POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Pentagon leak breaks chain of trust with allies, says Utah expert

Apr 12, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 11:39 am

Miles Hansen from World Trade Center Utah share his insights into the leak of sensitive Pentagon do...

FILE - Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery at Russian positions near Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on Nov. 20, 2022. Europe’s biggest armed conflict since World War II is poised to enter a key new phase in the coming weeks. With no suggestion of a negotiated end to the 13 months of fighting between Russia and Ukraine, a counteroffensive by Kyiv’s troops is in the cards. (AP Photo/LIBKOS, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/LIBKOS, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — A recent leak of sensitive and classified Pentagon documents has ended up on social media. The leak contains details about how the US spies on friends and foes.

The Department of Justice is investigating.

Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees want answers from the Biden administration.

The documents appeared online last month on the social media platform Discord, according to screenshots of the posts reviewed by CNN which reported:

An entry in one document says that China could use Ukrainian strikes on targets deep inside Russia “as an opportunity to cast NATO as the aggressor and may increase its aid to Russia if it deems the attacks were significant.”

Three levels of impact 

Inside Sources Host Boyd Matheson said there are at least three levels of impact from the Pentagon leak of sensitive documents.

  1. “Obviously, it has an impact on our adversaries and being able to find out what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

     2. “It also impacts our allies and the trust that they have in us.”

     3.  “What does it mean for those who work in the institutions of government if this is now becoming more and more common?” Boyd asked.

Supreme Court embarrassed by the opinion leak is embarrassed again

Welcome to Inside Sources

Miles Hansen from World Trade Center Utah said the leak puts our methods in danger, erodes trust among allies, and indicates that our system of classifying documents is broken.

“What’s your initial take in terms of these leaks coming out of the Pentagon and the Department of Justice?” Boyd asked.

The leak “reveals our sources and our methods,” Hansen said. “It reduces our ability to collect this type of information in the future. It aids and abets our adversaries.”

“It erodes trust both with our partners, but also within our national-security structures because it just increases the controls in place,” Hansen explains. “People are trying to figure out how it happened, who did it. That is counterproductive, and it forces us as a country to take our eye off the ball at a critical time.”

Will this conversation be leaked?

“The weekly conversations that Queen Elizabeth II would have with the [U.K.] prime minister. They knew that those were going to be kept secret and that there was this trust so they could have an honest conversation,” Boyd said. “It seems that as we lose that, we actually lose our strategic ability to have the right conversations.”

“When we are the source of leaks, not only does it cause us to tighten up internally,” Hansen said, “which leads to more siloing, which leads to less informed decision making and deliberation.

“But it also makes it harder for our partners and allies to trust us with the intelligence that they’re gathering. It’s this vicious cycle that reduces our ability to effectively formulate and execute sound national strategy,” he went on to say.

Hansen said three things stood out behind the leaked Pentagon documents:

  1. The United States is very good at gathering intelligence, but
  2. The system by which the nation classifies and shares information is broken.

“How many former presidents or vice presidents have been found to have classified information? It’s just a sloppy system,” he said.

       3. The importance of signals intelligence or SIGINT, which, according to the National Security Agency  “plays a vital role in our national security by providing America’s leaders with critical information they need to defend our country, save lives and advance U.S. goals and alliances globally.”

“It really emphasizes the importance of that electronic eavesdropping that we’re able to do,” Hansen said. ” . . . it’s a good reminder that anything we do or say on our phones or other electronics in any country with any sort of intelligence service worth his salt, somebody out there is going to be able to get access to it.”

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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Pentagon leak breaks chain of trust with allies, says Utah expert