US military documents leaked: Two U.S. officials expressed concern about the implications on sensitive information-sharing inside the administration and relations with foreign nations following the leak of hundreds of secret papers.
More than fifty of the “Secret” and “Top Secret” documents that surfaced on social media platforms in early March and supposedly expose specifics about Ukrainian military weaknesses and information about allies like Israel, South Korea, and Turkey have been reviewed by Reuters. Until a Friday report in The New York Times, the content mostly went unnoticed.
The Pentagon was alarmed enough by the leak to notify the Department of Justice, which has now begun a criminal inquiry into the breach.
Due to the delicate nature of the topic, two U.S. defense officials have revealed that the Pentagon is reviewing the policies and processes that determine how broadly some of the most top-secret information in the United States is disseminated.
One of the sources stated that despite the sensitive nature of the papers, thousands of people with security clearances in the governments of the United States and its allies would have had access to them.
A normal technique known as “damage assessment” for breaches of sensitive material, the Pentagon said in a statement on Sunday that an interagency effort was examining the impact the photographic papers may have on U.S. national security and those of close American allies.
According to the first official, the fact that so many people had access to the files suggests the sensitive material may have been disseminated too broadly among employees who did not need access to the degree of detail contained in some of the files.
“The Pentagon has required to curb the unfettered access to some of the most sensitive intel when they’ve had no reasonable cause to have it,” the first official added.
The two officials said that while the leaks were very disturbing, they did not appear to reveal any information about future activities and that many of the breaches supplied simply snapshots of time in February and March.
While this looks to be the largest public disclosure of secret information in years, authorities warn it has yet to surpass the extent of the 700,000 documents, videos, and diplomatic cables published on the WikiLeaks website in 2013.