From Secrecy News:
INFORMATION SHARING, BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
The disclosure of a clandestine network of U.S. military officers that
diverted classified documents from military agencies and illegally
provided them to law enforcement agencies serves as a vivid reminder
that improved information sharing within the government is a goal that
has still not been achieved.
"Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz said patriotism motivated him to join
a spy ring, smuggle secret files from Camp Pendleton and give them to
law enforcement officers for anti-terrorism work in Southern
California," the San Diego Union-Tribune reported last Saturday.
Sgt. Maziarz and his men acted like Robin Hood in the forest of
national security information, taking classified documents from the
cleared and giving them to the uncleared.
"He knew his group was violating national security laws," the
Union-Tribune reported. "But he said bureaucratic walls erected by the
military and civilian agencies were hampering intelligence sharing and
coordination, making the nation more vulnerable to terrorists."
This is of course a self-serving story, and it doesn't explain the
stolen weapons or steroids found along with the pilfered documents by
But neither is there any evidence so far of espionage on behalf of a
foreign power, or any indication of a financial motive in stealing the
Taken at face value, the rise of the interagency document smugglers
points to a continuing defect in government information policy. It
also suggests that the national security classification system may
break before it bends. In other words, it may fail catastrophically
before it can be substantially reformed.
See "Marine Took Files as Part of Spy Ring" by Rick Rogers, San Diego
Union-Tribune, October 6:
The story was also picked up today by the Los Angeles Times.
The failure to achieve optimal information sharing is not in dispute.
"Institutional rules and legacy culture continue to hamper effective
information sharing," a report from the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence admitted yesterday.
"There are outdated policy, customs, and technical constraints on
information access and dissemination that impede the production of
finished products our customers require."
See "500 Day Plan: Integration and Collaboration," Office of Director
of National Intelligence, October 2007:
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