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Washington Post: SSD Intelligence Reports on 2 Journalists Covering Portland Protests



The three open source intelligence reports, which were sent to federal law enforcement agencies and received by the Post, summarize tweets and a note sent by two journalists, New York Times reporter Mike Baker and Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes. that both had published the leaked SSD documents.

The newspaper reported that some of those documents revealed the methods of intelligence analysts and did not publish SSD confusion over the nature of the protests in Portland.

The Post said the reports “were prepared in accordance with pre-established reporting requirements for classified intelligence, which are developed through a rigorous process, including guidelines for legal and intelligence oversight.”

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Asked for comment, DHS condemned the actions of its intelligence department, saying Secretary-General Chad Wolf’s current order to the agency was to “immediately stop” collecting information about journalists. According to the spokesman, Wolf also commissioned an investigation.

“The acting secretary in no way recognizes this practice and he immediately ordered an investigation into the case,” a statement from a SSD spokesman said.

A set of current and former officials told the newspaper they were concerned about the inclusion of journalists in the government system to disseminate information about suspected terrorists.

John Sandweg, a former general counsel for the department, told the Post: “It has no operational value.”

“It will only damage the reputation of the intelligence service,” he said.

This message was echoed by Steve Bunnel, who had served as a departmental adviser for many years under President Barack Obama.

“Widespread dissemination of an intelligence report, including to many state and local law enforcement agencies, about the DHS leak to the reporter seems strange to me,” he told the Post.

Wittes said in several tweets that answered Post’s story, “I’ll have to tell you more about this story after assessing my legal options.”

“I’m not annoyed that SSD officials shared my tweet inside. That’s really true, given that the DHS I&A information was revealed on the tweet. The content of these intelligence reports is harmless enough,” he said.

“The trouble with this story is worrying that I&A shared its tweets * as an intelligence report, * ie the government’s intelligence service provided the citizen with a report on its activities at the journalism center: it revealed valuable information about the government to the public. . “

CNN national security analyst Susan Hennessey, a Wittes colleague at Lawfare and a former attorney at the National Security Agency, blew up the department. “The SSD officials responsible for this are generally not worthy of the trust of their citizens,” she wrote on Twitter.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown says federal officials are preparing to leave Portland

The presence of federal agents who arrived earlier this month has heightened tensions that have led to protracted and sometimes brutal protests over racial justice and police accountability over the past two months.

“I think we were political enough to be proud of DC,” Brown said on Twitter this morning.

“The president’s plan to ‘dominate’ the streets of American cities has failed. And today, the federal military is preparing to leave downtown Portland. We will defend freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest.”

This story was updated with comments from the Homeland Security Department.

CNN Theresa Waldrop, Geneva Sands and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.




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