Since moving into The White House, President Trump has discovered that it is infested with bugs and that there are numerous leaks throughout the structure. I would have thought that someone with so much experience in real estate would have had the good sense to get a certified termite inspection and a roof inspection before taking ownership. Now, he apparently is stuck with fixing those problems.
2017 is the Year of the Leak
On a more serious note, throughout the election season of 2016 and beyond, it has seemed as if there has been more information leaked from various government agencies than ever before. Information leaks aren’t new. They have been used in a variety of ways for decades.
Deep Throat was the code name for one of the most famous leakers of them all. He, or she, leaked information about the Watergate break-in and cover-up to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post. The stories that came out resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
What is a leak?
According to Wikipedia, a leak is a way (usually an opening) for fluid to escape a container or fluid-containing system, such as a tank or a ship's hull, through which the contents of the container can escape or outside matter can enter the container. Leaks are usually unintended and therefore undesired.
The word leak also applies to information which is intended to be kept secret but which gets out anyways. Edward Snowden leaked lots of information. Then he left the country. More recently, someone leaked wiretapped information about Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador. Flynn resigned soon thereafter.
How are leaks used?
Two of the biggest reasons people leak information are to attack an adversary and/or to promote some agenda. Some who leak information do it because of principal. They see something that’s not right and they believe that if enough people find out, the result will be positive change. Others leak information as a means of making life more difficult for an enemy. Most leakers probably do it for some combination of these two reasons.
Why do people prefer to stay anonymous?
People who leak information have lives, like everyone else. If possible, they would like to go on with their lives with as little disruption as possible, unless, of course there’s some potential for a book deal and there’s not much chance of getting killed over the leak. The fallout that can come from a juicy leak can be very disruptive.
For some people, leaking information can result in the loss of a good livelihood. Business people who leak information may run the risk of no longer being trusted by folks they have been associated with. Being identified as a leaker can also affect personal relationships for the leaker. And, finally, people who leak classified information don’t want their names out there because they would prefer to avoid getting arrested and going to prison.
Leaks in 2017
2017 may very well turn out to be the Golden Age of political leaks. In the first quarter alone, it appears that more federal employees are leaking information to the press than those who are not. At the beginning of March, Team Trump came up with plans to plug the leaks emanating from the White House. Those plans were soon leaked to the media.
Some in the media are making the case that leaks are not un-American and that they’re not likely to stop anytime soon.
What do you think? Leave a comment.