More sleeping with sources in the swamp: Trump-hating DIA analyst pleads guilty to leaks to honeytrap reporter

Ali Watkins, it seems, wasn't the only one.

The still-employed New York Times reporter set a new low bar in swamp journalism by sleeping with her sources, in her case Senate intelligence staffer James Wolfe, who got a two-month jail sentence for leaks to her, but in her case, ended only in her reassignment to the Times' New York City desk. 

It's still going on, and a new case of it signals it's apparently widespread practice in the mainstream media.

Now we have a less-politically prominent official, 30-year-old Defense Intelligence Agency bureaucrat Henry Kyle Frese, who's in the news for pleading guilty to leaking big classified secrets surrounding the defense capabilities of North Korea and China to his lover-reporter, CNBC national security correspondent Amanda Macias, and then, at her request, to her good pal NBC national security correspondent Courtney Kube. Court documents show that he had 630 phone calls and at least 57 text messages with Macias, and 34 phone calls and 151 text messages with Kube. The two women were both Trump haters based on their Twitter posts, slanting their coverage to make the president look bad through the use of classified secrets as if to contradict him, leaving him unable to use Twitter to either trick our enemies or else dismiss the reports. They took the eight top-secret reports Frese leaked to do that, and then boosted each other publicly on Twitter while communicating privately through its messaging system.

Here's the lovelorn trio of Macias, Frese and Kube, from their social media presence:

The Times, for one piously characterizes this whole sorry picture is an issue about the importance of protecting "whistleblowers," (sound familiar?), the First Amendment, and the press's right to do its job:

The intensive pursuit of government workers who share classified information has unsettled First Amendment advocates, who say it could have a chilling effect, persuading public employees to stay silent rather than alert journalists to wrongdoing.

The rest of us see lovebird honeytrap journalism becoming more and more the norm as none of these reporters ends up seriously punished. Apparently, the managers up at the top of these organizations sees nothing wrong with this news standard other than a little bit of egg on their faces, raising questions as to whether they are now hiring these comely women for just  this purpose.

The reporters, having made an industry of soliciting secrets from lovelorn mooks like Frese, are still carrying on in the name of Getting Trump.

None of them are facing arrest for knowingly printing stolen classified information, although that may change with this one, at least according to this dogged Twitterer File414 who's got a big series of tweets on this.

Macias got a brief suspension in October from CNBC but seems to be back on the job, looking for more honey to trap, maybe. She appears remarkably cold in her absence of Twitter posts about her erstwhile roomate-lover who's now got a ruined career, all his money taken away, and a stretch in prison for leaking secrets to boost her career. 

She's instead tweeting pictures of what looks like her Paris vacation till the end of the month (hiding out till this blows over maybe?) and filing a single low-content story on the French wine industry derived from a press release, not actual interviews or street reporting, the PARIS dateline likely an argument to get the trip written off on her taxes. Kube, too, who benefited from Frese's leaks, has also moved on to other things, pity about Frese. 

Don't think that they are outliers breaking the rules, either. Here's a gag-inducing piece of fluff touting Kube on her birthday in 2018 from Politico. To Politico, she's a celebrity.

As for Frese, what stands out is how easy it must have been for the FBI to get him.

The sequence: Classified reports leak out. Investigators look at byline. Find leaked report. Check who had access to the leaked report (it was only 26 people, so one likely did it). Find out one of the 26 is literally living with the reporter who reported it. Bug phone. Find out about first reporter's friends, find that one friend is also a printer of classified links -- that can be traced to same DIA man. Easy as pie then to bug Frese's phone and find out what else they all want to leak out for the purpose of Getting Trump and Getting Ahead. All of them including Frese, were anti-Trump.

The Times tut-tutted the use of the phone surveillance slipping in an editorial comment to its story:

The case was prosecuted with a wiretap of Mr. Frese’s phone, perhaps the most intrusive tool in criminal investigators’ arsenal.

If the bureau can't bug someone for doing this kind of activity, why have classified information at all? The Times' tut-tutting was nothing but a smokescreen to protect their anti-Trump agenda reporting. The fact that this "most intrusive tool" was used on Carter Page didn't bother them at all.

Outside the patriotic perspective for opposing the leaks of classified info  - and apparently Frese had none, he seemed to have been a Canadian until he had to give that up to get his clearance, not a reason of the heart - the U.S. secrets were supposed to be for the benefit of the American people, not someone's private gain up the career ladder. They were expensively obtained secrets, for one, and if as reported it was secrets about North Korea, it was obtained at extremely great risk. Pubishing those under such circumstances -- to Get Trump - is simply outrageous.

Frese must have watched how James Wolfe had his Ali Watkins episode and got let off fairly easily, so no problem in doing it himself. He must have been sure no one was checking his social media, the easiest thing in the world to check, and therefore would get away with this. With anti-Trump bureaucrats leaking all over the place and getting away with it, it must have seemed to him that risking his career and livelihood (his plea deal pretty well leaves him ruined) was no big deal.

Maybe that's changing now. But it's reasonable to wonder how much more of this is going on. Apparently there's a lot of it, given the Watkins, Kube and Macias examples. Maybe ending honeytrap journalism needs to be an issue.  

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