Criminal Law Case Study – Preventing Future WikiLeak Fiascos – Make Fewer Documents Classified
With the nearly one-million people with some form of security clearance in our government or access to such documents in the private sector, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that whistle blower” websites like WikiLeaks are able to get their hands on 100s of thousands of documents and mutli-media classified, confidential, or even perhaps top secret documents.
The government is obviously doing whatever they can to shore up the classified, confidential, or top secret leaks. In fact, the Obama Administration sent out a memo on this to all the agencies. It was a confidential memo of course, so it immediately ended up on all the websites. But I guess that shows how endemic the problem is, and how tough the future challenge might be.
There was an interesting book, report put out recently, that I think anyone interested in this topic ought to read, as it is well worth your time, go ahead and read it now, and then come back to this article of mine and let’s talk;
Interesting report recently titled; “What Should Be Classified – A Framework with Application to the Global Force Management Data Initiative” by MC Libicki, BA Jackson, DR Frelinger, BE Lachman, and N Kalra; RAND Corp, Santa Monica, CA, (2011), 110 pages, Library of Congress Control Number: 2010940485; ISBN: 978-0-8330-5001-4.
The most interesting thing in all this is Daniel Ellsberg, the traitor in the Pentagon Papers Case (look that up on WikiPedia and then again come back to this article) actually took those documents from the RAND Corp, the same group that wrote this book or report – so I bet, they ought to know a thing or two about that. Similarly, Private Manning who data dumped massive amounts of classified intelligence on WikiLeaks betrayed our nation and his sworn duty.
Now then, how do we stop all this? Well, there are a couple of things we do need to change. One is we need to stop stamping everything “classified” or “confidential” when it really isn’t. I’ve had conversations with people in government who couldn’t believe all the things I knew about, which they believed were classified, of course, they couldn’t confirm or deny it, nor did I want them too for their own sake and job security.
Still, there is a whole lot in the media, which is widely common knowledge in various industries, or to news junkies. And since these days with the rapid informational flow – classified really means, “oh like one week, two at tops!” So, one the cat is out of the bag, un-classify all this old stuff because that will do three things;
(1) It will get the workforce handling the information more serious about what still is classified.
(2) It will increase speed of communication, thus efficiency.
(3) It will save a ton of money trying to keep things secret which aren’t and everyone knows it.
Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.