Major media sources revealed not only the classified intelligence that President Donald Trump allegedly revealed to Russian officials, but also additional sensitive information which could be detrimental to national security.
The president allegedly shared classified details of an ISIS terror plot with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during a meeting last week. Sources and officials declared Trump’s revelations “highly damaging” and “inappropriate,” but that information may never have come to light without assistance from leakers and the media.
Media outlets were quick to report that foreign intelligence might be able to identify the ally that provided the information to the U.S. and the intelligence source of the plot, potentially compromising operations or what is possibly a human intelligence source. But it was U.S. media outlets that outed the ally, the full nature of the plot, and the city where the plot was uncovered to the entire world, regardless of whether foreign intelligence agencies dished any of the information.
With the assistance of U.S. officials leaking information, major media outlets were able to publish highly-classified information for the general public.
WaPo introduced that the plot was linked to threats to aviation.
The New York Times revealed Tuesday that Israel was the ally that gave the U.S. intelligence on the ISIS plot. The Wall Street Journal explained that it also uncovered the information but chose not to publish it because, “Trump administration officials said disclosing it could damage the two countries’ intelligence relationship and jeopardize operations.”
Multiple outlets reported that the terrorist plot in question involved putting an explosive device, one made possible by advances in ISIS bomb making expertise, in a laptop to bring down a commercial airliner. CNN revealed that it had the information in March but did not release it due to its sensitive nature.
CBS News said Thursday, “The laptop bomb that may evade airport scanners was built and tested by ISIS at Mosul University.”
“Lives could well be lost as a result of an ISIS mole hunt that’s sure to follow,” Axios’ Mike Allen wrote Tuesday, citing reports from national security experts.
Some doubted whether or not Russia could have determined all of this information, since sources and methods were not revealed in the recent meeting. Other observers argued that, even if Russia put the pieces together, it is highly unlikely that they would have shared the information with ISIS.
But, thanks to the media, the country that provided the intelligence, the existence and nature of the plot, and the city where the plot originated are all public information available to the world, potentially jeopardizing a human intelligence source TheWSJ called “the most valuable source of information on external plotting by ISIS.”
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