The US mainstream media published British classified intelligence about the Manchester attack this week. This is the second high-profile display of collusion between US media and intelligence sources in 2017.
Yesterday, the New York Times published secret photographs and
other forensic evidence gathered by British police at the scene of the Manchester attack.
This leak follows the illegal leaks of classified intelligence about General Michael Flynn earlier this year.
On January 12, 2017, David Ignatius of the Washington Post learned of the existence of a protected phone call between Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Ignatius’s first mention of his leak in a Washington Post column is rife with political speculation and innuendo.
Unlike Wikileaks, which publishes leaked information in its entirety and without editorial slant, the Flynn case demonstrates US media establishment’s eagerness to leverage their leaks for political and monetary gain.
In and of itself, the ongoing collusion between the US mainstream media and intelligence agencies is cause for public concern. However, this week’s leak of British intelligence raises the stakes to new heights.
The Manchester intelligence leak has amounted to a major diplomatic interference between the US and the UK, which are both part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing alliance.
A spokesman from the Terrorism Police in the UK described the severity of the disclosure in an official tweet:
Unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major CT investigation undermines our work & confidence of victims
— Terrorism Police UK (@TerrorismPolice) May 24, 2017
Another source in the British government echoed his sentiments:
We are completely furious. This is unacceptable. These images leaked from inside the US system will be distressing for victims, their families, and the wider public. The issue is being raised at every relevant level by the British authorities with their US counterparts.
As a result, the UK has suspended the flow of intelligence about the Manchester attack to the United States. Upon arrival in Brussels earlier today, the British Prime minister Theresa May stated that she plans to confront Donald Trump and “[make it] clear to President Trump today that the information shared with our law-enforcement agencies must remain secure.”
Trump has condemned the leaks and launched a DOJ investigation:
The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling… I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
It is unclear what additional damage to US diplomacy will result from this latest display of the US mainstream media’s shadowy collusion with intelligence sources.