Letter to the editor

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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As one who had a security clearance two steps above Top Secret, here’s my take on all the “uncovered classified papers” tale.

First, there are generally three levels of classified documents: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Most are Confidential, few are Top Secret. Nobody’s saying what kind of documents have been “uncovered.” And in this context, that’s pretty important.

Second, people with clearances often take classified documents away. Confidential-level papers, for example, often are hardly worth protecting.

Third, an amazing number of people have access to classified information. Donald Trump, for example, seemed to give clearances away like candy. He (and many others) got one simply by taking office. It took the better part of a year to secure my own, and involved three separate Federal agencies.

Fourth, an astounding number of people have the authority to stamp “Confidential” and “Secret” upon stuff. And many classified documents are classified simply because they’re politically (or even personally) embarrassing.

In life, context can be important.



Russ Wise