News & Analysis
Real Reason for Classified Documents
Petraeus mistress had substantial classified data on computer: sources ... What was found on Paula Broadwell's home computer Classified material kept by the woman who conducted an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus predates their liaison and does not come from the spy agency, sources briefed on the investigation told Reuters on Thursday. The finding appears to bolster assertions by both Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, that their affair did not put national security secrets at risk - a central question hovering over the scandal that brought down one of the United States' most respected public figures last week. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: This rash incident jeopardized US national security.
Free-Market Analysis: While it is a bit difficult to figure out exactly where Washington's latest scandal begins and ends, the seriousness of what is occurring has been exacerbated by accusations that one of the central figures had "classified material" on a home computer.
The necessity for "classified material" is one of the longest-running dominant social themes. There are, of course, many levels of classified material and a subdominant social theme would have to do with the importance of keeping government secrets out of the public sphere.
Reports of classified secrets merely reinforce the idea that much of what the US government does is highly sensitive and complex. One wrong move can jeopardize the lives of thousands or even millions. Here's more from the article:
FBI agents have found a substantial amount of classified information on Broadwell's personal computer since they searched her Charlotte, North Carolina, home with her consent on Monday.
Sources briefed on the investigation said the documents date from before August 2011, when Petraeus took up his post at the CIA and the two started their affair. None of the material comes from the CIA.
As an Army reserve officer involved in military intelligence, Broadwell had a security clearance that allowed her to handle sensitive documents. However, she would still have to comply with strict rules that lay out how sensitive materials must be protected.
Broadwell's security clearance has now been suspended. She could have it revoked and face harsher penalties if it is found she mishandled classified data.
Petraeus' remarks notwithstanding, investigators said on Thursday they had not ruled out the possibility that he passed on classified material to Broadwell. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
Broadwell, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, has made no public comment since the scandal erupted last week.
Of course, one wonders what this classified material was ... and whether it was really all that important. According to a July 2012 New York Times article, the US fedgov now spends about US$11 billion to "protect secrets."
Protecting important secrets has about doubled in price from a decade ago, according to the Times. And that total does NOT include the "costs incurred by the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other spy agencies, whose spending is — you guessed it — classified."
The real total, the Times estimates, was about US$13 billion and much of the cost was sunk into secure computers, software, coding, etc.
Classified information has become ever more controversial because of the Internet and groups like WikiLeaks that, according to the Times, have released hundreds of thousands of confidential United States government documents, including diplomatic cables.
Nonetheless, the Times article points out that, "Some independent experts say the ballooning classification system is the problem, sweeping huge quantities of unremarkable information in along with genuinely important secrets." More from the Times:
Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists, said the classification of the amounts spent by the intelligence agencies on classification, for example, was unnecessary.
"To me it illustrates the most important problem — namely that we are classifying far too much information," he said. "The credibility of the classification system is collapsing under the weight of bogus secrets."
Costs are driven up in part by the slow pace of declassification, which has slowed drastically since a push in the 1990s. Many documents from the 1960s remain classified, and agencies still regularly go to court to defend their secrecy in the face of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
In May, a judge ruled that the C.I.A. could continue to withhold from the public one of five volumes of its official history of the Bay of Pigs operation, in which the agency trained Cuban exiles to invade Cuba in 1961 in a disastrous attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro.
The C.I.A. has also spent years fighting lawsuits seeking the release of files on agency officials who oversaw an anti-Castro group that clashed publicly with Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
This latter legal battle is symptomatic of the larger issues swirling around state secrets. Like so much else in government, the chances are that there are a few REAL secrets and much else is manufactured for various reasons. Certainly, one's salary and status is enhanced by how much "classified information" one has access to.
And no doubt, as the Times points out, much information that is classified is pretty useless. But the governmental powers-that-be in the West do have reasons for classifying information. That's because Western governments evidently and obviously have been subverted by Money Power. The elite political, military and Intel facilities of the great Western powers are all engaged surreptitiously, from what we can tell, in building world government.
The citizens would no doubt be shocked if they could see the duplicity and double-dealing accompanying this manipulation. Every day the world's top politicos and their colleagues discuss wars, provocations, funding and false-flag events generally that are designed to stampede nation-states into the grip of a larger internationalism.
If there are any documents that those involved with these strategies seek to classify, it is ones that explain the evolution of this international plot in detail. This is actually – evidently and obviously – the reason for the expanded classification of "secret documents" throughout the Western world.
Ironically, such documents, electronic or not, ARE sensitive – and would be damaging to certain parties if disseminated. Not for reasons of national security, however, but just because the reality of internationalist efforts would be exposed.
Within this context it is obvious that a ballooning number of secret documents confuses this fundamental issue and generally obscures it. The more that is classified, the more obfuscated the real reason for classification becomes.
Conclusion: "They" don't want us to know what "they're" up to. But it's not for our own good but to keep their actions away from public scrutiny. In the era of what we call the Internet Reformation, such efforts are increasingly dubious, however. And actually that's good news, not bad ...
Posted by dave jr on 11/17/12 01:28 PM
Can't blame you for keeping it "classified" for security reasons. Sorry, couldn't resist. The truth is all we are after. A piece of it doesn't pay anything, yet it is of the highest value.
Posted by johnjweaver on 11/17/12 08:13 AM
Thanks guys , l'll just stick with Anthony W and the staff writers for now, before I try to wade into deeper waters. My bad.
Posted by rossbcan on 11/17/12 07:38 AM
For those who REALLY do not understand, but, desperately seek to do so, perhaps understanding the forceful impediments / social sanctions placed on those who seek self-determination and living in a peaceful, harmonious / intelligent manner may be of assistance:
Click to view link
as in all things, courage and a non-negotiable "right to survive" constained by a respect for the equal rights of others is required, as is THINKING, for yourself:
Click to view link
... thanks folks. I KNOW I am correct (AKA: arrogant). It is nice to know that I am not alone.
Posted by amanfromMars on 11/17/12 03:37 AM
"Further, I don't believe your alleged misunderstanding. The level of intelligence that would have voluntarily brought you to DB, unless on assignment far surpasses the minimal required to understand my basic points."
Take a bow, DB, for the praise is well placed. Nice one, rossbcan.
And as much as I admire your expectation/hope that many can easily see what needs to be seen and is, am I also aware of the likely truth in an observation shared by Einstein ….. "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not even sure about the universe."
Posted by philitarian on 11/16/12 06:42 PM
A troll indeed. I have also been reading your material for awhile and its quite possibly the clearest/no bull--it explanation of how the world really works I ever encountered. It just takes a clear mind and basic English/reading comprehension to understand your pretty easy to read essays. I've probably read Darwin Reconsidered at least a couple dozen times.
I'll believe it if you say your site gets attacked by intel. You write with strong conviction, morals, and have a clear sense on objective reality. You understand the true source of their power and I'm sure that terrifies them.
Posted by rossbcan on 11/16/12 02:44 PM
"I'm sure you are trying to say something profound but I can't understand a word you are saying."
Maybe you should determine where / what words (in the objective sense) came from (describing observed phenomena) and what they are intended to convey: truth (the describing of action leads to consequence). As opposed to considering the meaning of words to be whatever you have been taught, or, want to believe.
Further, I don't believe your alleged misunderstanding. The level of intelligence that would have voluntarily brought you to DB, unless on assignment far surpasses the minimal required to understand my basic points. Besides, how can it be my failing, if you lack capacity? Assumed, troll. If you want to cast doubt on what I have to say, you need to engage at a factual, as opposed to "impossible to understand" level. Truth does not require understanding. It smites you whether you understand or not. Understanding just increases odds of not being smited by the folly.
OGG: Your stats, if true (and I have no reason to doubt) goes a long way to explain the ballooning of state information classfication: The crimes they are attempting to hide are ballooning. Is anyone surprised?
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 11/16/12 02:31 PM
I once worked at a Federal agency where I had a "secret" clearance. Indeed, I was given (stuck with) the assignment of protecting the "secrets safe" in my office. (I was low on the totem pole and couldn't pass off the privilege.) Having the secrets safe simply required me to keep some logs as to when and who accessed the safe.
As it turned out, during my 3 years at that job, I never once handled a 'secret document." As it happened, the most common secret documents encountered were reports on products that the Agency used -- kind of like a "Consumer's Reports" situation, and they were classified "secret" to protect the proprietary information belonging to the vendor or manufacturer of the product. Just before I was assigned the secrets safe, a new "commercially sensitive" classification was created, which required a much lower level of security (such documents could be stored in a locked desk or filing cabinet when not in use). Thus, there never were any secrets to store in the secrets safe.
This is but one illustration of the types of materials given one of several grades of security by the Government. Of course there are a pile of regulations and rigamarole that goes with each grade -- but that's just another reason why government is inherently inefficient.
Posted by johnjweaver on 11/16/12 02:25 PM
hey rossbcan, I've been reading your posts for quite some time now, and, please excuse my low level of intellect, I think you are trying to be too smart by half. I'm sure you are trying to say something profound but I can't understand a word you are saying. Could you try bringing it down to a more common level for us folks of "average" intelligence, you are not helping me at all. Must be some gems of truth there. Much appreciated.
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 11/16/12 01:50 PM
Having served in some capacity in Military Intelligence (yes, I know that is an oxymoron, particularly as it applies to the Military Intelligence community), I can testify that about 50% of all classified documents are evidence of some form of crime committed by agents of the state and that the other 50% are useless documents that are classified just because the government, for lack of a better term, owns the "copyright" on them.
And one should be assured that the persons assigned to protect these "pieces of paper" consider them and their privacy of higher value than any form of human life...
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 11/16/12 01:23 PM
"Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal - As they scoured the Internet for more juicy details about former CIA director David Petraeus' affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, Americans were reportedly horrified today upon learning that a protracted, bloody war involving U.S. forces is currently raging in the nation of Afghanistan. 'Oh my God, this is terrible,' Allie Lipscomb, 29, said after accidentally stumbling on an article about the war while she tried to ascertain details about what specific sexual acts Petraeus and Broadwell might have engaged in. 'According to this, 2,000 American troops have died, 18,000 have been wounded, and more than 20,000 civilians have been killed. Jesus Christ. And it's been happening for, like, 11 years.' Sources confirmed that after reading a few paragraphs about the brutal war, the nation quickly became distracted by a headline about Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash's alleged sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy."
Click to view link
All joking aside, "General John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. And NATO troops in Afghanistan. According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI had uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 "potentially inappropriate" pages of communication between Allen and Kelley, Petraeus's alleged other other woman and the subject of the shirtless FBI agent's affection (... ) Assuming it's on the low end, right at 20,000 pages, that means the two sent, on average, 19 pages of email to each other every day between January 1, 2010 and today."
Click to view link
Here's a question: How do you command (and 'win') a war against a determined, skillful foe, when you write 19 pages of private email a day at the same time?
You don't. Instead ... you stay a little longer, right?
"General: We're Staying in Afghanistan, No Matter What Obama Said"
Click to view link
Now, innumerable theories are discussed as to why, how, by and with the knowledge of whom, or if at all - Petraeus et al. have been lured into a trap. I have no idea either. But since I suspected some time ago that Petraeus might be built up and presented as a 'savior' in a not so distant future, something struck a chord with me yesterday when I read the following feedback over at AntiWarDotcom below a article by Judge Napolitano:
"Was all this a payoff to Bill for his help in the campaign? Hobbling a very viable GOP challenger to Hillary in the 2016 presidential stakes?"
Click to view link
As a side note, there's at least one other lesson to be learned in the Petraeus Affair:
"The Problem with Shirtless FBI Agents"
Click to view link
PS: "That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice (... ) having the career of the beloved CIA Director and the commanding general in Afghanistan instantly destroyed due to highly invasive and unwarranted electronic surveillance is almost enough to make one believe not only that there is a god, but that he is an ardent civil libertarian"
Click to view link
Posted by rossbcan on 11/16/12 11:10 AM
DB: ""They" don't want us to know what "they're" up to. But it's not for our own good but to keep their actions away from public scrutiny. In the era of what we call the Internet Reformation, such efforts are increasingly dubious, however. And actually that's good news, not bad ... "
If people actually KNEW, they may THINK, then ACT, the primal terror of organized predators:
Click to view link
... and, actions, including inaction against criminal liars and their predations ALWAYS have consequences.
The burning question is: will YOU, personally be responsible for paying for and suffering by THEIR "proceeds of crime" (initiating aggression), and, by tolerance, be responsible for loss of peace and civilization (the rules by which we peacefully cooperate for MUTUAL self-interest)?
The law (Nureburg Principles) states, should you fail in your civil and moral duty to defend yourself and others from tyrants (a particular subset of genus: criminal), well, you can and will be collectively punished either by the natural consequences, or, objective law, should any have the courage to take the helm:
Click to view link