Lawmakers say US delays some intel to Ukraine in Russia war

Mar 4, 2022, 10:43 AM | Updated: 11:02 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers say the United States is delaying providing some intelligence to Ukraine in its fight against Russia as the U.S. also seeks to limit any direct confrontation with Moscow.

The White House insists it is consistently sharing intelligence with Ukraine quickly. But a classified directive issued as the invasion began last week set effective limits on how quickly some tactical intelligence — the kind that shape minute-to-minute battle decisions — could be shared, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The directive from the Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence also limited sharing details about the specific locations of potential targets, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss intelligence matters. More details about the directive were not immediately available.

“We are adjusting as circumstances warrant and will continue to ensure that operators have flexibility to share intelligence as the conflict evolves,” said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the classified directive.

The issuance of the directive reflects the fine line the U.S. is walking as it seeks to aid Ukraine while avoiding a direct conflict with nuclear-armed Russia. It is sending anti-aircraft weaponry and other arms to Ukraine and leads a global effort to impose severe sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy. But it also has ruled out sending American troops to Ukraine or declaring a no-fly zone that could result at U.S. forces engaging with Russian warplanes.

The sharing of intelligence can be especially delicate because of the risk of revealing U.S. sources and methods and the uncertainty of whether Russia may have infiltrated the Ukrainian government.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC on Thursday that the U.S. was not providing “the type of real-time targeting that you see our military having gotten in conflicts like in Iraq … because that steps over the line to making us participating in the war.” NBC earlier reported on delays in intelligence sharing with Ukraine.

One White House official disputed that characterization, saying the administration does not believe providing tactical intelligence to the Ukrainians would constitute participating in the war any more than it currently is by providing arms — which is distinct from actually putting U.S. forces in combat. The official was not authorized to discuss the White House’s thinking publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Some lawmakers in recent days have called on the Biden administration to provide more information. “This is a matter of life and death for Ukrainians, and information about where an invading Russian tank was 12 hours ago does squat to prevent civilian bloodshed,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

There have been cases in which tactical intelligence has been delayed for 12 hours or more, though most delays appear to be shorter, three people familiar with the matter said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday told reporters, “We have been sharing it, real time.”

“We have consistently been sharing intelligence,” Psaki said. “That includes information that the Ukrainians can use to inform and develop their military response to Russia’s invasion. That has been ongoing, and reports that suggest otherwise are inaccurate.”

Ukraine has its own intelligence service and has released some of its own findings about Russian plans to attack high-profile targets in the country or stage so-called “false-flag” operations — such as fabricated attacks by Ukrainian forces — that Moscow could use to justify its invasion.

The U.S. has a more limited intelligence sharing relationship with Ukraine than it does with other Western countries, notably the other four members of its so-called “Five Eyes” alliance — Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Administration officials insist that U.S. agencies have worked to provide Ukraine with as much information as possible about the Russian threat.

One limiting factor in what the U.S. can provide is Russia’s infiltration of the Ukrainian government. The Ukrainian military and intelligence services have long struggled with rooting out Russian spies or sympathizers. And while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought closer ties to the West, other recent Ukrainian governments have been closer to Moscow and have key allies still in government.

Zelenskyy has had regular conversations with Biden and thanked the U.S. president and other Western leaders on Twitter for their support. But there have been occasional tensions between Washington and Kyiv over intelligence in the last several months, including Zelenskyy publicly breaking with the White House’s predictions that Russia would invade. Republicans in Washington also have said the U.S. could have provided more and better information about the Russian threat to Ukraine sooner than it did, a claim the White House rejects.

Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov this week published an open letter to commercial satellite companies asking them for high-resolution satellite imagery. “We badly need the opportunity to watch the movement of Russian troops, especially at night when our technologies are blind in fact!” read the letter.

Several commercial satellite companies have contracts with the U.S. government, which has been providing imagery to the Ukrainians, people familiar with the matter said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Scott Peterson, foreground right, sits with his attorneys, Andras Farkas, left, and Pat Harris, sec...
Associated Press

Judge to decide if Scott Peterson victim of jury misconduct

Scott Peterson’s trial attorney missed an opportunity to grill a California juror who eventually helped send him to death row for murdering his pregnant wife and unborn child, his appellate lawyer conceded Thursday while arguing the former fertilizer salesman deserves a new trial because of juror misconduct. Attorney Cliff Gardner, who alleges juror Richelle Nice […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

OSHA investigates deaths of Amazon workers in New Jersey

Federal work-safety investigators are looking into the death of an Amazon worker and an injury that potentially led to the death of another employee, adding to a probe already underway following a third fatality during the company’s annual Prime Day shopping event in mid-July. All three Amazon workers died within the past month and were […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he’s suing the attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday. He’s arguing that James violated state law by […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Northwestern selects Oregon’s Schill to be next president

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — University of Oregon President Michael Schill will assume that office at Northwestern University this fall, the Evanston school’s board of trustees announced Thursday. Schill has led Oregon since 2015. He previously served as the law school dean at the University of Chicago and at UCLA. He earned a degree in public […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Anne Heche arrives at the premiere of "The Tender Bar" on Dec. 12, 2021, at the TCL Chinese ...
Associated Press

Police investigate Anne Heche for DUI in crash into house

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police said Thursday that they are investigating actor Anne Heche for driving under the influence of drugs after a fiery crash into a Los Angeles house that left her with critical injuries. Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman […]
17 hours ago
This photo released Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, by the Albuquerque Police Department shows Muhammad Syed...
Associated Press

Albuquerque Muslims help bid to keep killings suspect jailed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico’s Muslim community pushed Thursday for the Afghan refugee suspected of killing four Muslim men to remain behind bars pending trial — citing previous accusations of domestic violence and video surveillance that appeared to show him slashing the tires of a vehicle parked outside the local mosque. The […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Lawmakers say US delays some intel to Ukraine in Russia war