Foreign Policy has written up a list of just how inconsistent the Obama administration—the most transparent and ethical and clean-smelling ever, right?—has been regarding leaks related to State and Defense Department skunkworks.
And FP reminds us that this is an "administration that has prosecuted more government officials under the Espionage Act of 1917 for sharing classified information with the media than all previous administrations combined."
"Good" leaks are ones that arguably help the administration look good and include circulating stories about tough-guy Kill Lists, the STUXNET virus, the Bin Laden raid, and the Awlaki memo.
Bad leaks—resulting in prosecution of media folks and the leakers—include Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, Operation Merlin (failed attempt to stymie Iranian nukes), and info about the Trailblazer Project:
In 2010, a senior National Security Agency employee named Thomas Drake was indicted for providing classified information to a Baltimore Sun reporter about a costly, invasive, and ultimately botched NSA technology program called Trailblazer — charges that could have landed him 35 years in prison. Instead, Drake pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor (misuse of an agency computer) and served no prison time after the government refused to disclose details about the documents Drake allegedly leaked. At the sentencing, the judge called the Justice Department's handling of the case "unconscionable," noting that Drake had been through "four years of hell."