OPEN SECRET: 1.25M people have access to top secret documents in America
By Belle Carter // Apr 19, 2023

The recent leak of classified Pentagon documents has raised concerns about how President Joe Biden's administration handles top secret government information. Based on the latest publicly available figures, about 1.25 million people have classified data clearance access – meaning, they can access top secret documents.

Authorities initially suspected that the leak was an intelligence operation by a state actor, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now arrested 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira allegedly wanted to impress fellow members of an online chat group.

As per Statista's Martin Armstrong, the federal government grants top secret security clearance to large numbers of government employees and contractors – including young and low-ranking service members like Teixeira.

Meanwhile, the Guardian's Julian Borger wrote in an analysis that the leak was probably not some dastardly hacking or disinformation plot by Russia or the U.S., but rather another example of how carelessly the White House handles its secrets.

"The least likely version of reality is the one being circulated among Kremlin supporters, that it was a clever piece of [Central Intelligence Agency] CIA distraction ultimately aimed at demoralizing Russians by showing how many lives they had lost, and how badly their war was going in Ukraine," Borger wrote.

He also noted that the leak can prove damaging either to Kyiv, as it exposed Ukraine's ammunition woes and some of its air defense deployments, or to Washington, as it exposed the depth of its involvement in Ukraine's defense and some of its intelligence-collection methods on Russia – including details on little-known satellite technology. It also showed the extent of Washington's espionage directed at allies, such as Ukraine, South Korea and Israel. (Related: Leaked Pentagon documents show how US intel networks spy on its own allies.)

An unnamed U.S. official told Reuters last week that the leak was a Russian hack designed to embarrass Washington. But Borger commented that it does not fit very well with the known facts.

Lawmakers slam Washington over irresponsible document classification system

Lawmakers believe that the recent classified data leaks have potentially serious consequences for the country's national security.

A few months ago, classified documents were found at the private home of former Vice President Mike Pence. These leaks raised questions about how the government labels documents as secret and how it manages those documents, including after a president leaves office.

"What the hell is going on around here is my reaction," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee. "Look, obviously there is a systemic problem in the executive branch. Talking about two successive administrations from two different parties with officials at the top level having in their possession documents in places where they don't belong."

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla) said: "Nobody is above the law. I don't know how anybody ends up with classified documents. Everybody ought to explain how they end up with classified documents."

As per scholar of intelligence issues Loch Johnson, a professor emeritus of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia, the aides and officials charged with ensuring secret documents are always in a "chain of custody" appear to be failing in their job.

"It's their job to make sure these busy policymakers understand the importance of classification and return the documents to their proper place," Johnson said. "There's an incredible amount of sloppiness in the handling of these documents that's really quite disconcerting. We need some stiff penalties for people in the chain of custody who don't take their jobs seriously enough."

Visit for updates on the recent United States security threats.

Watch the video below where a former CIA officer said the leaked defense documents were an intentional "controlled leak."

This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on

More related stories:

Leaked Pentagon documents prove that World War III has been in the planning stages for years.

Origin of 'online leak' of highly classified Pentagon intelligence explained in detailed analysis.

Leaked Pentagon documents indicate latest Chinese test of hypersonic missiles can evade all existing U.S. defenses.

Sources include:

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