There’s more than one Senate investigation

It seems to me that the news and noise coming out of our nation’s “seat of government” would make a body think the entire focus of Congressional oversight committees is about the alleged dastardly deeds of Russia and those of the current administration who might have had contact with one or more Russians at some time. The main stream media are full of all kinds of reports and opinions – which are often so intermingled as to be indistinguishable which is factual and which is opinion. Well, believe it or not, there is a Senate committee that has uncovered and reported on some real skulduggery – actual criminal behavior going on inside the beltway – that the mainstream media choose to ignore for good reason.

Didja ever hear of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee? Probably not. This standing committee, as its name implies, has oversight of a wide range of topics and its work rarely surfaces as a headline grabber. Well, recently this committee released a report that should have been just that – except for the subject. The report is titled: “State Secrets: How An Avalanche of Media Leaks is Harming National Security.” Oh-oh! No wonder the mainstream media haven’t featured it.

Yep, according to the report, leaks of national security information during Trump’s predecessors’ administrations, “… were relatively rare, even with America’s vibrant free press. … [while] [u]nder President Trump, leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day,” How about them apples!

The report continues, “Articles published by a range of national news organizations between January 20 and May 25, 2017 included at least 125 stories with leaked information potentially damaging to national security. Even a narrow search revealed leaks of comparable information during the Trump administration that were about seven times higher than the same period during the two previous administrations.” Think this is “whistle blowing” about wrongdoings? Read on.

“From the morning of President Trump’s inauguration, when major newspapers published information about highly sensitive intelligence intercepts, news organizations have reported on an avalanche of leaks from officials across the U.S. government. Many disclosures have concerned the investigations of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, with the world learning details of whose communications U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring, what channels are being monitored, and the results of those intercepts. All such revelations are potential violations of federal law, punishable by jail time. But the leak frenzy has gone far beyond the Kremlin and has extended to other sensitive information that could harm national security. President Trump’s private conversations with other foreign leaders have shown up in the press, while secret operations targeting America’s most deadly adversaries were exposed in detail.” There’s lot’s more you can read yourself on-line – not in the mainstream media.

You know, after a report like this is issued, the news media might think twice before giving out “leaked” classified information, right? Well, here’s The Wall Street Journal’s reaction (WSJ 07/07/17). “A few days after President Donald Trump gave the Pentagon chief the unilateral authority last month to send thousands of American troops to Afghanistan at his own discretion, the White House sent classified guidance that effectively limits the number of forces. The memo [was] sent by national security advisor H. R. McMaster to a small group of administrative officials … .” The story goes on to reveal the classified details.

Okay, so why isn’t the FBI investigating these unlawful “leaks”? The bureau’s perspective on this subject has undoubtedly been determined by its former director, an admitted “leaker” himself. He publically gave a free pass to a slew of important political figures for their disregard of laws, rules and procedures for safeguarding classified material. National security apparently doesn’t matter when it comes to furthering a personal or political agenda — and current agents still openly express allegiance to him and his guidance.

Nope, instead of an investigation into the obviously illegal activities identified by the Senate committee’s report, the current Washington focus (with accompanying “leaks”) is the recently-appointed inquisitor whose mission is to put someone in jail – even if it’s just for supplying Russian salad dressing to Trump resorts. At least that’s how it seems to me.

Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at [email protected]

Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at [email protected]