David Ignatius of the Washington Post poses the interesting question of what responsibility, if any, a journalist has to avoid blowing secrets. While this question was once posed by Ignatius in a Washington Post article written back in 2000 that falsely accused Bill Gertz, then of the Washington Times of “blowing secrets,” the question needs to be asked of Ignatius himself given his articles attacking former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) based on classified information illegally leaked to him.
After all, it was David Ignatius, not Bill Gertz, who published articles highlighting the intercepted communications of incoming NSA Flynn, starting on January 12, 2017.
Whoever conveyed the information contained in Flynn’s conservations to the Washington Post committed a felony. As Gregg Jarrett explains, “those individuals had special access to the content of telephone conversations between President Trump’s now former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) and Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Those discussions were secretly recorded by American intelligence agencies. The tapes are classified documents.”
Jarrett continues, “the Post reporter, David Ignatius, who published the classified material may also be prosecuted, but he should not be.” While I agree with Jarrett partially, I think a discussion needs to be had over the protections journalists are given when they publish classified information in order to sabotage an incoming presidential administration. Surely affecting the continuity of government by creating a false narrative based on selective classified leaks fed to you by criminals within our intelligence agencies and published as “news” should negate any protection you would have received under the First Amendment.
Yet, Ignatius wasn’t done as we saw a few weeks later, in a subsequent story, that the leaked conversations were corroborated by “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls” and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
That’s nine more felonies, we’re up to ten for starters and all within the first few weeks of 2017. I wonder how many of these people are still in the positions they were two years ago when they sabotaged the incoming administration via leaks to reporters like Ignatius aimed at taking out people like Flynn? For there not to have been an immediate investigation of where the January 12, 2017 leak came from is truly remarkable, but then again when the government itself is committing the felonies, maybe it’s for the best? Particularly if the Special Counsel’s investigation is going to cite Ignatius’s January 12, 2017, article, in Flynn’s own sentencing memo.
So what we are left with today is hypocrisy and unaccountability rather than law or any sense of justice. Moreover, read Ignatius’ column written after Flynn’s sentencing where he boasts about his January 12, 2017, article being used by the special counsel as he marvels at how the “relatively small matter of the Logan Act,” a narrative that he himself started at the behest of his source as part of an information operation on Flynn, resulted in Flynn’s downfall.
At the end of the day, someone from the Obama administration committed a felony by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications to Ignatius on January 12, 2017. This kickstarted the bogus “Logan Act” narrative which was pushed by former disgraced Attorney General Sally Yates to go after Flynn. Why haven’t they or any of the 10 “anonymous” leakers been brought to justice yet?
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