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(48,898 posts)
Mon Jun 26, 2023, 06:01 PM Jun 2023

Trump's Document Stash Put American Lives at Risk


THE CLASSIFIEDS DOCUMENTS THAT Donald Trump is charged with mishandling were marked “SECRET” or “TOP SECRET,” the highest classification we afford our nation’s secrets. By definition, the uncontrolled release of that information could be expected to cause “serious” or “exceptionally grave” damage (respectively) to our national security. As bad as that sounds, it gets worse: According to the indictment against Trump, eight of the TOP SECRET documents may have had information about or derived from so-called Special Access Programs (SAPs). The sensitivity of these documents was so great that prosecutors were obliged to redact even the codewords on the documents. The implication is that even publicly acknowledging the codenames of these projects, without discussing their operations at all, was deemed a great security risk.

These included documents about the nuclear capabilities of another country, military attacks by a foreign country, the military capabilities of a foreign country, the timeline and details of an attack in a foreign country, the regional military activity of a foreign country, the military activity of foreign countries and the United States, and military activity in a foreign country.

And as sensitive as the subjects of those documents are, what was really put at risk by our former commander-in-chief were the nation’s most sensitive activities and information derived from them.

Broadly defined in Executive Order 13526, which governs classification, an SAP is “a program established for a specific class of classified information that imposes safeguarding and access requirements exceeding those normally required for information at the same classification level.” These are programs or activities so sensitive they require enhanced safeguards and the strictest access requirements. Even those who go through the arduous and sometimes years-long process of obtaining a Top Secret clearance often require additional security adjudication for to gain access to SAPs. Details of SAPs are usually limited to the bare minimum number of people with a “need to know.” Some are divided into several compartments with individuals given access only to those compartments requiring their expertise or knowledge; only a select few—a dozen or so, maybe fewer—might have access to the totality of the SAP.


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