US Leak Reveals More Than War Secrets

Justice Department investigates while Pentagon assesses the damage
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2023 10:50 AM CDT
Intelligence Leak Includes Secrets on US Spying
Ukrainian soldiers carry cartridges in their position on the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on Friday.   (Roman Chop via AP)

The leak of US classified documents concerning Ukraine's defense against the Russian invasion has done more than reveal information that could help opposing nations on the battlefield. The files also provide a detailed look at US intelligence operations, including whom the US is spying on and how, the Washington Post reports. That has American officials, as well as allies, racing to measure and contain the damage. In the meantime, the Pentagon has restricted access to intelligence. And the Justice Department is investigating how the information became public, per the Post.

After a batch of files showed up Friday on social media, Russian and Ukrainian officials were among those expressing skepticism about whether they were legitimate. Some, including John Sullivan, a deputy secretary of state, suggested the leak was part of a Russian disinformation campaign, per NBC News. But officials said they're treating the documents as genuine, after realizing Thursday they were available to read on a public server. "They look real," a US official told CNN. Beyond data about such war-related matters as analysis of Ukraine's fighting capacity, the posts uncover details about US spying practices.

The revelations include where the CIA has recruited agents to report the private talks of world leaders and other eavesdropping, and the technology the US uses to track Russian troop movements. The 50 pages seen by the Post detail intelligence operations by the CIA, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and law enforcement agencies. There's information about Canadian and UK operations, too. "We need to manage this well both internally and externally," a Defense Department official said. "There are (a) lot of institutions and agencies involved." (More classified information stories.)

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