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Documents leak: Should US scale back sharing classified material?

  • A National Guardsman is accused of leaking classified documents
  • Some have asked whether the US should scale back on sharing classified info
  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman: 'Clearly, we've gone too far'

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(NewsNation) — Some of the nation’s most influential voices on intelligence are now saying there are simply too many people with access to classified information, and that in the wake of the documents leak, the U.S. military and intelligence community need to scale back how much they share classified material.

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Turner says the lesson learned after 9/11 was that the U.S. needed to be doing more intelligence sharing among various agencies like the NSA, CIA, FBI and the Department of Defense.

But Turner says the U.S. overcorrected.

“Clearly we’ve gone too far. Where we have an instance where someone in Massachusetts is looking at documents with respect to war plans in Ukraine and the Department of Defense knows. That’s what our committee is going to be looking at is how do we make certain that we make changes,” Turner said.

It’s not yet clear what recommendations his committee will make. In the meantime, NewsNation is learning more about what was in the leaked documents. The Washington Post is reporting the Pentagon has serious concerns that if China were to invade Taiwan, the Taiwanese would be vulnerable and the Chinese superior when it comes to air defense.

American defense officials do not think they could close the gap, like they did in Ukraine. Defense officials also worry it may be hard to detect an invasion because China consistently uses civilian ships for military purposes.

The U.S. military was also reportedly very familiar with Discord, the online group gaming chat where all the classified material was first published, and used it as a recruiting platform. Officials recognized there’s a big overlap in war games and young people who play them being interested in the military.

Last month, the government published rules on how servicemembers should engage with Discord, including the following: “Don’t post anything in discord that you wouldn’t want seen by the general public. It may be a private server, but conversations and photos/videos can be captured by screenshot or recorded and leaked.”

But now, military officials are forced to confront whether being on platforms like Discord is a good idea.


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