The Dircrtoc o( Ccnlnl Intcilljcncc
The Honorable Frank C. Carluccf Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs -White
I would like toew moments to apprise youave discussed cany times with the President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Attorney General, and theproblem of unauthorized disclosures of classified Intelligence in the news media. This has become one of the most severe, enduring, and intractable problems we face In this business. You are intimately familiar with the damage such disclosures cause to our technical collection systems, human sources, information exchanges with foreign Intelligence services, and the security system that protects sensitive secrets, not to mention the heavy burden in cost to the taxpayer that results.
The disclosure of classified intelligence to the media Is endemic to Washington. During my tenure alone, we have detected more than 5C0 such incidents.
We haveumber of procedural steps to alleviate the problem, and have obtained the support of the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI. Attorney General heese has speeded up Justice Department transmittal of leak reports to the FBI, and Director Webster haspecial team for leak Investigations. Nevertheless, there appears toidespread lack of security discipline and the political will to act against those who give classified information to the media. Strong examples and strong measures are needed to provide leadership in this area.
You areosition to help with this problem, early on, at least in the NSC Staff and, perhaps, throughout the Government. In the NSC context, you could, among other things:
a assignment directi
revitalize the need-to-know principleiscussing classified matters withnow will be reprimanded and. in the case of removed from the nsc staff.
policy that anyone thout an officialurther offense,'
strict document control, giving the nsc registry full authority to trace all documents in the staff. fortify thisomplete review and inventory of the present document holdings of each staff member.
trong, experienced, professionally-staffed security office for the nsc responsible for the security of all assigned personnel. it would report directly to you on security issues, updated investigations, potential problems, and adherence to security principles and procedures.
require that all inquiries from media representatives be reported the nsc security officer and that continuing contact with media representatives beatter of record with the nsc security office.
i believe such steps would go far to change the present permissive atmosphere on the nsc staff and demonstrate that you are serious about ensuring that the staff is not the source of damaging leaks.
other basic needs in the broader struggle to counter the unauthorized disclosure of classified information would benefit greatly from your support. these include such things as:
more effective legislation to penalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified intelligence by federal employees. use of the espionage act for this purpose is controversial and ineffectual (one conviction in almostears).
government-wide acceptanceolygraph examinationequirement for access to sensitive compartmented information.
strict policy, with implementing procedures, requiring the coordination of classified information before it is released to the news media to ensure that damage is minimized and, In.the,case of intelligence information, that sources and methods are protected.
A uniform. Government-wide policy on media relationships, including contacts,ttribution, anonymity, and other factors possibly conducive to unauthorized disclosures.
The application by agency heads of more manpower to preliminary investigations in support of the enhanced FBI effort on leaks.
, Ue are already at work on most of these initiatives. Your support would be invaluable in furthering these efforts to stem the flow of properly classffied information to the press and into the hands of hostile intelligence services and terrorist groups. Our goal is to protect against disclosure of classified information to unauthorized individuals, not to interfere with those who have legal responsibilities for overseeing our activities. nd my staff would be glad to pursue this subject further with you at an early opportunity.
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