Summary: Daily Nation (Kenya’s top tabloid) published a story by columnist and former President Kibaki Government official John Githongo citing/referencing sources from Kenya’s spy agency as a source.
The Star, also a leading tabloid has cited the National Intelligence Service in some of their past and most recent articles.
These events foretell a trend. Columnists and journalists citing the spy agency classified reports as references is a threat to national security.
De-Classified Intelligence reports can be referenced. However, a red flag is raised when classified reports some of which are privileged only for the National Security Council (NASC) or the President are cited by journalist.
Military intelligence officers are concerned counter terrorism operations will be jeopardized by overzealous media. “In military doctrine, you can allow an enemy to set camp somewhere. You even use proxies to facilitate this. Then once he has brought all his resources to this place, you conduct operations to completely destroy that enemy and all his resources and capability” KDF-DMI
The Directorate of Military Intelligence further warns “We are getting concerned about information being used by journalists and columnists to pen sensational stories in our national newspapers. .”
According the National Intelligence Service “First of all it’s foolhardy to publish your government’s secrets. Most of these reports don’t even exists, as such cant be referenced whatsoever as works of the service. Our analysts haven’t read them to produce actionable intelligence and reports for our clients” .
Use of classified information by journalists has a long history. The US Spy Agency Central Intelligence Agency CIA and the Soviet Intelligence KGB grappled with infiltration during the cold war. Infiltrators used couriers to pass data mined to the press.
Kenya’s media houses must authenticate classified information. The role of intelligence services is to identify threats on a country’s national security. If information gathered by the intelligence service is procured by journalists and used by media houses as newsy items, then the threats multiply since the enemy simply improves his capability and strategy to cause harm to the particular country.
Classified Intelligence Reports are a preserve of the clients of the National Intelligence Service and not the media houses.
It’s treason to betray a country or make threats to its national security. In coming day’s the National Intelligence Service will put in place raft measures to protect its integrity.
The service, while remaining reliable, available, and capable to preempt threats on Kenya’s National Security is warning journalists against citing the agency as a reference.
The Kenya National Intelligence Service is not a source of information for media neither does it publish documents or publications for the same.