This story is a very big deal.
As you can see in the screenshot, the Post obtained the information from Edward Snowden, who is now under temporary asylum in Russia. Anyone who still thinks Snowden is a hero or whistleblower should now reconsider. Leaking this material looks like enemy action, not whistleblowing.
A handful of obvious questions arise from this unprecedented exposure of America’s top secret operations budget. One, how did someone at Snowden’s level gain access to this information? He was not a high-level spy. He was a low-level contractor and should have been stovepiped out of access to this information. Who else besides him had access to it, who shouldn’t have? Now that he is in Russia, has he handed it to them, or to the Chinese who allowed him to travel from Hong Kong to Russia? In short, is our top secret “black budget” now a very open secret to our enemies?
None of those questions are partisan in nature. This might inspire some partisan questioning.
"And Israel." Wow. Counterintel ops “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel.”
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) August 29, 2013
The leak tells our enemies — and Israel, I suppose, based on the above tweet — what we know and what we don’t know.
The governments of Iran, China and Russia are difficult to penetrate, but North Korea’s may be the most opaque. There are five “critical” gaps in U.S. intelligence about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, and analysts know virtually nothing about the intentions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Some will say “disclosure is good.” But in this case, disclosure tips our enemies to our goals, capabilities, and gaps in what we know and can do. This disclosure is not good. It’s a very dangerous world out there and Snowden has just given our enemies significant insight into how we think and operate.