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Bragging about ‘treasure troves’ of intelligence is appalling stupidity

Posted by John Reed on

During World War II, we and the British in separate incidents captured German submarines, more particularly, their code machines and books. This success was treated as an ultra secret. The resulting POWs were hidden and the Red Cross and other rules that we tell their home country about them were violated.

Nowadays, Whether the president is Obama, Bush, or even Trump, they brag about the great “treasure trove” of intelligence they got. We saw it with bin Laden and recently wit a SEAL operation in Yemen.

This is insane, the 180-degree opposite of the correct course.

When the enemy knows or even suspects that we penetrated some secret information, they radically change all pertinent operations and personnel ASAP. Back in the 1960s, I think, some US guy said the US was reading the secret correspondence of almost all governments.

We sure as hell were not 24 hours later. One immediate action is the country in question will change their codes, deliver new code books, and as soon as they can, change even how their codes work.

If a code book is even unfindable for a brief period of time, then found, the fact that it was unfindable must be reported to higher headquarters and that should trigger the use of couriers rather than electronic communication and the issuance of new code books instantly.

The bragging by politicians of intelligence coups almost instantly destroys much of the value of the coup.

In World War II, the Japanese could not initially sink our subs. Why? The Navy told a Congressman that during the war. He asked why. They explained that the Japanese always set their depth charges to explode at 35 feet thinking US subs could go no deeper. The Congressman blabbed about that and American submariners started to die.

More recently, Israel learned how to shoot a missile that would follow the beam to a satellite phone and kill the user. They told that secret to a French politician. He bragged about it. Osama bin Laden never again used a satellite phone probably extending bin Laden’s life and mischief by years.

Our capturing a high ranking prisoner or a treasure trove of hard drives and such is an ultra secret. We should keep the very existence of the operation that had that result secret. If the operation becomes known, we have no comment on the details still not known by the public.

Whoever publicized the “treasure trove” we got in the recent Yemen operation that cost a SEAL his life should be horsewhipped.


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