Spy chief orders review of bomb plot leaks
May 9th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Spy chief orders review of bomb plot leaks

By Barbara Starr

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has ordered an internal review across the intelligence community to determine if leaks regarding a Saudi mole who infiltrated an Qaeda affiliate in Yemen came from any of the 16 intelligence agencies he oversees.

Recommended:  Mole infiltrated al Qaeda plot

The move comes after revelations this week that a mole helped foil a plot to blow up a U.S.-bound plane by penetrating al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"We are looking internally to determine whether or not there were unauthorized disclosures of classified information," said a U.S. intelligence official, who has direct knowledge of the review but declined to be named and was only authorized to discuss it if no name was used.

Watch: Rep. Peter King on why the leaks 'put a lot at risk'

The review will not include the White House or the national security staff, which technically is not part of the intelligence community.

At this point, Clapper's general counsel staff will conduct the review. It is not a formal investigation and does not involve the inspector general.

"We aren't there yet," the official said, noting that an investigation is a process with legal procedures and ramifications for disciplinary action.

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Filed under: CIA • Clapper • FIRST ON CNN/EXCLUSIVE • Intelligence • ODNI
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Russell

    Dear Rockette,I am writing in detrepase confusion over the issue of remote control light switches. Like you, I live in a prewar apartment (other coast, and I should say, post war, the civil war that is) but the problem with mine is not a lack of outlets but a total absence of wall switches. Do you remember the Honeymooners? Or those New Yorker cartoons by Price (I think it was) in which wretched men, women, dogs and always many cats would do ironing and such below a bare light-bulb with a pull-chain hanging from it? That’s my apartment. Well, in truth mine is lovely and renovated all except for the overhead lights, which all have strings hanging from them. I would love to install a nice fixture and shade in one or two places (there are a lot of these ceiling bulbs here) and my question is simple: Are there remote control switches you can use with ANY fixture, or do you have to buy a special one that is made with some sort of special sensor for that switch? Or can you buy the sensor and attach it to your fixture of choice? I have looked it up all over the internet and can’t find the answer anywhere.. Hoping you can help. Thanks so much.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  2. UnderCoverAsIgnorant&Stupid

    Is this the guy that holds the patent for the "Clap on, Clap off; the Clapper?

    June 2, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
  3. UnderCoverAsIgnorant&Stupid

    So the people leaking intelligence sources and methods are being threatened with a hard on, that may not be in fact, a real hard on?

    June 2, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
  4. michaelfury

    Maybe the "well-dressed man" leaked the info.

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/points-of-failure/

    May 10, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
  5. Thor

    BLATANT FALSE FLAG ACTION.

    You are all guilty of a grievous crime, if you continue to digest the lies of the people YOU put in power.

    Wake the fuck up.

    May 10, 2012 at 12:07 am | Reply
  6. Mike in SD

    One point I have not seen made is this: what makes people think this was a leak? Why do you believe that this report or other reports (like the captured drone in Iran) are not part of some convoluted intelligence gambit? Now these fanatics are going to get more paranoid. They are going to start mistrusting the nutjob in the next hut. The agent that turned over the bomb was recommended by other whackos, what does their future look like? This guy didn't just answer a want ad.
    As for the drone. How do we know there isn't some "fatal" flaw incorporated into the machine designed to set back Iran;s or China's own drone program?
    Does anyone remember the Nazi"s Enigma code? England broke the code and to protect that fact they allowed a devestating bombing raid to destroy an English town. Devonshire, I think, but I'm probably wrong. The point is that if an intelligence agency is involved the connect the dots, short term story, is rarely the real story.

    May 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  7. Rod C. Venger

    Wait a sec. You gotta KNOW that Obama authorized his people to leak the info considering that the leak came on the exact same day that Rep. King questioned whether or not Obama was honest with us when he said there was no credible threat on the anniversary of OBL's death. The leak was intended as a push-back, a statement that the government had things well in hand and therefore there was no threat. Since the question itself only involved Obama, then it follows that Obama was or authorized the leak.

    Question is, why does Gen Clapper feel that the White House is not part of the intelligence community? It most certainly is, both politically and Constitutionally. Clapper absolutely should determine both who authorized the leak (easy answer there) as well as who picked up the phone or otherwise transmitted the information. The CIA briefed Obama on it so we know already how Obama got the information. It did not get leaked out of CIA.

    May 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
    • alf564

      And Dick only outed Valarie !!!

      May 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
      • Joe Bidenmytime

        That is why people like you are called Lib-Tards. Colin Powell's man outed Plame, but there was nothing to out.

        May 12, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  8. Everett Wallace

    HOLYSPIRIT!

    May 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  9. Solitairedog

    Well, whatever happened, General Clapper will find out and then god help the poor traitorous soul.

    May 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  10. waheid

    Beam me up, Scotty. Judging by the comments on CNN there is no intelligent life here.

    May 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  11. dreamer96

    We just had a former Secret Service Agent get a tip about the sex scandal in Colombia from an active Secret Service Agent..So this Leak could have come from many that over heard the news and passed it on to the press..

    May 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  12. Mark

    Regardless of who leaked this – US, Saudi, or other – the irresponsibility is staggering. Using this for whatever political/career/etc gain vs putting the operation, methods, lives, and future potential to keep doing this at risk. The best of the best in special forces, clandestine agencies, etc, NEVER tell about what they did. That's the power of these people – they can keep doing this impossible work, because the enemy isn't alerted to it. It's shameful that someone was this short-sighted and needed to claim credit for this operation.

    May 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • Solitairedog

      I agree. It was and is shameful. The rat must be sniffed out and dealt with harshly.

      May 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  13. db

    Everyone wants to defend Obama and his administration when they are accused of leaking material to the Press. It seems to me that the only people that would gain here is the Obama administration since they are fighting for votes to make themselves look good prior to the election. Think about this, has Obama or any of his staff ever once shown any care for an individual without taking it as a photo op, a beer summit that was not made news worthy, or anything else without making something of it for themselves? If you think he is such a great person be sure to google up the Pigford reperations that Obama sponsored and reopened up while in the house. Look how much more that cost the US Citizen that had absolutely nothing to do with it, and who gained billions of dollars.

    May 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • mike in LA

      I guess your memory forgot this one; "Mission Accomplished"
      Bush was criticized for the historic jet landing on the carrier as an overly theatrical and expensive stunt. For instance, they pointed to the fact that the carrier was well within range of Bush's helicopter, and that a jet landing was not needed.[4] Originally the White House had stated that the carrier was too far off the California coast for a helicopter landing and a jet would be needed to reach it. On the day of the speech, the Lincoln was only 30 miles (48 km) from shore but the administration still decided to go ahead with the jet landing. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted that Bush "could have helicoptered, but the plan was already in place. Plus, he wanted to see a landing the way aviators see a landing."

      May 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
      • dustoff57

        Mike...
        Please read up. Bush got to fly the S-3B viking. He didn't land the aircraft. Bush was sitting in the Co-pilot seat.

        Little truth would be nice.

        May 12, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • dreamer96

      db

      Does Dick Cheney's office leaking through Libby, the real name of an active CIA under cover agent mean anything to you..

      May 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
      • dustoff57

        O-brother, why lie.
        From Robert Novak

        When Richard Armitage finally acknowledged last week that he was my source three years ago in revealing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA employee, the former deputy secretary of state's interviews obscured what he really did. I want to set the record straight based on firsthand knowledge.

        May 12, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Mark

      You must missed, quite intentionally, that the WH and National Security Staff do not fall within the scope. But what concerns me is your arguments are purely based on your obvious dislike for him – they have nothing whatsoever to do with this actually leak.

      May 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  14. mipolitic

    WE DAM WELL KNOW THE CIA NEVER GAVE THE GUY UP , right mr obama

    May 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      AND SO YOU BLAME OBAMA IMMEDIATELY WITH YOUR CAPS LOCK BUTTON ON THE FRITZ!?!?

      May 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • Abe Lincoln

      Stop government sanctioned terrorism against Medical Marijuana patients. Stop the Hypocrisy, Stop the Stupidity.

      May 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  15. Cheney

    Another agents identity was leaked......OK , where was Cheney this time...

    May 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • alf564

      Writing names on memo pads and passing them forward

      May 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  16. Clinton

    Well CNN if one was to point fingers you might find one pointing at you, or in a larger sense, the media, who at times uncovers information vital to National Security but instead of asking yourselves, would this information be potentially harmful to the United States or it's allies if we make it front page news? You think of how much money you'll make by blabbing the info to the entire world and decide profits are more important than basically committing treason against the United States. You in the media have caused hundreds if not thousands of deaths over the past decades by blasting news stories that should have remained within the Government agencies... with no reprocussions.

    May 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • 1st ammendment

      Two words, 1st amendment...Go live in China if you want media blackouts...That or vote in more Tea Baggers...example. CISPA.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        1st amendment – I'm not arguing that there should not be freedom of the press, but even with Freedom of speech there are limits, you moron, for example, you can't blatantly threaten someone's life, or slander someone, and there are laws against revealing national secrets vital to National Security... Idiots like you try to make it into some free speech argument, but that's bullcrap when you look at it on a case by case basis there are laws that limit free speech because sometimes it's harmful, or do you think it should be okay for someone to harrass someone else? Destroy their character with lies/slander so much so that it causes them damages? You're an idiot... go and shove that idea that blabbing national secrets is freedom of speech garbage up your !@#... moron. you've never been shot at because some News organization thought it'd be a great idea to make controversial events front page news, until you have maybe you should keep your moronic statements to yourself.

        May 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • Mark

        Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn't mean you SHOULD do it. The citizens of a country – many of whom are so unintelligent it's painful – do not need to know everything about everything. The media isn't at fault per se – whomever gave them the info is – but they are culpable for sure.

        May 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • svann

      Al Qaeda knew he was an agent before the story leaked. The cat was out of the bag when he didnt blow up the plane.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        Svann – there's no way to know that fool... He could have been caught by other means, there's plenty of ways to explain why the package didn't make it to the plane... he could have simply stated that someone found out and he didn't know how, either way blowing the guy's cover in the news media is irresponsible and it potentially endangers lives... Now that they know this guy is a double agent, don't you think there's a possibility he had other agents helping him, perhaps they were under cover too? Now if that's the case those guys are dead if they're in Al Qaeda's hands... all so some media outlet can make a buck.

        May 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Bob

      CNN is the mouthpiece of the US government and to suggest that CNN says anything even remotely that resembles journalism indicates you have no idea of what is going on. First they brag about capturing a would-be bomber then it is discovered that he is an CIA and/or Saudi counter-agent and another story is cooked up by the government and regurgitated by CNN. CNN news is similar to watching very bad movies, with the same script rehash over and over.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        Bob,
        Is it getting hot in that tinfoil hat? You're a nutjob... CNN is a news outlet, they don't speak for the Government if they did they would only publish articles that make the US Government look good. They wouldn't put things like this, or things like the Koran burning on the front page... That hurts the US Govt's image and gets Soldiers killed. CNN like every other news outlet.. publishes things because they'll get money for it... That's what all Media outlets bow to... the Almighty dollar...

        May 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • Bob

        Clinton:
        I'm a moron and this is my wife
        she is frosting the cake with a paper knife
        All that we got is American made
        It is a little bit cheesy but it is nicely displayed, ...

        Does Frank Zappa's song describe you.

        CNN is a news outlet. That's exactly what news outlets in China claim. I say given CNN...and you thought China was bad.

        Try these outlets and see the difference:

        democracynow
        glenn greenwald
        RT
        ...

        May 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Clinton

        Bob, you're a fool, again, it's obvious, and you're only proving it with everything you say... you try to point me to radical news sites and say that i'm crazy? You sought out news sites that are not considered legitimate so you could hear your own brand of news. You're more in line to be satisified with a communist news channel since you're only interested in hearing 1 side of the story and that's the side you agree with, you're a nutjob bob, let me guess... you wear a tinfoil hat and have a bunker with 10 years of supplies in it for the end times that are just around the corner if we let a dem stay in office right? ....... crazies... seriously get a life.

        May 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      • Bob

        Clinton:

        I didn't claim you were crazy. I stated you were described by a Zappa song–a moron. Democracy Now is an illegitimate news site. Glenn Greenwald is a radical communist, illegitimate news site? Oh my God, the communists are coming. Let's watch Duck and Cover commercials.

        If Clinton was born in 1500. The world is flat and those stupid scientists don't know what they are talking about. Oh my God, please CNN tell me how to think. I can't think on my own.

        That is not a crazy person. That is a moron. CNN hires ex-government officials to comment on things and those ex-government officials don't have a skewed view–they are perfectly objective. Right. And you understand the difference between a belief and knowledge. We are so privileged that the world has people like you standing on a magic tortoise.

        May 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Scott

      So Bob is CNN a mouthpiece only when the Dems are in office? Why don't you come out when the Repubs are in power, screwing it all up, and pose this theory. My god what is wrong with all you people?

      May 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        Scott – You'll never get psychopaths like Bob to understand... He and people like him fail to grasp reality. They've decided that a specific viewpoint is the only one that makes sense to them so they deny even the obvious facts that stare them in the face and create a fantasy world, composed of whatever Rush Limbaugh and Republican talking heads tell him is true... they are basically a mindless mob of idiots that are not interested in Reality anymore... They're more loyal to their party than to the United States of America... In short, like i said, they're psychopaths... personally i think they should be deported for treason but it's not up to me... they speak their untruths on the internet and try to get anyone to listen because no sane person would talk to them in the real world.

        May 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Bob

        Where did I mention any party. I have always been of the opinion the CNN is a government mouthpiece, regardless of the party in power. If you must know, I lean towards the Dems but that doesn't mean I agree with everything they do, or that everything the Reps want is bad.

        You draw conclusions that can not be supported. How do you possibly know that I have or have not commented before when the Reps were in power?

        May 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Scott

      Not able to give you a "like" but I have to agree. The first thing I thought was why is all this info being published? Do I really need to know what the bomb was made of or how it was designed. No! Do I need to know that it was a super secret double agent from Saudi Arabia, who now probably has a hit on his head by Al Qaeda? No! This info should not be given out so that people currently working to catch these plots can keep catching them and not be put in harm more than they already are.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  17. svann

    I think Al Qaeda probably figured it out when he wasnt arrested yet didnt blow up. Or is this more about leaking the info to the American public?

    May 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  18. J. Wheeler

    Check your media outlets first; they are the ones who usually spill the beans with no thought of consequences.

    May 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Sodomite

      Consequences of what?

      May 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        Sodomite – Are you really that naive? The Consequences are obvious... a double agent's cover has been blown, any cover that anybody that worked with the guy had, is now blown as well, the media potentially condemned people to death by announcing to the world that this guy was a double agent.

        May 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • Sodomite

        They know the risks, Clinton. Unfortunately, it's the price they occasionally pay for serving a society with a 'free press.' For what it's worth, another will step up to take his place. Take consolation in that.

        May 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • Mark

        Clinton is right ..though Clinton I fail to grasp how calling people fools or morons in any way elevates your arguments? But still, on this matter, there are consequences. We might read an article like this and move on, but the ripple effects of that decision could bring harm to himself or friends or family. I'm all for the 1st Amend. but it ought to be used responsibly.

        May 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  19. Jim

    If we are hearing about this uncovered plot, news is all over it, getting details, then this is one of the worst spy jobs ever. The best clandestine jobs are the ones you don't hear about!!!!

    May 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  20. SayWhat

    "White House is not part of the intelligence community" not part of intelligent community, I think you meant to say. :)

    May 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  21. transorbital

    Mr. Clapper: Might I suggest you start your investigation with the office of Representative Peter King (NY)? When this buffoon isn't shoving donuts in his mouth, he seems to be spilling the beans out of it.

    May 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  22. Blanchjoe

    Interesting how soon we all forget, but a even larger Bush Adminstration scandal that involved the FBI, and the Justice Department was the "The Plame Affair" or "Plamegate" and eventually a Hollywood movie, where an unamed source outed Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer. Mrs. Wilson's relationship with the CIA was formerly classified information. The disclosure was made in a Washington Post column entitled "Mission to Niger" written by Robert Novak, and published on July 14, 2003.

    Mrs. Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, has stated his opinion in various interviews and subsequent writings (as listed in his 2004 memoir The Politics of Truth) that members of former President George W. Bush's OWN ADMINISTRATION evealed Mrs. Wilson's covert status.

    May 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      @blanchjoe, how are you possibly blaming Bush for this? Are you some twitching psychotic living in a remote cave? "How soon we forget..." "We" didn't forget anything, looney tunes. Get a grip on yourself, man!

      BTW, Valerie Plame wasn't a field agent, she was an analyst sitting in a cubicle who blabbered her big mouth to everyone who'd listen that she worked at the CIA. She outed herself. She pretended Bush did because she's 1) indiscrete 2) more politically driven than professional, and 3) she was a crappy analyst.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        Shows how e-mail, written word can be taken many ways. When I read this I thought he was asking people if they remembered the past case as a way to ask, so are we going to go nuts against Obama and his administration like people did against Bush?

        May 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  23. Me

    1600 Pennsylvania Ave., West Wing...I think you might find the "leak" in those offices...it is election season.

    May 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • craigu

      lets look at the congress. peter king asked for hearing on the operation saying the president lied about the issue. peter king sets on the intelegence committee and was brifed on the entire event.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  24. Cooze

    CLAP ON!
    CLAP OFF!
    CLAP ON, CLAP OFF...

    THE CLAPPER!

    Sorry.....I couldn't help myself.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  25. 2012marandalaw

    The "Internet Gossip"..Across the Board.Some people are worse then 2 yr.old children,When it comes to Keeping a Secret.They don't understand the "Importance Of It All".When you have Agents sleeping with Prostitutes,while these people are out on Important Missions...Thats Dangerous..Very,very Dangerous.These Missions are very Important to people like myself,that have a War Conflict name Change..And live in the USA.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  26. Mary

    Well, how's that going to look when you discover the leaks came at direction of the Oval Office so Obama can pretend he's competent at national security for political points?

    "Stand down, Clapper, and put us on direct distribution for all the targets the CIA or SEALs hit before the elections, so I can send them to my favorite adoring media outlets," says your campaigner in chief.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • IceMan

      Who is your handler, "Mary"?

      May 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      How does this equate to getting political points? Leaking all the info is not good for the commander in chief. It makes he and his staff look bad if it was someone in his administration. If all that was said was a plot was foiled due to the work of the administration and the CIA, that would be for political gain. Get it? Geez they'll let anyone post on these sites.

      May 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply

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