The disclosure that an intercepted call between al-Qaida leaders led the United States to shut down embassies and issue a world travel alert has destroyed a major source of fighting terror, according to Fred Fleitz, chief analyst at the global intelligence website LIGNET.
"This was pure gold in terms of intelligence. This should have been tightly held … something historians would have read about years from now," Fleitz said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We can be sure there'll be no more conference calls like this. This source has been burned," he said.
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Fleitz began working at LIGNET — an acronym for the Langley Intelligence Group Network, Newsmax Media's global intelligence website — after a 25-year career with the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
This week, the U.S. government closed diplomatic posts in 22 countries after the interception of a conference call between al-Qaida’s senior leaders and representatives — surveillance leaked to the press
by an unidentified source.
"This is the most irresponsible administration ever on intelligence," Fleitz said. "Intelligence like this doesn't grow on trees. It's not a limitless resource. It's not a political chip that a presidential administration should play to make themselves look better."
The federal government has been under fire following the disclosure by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the agency was collecting phone and email records of Americans in an effort to uncover terrorist plots.
In his press conference Friday, President Barack Obama said that even before the leaks by Snowden, who is now in Russia, his administration had launched a study into how the NSA's surveillance techniques could be improved.
"It's news to me that the administration was going to do anything about the NSA program," Fleitz said. "I don't think the NSA programs were illegal; I'm a defender of them and I give the president credit."
"He said despite these allegations that are really dividing the country and creating a lot of anger on Capitol Hill, there's been no evidence that they've been abused.
"There's been no evidence that the government's listening to phone calls; there's no evidence that the government is reading emails," Fleitz added.
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