I wonder if anyone ever told Leon Panetta that when he has a national security post like Defense Secretary or CIA he is supposed to keep his trap shut. Because the latest news from Judicial Watch indicates he didn’t realize certain things were supposed to be a secret.
The government watchdog obtained more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), via a freedom of information request.
One of the documents was a CIA internal report confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal.
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The entire transcript of the Panetta speech attended by the filmmaker was classified “Top Secret.” More than 90 lines of the copy sent to Judicial Watch was redacted for security reasons, another indication that the speech should not have been made in front of Mark Boal who lacked top security clearance.
At the conclusion his speech, the transcript shows Panetta told the audience at the ceremony, “You have made me proud of the CIA family. And you have made me proud as an Italian to know that bin Laden sleeps with the fishes.”
Beyond the Sopranos bravado, Panetta put American heroes lives in danger:
During the speech, according to a draft Pentagon inspector general’s report released earlier this year, “Director Panetta specifically recognized the unit that conducted the raid and identified the ground commander by name.” Subsequent to the ceremony, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said, “CIA was very sloppy and the administration was very sloppy in enforcing security procedures when it came to Hollywood. It almost seems as if they were star-struck.” Significantly, for some reason, the final IG report omitted any reference to Panetta’s disclosure of “TOP SECRET” and other sensitive information at an event.”
Also, included in the documents provided to Judicial Watch is an October 22, 2012, internal “Review of UBL Awards Ceremony Attendance” written by the CIA Office of Security (OS) concluding that, “The Agency’s Security policy and administrative procedures were not followed in allowing Mr. Boal, a member of the media, access to the classified Bin Ladin Operation Award Ceremony.” The three-page Review also states, “The review conducted by OS leads to the conclusion that the failure to follow stipulations in ARs [redacted] resulted in the disclosure of classified information to a member of the media, without benefit of any documentation to reflect a waiver to the above policies.”
The UBL ceremony was not the first time the administration’s loose lips put heroes in danger. It was the administration who identified Seal Team Six as the ones who carried out the raid which lead to deadly retaliatory attack killing 6 hero navy seals. It was also Leon Panetta who named Dr. Shakil Afridi as the doctor who helped the US find Bin Laden, leading to the doctor’s imprisonment and torture.