Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday he was "ashamed" of leaks about U.S. intelligence operations, adding that the disclosure by the website WikiLeaks of war-related documents "will have a very chilling effect on the need to share."
Speaking at a conference in Washington, Clapper said President Obama expressed "great angst" about intelligence leaks during a meeting Tuesday. Clapper said has was "ashamed to sit there" and listen to Obama express his concerns.
"The irony here is people engaged in intelligence who turn around and talk about it publicly," Clapper said at the conference, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Clapper said he was particularly angry about senior intelligence officials who "get their jollies by blabbing to the media."
Clapper described what he said was a "hemorrhage of leaks" occurring in the intelligence community, and said he believes it is therefore "appropriate" to keep intelligence compartmentalized, a term that refers to restricting who has access to certain data.
He called the WikiLeaks disclosure "a big yellow flag." He also said the dilemma within intelligence agencies between the need to share intelligence and the need to know intelligence still exists, despite years of efforts to tear down those walls.
Clapper did not mention any specific leaks that Obama expressed angst about, saying after his speech the concern was "related generally to the leaks."