With a flurry of angry condemnations from political rivals surround recent leaks on President Obama’s use of mass assassinations and cyberattacks, Obama is angrily condemning the idea that the White House would ever release classified documents for its own benefit, saying that was an “offensive” notion.
Obama went on to say that leaking documents to the media was a “criminal act” and promised a broad probe into the leaks. The feigned outrage and the promised probe are nothing new in American presidential history, however.
Indeed, one need only go back to the last administration, with I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s leak of Valerie Plame’s identity coming with direct administration approval and for direct political gain: in that case to make the case for the president’s Iraq war ambitions.
It isn’t exclusively a modern occurrence either. Rather, every administration has had its promise to “probe” a leak for the past 150 years, railing at leaks that stood to damage them politically and furiously denying involvement in the ones aimed at making them look better.
History isn’t on the side of the probe either, for while some of the probes have ended with convictions of illegal leaking, many of them have simply collapsed after a few months, once they are safely out of the public limelight.
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