"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
No more than 200 yards from the main gate of the sprawling U.S. base here, stolen computer drives containing classified military assessments of enemy targets, naming corrupt Afghan officials and describing American defenses are on sale in the local bazaar.
Shop owners at the bazaar say Afghan cleaners, garbage collectors and other workers from the base arrive each day offering purloined goods, including knives, watches, refrigerators, packets of Viagra and flash-memory drives taken from military laptops. The drives, smaller than a pack of chewing gum, are sold as used equipment.
The thefts of computer drives have the potential to expose military secrets as well as Social Security numbers and other identifying information of military personnel.
A reporter recently obtained several drives at the bazaar that contained documents marked "Secret." The contents included documents that were potentially embarrassing to Pakistan, a U.S. ally; presentations that named suspected militants targeted for "kill or capture," and discussions of U.S. efforts to "remove" or "marginalize" Afghan government officials considered "problem makers" by the U.S. military.
The drives also included deployment rosters and other documents that identified nearly 700 U.S. service members and their Social Security numbers.
After choosing the name of an army captain at random, a reporter using the Internet was able to obtain detailed information on the woman, including her home address in Maryland and the license-plate numbers of her 2003 Jeep Liberty sport-utility vehicle and 1998 Harley Davidson XL883 Hugger motorcycle.
Read the rest - it gets worse.