Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Marine comments on Security and Justice

Gonzales won't face charges for mishandling info - Yahoo! News

I have attached a yahoo news story that I find to be important based upon my experience in the Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps, I was tasked with the use, handling, transportation, and security of Top Secret/SCI government material/information. While in the Marine Corps I received annual classes and workshops on how to handle top secret material. There are very strict rules about these types of things. For example, certain things can not be taken out of specific rooms. Certain things can not be stored overnight unless in an approved safe with two AWAKE marines guarding it, and all sensitive material was accounted for every night before we went home (unless we were overseas, in which case it was accounted for before we all got to sleep except for the two marines that stayed up all night guarding it) The Marines that I was deployed with in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Kuwait, in Haiti, and in Jordan all followed these steps because we knew how important our nat'l security was. Now, I want to make clear that these steps were not followed only overseas. Marines have been threatened with jail time if these specific guidelines were not followed...whether you were in North Carolina, Virginia, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
The fact that Alberto Gonzalez took top secret material home with him surprises me...and not a lot of things surprise me anymore. The fact that he kept this material in an unlocked briefcase surprises me. THe fact that his attorneys said that the former Attorney General of this United States did not know the proper procedure for storing these sensitive materials surprises me. And the fact that he is not being prosecuted for it surprises me.
The way I see it, if the top law enforcing officer in the country (the Attorney General) can not be held accountable for the national security breaches committed, then who can be? Who should know the law better than he?
In my opinion, this is another stellar example of this administration picking under qualified nominees to fill high government positions. There needs to be some responsibility, and there needs to be some resolution. There is no excuse for bringing TOP SECRET material out of a secured, safe government building to catch up on your work at home. That is lazy, that is careless, and that puts all Americans at risk. But I guess its just business as usual for this administration. I keep forgetting this is the same administration that leaked the name of a CIA agent for political purposes.
Anthony Maroun
IVAW Gainesville

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