There he goes again. William Arkin has made a cottage industry – and, evidently, a living – out of revealing the Nation’s secrets. Invariably, he dresses up his treachery with a patina of virtue garbed as “good government” and “transparency.” But let’s call a spade a spade: Whatever its intentions, the practical effect of Arkin’s handiwork is to facilitate the job of those who seek to do violent harm to this country and its vital interests.
The latest example of this type of conduct can be found in the series that Arkin has co-authored with Dana Priest of the Washington Post. The first installment weighed in at a staggering 4,638 words and – together with assorted, dense diagrams – took up fully a quarter of the paper’s front section today, including two-thirds of its front page. Add in a website (that seems not to be functioning properly at the moment), the series promises to expose what Arkin and Priest breathlessly call “Top Secret America.”
Unfortunately, this is but the latest in a long list of examples in which Bill Arkin plays the role of self-appointed declassification authority. Max Freeman does a good job of recounting Arkin’s associations with various radical leftist and anti-defense organizations and his history of disclosures.
Such associations have included: the Institute for Policy Studies, where he directed that rabidly Marxist and anti-American group’s “National Security Program” and its “Arms Race and Nuclear Weapons Research Project” from 1981 to1989; the Center for Defense Information; Greenpeace; and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Seven years ago, Salem Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt recounted how in September 2002, Arkin asked a rhetorical question of a Naval War College audience: “Aren’t I just another leftist, self-hating American?” With associations like his, the answer should be apparent: Yes.
That odious self-description becomes even more apt when one considers Bill Arkin’s record with respect to disclosures of classified information. Among its lowlights have been:
Arkin’s revelation in 1985 of the highly classified location of forward-deployed U.S. nuclear weapons caches. To ensure that these disclosures would inflict the maximum harm on bilateral relations with the host nations, Arkin made visits to a number of them publicizing his findings and urging the governments in question and their publics insist the United States withdraw all such arms.
In October 2002, Arkin took it upon himself to expose secret Defense Department efforts to augment the United States’ urgently needed special operations capabilities. His revelations in the Los Angeles Times included: the assets available to the commanding officer and the operations location of Delta Force, as well as the then-tightly held capabilities and code names of Air Force and CIA Predator and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles.
Arkin published in 2005 a 608-page self-styled “encyclopedia of 3,000 U.S. national-security code names,” in which he not only compromised the designations of 3,000 highly classified programs, but described their sensitive defense- and intelligence-related activities, as well.
As with Bill Arkin’s previous, damaging data dumps, the potential for harm is greatly compounded by the complicity of mainstream media outlets. These have included over the years not only the Los Angeles Times, but the New York Times, NBC, MSNBC and, most recently, the Washington Post (where Arkin has had an online column for several years). Thanks not only to the prominent platform thus provided but the “legitimacy” conferred by such organizations, his toxic ideological agenda is greatly obscured and the numbers of adversaries exposed to his information vastly increased.
Here’s the bottom line: Arkin is once again providing targeting information for our enemies. No matter how insistently he tries to dress up his compromising of our secrets as exercising his First Amendment rights in the interest of government accountability, it amounts to treachery, if not treason. It may wind up getting Americans killed for no other reason but that they are serving their country in various classified capacities, and he has unilaterally decided to put them in jeopardy.
We may never know how many of our enemies were aware of the various addresses and activities William Arkin and his collaborator/enablers at the Washington Post have disclosed, or whether they could have found out about them if they had his tenacity, undisclosed but obviously considerable funding and/or leaking government sources.
What we do know is that Arkin has once again made it easier for them to do us harm. He must be held fully accountable for the consequences – whatever they may be.