Urgent leak investigation needed

All leaks are equal, but some are more equal than others

Published March 24, 2011 10:25PM (EDT)

A serious leak of classified information has just taken place -- which, as we all know, is a dastardly crime for which the harshest punishment is merited.  To make matters even more grave, this time the unauthorized disclosure has taken place during A Time of War, resulting in the illegal publication of sensitive information about the nation's enemy.  The leak was transmitted to Associated Press, which then published it to the world:

Libyan state television showed blackened and mangled bodies that it said were victims of airstrikes in Tripoli. . . . A U.S. intelligence report on Monday, the day after coalition missiles attacked Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capitol, said that a senior Gadhafi aide was told to take bodies from a morgue and place them at the scene of the bomb damage, to be displayed for visiting journalists. A senior U.S. defense official revealed the contents of the intelligence report on condition of anonymity because it was classified secret.

I wonder if Eric Holder will shortly announce an investigation to find out who is responsible for this leak?  Will the guilty party be charged with a capital crime and be held in solitary confinement near a cell occupied by Bradley Manning?  Only time will tell.  Thankfully, AP has granted anonymity to this courageous whistleblower and will hopefully safeguard his identity in the event that a criminal investigation ensues.  After all, leaking information that is "classified secret" is a crime which this administration takes very, very seriously.

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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