A Pentagon review ordered in the wake of alleged classified leaks by a national guardsman found oversight policies have not kept up with the rapid increase in the number of people who have access to the nation’s defense secrets.
“As the department’s population of cleared personnel and the number of facilities have grown over the past years, it has underscored the need to have a comprehensive and evolving security in-depth posture,” a senior defense official told reporters Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the 45-day review into the Defense Department’s security programs, policies and procedures after embarrassing leaks of classified information allegedly bystarted appearing in the news.
This review examined the Defense Department holistically, not specifically Teixeira or his unit. It did not find a systemic problem within the department but did point out areas where processes could be standardized in the near term and left the door open for new policies in the long term.
“What the review team found was ambiguity in the policies that create inconsistencies as you get further and further out into the department,” the official said.
In the near term, the Pentagon plans to clarify “need to know” access to classified information, both printed and electronic. One question raised by Teixeira’s alleged leaks is why a 21-year-old airman in the Massachusetts Air National Guard had printouts of.
Other steps include creating a Joint Management Office for insider threats, requiring “top secret control officers” and developing a central tracking system for the Defense Department’s sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIFs) and Special Access Program Facilities (SAPFs.)
The 45-day review is just one of the reviews triggered by the leaks earlier this year. The Air Force inspector generalon handling classified information there, and the Department of Justice is pursuing a criminal case against Teixeira.