It’s an assertion that defies common sense but speaks volumes about how the U.S. intelligence complex dodges accountability: The National Security Agency is arguing that even the secrets it has intentionally disclosed to reporters are still so secret that disclosing their disclosure threatens national security.
At issue is a report to Congress from the NSA on instances of “authorized disclosures” of classified intelligence to the media. The report was mandated by the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
Steven Aftergood, who writes the essential Secrecy News blog for the Federation of American Scientists, requested a copy under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The NSA’s response, dated Oct. 2: “The document is classified because its disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”
Has it ever been more clear that the NSA uses the phrase “could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security” as a euphemism for “could gravely embarrass us?”