Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) introduced the Deterring Public Disclosure of Covert Actions Act of 2012, a bill that would revoke the security clearance of any individual who discloses information about United States covert action programs.
"There has been no shortage of news reports lately regarding covert and classified actions," Senator Burr said. "Such reckless disclosure of top-secret information compromises our national security, jeopardizes the work of our intelligence officers and overseas partners, and risks innocent lives. As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I am privy to sensitive information about our national security that I have both a moral and a legal obligation to keep secret. Recently, however, it seems as though some individuals with similar access to information have chosen to pursue their own personal agenda over the interest of the American people. This must be stopped."
This bill states that anyone who has an active security clearance or serves as an officer, employee, or contractor of the federal government will lose their clearance if they discuss or disclose the existence of a covert action as defined in section 503(e) of the National Security Act of 1947. Recent press stories based on classified information about covert operations underscore the importance to act quickly to protect the viability of American missions as well as the men and women executing them. The disclosure of such information also jeopardizes the lives of informants and strains partnerships with other intelligence agencies.