Moleing for Dollars?

Posted on May 25, 2017 in Justice, Politics

The thriller is my favorite genre of novels, movies, and television. That’s why I write thrillers.

In fiction, effective characterization centers around motivation—what drives the characters to do what they do. Well-developed characters—both protagonists and antagonists—always have a single, overriding desire they’ll pay any price to fulfill.

A familiar character type in political and spy thrillers is the “mole,” a spy who either infiltrates an enemy government, intelligence agency, or corporation, or a person already working inside an organization who turns traitor to benefit an enemy’s cause.

I’m a late-to-the-party enthusiast of the Fox Network series 24, which I started watching a few months ago on Amazon Prime Video. In each of the first five seasons, someone inside the fictional Counter Terrorism Unit organization has been a mole who aided and abetted the terrorists. The mole’s motivation has either been revenge, money, or power.

Much is in the news these days about leaks inside the White House and other Executive Branch departments and agencies. The common motivation for these leaks, if you believe what’s reported in the media, is political—animus against President Trump. You either like the leaks or despise them, depending on where you stand toward him.

Today the motivation for leaking has, I believe, hit a new bottom.

The Manchester bombings on Monday were yet another horrific ISIS-inspired attack on innocents. The UK government identified the perpetrator and several suspected co-conspirators and enablers.


Do “deep state” operatives want to damage the president so badly they would deliberately derail the UK’s intelligence and military efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and disrupt future intelligence sharing? If so, it’s already happening.


And someone inside the US government leaked that intelligence information to The New York Times. And they ran it. Top of page 1. Of course, every other news outlet jumped on it.

Why did the Times break the story? The public’s right to know? To sell more papers and get more eyeballs on their website, making their ad space more valuable? To make the President look bad? To damage relations with the UK? To help ISIS succeed?

Whatever the motivation, it stinks to high heaven. Do “deep state” operatives want to damage the president so badly they would deliberately derail the UK’s intelligence and military efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and disrupt future intelligence sharing? If so, it’s already happening.

Or, it is all about money?

We can all spin conspiracy theories and imagine the worst about the leakers inside our government and the editors and reporters who are eager to blast the information to the world.

Whatever you think about the incessant leaks and their effects, ask yourself why. And consider the consequences.

News media publish what people want to read and watch.


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