Amid the furor in Washington over government leaks and media exposés, a little-known executive order signed by President Obama in October of 2011 could fuel the paranoia.
It requires government agencies to "implement an insider threat detection and prevention program" -- in effect, ordering all government employees, regardless of security clearances or the sensitivity of their work, to police fellow workers as potential security threats, and report the suspicious behavior to superiors.
Asked Monday about the executive order, as first reported by McClatchy Newspapers, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said: "I confess I didn't see the story. I'll have to take the question." The edict applies to all government agencies, even those with no involvement in national security matters such as the Peace Corps and the Department of Education.