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The Nation : Harmful News Leaks Cited

September 03, 1987

The head of the nation's communications intelligence agency said that his operations have been harmed more by news leaks in the last several years than at any point in recent history. Army Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, director of the National Security Agency, asserted that the United States had suffered "just deadly losses" in keeping tabs on Libya through electronic means thanks to news reports. He cited a loss involving intelligence from Syria also. Odom refused to elaborate on his charges, however, saying: "You just have to take my word that that's the way it looks from where we sit." He said he had become so concerned about news leaks since assuming his post in 1985 that he had referred several cases to the Justice Department for prosecution under a 1950 statute that bars disclosure of "communications intelligence."

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