Biden Pentagon, DOJ freaking out over leaked classified documents detailing military and intelligence secrets
There has reportedly been several purportedly leaked classified documents from the U.S. government containing an assortment of secretive national security information that has been circulating online on different social media platforms over the past several weeks.
Now a new batch of leaked classified documents has begun to circulate online in recent days, which reportedly has the Pentagon scrambling as the Biden administration was caught flat-footed, according to Newsmax.
The leaked documents, which reportedly appeared to be real, largely dealt with the Ukraine-Russia conflict but also included some documents in regard to China and the Middle East and those respective regions.
Concerns that "nightmare" leaks could be just "tip of the iceberg"
The New York Times reported that U.S. officials and analysts believe more than 100 documents have been leaked, and while the vast majority of what has been circulating online appears to be legitimate there are claims that a few documents appear to have been altered, such as ones detailing casualty figures for the Russians and Ukrainians.
One unnamed senior U.S. intelligence official said the leaked documents were "a nightmare for the Five Eyes," a reference to the broad intelligence-sharing agreement involving the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
One anonymous analyst seemed to suggest that additional leaked documents could soon surface online and on social media platforms or forums like Twitter and Telegram as well as Discord and 4Chan, as they said that what has been seen thus far is just the "tip of the iceberg."
Classified info about Russia-Ukraine, China, Middle East
According to The Times, the leaked documents that began to circulate in early March appears to be photographs of physical documents, charts, and slides from presentations that include a wealth of sensitive and classified information about not only Russia and Ukraine but also China and broader Indo-Pacific region as well as Israel and the broader Middle East region.
That includes purported casualty figures for Russia and Ukraine, Western plans to support an upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive, and detailed information about the months-long ongoing battle for the city of Bakhmut, along with U.S. plans to counter the Chinese military in the Indo-Pacific theater and counterterrorism operations in the Middle East.
Ironically enough, The Times noted that while the U.S. government and other Western allies are panicking behind closed doors about the leaked documents, they don't appear to have gained traction or had much of an impact with respect to Russia and Ukraine, as both sides have generally dismissed what has been leaked as deliberate disinformation put forward by the other side.
Multiple domestic and allied investigations into origin of leaks
CNN reported that the Pentagon announced on Thursday that it was investigating the origin of initial leaks believed to have occurred in late February or early March and, following the new batch of leaked documents that surfaced on Friday, the Justice Department has now opened a leak investigation of its own as well.
The dual investigations will reportedly be focused inward, predominately at the Pentagon, but also at assorted other agencies like the State Department, CIA, and National Security Agency, to determine who may have had access to the classified materials.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that other nations within the Five Eyes group are conducting their own reviews to ensure the leaks didn't originate with their own people. That seems unlikely, however, given that some of the documents are marked in such a way as to indicate that they were never circulated beyond the U.S. government.
And, interestingly enough, that and other relevant evidence has essentially ruled out the possibility that Russia has anything whatsoever to do with the leaks as they almost certainly don't have the sort of access necessary to find the classified materials, and even if they did would be unlikely to risk burning that access to release the information.
Regardless, the leaks have been described as a "very serious breach" and the efforts to find the origin of the leaks are reported to be just as serious as the classified information now circulating, whether fully believed by the general public and other nations or not, will nonetheless have a "real-world impact."