On Wednesday, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd criticized US intelligence leaks surrounding the bombing of the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The Home Secretary — the British equivalent of the Director of Homeland Security — appeared on the BBC radio show Today, saying:
The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating when it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.
The host asked Rudd if she felt that the British operation to capture those responsible had been compromised. Though she didn’t go so far as to say it had, she was adamant that she had clarified the British position on American leaks:
I can say they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn’t happen again.
After the Monday bombing, in which 22 people died and another 59 were injured, including numerous children attending the kid-friendly show, information that had not yet been released by the British police began appearing on US television. The death toll, the nature of the bombing, and even the name of the attacker were all made public by an unnamed source in the US intelligence community, broadcasting on major US networks NBC and CBS.
Although the leaks are not likely to change the intelligence-sharing agreement between the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand known as the Five Eyes agreement, they are ironically timed, at the very least. Donald Trump has been very vocal about his distaste for leaks within our own government, while simultaneously committing the same errors himself. Apart from casually discussing Syria policy in full view of patrons at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Team Trump has publicly leaked the personal cell number of the US Defense Secretary, while Trump himself revealed details of a terrorist plot to Russian officials, and most recently, told the brutal dictator of the Philippines where two of our nuclear submarines are stationed.
It couldn’t be any clearer: Donald Trump and his security apparatus cannot be trusted with sensitive information.
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