Democrats and the mainstream media are hyping allegations that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to the Russian foreign minister as “the most serious breach of national security” by any president.
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, for example, told CNN on Tuesday that Trump “cannot just say whatever the hell he wants and expect it doesn’t carry consequences.”
Panetta should know, because it was his loose talk after the Osama bin Laden raid that exposed a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, who helped locate the Al Qaeda leader. As a result, Afridi was imprisoned on fabricated charges and will live under fear of assassination for the rest of his life.
As Breitbart News noted in 2013, a Pakistani report on Dr. Afridi reportedly concluded “Dr. Afridi was implicated by a ‘statement by the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was the CIA Director when May 2 happened, confirming the role of Dr. Afridi in making the U.S. assassination mission a success.'”
Panetta did not reveal that critical intelligence in a private meeting with a foreign emissary, but to the entire world, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.
Even worse was the Obama White House’s decision to reveal that it was U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 that carried out the bin Laden raid.
As Jeffrey Kushner recalled in the Washington Times: “On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing. His reckless action put at risk the lives of every member of SEAL Team 6.”
The response came on August 6, 2011, when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, killing 30 soldiers. Among the dead: 15 members of SEAL Team 6. Years later, the fallen heroes’ families remain outraged at the Obama administration: “In releasing their identity, they put a target on their backs,” one of the fathers told U.S. News and World Report in 2013.
What makes the Obama administration’s leaks on the bin Laden raid the worst of all was that they were made to further his re-election campaign. Lives were lost and destroyed for Barack Obama’s personal political ambitions.
The Obama administration chose to reveal classified information on a number of other occasions. It released information about the interrogation methods used with terrorists; claimed credit for the Stuxnet virus, exposing our Israeli intelligence partners in the process; and ordered the U.S. intelligence community to share information with the Cuban regime. All of these are far worse than what Trump reportedly shared. (Update: Sean Davis of the Federalist notes that Obama pardoned the Stuxnet leaker before leaving office in January.)
But for the media and the left, Obama had to be protected at all costs. And Trump is the worst — by definition.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.