Newly confirmed CIA director Mike Pompeo informed United States senators he would “aggressively seek to ensure we have the most effective programs for identifying insider threats.” It was a pledge to pursue the same anti-leaks policies that discourage whistleblowing that President Barack Obama’s administration pursued.
Since President Donald Trump has expressed his fervent support for torture, which is against the law, and a draft executive order has circulated suggesting the Trump administration will restore the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program, the prospect of Pompeo intensifying efforts to clampdown on leaks is all the more concerning.
“Mishandling of classified information is a serious matter given the potential implications for U.S. national security,” Pompeo declared.
Pompeo added, “Persons who are unable or unwilling to safeguard classified information successfully should not hold a security clearance. Using discretion, the Attorney General may seek prosecution of cases for mishandling of classified information. It is clearly the case that the accountability associated with mishandling of classified information should depend on a number of factors including the scope, duration, [and] intentionality of the mishandling, but all cases of mishandling of classified information must be addressed and actions must be taken to prevent their recurrence.”
He called for “more aggressively implementing the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise,” which will “enable the electronic implementation of the need-to-know principle.” He also mentioned the CIA’s own “insider threat program.”