Restrictions on Use of WikiLeaks Hamper CRS

By April 28, 2011

Restrictions on the use of published WikiLeaks material remain in effect in much of the government, the New York Times reported yesterday, causing considerable confusion and frustration.  See “Detainees’ Lawyers Can’t Click on Leaked Documents” by Scott Shane, April 27.

“Add me to the list of grumblers,” said a respected national security analyst at the Congressional Research Service, where employees have been prohibited from accessing WikiLeaks documents online.

“This whole thing is so [expletive] stupid,” he said yesterday. “Even staff with clearances can’t read the cables, let alone quote them. One reason is that we can’t read classified materials on unclassified computers and we have no classified computers.”

“We can now quote news stories which cite the cables, but we have no way of verifying whether the article correctly quotes the cables.”

“This is hampering CRS work and management knows it,” the analyst said.  “There’s just no leadership on this issue.”

Categories: Secrecy