Tags: NSA/Surveillance | john bolton | nsa | the room where it happened

NSA Director: Bolton Book Will Compromise Electronic Spy Source

a copy of john boltons book at the white house
A copy of John Bolton's book "The Room Where It Happened" (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Friday, 19 June 2020 06:34 PM

Top-secret information in ex-national security adviser John Bolton's new book will compromise a National Security Agency electronic spy source, the agency's director warns.

According to the Washington Times, NSA director Paul Nakasone disclosed in court papers that he's reviewed the draft of Bolton's book, "The Room Where It Happened," and said it contains highly classified electronic intelligence.

"Compromise of this information could result in the permanent loss of a valuable [signals intelligence] source and cause irreparable damage to the U.S. SIGINT [sensor processing] system," Nakasone stated in an affidavit submitted to U.S. District Court in Washington, the Washington Times reported.

Nakasone didn't divulge exactly what in the book worried him, only that it's "highly classified and extraordinarily sensitive" and couldn't be included in the court filing.

The Army general said, "significant manpower and monetary investments have been and continue to be made to enable and maintain this capability," the Times reported.

"Further, exposure or this information could also cause considerable difficulties in U.S. and allied relations with specific nations and other entities," he stated.

"ln particular, I have determined that the unauthorized disclosure of the classified information in the draft manuscript reasonably could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States."

At a court hearing Friday on the motion to block publication of the book, Judge Royce Lambert expressed concerns about the book allegedly containing "sensitive compartmented information," the most secret U.S. information used to protect electronic and human spy operations and foreign policy matters, the news outlet reported.

During the open hearing, Lambert didn't rule on the government's motion to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent publication of the book, which already has been distributed to several news media outlets in advance of publication, the news outlet reported.

The book is set for release Tuesday.

It depicts a president whose foreign policy objectives were inexorably linked to his own political gain. It recounts how Trump "pleaded" with China's President Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help his reelection prospects, and how he linked the supply of military assistance to Ukraine to the country's willingness to conduct politically charged investigations into Joe Biden — allegations that were at the heart of an impeachment trial that ended with the president's acquittal in February.

In court filings, Bolton has argued the effort to stop publication of the book was politically motivated, the Times reported.

But Lambert noted Nakasone's affidavit, saying: "Four stars have not been shy in standing up to this president."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Top-secret information in ex-national security adviser John Bolton's new book will compromise a National Security Agency electronic spy source, the agency's director warns.
john bolton, nsa, the room where it happened
Friday, 19 June 2020 06:34 PM
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