A US Government Classification Wowza!

August 30, 2022

I read “What’s in a Classified Document?” The title is interesting because it suggests that classified information is like a cook book. The contents of the cook book are “known”; that is, step-by-step information about making grilled chicken. The write up explains:

Breakdowns of the various levels of information classification are available online, but they’re not that helpful out of context.

That makes sense: No context, no or limited understanding.

The write up continues:

Most classified materials, however, just aren’t all that sexy at first glance.

I noted this statement:

Technical and scientific documents, for instance, are almost always highly valuable.

And this caught my eye:

One of the greatest risks is that an adversary will learn how we’ve discovered their secrets.

I also put a check mark by this sentence:

Finally, it’s important to understand that, in many cases, what’s classified is not a particular set of facts but what the intelligence community thinks those facts mean.

Looking at the information about secrets, I think the obvious statements are okay. The point to me is that old fashioned methods of enforcing secrecy are probably better than the methods in use today.

Unfortunately the Information wants to be free and the Sharing is caring ideas are not in line with my views. The message I take away from this write up is that beliefs, ideas, and procedures have been eroded in the last decade or so.

But I am a dinobaby. What do I know? Well, enough to point out that the apparatus of secrecy might be a useful project for someone not in the lobbying business, not a Beltway Bandit, and not an individual preparing a flight path as a consultant.

Stephen E Arnold, August 30, 2022


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