US: Annual number of suspected criminal leaks undiminished by Obama’s policy

“There’s been major crimes committed. What I’m concerned about is no one is focusing on major leaks that have occurred here… We can’t run a government like this. A government can’t function with massive leaks at the highest level.”

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Number of ‘leak’ cases per year reported to US DOJ

The number of crimes reports — i.e., referrals of suspected violations of criminal law — involving leaks of classified information for each of the last eight Calendar Years (CY) is stable despite Obama’s unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

According to the DOJ National Security Division, 37 crime reports concerning unauthorized disclosures of classified information were received by DOJ in CY 2016.

This latest number of reported leaks seems to indicate that the strenuous efforts of the Obama’s administration to combat leaks have not succeeded.

President Obama issued executive order 13587 in 2011 to improve safeguarding of classified information. He issued a National Insider Threat Policy in 2012, which was intended in part to deter unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

(NOTE: Despite evidence to the contrary, the Pentagon still classifies disillusionment with U.S. foreign policy as a “threat indicator” that a federal employee might be a spy. RELATED POST: CYBER AWARENESS CHALLENGE: The “Insider Threat” Controversy )

Prior to the Obama administration, there had been only three known cases resulting in indictments in which the Espionage Act was used to prosecute government officials for leaks. (Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo 1971, Samuel Morison 1985 and Lawrence Franklin 2005. There is a similar case dating from 1945.)

RELATED POST: Steven Spielberg to direct ‘Pentagon Papers’ film

The Obama Administration added seven cases to the list: Thomas Drake, Shamai Leibowitz, Chelsea manning, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou, and Edward Snowden.

RELATED POST: Obama’s Crackdown on National Security Leaks

RELATED POST: US Whistleblowers — Test your ‘Spy’ knowledge with our quiz!

RELATED POST:    SNOWDEN: CIA Director Wants Dissidents Like Me Put to Death


The number of individual leak cases reported to the DOJ  does not bear any correlation to the volume of disclosed classified material.

So the large Manning releases of 2010 and the Snowden releases of 2013 do not clearly stand out in the new DOJ tabulation.

The number of leak referrals also does not provide an indication of the magnitude of damage to national security, if any, that resulted from the leaks. [FAS]

Investigating national security leaks


37 Leak Cases Were Reported to Dept of Justice in 2016 — Secrecy News

Dozens of Leak Referrals Sent to DoJ Each Year — FAS


Annual number of suspected criminal leaks undiminished by Obama’s policy


This entry was posted in Secrecy, US Espionage Act, Whistleblowers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to US: Annual number of suspected criminal leaks undiminished by Obama’s policy

  1. Craig says:

    Bill O’Reilly interview with Senator Tom Cotton 07/03/2017
    Bill O’Reilly is so stupid he doesn’t realise Tom Cotton has just told him what happened;

    4:15 – 4:30 minutes
    Trump WH provides unfettered information & access

    6:00 – 6:45 minutes
    Communications intercepted including at Trump Tower / knows who did it

    7:45 – 8:50 minutes
    FBI conduct counter intelligence / surveillance ongoing basis [not FISA warrant], DoJ partisan Obama officials. Obama WH consumers of information, specifically the NSC.

    8:50 – 9:05 minutes
    Briefly repeats the points again


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