* Bumped Up *

A group of retired military and intelligence officers with ties to the Republican Party are out with a short film blasting, deservedly so, Barack Obama and his Administration for leaking sensitive military and intelligence secrets. The charges the group levels are correct.

If you have not seen the film, here it is:

I have one fundamental problem with this movie–the hypocrisy of some of the message bearers. A couple of the folks venting in this film about Obama’s loose lips were cheerleading Bush’s leaks that exposed secrets, such as Valerie Plame’s covert status. I also must point out that several of the folks in this film are not and have never been cleared into the SAP that governs the unit of the SEALS that killed Bin Laden. Specifically, Fred Rustmann, Paul Vallely and Jaime Williamson. What do I mean by “SAP?”

A SAP is central to the question, “who has access to this information?” SAP is the acronym for Speacil Access Program. It is a level of classification above SECRET and TOP SECRET. You can have a TOP SECRET clearance but, if you are not “READ ON” to this particular SAP you will not know about the particulars of how they operate and what their missions are.

I am always amused by folks like Rustmann and Vallely talking about this particular program when neither have ever been deemed as having the “need to know.” Neither were ever given access to the code word this program operates under.

I find the decsion to use Fred Rustmann in this piece particularly disquieting. He was Chief of Station at a post in the Mediterranean when Valerie Plame Wilson, who was undercover as a State Department officer, worked for in a neighboring station (Valerie had served as an intern for Rustmann at Headquarters while in the Career Trainee Program. Subsequent to that assignment Valerie became a non-official cover officer). Rustmann, who was no longer at the CIA when Valerie made that move, took it upon himself to go public when Valerie’s name was exposed in July 2003, and defended those who leaked her name. He insisted that Valerie was only under, “light cover.” What an ignorant fool he is. He was not around the CIA when Valerie moved into the realm of non-official cover.

If reporters really want to have some fun, they ought to be asking why Rustmann left the CIA. Most of the world does not know that Rustmann’s CIA career ended under a cloud that followed his work as Chief of Station in a post in the Med. I am told by sources who were familiar with the matter, that Rustmann was accused of taking religious icons from an ancient church in Cyprus. The result of this was an investigation and an early retirement for Rustmann. Having Fred Rustmann complain about Obama’s misuse of classified information is like having Heidi Fleiss complain about legalized prostitution at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Pot calls kettle black.

The final irony is that I find myself agreeing with Rustmann and Vallely and the others about the egregious breaches of security committed by Obama and his National Security team. Once again we are seeing political animals leaking classified info for pure, political advantage. The main difference between me and them is that I pilloried Bush and Cheney for the same kind of bad behavior. These guys are only directing fire in one direction. This should not be a partisan issue. It is about national security.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.