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NCTC Head Says Latest WikiLeaks Logs Won’t Affect Counterterrorism

Michael Leiter, NCTC; Photo: dni.gov, javarman

Director of the National Counter Terrorism Center Michael Leiter, in a rare public speaking appearance Monday, said the recent WikiLeaks disclosures have caused officials to reevaluate information sharing.

But, he said the published diplomatic cables, which have embarrassed and infuriated diplomats the world over, would not impact intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism efforts.

While some worked-up national security experts might call for U.S. intelligence and defense agencies to essentially lock up sensitive information and throw away the key, Leiter cautioned against overreaction.

“It has certainly driven individuals in the intelligence community and beyond the intelligence community to at least reexamine information sharing and ensure that we are still getting the right information to the right people,” Leiter said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as reported by Voice of America news. “But we are not getting excess information to the people who really don’t need it.”

The Intelligence Community is better poised to handle information-sharing because of guidelines put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, he added.

Colin Clark, of DoDBuzz, said the Intelligence Community’s response to 9/11 allowed it “time to hammer out careful restrictions so that information they gather and analyze does not rebound on the counterterror community.

Leiter said he was “relatively comfortable” with the way information is being shared and adequately protected within the counterterrorism community today,” he said.

“I think we have standards and processes to segment how information is moved,” which is partly his role, he added.

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