In response to a congressional directive, the Department of Defense Inspector General has provided to Congress “an inventory of all identified unauthorized disclosures of SCI [sensitive compartmented information, or classified intelligence] to the public within DoD from the past three calendar years.” The classified IG report also described the actions taken by DoD in response to the leaks, including referrals to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation.
An unclassified version of the IG report, stripped of almost all of its content, was released yesterday. See “Report on Sensitive Compartmented Information Leaks in the Department of Defense,” DoD Inspector General Report No. 2012-056, February 27, 2012
“We confirmed with DoD components that some unauthorized disclosures of SCI to the public did occur within DoD between December 23, 2008 and December 23, 2011. Among the unauthorized SCI disclosures to the public reported, a DoD Senior Official was directly attributed as a source of unauthorized SCI disclosures to the public,” the unclassified IG report stated. The DoD Senior Official was not identified in the published report.
The IG report includes previously undisclosed congressional language from the classified annex to the FY2012 House Defense Appropriations Bill:
“The Committee is appalled with the number of leaked classified and compartmented facts and reports that have occurred over the past three calendar years. The sources and methods used for clandestine and covert activities are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the Department of Defense and intelligence community and the fact that these details are being exposed on a regular basis by ‘senior administration officials’ is of grave concern. These sources and methods are the life-blood of intelligence and will not be maintained or cultivated in the future if they continue to be exposed…. The Committee believes that these leaks are unacceptable, need to be investigated, and stopped.”
Among other things, the DoD IG response illustrates the fact that agency Inspectors General have the capacity to conduct detailed and exacting oversight of classification policy when they are assigned to do so. See “DoD Inspector General Takes on Classification Oversight,” Secrecy News, February 8, 2012.