Biden Orders Military and IC to Secure Classified Information After Pentagon Leak

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Joe Biden finally addressed the leak of highly sensitive Pentagon documents on Friday, after initially downplaying its seriousness. Biden made a statement:

While we are still determining the validity of those documents, I have directed our military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit the distribution of sensitive information, and our national security team is closely coordinating with our partners and allies.

It is easy to think of the phrase “a day late and a dollar short”.

When Biden was asked by reporters about the leak on Thursday afternoon, he insisted that it was not too concerning.

Biden replied: “I am not worried about the leak, I’m just concerned that it occurred. But there is nothing that happened contemporaneously that I know of that has a lot of consequences.”

Biden praises “the swift action taken by law enforcement to investigate and respond” to the recent distribution of classified U.S. Government documents, in addition to calling on tighter controls over their distribution.

It depends on whom you ask if the information in the documents is “of great consequence”, as President Biden insinuated.

Social media sites posted several leaked documents containing classified information regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other national security topics. However, they were only discovered by last week. The approximately 100 leaked documents have created an embarrassing situation and forced the U.S. government to respond this week by trying to smooth over things with its allies.

Uncovering Egypt’s secret attempt to send 40,000 rockets from Egypt to Russia was one of these bombshells. The U.S. also spied on its allies, such as Israel and South Korea.

This leak is of great importance, and it raises questions about why previous controls were not sufficient to prevent this type of breach. Is this a case of incompetence when it comes to training and vetting the individuals who receive security clearances? Is the technology behind the current systems and procedures? Who will be responsible for the leak, besides Jack Teixeira? The 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman is now accused of unauthorized removal and retention as well as transmission of classified material. If someone in this position is able to access and distribute such highly sensitive information so easily, it speaks volumes about the vulnerabilities of our military and intelligence systems.

Jennifer Van Laar correctly noted the situation.

It is likely that the changing stories and the lack of explanations are part of a plan to distract attention from the elephant. The Pentagon spokesperson was repeatedly asked by reporters how an enlisted airman 21 years old could have access to so much information and how he managed to get over 100 documents from a SCIF. He replied that the Pentagon is examining the information distribution lists, that the rules were in place, but Teixeira had broken them, and they should not be held accountable. That’s unacceptable.

Unacceptable indeed.