9:16 AM, Apr 21, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Bloomberg's Eli Lake reports Tuesday that the Obama administration kept secret until the beginning of April Iran's two to three month breakout time for a nuclear weapon, saying "the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public."
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, speaking to reporters on Monday, said that the administration has held this assessment for "quite some time." Lake says that Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed Monday "that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1."
However, at least one member of the administration publicly spoke about the two-to-three-month breakout time frame prior to April. On March 2, 2015, National Security Advisor Susan Rice addressed the annual AIPAC meeting and said the following [emphasis added]:
This is my third point—a good deal is one that would verifiably cut off every pathway for Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Every single one.
Any deal must prevent Iran from developing weapons-grade plutonium at Arak, or anywhere else.
Any deal must prevent Iran from enriching uranium at its nuclear facility at Fordow—a site we uncovered buried deep underground and revealed to the world in 2009
Any deal must increase the time it takes Iran to reach breakout capacity—the time it would take to produce a single bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium. Today, experts suggest Iran’s breakout window is just two to three months. We seek to extend that to at least one year.
Rice's disclosure suggests that either DNI spokesman Brian Hale is incorrect in his assertion that the assessment was declassified on April 1, or Rice revealed classified information.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Rice's March disclosure.
2:01 PM, Jan 17, 2014 • By GARY SCHMITT
Thankfully, President Obama is not a doctor. If he was and you happened to visit him in his office and mentioned that you were worried about the potential for lung cancer, he’d immediately put you under, open you up, and pull out a lung—or, at least, that’s the logic that seems to be guiding his decisions on NSA’s collection programs. Yes, no one has found any evidence that NSA has broken the law, invaded constitutionally-protected privacy rights, or is about to. But never mind, it’s the very possibility that someday, somehow, NSA will jump the tracks that requires the president now to unduly complicate the use of what he admits has been an important counterterrorism tool.
2:22 PM, Jan 9, 2014 • By GARY SCHMITT
For all those civil libertarians of both the left and the right who think we ought to thank Edward Snowden for his actions in revealing NSA’s secret metadata collection program—or, at a minimum, believe the U.S. government should show leniency toward him should he ever come back to these shores—they might want to just stop for a moment and consider what else Mr. Snowden has revealed.
1:42 PM, Jul 31, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Edward Snowden, one of many thousands of people holding very high security clearances, stole the family jewels in what was, arguably, the greatest security breach in American history. And the reaction of the agency that he violated? The usual Washington shrug. Stuff, you know, happens.
8:21 AM, Jun 12, 2013 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
When Edward Snowden decided he wanted to release details about the NSA's intelligence operations to the public, he reached out to Laura Poitras, a 49-year-old film maker and political activist opposed to the war on terror.
4:29 PM, Sep 1, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
WikiLeaks has long claimed that it is taking measures to protect the men and women whose identities may be exposed in leaked documents for the first time. These people include spies, sources, and the like who never thought their names would appear on the Internet in a leaked State Department document. But now, from Spiegel, one of the media outlets that has cooperated with WikiLeaks in exposing America’s secrets, we learn:
5:09 PM, Jan 6, 2011 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
In THE WEEKLY STANDARD and on this blog, we’ve taken note of the ongoing Justice Department investigation involving the disclosure of classified information by James Risen in his 2006 book, State of War. The case finally seems to have resulted in an indictment of a former CIA officer:
6:30 AM, Dec 10, 2010 • By JOHN ROSENTHAL
Last weekend, PayPal announced that it was freezing the PayPal account used by WikiLeaks. In a statement, PayPal explained that WikiLeaks was in violation of the company’s acceptable use policy, which “states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” But any violations of the law that WikiLeaks either encourages, promotes, facilitates, etc. are apparently not of interest to Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation, the principal collector of funds and de facto financial manager of WikiLeaks. At any rate, this appears to be the case for any violations of American law. German law, as will be seen below, is another matter.
8:00 AM, Nov 29, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Once upon a time I was a member of the policy planning staff at the Department of State, and had a security clearance. It was so long ago that I cannot now recall the level of security my clearance allowed, but it was suitably low. Like most people under such circumstances, I was curious about what would be revealed when I opened my first envelope marked Top Secret: Would I learn that the Czech defense attaché was having a torrid affair with Mary McGrory, or that the Bolivian army was massing on the Peruvian border?
Or will it do the right thing?11:30 AM, Aug 13, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
WikiLeaks is now promising to release the remaining 15,000 classified Afghan war documents it has in its possession. The Pentagon is asserting that grave harm will result.
The New York Times v. the Pentagon.10:45 AM, Aug 6, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
Should the press publish the names of American officials who have interrogated captured al Qaeda operatives?
The First Amendment does not bar prosecution in every instance.10:10 AM, Jul 27, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
Could WikiLeaks and its organizer, the shadowy Australian Julian Assange, be prosecuted for publishing classified information?