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PJMcK

(21,755 posts)
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 08:51 AM Sep 2023

Regarding classified documents

A friend is visiting with us. She worked for the National Security Agency for her entire career. In her position, she handled countless documents with various classification markings. Without violating her secrecy oaths, here are a few things she said.

The classification of a document most often is not related to the content but rather the methodology. Most content has a relatively short life-span because circumstance change so quickly. A country’s leadership may change or military maneuvers may start or end. The point is that the issues in a document might no longer be relevant.

(As an example, consider the classified documents found in President Biden’s possession. News reports suggest that those contained directions for then-VP Biden’s caravan for his son’s funeral. The funeral is over but the Secret Service methods detailed in the document could provide an enemy with information to attack a government official.)

The manner in which the document’s information was obtained, however, must remain secret because it is probably a continuing source which could provide current and future information. These sources could be human assets, technological systems or other means all of which need to be protected. This is the reason a document would remain classified: Even though the circumstances of the subject matter may have changed, the way its data was obtained will be detailed in the document.

This is the reason that Trump’s theft of documents is so serious. Lives and sources could be compromised resulting in the loss of intelligence information leaving our leaders blind to changing circumstances.

Additionally, our friend pointed out that our intelligence agencies are not haphazard with documents. Almost without question, the authorities know what documents Trump took. Like an old fashioned library card, the agencies know who has various documents. It’s how they knew to try to retrieve them and that Trump hadn’t returned all of them. She also suggested that in her personal opinion, the agencies know what is still missing and there are reasons we aren’t hearing about them.

As I wrote, there was nothing our friend said that was privileged and her comments were meant in a general manner. Still, they provide a fascinating insight.

When I asked her if she thought Trump was going to lose this case, she smiled tightly and said that if she had done the same as Trump, she could have been shot but she would definitely be jailed in solitary confinement.

24 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Regarding classified documents (Original Post) PJMcK Sep 2023 OP
Simply getting drunk could have jeopardized my top secret/SCI clearance Redleg Sep 2023 #1
A funny aside PJMcK Sep 2023 #4
I had applied to be an agent with the DEA years ago tom_kelly Sep 2023 #14
I am surprised they could get anyone who hadn't at least tried Redleg Sep 2023 #23
It's a shame that our so-called news media doesn't explain this. yardwork Sep 2023 #2
It is a shame gratuitous Sep 2023 #10
Here's why: profit dictates content priorities. Corporate is all about "need to know." ancianita Sep 2023 #12
hopefully at some point we see the after action report u know is already done. mopinko Sep 2023 #3
Kash Patel was the courier gab13by13 Sep 2023 #5
Thanks for sharing. n/t iluvtennis Sep 2023 #6
It's my hope that "jailed in solitary confinement..." dchill Sep 2023 #7
I actually would like trump to be in general population. brush Sep 2023 #8
Unless there was legislation to take away soldierant Sep 2023 #16
I don't particularlly care about keeping him safe. brush Sep 2023 #17
Yeah. What to hell for? triron Sep 2023 #20
In jail wouldn't be in public, and those are your words, not mine. brush Sep 2023 #21
No more do I soldierant Sep 2023 #24
Lock up trump, attorneys, operatives and anyone who help steal those documents. republianmushroom Sep 2023 #9
I believe there is more to the documents case than the public is ever likely to know. Lonestarblue Sep 2023 #11
She could have been sent to ADMAX Florence if she's passed the information to others Algernon Moncrieff Sep 2023 #13
I disagree. EndlessWire Sep 2023 #22
Always good to get this kind of information from a professional. Thanks for sharing. Martin68 Sep 2023 #15
Thanks for sharing the info from your friend. crickets Sep 2023 #18
so we're not hearing about some missing documents because they... Grasswire2 Sep 2023 #19

Redleg

(5,667 posts)
1. Simply getting drunk could have jeopardized my top secret/SCI clearance
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 09:08 AM
Sep 2023

back in the day. Trump's actions were much more extreme, especially since he refused to return the documents even under the possibility of a search warrant.

PJMcK

(21,755 posts)
4. A funny aside
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 09:36 AM
Sep 2023

Our friend had to pass various background checks to get and keep her job. When she was first hired, she had to take a polygraph test. They told her all of the questions in advance and told her that during the test she should answer truthfully with a clear conscience.

One question, however, was, “Have you ever used illegal drugs?” She never had except for once when she unknowingly was given a pot brownie. She explained what happened so they changed the question to, “Have you ever knowingly used illegal drugs?” Obviously, she passed the test!

She has been a dedicated civil servant and Americans are fortunate there are so many like her in the levels of our governments.

tom_kelly

(932 posts)
14. I had applied to be an agent with the DEA years ago
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:30 AM
Sep 2023

They had me attend an orientation with a lot of other applicants. We filled out an info packet but were told to skip "section 4" until we were all finished with the others. Section 4 had to do with prior drug use. The agent in charge explained that prior drug use had been an automatic disqualification until recently. Due to admitted drug use by a former President (Clinton) it is no longer was. We were told to be completely truthful because our next meeting would involve a lie detector test and the first question would be whether we were truthful on section 4. Well, I had experimented about 5 times with marijuana when I was younger and was honest with my answers.

The next week I received a letter saying I'd been disqualified due to prior drug use. They got me.

yardwork

(61,231 posts)
2. It's a shame that our so-called news media doesn't explain this.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 09:16 AM
Sep 2023

I was thinking about this yesterday, watching the news guys explain in detail where they think Hurricane Lee might go. If they can explain that kind of thing, why can't they explain other important issues? Why can't they explain why and how documents are classified, and the implications?

gratuitous

(82,849 posts)
10. It is a shame
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:15 AM
Sep 2023

But the media have their own agenda, and apportioning blame to just one side doesn't serve that agenda. Yes, they could explain the whole issue in terms that most folks would understand, but that would end the fun of poking the Biden administration for mishandling classified documents.

The intelligence agencies have documented the damage done to agents and informants in other countries, but those reports have gone largely ignored in the breathless race to keep up with developments.

ancianita

(35,616 posts)
12. Here's why: profit dictates content priorities. Corporate is all about "need to know."
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:18 AM
Sep 2023

"News" isn't legally mandated to tell the whole truth and nothing but.

If we need to know more, it's all on us.

mopinko

(69,592 posts)
3. hopefully at some point we see the after action report u know is already done.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 09:21 AM
Sep 2023

i have zero doubt there is already a butcher’s bill.

dchill

(38,106 posts)
7. It's my hope that "jailed in solitary confinement..."
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 10:34 AM
Sep 2023

...is in the future of many deserving Trump people. Including their head traitor, of course.

brush

(53,008 posts)
8. I actually would like trump to be in general population.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 10:50 AM
Sep 2023

Last edited Tue Sep 12, 2023, 07:21 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't think he'd be that popular to quite a few cons, and you never know what could happen.

soldierant

(6,506 posts)
16. Unless there was legislation to take away
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 02:44 PM
Sep 2023

his Secret Service protection (even if only while in prison), gen pop wpu;d be a nightmre for the correctional officers. Solitary would be a much better way to keep him safe - not to mention amuch better argument for giving the Secret Service a time out during his imprisonment,

Yeah, gen pop and no SS might be fun but it ain;'t going to happen.

brush

(53,008 posts)
21. In jail wouldn't be in public, and those are your words, not mine.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 07:19 PM
Sep 2023

But trump didn't try to stop Pence from being hung in public, in fact he said Pence might deserve it.

republianmushroom

(12,510 posts)
9. Lock up trump, attorneys, operatives and anyone who help steal those documents.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:05 AM
Sep 2023

And the some in the FBI didn't want to serve trump with search warrant.

Lonestarblue

(9,730 posts)
11. I believe there is more to the documents case than the public is ever likely to know.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:15 AM
Sep 2023

Trump was told that he could not legally take documents when he left office. He did it anyways. He also took boxes of classified documents on trips to other countries, and those boxes were left in his hotel room. Why were they not left on AF One where they would be guarded? Presumably most of those documents had nothing to do with the trip he was on. Were they guarded in his hotel room? And if not because the SS would be with Trump, was there an arrangement for spies to access the documents there? That’s pure speculation of course, but Trump did a lot of things that made no sense unless he was trying to undermine the US government.

The other big question that we’re unlikely to get answered is whether Trump sold the information in the top-secret documents and to whom. Even if they can’t tell us, I hope our security services indeed do know exactly which documents are still missing and what information was in all of them. If their intelligence shows that another country has information they shouldn’t they’ll know Trump sold it or gave it to them, though I doubt he would ever be prosecuted. Too may secrets that could compromise national intelligence.

Algernon Moncrieff

(5,780 posts)
13. She could have been sent to ADMAX Florence if she's passed the information to others
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 11:25 AM
Sep 2023

It's unlikely she would have been shot, but she might have spent some fun-filled days at a black site in Albania chatting about sources and methods.

The irony of all of this for Trump is the same as for Nixon - the underlying crime is fairly mild, but the cover-up attempt may mean serious time. Generally, simple improper possession of classified material in the absence of evidence of espionage is a fairly mild offense. Fines & probation. And being ex President would have earned him a certain amount of grace. But the feds take Obstruction of Justice very seriously.

EndlessWire

(6,260 posts)
22. I disagree.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 08:40 PM
Sep 2023

I think that stealing hundreds and hundreds of government documents and leaving them sitting around public places, and his bathroom, is a stunning breach of our nation's secrecy and speaks to a personal agenda and intent. That's not fairly mild. I don't consider that as simple improper possession. Especially since he moved them around and took them overseas with him.

Yes, we'll never know who he sold info to, who he showed restricted docs to (except the Bedminster docs), and we can get him on obstruction, which I hope gets him 20 years. But, this has wider implications than just a mild infraction. We all know it.

The only reason he is out campaigning instead of languishing in a jail cell for even a single unreturned doc is because people without brains elected him pRes. There is no telling how many overseas assets he got killed. He's a pr*ck. He's not some mild mannered dotard playing with his souvenirs. And, he has the absolute nerve to tell us that if he is reelected, he's going to arrest all his enemies. He's a fascist, wannabe dictator who doesn't deserve any slack for what he did.

Sorry, it just irritates me no end. There is no comparison to Biden or Pence here. Trump just thought he could bully his way through to whatever profit the docs represented, and he thinks he's such a clever guy.

I personally don't think that people who steal even one doc under the pretense of whistleblowing should be excused. If you take an oath, keep it, or quit.

He's outlived his "grace" period. Time for prison.

Martin68

(22,553 posts)
15. Always good to get this kind of information from a professional. Thanks for sharing.
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 01:30 PM
Sep 2023

Very enlightening.

Grasswire2

(13,559 posts)
19. so we're not hearing about some missing documents because they...
Tue Sep 12, 2023, 07:05 PM
Sep 2023

...are too sensitive to mention. Is that what you mean?

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