Need to Know: David M. Crane Explains Security Clearances & Classification with Spectrum

Security Gaffes in the White House Cause Intelligence Expert Grave Concern

(Spectrum | May 22, 2017) This is a special edition of SPECTRUM featuring intelligence expert, David Crane. The way President Trump is dismissive of “intelligence briefings” and makes disclosure decisions without prior consultation with intelligence experts causes grave concern to a long time security veteran.

Recently, the news has focused on security gaffes in the White House. Some reports have said that President Trump gave the Russians intelligence information that was classified at the highest level of secrecy.

It is reported, by Trump’s National Security Advisor, that he made the decision to do so “on-the-spot” without any prior consultation with his security team. His National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said at a press briefing that before making the disclosures, the President did not know the source of the information or from where the information came.

Although McMaster claims the President’s disclosures to the Russians were “wholly appropriate,” many experts question the wisdom of such spur-of-the moment Presidential decisions to share highly secretive information without consulting with the security team first.

To understand exactly what happened and what the “intelligence terminology” we hear means, we’ve called in an expert — David Crane.

Crane spent over three decades in top-level Intelligence work for the government. He helped create and was the founding director of the Office of Intelligence Review in the Department of Defense. He is an international law specialist and has acted as a prosecutor of war crimes for the United Nations.

Crane is very concerned about how this Administration is handling intelligence and what the dire ramifications could be. He is troubled by the President’s seemingly casual attitude about “intelligence” and his dismissive policies toward “briefings” by veteran intelligence officers. He also describes how the President’s mishandling of critical information can put other countries and individuals in jeopardy as well as the United States.

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/486931216/spectrum