Intelligence community probing hundreds of illegal leaks since 2011

Government investigators are reviewing 375 cases of "unauthorized disclosures" by members of the various intelligence agencies, according to a top secret report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG). [WATCH VIDEO]

ADVERTISEMENT
The semi-annual report to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the inspector general's office also had nine separate investigations outside the leaks inquiries, according to ICIG chief Charles McCullough. 

The leaks of sensitive or classified information go back to November 2011. 

The investigations predate the recent disclosures of sensitive domestic intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency, which were revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. 

The intelligence IG report, which covers the office's work from November 2011 to June 2012, was first obtained by the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. 

The report does not include specifics on the activities government investigators are looking into as part of the investigations into possible illegal leaks or other outside violations. 

However, a summary of closed IG investigations runs the gamut from "alleged ethics violations" and unauthorized uses of government funds and property to simple "misconduct" charges. 

McCullough, along with representatives from the CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency and other related agencies, briefed members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the investigations in June 2012. 

"The [committee] members were most interested in ... management responses to IG investigations reports that substantiate employee misconduct, enhanced whistle blower protections for [intelligence community] civilian employees and leaks of classified information," McCullough said in the report. 

News of the IG leak investigations comes as the White House, Congress and intelligence community are reeling from Snowden's disclosures. 

NSA counterintelligence officials are in the midst of a “damage assessment” to see what other top-secret information Snowden leaked about the agency’s intelligence programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post

“The more we [learn] the more dangerous this situation becomes,” House Intelligence Committee chief Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) told reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday, referring to the investigation into Snowden. 

In an online Q&A hosted by The Guardian, Snowden indicated that more classified information on U.S. intelligence operations could be forthcoming. 

“Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped,” Snowden wrote on the newspaper's website Monday morning.

American intelligence agencies are already picking up signals that U.S. adversaries are changing tactics as a result of Snowden's actions, according to Rogers. 

NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander told Congress last Wednesday the agency programs Snowden disclosed have foiled more than a dozen attempted terrorist attacks inside the United States. 

Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Alexander cited Najibullah Zazi’s plot to bomb New York’s subways in 2009 as one of many foiled attacks on the nation that occurred as a result of the NSA programs. 

Snowden illegally leaked details of two previously unknown NSA domestic intelligence programs to the media last week. 

One program, code-named PRISM, was designed to pull data from tech companies on foreign Internet users. The second program allowed the NSA to collect information about communications on all cellphones using the Verizon network. 

“Great harm has already been done by opening these [programs] up,” Alexander said at the time, adding the U.S. and its allies are less safe now than they were before Snowden’s revelations.