The Trump Administration is riddled with leaks, why? Well, it seems that a culture of leaks is prevalent in the US, it is actively promoted by mainstream media as a “good thing” and the “right thing to do” and this is dangerous for everyone. You may like to read juicy information in the newspapers of hear the latest fake news from CNN & NYT and WP (see the CIA link on all of them in Code Name Jen) but you must ask, where did they get that what they sprout so often? Fact is, it is easy. You will always find the weak fellow wanting to share what he knows, read or heard with the newspaper people (I hesitate in calling them “journalists” because they will never pass that bar these days). The leaker is actively encouraged to betray his country, the trust placed in him and his colleagues not falling for such shenanigans and it is done... why? Party politics from people that should be above such things? A dislike in the democratic system? Revenge for a lost presidential election? To feel accepted or just for the hell of it? Money? Fame? All the above and an entirely wrong idea on what patriotism is. They actually think they are doing good and there are many of them, way too many.
There is more than one million people in the US Government holding a security clearance. With that kind of numbers, leaks are guaranteed and it is something that used to be a no-go area... if caught leaking sensitive information, intelligence or classified material, you would have been prosecuted unless of course you are Hilarious Clinton (we call the former senator, former secretary of state and loser twice for the presidency, “Hilarious” in our books). The problem comes in when some pigs are more equal than others, where prosecution is done based on who the culprit is and by the way, the Obama Administration brought more leak cases to court than all his predecessors combined, another mainstream media myth that this never happened before. The question is against whom? Who was prosecuted? Certainly not the famous turds (what we call politicians in our books, they float in what they talk). “They may have down to a certainty who the leaker was, but if the leaker was a senator or congressman there is this reticence by DOJ to bring this,” Ron Hosko, a former assistant FBI director on leaks, recently. What a censure is that, just terrible. Now we know why Hilarious got away with her email server scandal where tens of thousands of leaks too place. We also lost all respect for the Clinton Federal White Wash Bureau and one James Comey.
I was asked the other day how to stop intelligence and other leaks, what needs to be done? I can write entire books on this subject but let us see what I wrote already. In Code Name Ghost, GMJ 31, I explained what is used commonly in counter espionage to find leaks: -
... Barium (Ba) has an atomic number of 56 and is a silvery-white metallic element. The learned folk will tell you it is a member of the alkaline-earth metals, whatever that means. Sir Humphry Davy discovered barium in 1808 already but before that it was widely used in witchcraft, it glows and hence was seen as magic by primitive people. In more recent times, California got themselves an official gemstone, the fluorescent blue mineral benitoite, containing barium. It is primarily used in the production of television sets but that was not what she meant. In espionage, a “barium meal” has an entirely different meaning.
The technique is standard with all counter espionage agencies but first came to fore in the book “Spycatcher” by Peter Wright, a former MI5 officer, hiding in Australia. The idea is to trap spies by checking to see if intelligence known to a select few, turns up on the other side and then to deduct who leaked it. It is also known as a “canary trap” (an advanced version, yes, Angelique) where you hide information in a document that uniquely identifies it. That means that copies of it can be traced and traced back to whoever had that unique document, sometimes they use a number on it, or a mark, or spelling mistake on whatever page. (We often do this with GMJ Books, noting where the illegal copy came from originally. There is nothing new about it, the counter espionage technique found its way into the publishing world, a deliberate mistake is made on say page 41 and a direct copy will have the same mistake at the same place and page, impossible to explain. Telephone books always have among the millions of numbers, a few fake ones, and so you can prove beyond doubt that copyright was infringed, Angelique). What she did here, was to deliberately give information out on the whereabouts of the SAS Manthatisi and herself and see if someone turns up. If and when the enemy turn up where they should not, you can be sure to know who knew about it and start your investigation there – in this case only three people knew – the South African Navy’s Flag Captain, the commanding officer of the SAS Isandlwana and Liam Dube himself (see Code Name Oath 19). One of them was reporting the movements of the submarine and it could not have been Liam Dube, he was on the submarine heading to danger. He was also underwater and not transmitting anything, we know, we were on the submarine with him. That left the flag captain and the Isandlwana’s boss, I could not believe my ears, surely not them. However, as you know, it is those that you trust most that bites you in the ass the quickest.
“Yes, and that is why I diverted the SAS Manthatisi away from Walvis Bay once we dived, towards the intelligence ship wreck, to search her, it had to be done anyway. I needed to know who she belonged to and I wanted to recover the Werz Papers that I heard was on her, wrongly as it turned out. The question is, did the Chinese go on a heightened state of awareness at Walvis Bay? If the submarine’s destination was leaked, they should have reacted and if they did, we would know who to ask why. Of course, that would have increased the risk against Liam Dube too and so, we went the other way, you get?”
All militaries are secretive in what they do. Often, what you read is what is leaked to the mainstream liars to publish, to reassure the public or to send a message to the enemy. The Soviets, Russians, call the last part a “maskirovka” or deception and they firmly believe in it. We too, a maskirovka was used with great success during Code Name Phoenix, ensuring that the gun battle between the EBS (Egg Breaker Ship – an internal joke, Angelique) Orlando and the South African frigate, SAS Amatola, takes place. (We spread rumours at the right places to ensure that the ship is “blown” as a mothership, a spy vessel, the frigate came to investigate and when in gun range, Foxtrot and company opened up, the rest is history, Angelique.) ... (Taken from Code Name Ghost.)
What you saw above was deliberate leaking of wrong information and also to very specific people, if anything then is published with that same story or there is an enemy reaction, you know, a process of elimination then, as well as access, who could have known? You can also use leaks offensively in espionage, as explained in the last paragraph and used during Code Name Phoenix, getting people to react in the way you wish them to do but it all starts with not entrusting the entire world to your secrets. There are way too many with security clearances, simple. And then storage, protecting the secrets. I often explain in GMJ Books how the we get to the book names, a code, all of them, and how such codes are worked out and how secrets should be stored: -
... Military code names have nothing in common with the actual operation taking place. It should not and it is silly to expect the name to mean anything or indicate anything in particular. Therefore, none of the GMJ Books have a name from which you can deduct the contents of the book and that is not by chance, it is written like that, it should be a hidden code, known only to those directly involved. But the code names used always had something to do with Angelique Dawson and it was always fascinating to me how she got to them. Unlike many other espionage agencies, no computer generates the code names at random in the South African Secret Service. They do so themselves and see if someone can guess what it means, if so, it is changed immediately. I like this system; it is fool proof. As an example - I have seen them sit at a pizza shop, look around, and decide the (entirely innocent) waiter is called whatever, and that “whatever” becomes the new code name. Unless you are there, you would never guess and that is the essence of a good code name, never to guess accurately the intentions behind it. Sometimes they even had personal code names referring to the official code name, you just don’t know what they meant and it is never on a computer, they do things by hand, writing it down because of security reasons, not backwardness. It is extremely easy to safeguard a paper file and almost impossible to do so with those made of ones and zeroes as we had seen in recent history when a low-level NSA employee like Edward Snowden can steal a memory disk of information and run away with it. ... (Taken from Code Name Moonlight but could have been from any GMJ Book, I explain the same in all of them – very few will read every GMJ Book, so I write them as if the explanation is needed everywhere, which it is).
You want this to end? Try professionalism in who you appoint to deal with your secrets. Act mercilessly against ALL leakers and reduce the number of access 1,000-fold. Use barium meals, do something and stop making silly excuses. It comes down to good and very easy investigations, there is nothing difficult nor new about this. Telling me that the Clinton Federal White Wash Bureau cannot get to the bottom of this is not an excuse easily acceptable to most and should not be. Then they are either as incompetent as I say they are in my books, sadly so, or they have ulterior motives, take your pick, it may even be both. Of course, this will never happen. You may expect the world to continue laughing at the leaks and guess what – next time a terrorist attack is not prevented – it is because you were not trusted with the information that could have prevented it. By my definition that makes the leaker and mainstream publisher guilty of terrorism. In case you still don’t understand, let me explain again - you cannot afford neutrality in counter terrorism nor leak what you were entrusted to by your friends, assets and intelligence. When you do, people will die because of your actions, it is that serious and shameful.
George M James is a pseudo name for the author and used for security reasons. He is an expert on counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in sub Saharan Africa, a military and war historian and published author of 43 books. His late wife was an American Patriot that served with the U.S. Navy. His books are widely read among military veterans of many nations.