Reading the Riot Act: American Reaction to Leaks in the Foreign Press

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.

The leak of sensitive information to the American press is a perpetual problem for U.S. Government officials.  See here, here, and here for earlier posts on that subject.  The U.S. government, however, is not unique in suffering from leaks.  Other governments deal with that issue, too.

Early 1972 saw the United States attempting to broker an interim peace settlement between Egypt and Israel.[1]  In the midst of that process, Israeli newspapers published information about the U.S. position that clearly had been leaked by Israeli officials.  The following memorandum of conversation documents the displeasure about that leak expressed by the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs to the Israeli Ambassador to the United States.[2]

memo regarding leaks by the Isreali press

[1] For details, see: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1969–1972.

[2] Memorandum of Conversation, January 18, 1972, file PPB 9 ISR, 1970-73 Subject-Numeric File (NAID 580618), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State.