Soon after President Obama appointed him director of national intelligence in 2009, Dennis Blair called for a tally of the number of government officials or employees who had been prosecuted for leaking national security secrets. He was dismayed by what he found, says the New York Times. In the previous four years, the record showed, 153 cases had been referred to the Justice Department. Not one had led to an indictment.
That scorecard “was pretty shocking to all of us,” Blair said. So in a series of phone calls and meetings, he and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., fashioned a more aggressive strategy to punish anyone who leaked national security information that endangered intelligence-gathering methods and sources. The Obama administration has done its best to define those consequences, with an aggressive focus on leaks and leakers that has led to more than twice as many prosecutions as there were in all previous administrations combined.