|Map Courtesy of The World Factbook|
The Daily Beast reported that Russian penetration of the Ukrainian government is so severe that the U.S. intelligence community withheld intelligence from Ukraine out of fear it would fall into Russian hands. But U.S. leaders in both the House and Senate have criticized this and have urged the Obama administration to provide the Ukrainian government with intelligence. John McCain appeared on Fox News and made the following comments:
There’s 150,000 people dead in Syria. The Russians have now taken Crimea and they are on the border of Ukraine and we won’t even give weapons to the Ukrainians, nor according, I was astounded today, you know I think I’m never going to be more surprised. I was astounded, we won’t share intelligence with the Ukrainian government about what Putin is doing on their own border? What kind of message does that send to people in Ukraine and to the world by the way? This was what we used to call Neville Chamberlain diplomacy. It’s appeasement.
And The Hill reported that members of the House shared his general sentiment:
“I don’t think we’re doing enough — I think we should be sharing more [intelligence],” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who recently came back from a visit to Ukraine. . . .
On Tuesday, Reps. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) called on the administration to provide Ukrainian forces with U.S. intelligence, military advice and technical support. . . .
Schiff acknowledged U.S. officials were concerned that shared intelligence would end up in the hands of Russian intelligence agencies, and said “we have to be careful what we share that doesn’t disclose sources and methods of our intelligence gathering.”
Members of Congress have the right to express their opinions and urge policy changes. But at the same time they should be accountable for their decisions and the public should understand that it is they—not the intelligence community—that are responsible for any negative consequences that result from sharing intelligence with Ukraine after they were warned of the dangers of it.