Leak of US classified documents online is “very serious risk to national security” and could lead to loss of life, Pentagon says
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Pentagon said Monday that the recent leak of classified US Defense Department documents for circulation online presents an ongoing “very serious risk to national security” and could potentially lead to the loss of life, CNS News reports.
Photographs of dozens of documents, including papers marked “top secret,” were posted on gamers’ forums several months ago, but the alarm was raised when they began to appear on platforms including 4chan and Telegram, CNS reports. Defense Secretary Gen. Lloyd Austin was briefed about the matter on Thursday.
As the US sought to reassure its allies of its “commitment to safeguarding intelligence and fidelity to our security partnerships,” the Department of Justice said it has launched a criminal investigation into the leak, CNS reports. However, the Pentagon has openly stated the leak presents cause for great concern.
Chris Meagher, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, told reporters Monday that the circulation of these documents online presents “a very serious risk to national security” and has the “potential to spread disinformation.”
“The Department of Defense is working around the clock to look at the scope and scale of the distribution,” Meagher said. “There have been steps to take a closer look at how this type of information is distributed and to whom.” Critically, Meagher said, the disclosure of such sensitive classified material “could lead to people losing their lives,” CNS reports.
Moreover, the crisis is not yet contained. “We don’t know what’s out there,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told reporters Monday. “We don’t know who’s responsible for this. And we don’t know if they have more that they intend to post,” Kirby said.
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