Maryland Watch: Dutch Ruppersberger Thinks He Should be Arrested

There is a major controversy in Washington D.C. regarding the release of classified information. Republicans in Congress are accusing the Obama Administration of leaking the information for political gain. The ranking minority member of the House Pernament Select Committee on Intelligence Dutch Rupperserger has proclaimed that anybody leaking classified information should go to jail.

Of course, if you were paying attention to the news the evening of May 1st, 2011, you may have seen the news reports of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Prior to the statement by President Barrack Obama, one congressman confirmed the killing to NBC News and Politico (those were the two outlets I was watching that night, I don’t know who else he was talking to)…Congressman Dutch Rupperserger. Politico has Dutch’s office on the record leaking this classified information.

See, prior to the President announcing that Osama bin Laden had been killed, the information was classified, only the President could de-classify the information. Rupersberger received the call informing him of the information because he was the ranking member of the Committee responsible for the oversight of Intelligence matters. Dutch turned around, and in an effort to capture positive headlines called all the media outlets possible to let them know, and didn’t have the sense enough to tell them it was off the record.

And now as the debate rages over who is responsible for the leaks of intelligence issues, maybe we should look at the person with knowledge of all of our country’s intelligence secrets, who has shown his propensity to leak the classified information he has been entrusted with.

Comments

  1. B says

    Are you better off after 4 years of Obama?
    Are you safer after 4 years of Obama?
    Do you trust a word Obama Says?

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    • David A. Porter says

      Actually Yes B. Sorry you don’t see it that way. It’s good to have a chief executive that can pronounce nuclear, instead of repeatedly mispronouncing it like some ignorant moron. It’s good to have a President that doesn’t want to whip out the Department of DEFENSE any time he gets his panties in a wad because we didn’t take out that bad guy over there. And while we were attacking Saddam, we ignored North Korea and the thumbing of their nose as they openly defied the US by developing a nuclear weapon (Or NUCULAR for those of you that vote for that sort of mindset). And which war did we begin that the world felt we were justified in? The one we still haven’t left because we diverted resources and people to an elective war. A war of convenience and hubris. Yes, intelligence and thoughtfulness goes a long way in the world we share with 5.7 Billion other people. And if you think you can go around floating aircraft carriers off their coastlines to keep them in line, perhaps you should take some Zoloft and go sit down and watch more Jerry Springer as the rest of us pay for your esteem issues.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6
      • B says

        David, I don’t usually say this to you, but what a stupid response. Americans were attacked and died on American soil, and Obama apologizes for Americans, and you preach on the pronunciation of nuclear. We are at war with radical Islam and you have your head in the sand. These are not times for silly people, and you and our President are a joke.

        Maybe you should take a second and research Clinton and North Korea instead of spouting your liberal revisionist history. Bush referred to North Korea as a member of the axis of evil, in 2002, after years of Clinton appeasement and nuclear development.

        I am not for sitting carriers off the coast, I am for releasing our guys to kill the enemy, instead of keeping them in handcuffs and getting them shot at.

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  2. David A. Porter says

    By the way Watcher… only the classifying agency can declassify classified information. Do you practice national security in your spare time when you’re not flipping burgers? Maybe I could have my security chief lecture you at our next OPSEC Training session.

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    • Mike Welsh says

      The agency classifying information is the “first” step in declassifying information, not the only step in such a process. While the classifying agency may declassify, they can also refuse and that decision can be appealed to a higher authority. There is an Interagency Classification Security Appeals Panel established for that very purpose. The ultimate authority to declassify is the President, who can declassify anything.

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    • Martin Watcher says

      David, you are confused. While being a failed political operative means that I make about as much as a burger flipper, I don’t actually have the skill required to cook anything. Career tip for those going into politics: work on successful campaigns, it will really help your long term employment prospects.

      But a lot of what I do operates on sources, and in this case, my source actually worked with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (although he wanted me to stress he didn’t work there at this time so he doesn’t know the specifics other than from the Politico article, but he knows the process). So for the specifics, the Politico article (and NBC News if you were watching it that night) cited that DoD Secretary Leon Panetta called Dutch in his capacity as a member of the Gang of 4 and informed him of this classified information. Dutch then called Politico, NBC News and anybody else and told them the information.

      For a refresher on the Gang of 4, please see this article by the Congressional Research Service http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/R40698.pdf and pay particular attention to Page 2:

      “In either case—whether a given briefing about non-covert action intelligence activities is limited to the Gang of Four, or provided to the full membership of the intelligence committees—the current statute conditions the provision of any such information on the need to protect from unauthorized disclosure classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

      I am glad you all are challenging me so much though to defend my work. While it is partially a sign that my writing isn’t quite up to part of what it used to be, what I really miss about blogging was the back and forth so thank you very much, it adds so much enjoyment to the process.

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