The investigation into the leaks about the New York Times’s story on
Iranian cyberattacks are just getting under way. Alana discussed the
controversy surrounding the picks for prosecutors to examine the case
earlier this week and explained why many inside and outside the
Beltway are curious about the White House’s role in the leaks:
But the Times’s Iranian cyberattack story was a different beast
altogether. From the headline to the Situation Room details, the
leaks were clearly a) from top administration officials, and b)
intended to make Obama look as good as possible.
The administration, if nothing else, had the ability to put a hold on
the Times story and declined to do so. Despite bipartisan
intelligence committee anger and frustration about the leaks, Senate
Democrats quickly squashed a resolution to appoint a special counsel
In Israel, it appears the public’s mind is made up about where the
leak originated and how it will affect the already rocky relationship
between Israel and the U.S. Latma, a famous Israeli satirical group,
just released a video about a fictional pair of secret agents
imprisoned and tortured in a secret Iranian prison.
The pair sing a song called “Tell on Me,” to the tune of Ben E.
King’s “Stand By Me,” about U.S. President Obama (the leaker-in-
chief). While the video is light-hearted, the message is clear: trust
in the Obama administration to maintain a level of secrecy
surrounding events that might make the president look good has all
but disappeared completely. The two prisoners have one thing in
common: betrayal by the Obama administration. One was exposed because
the Obama administration couldn’t resist concealing details of the
bin Laden raid; the second by the Obama administration’s desire to
dish to the New York Times about cyberattacks on Iran.
It’s still unclear how the majority of the Israeli public and
government feel about the leaks, if they attribute them to the Obama
White House like this well-known satirical group, although it’s
telling that the U.S. president’s integrity (or the lack thereof) has
moved into the realm of public mockery. President Obama’s approval
ratings were already scraping the bottom of the barrel in Israel;
thus the repercussions of these alleged leaks may be difficult to
gauge. Only time will tell if Israeli leaders and the public have any
more faith left in the Obama administration. We’ll find out just how
much remains the next time Israel is in possession of sensitive
information or plans.