave any differently if they aren’t in front of a camera.

    • #13
  14. Dorrk Inactive
    Dorrk
    @Dorrk

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    …The Congress-critters don’t even let the witness answer before launching into their next question. And when the witness does manage to get a word in edgewise, it is never actually responsive to the question. Seven hours of questioning had might as well be 70 hours, for all the information it would elicit.

    I was wondering if this is a necessary point of procedure: does the congressman get one slot during which to speak and once he allows an answer is he in danger of losing the rest of his allotted time to a long reply?

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Dorrk (View Comment):
    I was wondering if this is a necessary point of procedure: does the congressman get one slot during which to speak and once he allows an answer is he in danger of losing the rest of his allotted time to a long reply?

    Good question, Dorrk. From my recollection, he gets one slot. If the person answering uses up all his time, too bad; the timekeeper may let him finish, but that’s it. I think the questioner can also cut the answerer short if he or she gets sidetracked or isn’t answering the question. But they usually ignore the non-answer and move on. Also, the answerer generally answer as briefly as they can, just so they don’t open the door for more questions they don’t want to answer. But I’ll see if I can dig up more on this.

    • #15
  16. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Just curious, what actually happens if you get caught leaking? What is the likelihood of getting caught? Since leaking seems a way of life in DC it seems that they have little fear of getting caught or the ramifications of being caught. So I expect nothing much will come from Sessions efforts except a few personnel shuffling around.

    We’ll have to wait and see, there’s a young lady from Georgia that has been caught leaking secrets from her employer, the NSA. She has been charged and is awaiting trial.

    Ah, yes, I recall this. Didn’t she say something sanctimonious about how it was her moral duty?

    At any rate, my wife asked me about the Russia investigation and I told her the press was no longer pushing the narrative hard. They’ve shifted to attacking media outlets that report what’s been uncovered. At least they’re making no attempt to hide their agenda.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris O. (View Comment):
    They’ve shifted to attacking media outlets that report what’s been uncovered. At least they’re making no attempt to hide their agenda.

    The poor media–they are feeling so intimidated! My hope is that many of their sources dry up, since they won’t want to take the chance of getting in trouble. And the media will at least make an effort to ensure their “anonymous sources” have some credibility. If we can attack the problem from several directions, maybe we may make a dent in these actions. Thanks, Chris!

    • #17
  18. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    And the media will at least make an effort to ensure their “anonymous sources” have some credibility.

    They certainly will now. Well, it’s very likely, anyway. There may be one more outlandish attempt. I have little doubt the same sources will try again to plant a story or two, but they may never see light of day, or at best appear as a speculative parenthetical in an opinion piece. After the e-mail date fiasco, I imagine their reputations among the press aren’t too rosy.

    And all that has me feeling great!

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    And the media will at least make an effort to ensure their “anonymous sources” have some credibility.

    They certainly will now. Well, it’s very likely, anyway. There may be one more outlandish attempt. I have little doubt the same sources will try again to plant a story or two, but they may never see light of day, or at best appear as a speculative parenthetical in an opinion piece. After the e-mail date fiasco, I imagine their reputations among the press aren’t too rosy.

    And all that has me feeling great!

    Me, too! And let’s hope that we might be changing attitudes about leaking, too. Like an ethics light bulb beaming brightly. Sigh.

    • #19
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Considering that McCabe was questioned for seven hours, it could make me wonder why the leaks were so limited and unsurprising.

    Anyone who has ever heard a Congressional committee “question” a witness knows that the “questions” consist of speeches which are in equal and contradictory parts self-serving and incoherent.

    They should have a requirement that all “questions” be in the form of a question.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I have very mixed feelings about this.  President Obama was death on leakers, more so than any president since Nixon. The pressure worked for him, largely because of media cooperation, which meant life was not going to be easy for a leaker. We would be better off if more information had leaked out of his administration.

    So I can’t in good faith praise Trump for trying to be the same. Of course, in his case the press will cover for the leakers.

    We need leakers. We need leaks in order to have a more transparent government. We also need to find those who leak information that jeopardizes our national security and punish them. But we need those leakers and the information they make public, too. We’re usually better off for it.

    • #21
  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I am not sure what Sessions war on leakers will help.  While we all can agree that leaking confidential info is bad and needs to stop.  There seems to be a much bigger issue with unnamed source reporting that seems to be sensational news made up of whole cloth.

    Outside that this only reports leakers that actually get sentenced.  How many leakers are getting the Hillary Clinton treatment where the government declines to push the issue since there was no “intent” or because political goals match swamp critter goals?  Our governments are Democrat organizations that existence is to further their own existence and Democrat goals.  I do not foresee the GOP able to effectively enforce its leadership before the Democrat governments replace it with its preferred Democrat leadership.

    • #22
  23. Derek Simmons Member
    Derek Simmons
    @

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    what actually happens if you get caught leaking?

    It’s the same fate as perjurers:_________________________________. The End.

    • #23
  24. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Derek Simmons (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    what actually happens if you get caught leaking?

    It’s the same fate as perjurers:_________________________________. The End.

    So nothing?

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    But we need those leakers and the information they make public, too. We’re usually better off for it.

    I don’t know if we’re better off or not. Who decides what information should be leaked? When is a leak in the best interests of the country. They’re bound to happen, as you say, R, but good leaks are in the eye of the beholder. And right now, there are so many on both sides who despise Trump, I don’t trust their judgment.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I do not foresee the GOP able to effectively enforce its leadership before the Democrat governments replace it with its preferred Democrat leadership.

    I’m not ready to give up just yet, John. I think the GOP has thrown up its hands enough times and I’m not letting them off the hook for making things better. That’s why Trump was elected, right? To change the status quo.

    • #26
  27. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    You may be right, Larry. Keep in mind, though, that this was a closed session where they would only be grandstanding to each other. I suspect that they at least shortened their speeches without having a TV audience. It would be interesting to know if they behave any differently if they aren’t in front of a camera.

    That is a good question, Susan.  Since there is little chance that anyone in the media is actually going to look into how our government is working and report accurate information about it, we probably aren’t going to get an answer to that good question.  We are left to speculate.  My speculation is that these guys grandstand in front of each other, and then go home and grandstand for themselves in front of their bathroom mirror.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Derek Simmons (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    what actually happens if you get caught leaking?

    It’s the same fate as perjurers:_________________________________. The End.

    Could you give an example or two, Derek?

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    But we need those leakers and the information they make public, too. We’re usually better off for it.

    I don’t know if we’re better off or not. Who decides what information should be leaked? When is a leak in the best interests of the country. They’re bound to happen, as you say, R, but good leaks are in the eye of the beholder. And right now, there are so many on both sides who despise Trump, I don’t trust their judgment.

    We would be better off if somebody had blown the whistle on Lois Lerner and leaked information that would eventually have led to reform of the non-profit system, even if the leaker had gone to jail for it.

    Who decides? We all decide, and our decisions conflict.  This is not something that can be handled in cookbook fashion.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    That is a good question, Susan. Since there is little chance that anyone in the media is actually going to look into how our government is working and report accurate information about it, we probably aren’t going to get an answer to that good question. We are left to speculate. My speculation is that these guys grandstand in front of each other, and then go home and grandstand for themselves in front of their bathroom mirror.

    Unfortunately you may be right! Sure would like to know, though . . .

    • #30
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