Paula Broadwell Didn’t Leak Info! Yay? November 14, 2012Posted by geoff in News.
“I was embedded with Gen. Petraeus in Afghanistan, and it was a little confusing to some of the folks there because I am also a military reservist with a top secret SCI clearance and then some,” Broadwell told an audience at an Aspen Institute event in October.
“I had access to everything, it was my experience not to leak it, not to violate my mentor, if you will,” she said. “He was a very close mentor.”
There’s the obvious “creepy in hindsight” factor to what she said, but I have a couple additional issues.
First, waaaaaaay back when I had a TS clearance, I was told not to tell anybody that I had a TS clearance. Not that I would have gone to jail for letting it slip, but the intelligence agencies felt that broadcasting the fact that you have a high clearance level makes you a target for other countries. I can’t imagine that philosophy has changed – it’s just common sense.
So why is Paula Broadwell announcing her clearance at public forums?
Second, not leaking information shouldn’t be the exception – it’s not praiseworthy, it’s SOP. It shouldn’t have mattered if he was a mentor or an annoyance – you don’t leak any information regarding military operations, classified or not. They call it OPSEC, and it applies to everything the military does.
Finally, even if she was cleared at that level (and why did she have a TS/SCI clearance in the first place? It costs something like $100K for the DoD to process that sort of clearance), there’s no reason she should have had access to classified information, since she had no need to know. I can’t imagine that it was necessary for her biography. So when she says that she had “access to everything,” it’s a little unsettling.