Swoop: Washington’s World: June 18th – 24th, 2012 – Leaks

Swoop: Washington’s World: June 18th – 24th, 2012 – Leaks
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Swoop: “Pentagon officials continue to talk publicly about the pivot to the Asia-Pacific region and attention on developments in Syria and Egypt remains very high. However, the Administration also faces a serious distraction in the form of criticism about a series of leaks concerning sensitive US operations involving kill lists for drone attacks, covert operation in Yemen and cyber disruption of Iran’s nuclear program.

The charge being laid against the Administration is that these leaks are politically inspired and designed to show President Obama as a decisive and tough leader. Attorney General Holder has appointed two special prosecutors and has himself been interviewed by FBI investigators. While it is not unusual for Administrations to leak sensitive information for political purposes – officials of the Bush Administration were indicted I connection with the disclosure of the name of a serving CIA officer Valerie Plame – in this case the information concerned covers current operations of unusual sensitivity.

In previous reports we have highlighted how Obama’s political advisers – based in Chicago – feel confident that foreign policy is a strong area for him. Contacts in touch with the White House tell us that the suspicion is that the disclosures may have been inspired by them. Among those attracting attention is Thomas Donilon, the National Security Adviser. In the superheated atmosphere now building up for the presidential campaign, scandals tend to come and go as new events come onto the scene to capture attention. However, we understand that the level of worry in the Administration is unusually high and that time, which normally would have been devoted to foreign policy, is being consumed on fighting this fire.

In the meantime, preparations for next week’s talks in Moscow on Iran are in hand. Expectations in Washington remain low and there is no inclination to soften the US core demands. However, some broader ideas are in play about a regional security architecture in which Iran would have a role. Officials involved hope that these may provide the necessary incentive for Tehran to make the needed concessions. Otherwise, it is expected that the new round of oil sanction will go into effect on July 1st. Washington has received assurances from Saudi Arabia that it will make up for any shortfall in the market.”

Source: Swoop
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